McKenna is an avid adventurer, traveler, mountaineer, and writer from Southern California. Her goal is to climb some of the world’s highest mountains, visit as many countries as she can, and road trip as far as her trustee motorhome will take her. She is enamored with Latin America and has solo backpacked from Mexico-Argentina over the course of a year. McKenna’s adventures have also taken her to the Arizona desert where she hiked 400 consecutive miles by herself on the AZT. You can find her on her blog and follow her adventures by reading her articles.
🎓 Education: Arizona State University ( Anthropology, B.A.), Cal State University Los Angeles (Archaeology, M.A.)
✔️ Fun Facts: Solo climbed Pico de Orizaba, an 18,500-foot Mexican mountain, Chihuahua mom, avid Jeopardy tuner-in
📚 What was Your Favorite Travel Experience or Story?
I solo backpacked almost the entirety of Latin America when I was 20. What started as a 5-week trip to Peru and Chile became a year-long adventure around the Southern Hemisphere. Fellow long-term backpackers inspired my travels and prompted me to skip my return flight home, discovering the magic of most Latin American countries in the meantime.
I traveled by bus from Mexico to Argentina with pit stops in almost every intersecting country. I saved a mountain of expenses by hitchhiking and Couchsurfing my way around Patagonia and other safe Latin countries, making it a trip for the books.
🗺️ What’s Your #1 Expert Travel Tip?
As grotesque as it sounds, I always try to get sick or food poisoned at the beginning of a new international trip so I can get it over with early and enjoy the rest of my trip. I will never travel anywhere without the magic Imodium pill, a true traveler’s lifesaver. In the event of an emergency, I also always carry extra clothes and napkins in my carry-on in case transportation food doesn’t agree with me. Sitting at the front of a bus helps prevent motion sickness too but be sure to always carry an extra paper bag, just in case.
🗒️ What Are Your Future Travel Plans?
Mexico is my favorite country in the world and I try to squeeze in a trip at least once a year. This summer, I plan on climbing some 20,000-foot mountains in Bolivia, hopefully with the Indigenous Climbing Cholitas as my mountain guides.
I also plan on traveling to Nepal in two years’ time to climb some high Himalayan Mountains, one of my ultimate goals. In between international trips, I always take short or long-term motorhome trips with my chihuahua.
✔️ What Are Your Career Goals?
I am currently studying Mesoamerican cave archaeology and hope to conduct fieldwork in the Yucatan during the summer seasons. I also expect to further my writing career and work with Travel Lemming continuously as well as other established travel publications.