If you’ve been following the journey of Let’s Go Together, the new podcast from Travel + Leisure celebrating diversity in travel, you’ll have been introduced to people who are exploring the world despite their size, widowed women finding new joy in solo journeys, the first Black woman to travel to every single country, and many more incredible travelers.
And we’re still going strong.
This week, on the ninth installment of Let’s Go Together, host and adventurer Kellee Edwards is joined by Amanda Machado, an avid hiker based in Oakland, California. Machado, the daughter of immigrants from Ecuador and Mexico, grew up in Florida, but has spent time hiking, camping, and backpacking in some of the most scenic locales in the world, including Chile, Peru, and South Africa.
For a Floridian, being outside on the beach was a given, but it wasn’t until a trip to the White Mountains in New Hampshire that Machado discovered her true love of the outdoors. “It was really intense and really scary and really uncomfortable, but also really fun,” she recalled, adding, “after going on that trip, [that’s] when I realized that’s something I’d been wanting to do more.”
Besides adventuring around the world, Machado is also on a quest to redefine the image of an outdoorsy person. “Our image of what a hiker looks like or an adventurer is usually like a rugged white male out in the middle of the woods or canoeing by himself,” she told Edwards, “and it’s really not an image that I had growing up in my own family.”
In the episode the duo also discuss the barriers that many minority communities face in accessing nature, why it’s important, and how that’s starting to change. “Women of color, people of color deserve those same moments of self actualization and transformation and adventure and having wild and free lives… that everybody deserves,” she said. “It’s a privilege to spend time getting lost and wandering and exploring around the world. Right? And for a really long time that was a predominantly white, wealthy privilege.”
Machado also shares what it was like connecting with her own roots hiking to Machu Picchu in the Andes, “backcountry hoop” earrings, and the times she felt most powerful in nature.
Hear more from Latina outdoorswoman Amanda Machado on Let’s Go Together, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Megaphone, and Stitcher.
Video: Crazy guy water skis on stilts (BuzzVideos)