If people had travel resumes, Amanda Arner, Category Manager, Bell Mass Accessories, would need more than a page… or two. Come to think of it, a world map wouldn’t hurt, either. Rest assured, her photo albums would back it up. Amanda has traveled to over 40 countries – but that’s just an easy way to say it. The true adventurer has stories in each of those countries.
Amanda attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she had an opportunity to study abroad with Semester at Sea, a multi-country study abroad program on a ship.
“We sailed around the world, starting in Ensenada, Mexico and ending in Barcelona, Spain visiting over 10 countries along the way,” she described. “I saw many places that I wouldn’t have considered top vacation destinations which made the trip even more special. It was a life-changing experience and I’m proud of all the places I saw and people I met.”
It was during her semester at sea that Amanda had one of her life’s greatest adventures. On a week and a half stop in China, Amanda signed up for a tour from Beijing to Shanghai to Hong Kong, hitting all the major stops along the way, including the Great Wall of China. Her group traveled from Beijing to a village near the Gubeikou section of the Wall. Instead of being reconstructed over time, the Gubeikou section had survived the elements since the 7th century BC.
“The coolest part of the adventure was camping on the Great Wall. It was the first week of February and 30 degrees. I was in two sleeping bags, with about 20 hand and body warmers and more layers than was comfortable to move in, but waking up to the sunrise over the Great Wall was majestic,” she said.
Her series of adventures doesn’t end there. A few years ago, Amanda and her sister backpacked throughout Peru and Chile for three weeks, seeing places like Machu Picchu and Patagonia. On their second-to-last day, while in Cusco, Peru, Amanda let Instagram light the path for the next venture.
“I saw an image of Rainbow Mountain on Instagram. I love climbing and had never seen anything like it! The mountain resembles a rainbow due to the minerals and weathering. Peru is one of few places in the world like this. I booked us on a tour leaving the next morning,” she said.
If it sounds extravagant, it meant a 2:00 a.m. wake-up call and a 3-hour van ride to the base of the mountain. The sisters had breakfast in one of the huts in a small village before starting the climb. The summit of Rainbow Mountain, or Vinicunca, is 17,060 feet – the highest she had ever climbed at the time. The guide had oxygen and donkeys ready for those who needed it. A resident of Colorado at the time, Amanda was acclimated to higher elevations.
“It was one of the coolest hikes I have ever done and the views from the top did not disappoint. It was the best adventure and a major highlight of the trip,” she said.
This explorer-at-heart is not even close to finished. She’s working toward climbing and summiting the 58 tallest mountains in Colorado and is nearly 75% of the way there, with just 16 remaining.
If you’re thinking Amanda would be a good travel buddy, you’re likely right. She says Boundaryless Teamwork is her most relatable Winning Behavior.
“I am a firm believer in one team, one dream,” she says. In her role, she works with cross functioning groups with a common end goal. “There are times where you need to pull more weight or expand outside your role, but that only helps someone grow, develop and understand the business from a bigger picture perspective.”
Now that’s a vantage point that’ll get a manager picture perfect results!
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins
Who would you like to swap places with for a day?
A secret talent you have?
I can juggle a soccer ball over 100 times just using my knees and feet
Advice to a younger you?
Don’t be afraid to have a voice and speak up.
A day off, by yourself, with no obligations – what would it include?
Coffee, fresh bagels and an unexplored trail to hike or bike
Scale of 1-10, how good of a driver are you?
I would like to say 10 as I have never gotten a ticket, but after polling friends it sounds like 7 is more accurate. I may have a small lead foot.
What does a person need to be happy in your opinion?
Puppies first, and a passion for something that makes you smile.
Advice from your parents you didn’t take?
They encouraged me to save for a house, but what’s a house when you can travel?!
Stale Sour Patch Kids, or fresh Circus Peanuts?
Stale sour patch kids for sure!
Countries Traveled to: