Adventurer of the Month MAR 2015

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the Laulainens

An Adventure POWER Couple!

G4S Presents...


Jackie Laulainen

Age: 30

Occupation: Travel Blogger, Podcaster, and Freelance Writer

Educational Background: Nevada (UNR), Costa Rica, Italy - BA Spanish and Italian


In 2003, I moved to Costa Rica to study abroad for a year, and my life changed forever. Not only did I fall in love with everything Latin (I’m often convinced I was born in the wrong culture), but I became addicted to the world of travel. The following year I moved to Italy to study abroad for a year there and learn (and consequently fall in love with) everything Italian. After finally graduating from college in 2007, I began my vagabond life, fueled by the mighty and endless power of wanderlust.

I kick-started a cycle of traveling every six months or so that has yet to end. During this time I have roasted marshmallows in the lava of a volcano in Guatemala, studied Portuguese in Brazil, island-hopped in Panama and Greece, met a boy and made him move to Rome with me (then married him in 2012), hiked Machu Picchu in Peru (the #1 thing on my bucket list), superman zip-lined and white-water rafted in Costa Rica, celebrated tradition at Oktoberfest in Munich (4 times), smoked hooka in Turkey, sailed with dolphins in Nicaragua, dune-buggyed in Peru, volunteered during the Torino 2006 Winter Olympics, and honeymooned in Southeast Asia, among many other adventures. My path as a travel writer has come out of my experiences rather organically, and it continues to take me on exhilarating adventures all across the world.


I specifically remember a trip when I was 8 years old, we went to Montreal and stayed with some family friends. It was my first international trip and I was completely fascinated by the foreign language and money, to the extent that I kept a grocery bag that had French words on it along with a few coins. The people we stayed with were travelers, and I remember watching them present a slideshow about a recent hike they had done in the Andes. While not necessarily an adventure in itself, I think that trip must have planted a seed in me that ignited my interest in foreign language and travel.



Adventure pushes me to my limits in many ways, and as I like to live on the edge of my comfort zone, this is what I need to keep me going, to keep me from getting bored. Just a few weeks ago I swam with a whale shark in Baja California Sur, something I didn't know I was capable of until the moment I did it. Adventures like these are what make me feel most alive and most influential to those around me, and the world needs people who have come alive with their passions.


After a week in Boston, a week in Banff, and a week in Vegas, I'm headed to Europe to visit Sweden, take a road trip around Portugal, and spend 10 days in the Catalonia region of Spain, including a camping trip in the Pyrenees.

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"There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."

- Nelson Mandela -