Posted: February 4, 2021
We sat down (over email) with two of our favorite leaders in the outdoor adventure community, Adventure Travel Trade Association ambassadors Ena Buenfil of Huaxteca.com in Mexico and Elín Sigurveig Sigurðardóttir from Icelandic Mountain Guides.
As you look ahead to the new year, consider how you might answer the three questions we put forth to these strong women and take some inspiration from their answers.
Ena is the founder of her ecotourism and adventure company in San Luis Potosi, Mexico as well as being an educator for other adventure companies. Far away, in an entirely different environment, Elin is a co-owner at Icelandic Mountain Guides.
What are your aspirations for the year ahead?
[ENA] I hope to complete construction of the wildlife clinic that is being built in order to help the Huasteca region's fauna and to carry out three high impact environmental educational programs.
Also, to celebrate 20 years of our adventure tour company by inviting all the guides and interns who have participated over the years!
[ELIN] I hope that those who need it will be vaccinated by mid-year and people who have been isolated can get back to enjoying the company of their loved ones, families, children and grandchildren.
I also hope that we‘ll get through this pandemic and can leave it behind but with some deeper learning, in general, think more globally. And for travelling, I hope that we‘ll do more slow travel, and more slow living.
Personally, plan to spend quality time with my family and my friends and hopefully, that also includes my international friends.
What fears are you grappling with?
[ENA] That the climate change will affect our rivers, its levels and the scenic beauty of our region. That the COVID19 pandemic will generate economic instability and a food crisis.
[ELIN] That, in a short time we‘ve all forgotten about covid time and we‘ll all get lost in living fast and travelling fast. That we don‘t use the opportunity we have now to build tourism up in the right way, in a sustainable way.
We know from experience that tourism as an industry can bounce back quickly and there can even be a pressure to do so to build smaller countries back up economically. I surely hope we‘ll have the wisdom to do it differently this time and to it in a sustainable way.
What keeps you going, what do you find inspiring was you look to the future?
[ENA] My daughter Lia and the ideology of respect that she has created towards the environment and wildlife.
[ELIN] People! Just people in general, my family, the people I work with, my friends and people I read about or listen to. I‘m amazed by how people have adapted, how they have reached out to help each other and even made some dramatic change to their life in the past year. How people take the constant changes thrown at them and just get on with it and even make something amazing.
I also think this constant uncertainty will leave the teenagers and children in the western part of the world with more adaptability and contentment than before.