Born and raised in Indi­ana, Brooke is an adven­tur­er, endor­phin junkie, and lover of the out­doors who has trav­eled to five con­ti­nents. A free­lance mul­ti­me­dia jour­nal­ist, Brooke’s craft enables her the freedomto trav­el. Brooke is fas­ci­nat­ed with lan­guages and can order a cof­fee in Hin­di, sing Swahili lul­la­bies, and ask for direc­tions in Mandarin.

A Dream Come True
I hon­est­ly felt like The Clym­b’s Ecuador & Gala­pa­gos trip was cre­at­ed just for me. I loved hik­ing in the breath­tak­ing Cotopaxi Nation­al Park and sum­mit­ing Cotopaxi. One of the best days we had was moun­tain bik­ing through the East Andes in the morn­ing, hik­ing up and down a stun­ning water­fall, and zip-lin­ing in the evening. If I had to choose a favorite activ­i­ty from the entire trip, it would be snor­kel­ing in the Gala­pa­gos. I just kept repeat­ing, “este es mi sueno hecho real­i­dad,” mean­ing “this is my dream made a reality.”

Pack­ing List
My pack­ing list is always writ­ten in orange sharpie. I start mak­ing a list from my feet up. For this excur­sion I knew I’d need my run­ning shoes and Cha­cos. I brought active clothes suit­able for a warmer cli­mate. I could’ve used a few more warm clothes when stay­ing in the moun­tain region of Ecuador. How­ev­er, that gave me an excuse to buy an alpaca sweater. If I plan to shop for local or inter­est­ing clothes on a trip, I’ll pur­pose­ful­ly not pack the items I think I’ll buy to free up room in my bag for one-of-a-kind trea­sures. I also always bring my water bot­tle and pro­tein bars for flights. My favorite item to bring on my trav­els is my cam­era, and I nev­er for­get a set of earplugs.

Awe­some Guides
Gio­van­ni, Sebas­t­ian, and José are the best guides I have ever had the plea­sure of trav­el­ing with; Adven­ture Jour­neys spoiled us with these guys! Sebas­t­ian helped me with film­ing and being able to go ahead of the group to get the best pho­to van­tage points. Gio­van­ni is an ency­clo­pe­dia of infor­ma­tion about Ecuado­ri­an cul­ture and envi­ron­ment. He even met up with me in Quito weeks after the trip had end­ed to show me around his home­town. José was our dri­ver, but he was way more than that to all of us in the group. He is learn­ing Eng­lish, and is one of the most charis­mat­ic peo­ple you’ll ever meet. San­ti­a­go is an incred­i­ble free­d­iv­er in the Gala­pa­gos, so we had a lot of fun snor­kel­ing and div­ing around the archipelago.

Exot­ic Wildlife
The Gala­pa­gos arch­i­pel­ago has a stun­ning array of wildlife. Giant tor­tois­es are found only two places in the world, and see­ing these Juras­sic-look­ing crea­tures up close was a true dream of mine. I snorkeled with sea tur­tles, sea lions, sea hors­es, stingrays, pen­guins, and blue-foot­ed boo­bies. I gained a new­ly found love of lla­mas along the way too!

Trav­el Tips
When land­ing in Quito, keep in mind the air­port is about 45 min­utes to the city. If you’re on lay­over or have time to kill at the air­port, head to the inter­na­tion­al ter­mi­nal for a cof­fee from Juan Valdez Café (tell San­ti­a­go I said hel­lo!) and strong, free Wi-Fi. Also, lan­guages are a skill that con­tin­u­al­ly need to be used and per­fect­ed. I improved my Span­ish immense­ly on this trip. If you plan on doing some seri­ous pho­tog­ra­phy or video, pack a car­bon fiber tri­pod. They’re light­weight and sturdy!

Embark on your own Ecuador & Gala­pa­goes adven­ture with The Clymb.