Explorer Spotlight: Lisa Bao

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Name: Lisa Bao | Age: 27 | Location: San Francisco, CA

What’s your day job?
I work at Google managing learning programs and developing creative content for internal teams. I'm also a dog mom and auntie.

What are your favorite things to do outside?
I love exploring beaches, hiking, catching sunsets, discovering hidden spots, really just being anywhere outdoors, and capturing it all on my camera while I'm doing it. I also love taking my 2 dogs along whenever I can :)

What first drew you to the outdoors?
I've always enjoyed exercising and being outdoors. I love that there is so much variety in landscapes and different types of beauty to see. I'm always inspired by being outside and hope that sharing my photography will motivate others to do the same. I also do a lot of meditation, which is perfect to do outdoors.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?
Living in the Bay Area, that's a tough one because there are so many adventures to choose from! One of my favorite local hikes is the Berry Creek Falls hike in Big Basin. It's about a 10-11 mile loop trail with waterfalls and redwoods. About a 40-minute drive out of Big Basin, there's a spot for some great local beers on rotation at The Hophead Public House in Scotts Valley.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
My iPhone and camera. Also a good fleece or waterproof jacket.

What’s your favorite trail snack?
Dried mangoes, Krave beef jerky (chili lime flavor!), and Trader Joe's Salty, Sweet & Nutty Trek Mix!

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
It totally depends on what I'm into at the moment. Some of my go-to playlists include tons of 90s/early 2000s artists. I also listen to a lot of SBTRKT, Flying Lotus, AlunaGeorge , Phantogram, Tokimonsta, and The Lumineers.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/or, the funniest?
The scariest thing was when I was in Peru and got crazy insane altitude sickness in Cusco. It was the worst I've ever felt in my life and I could do nothing but sleep it off for most of the night before feeling better.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
My sister Linda is my adventure partner-in-crime and my inspiration! We've gone on so many different adventures and trips and we both want to see and do as much as we can. She helps me see different perspectives on life and adventure, and I wouldn't have experienced as much in my life without her.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
New Zealand and Iceland, for sure. NZ has tons of varied scenery for any type of adventure you're looking for, and everything is incredibly beautiful. Iceland is one of those places that draws you back for more. It almost feels unreal when you see some of the natural beauty it has to offer. Also, auroras. 'Nuff said.

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
I really want to visit Vietnam and other neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. After that, I'd love to go back to South America for the Amazon rainforest.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
This was taken on one of my last nights in Iceland. We had seen a few good nights of low activity during our trip, but all of a sudden we were gifted with this amazing show following some sun flare activity a few nights prior. As soon as the sun set, we could see the lights dancing for us and knew we had to just stop what we were doing and enjoy this natural phenomenon. The colors were so vibrant and we could see the aurora dancing across the whole sky. It was hard to just watch one part of the sky because the entire space above us was lit up. It was one of the most memorable nights I'll ever remember and I'm so glad I have photos that captured it too.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?
Take the time to appreciate what you have, the people in your life, and the fact that we are surrounded by immense amounts of beauty everyday.

Published: June 19, 2015

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