A California Native, Justin Baker started working for AirTreks in 2008. His passion for travel aligned perfectly with the AirTreks core values of making meaningful connections, embracing change, working and playing with passion, loving learning, and owning our experience.Justin’s interest in wildlife and the outdoors sparked his journey to traveling the world. We had the chance to catch up with Justin to hear all about his worldly treks.
Where was the first country you ever traveled to outside the USA?
The first country I ever visited was Germany. I went to Frankfurt, and then ten years later I met my future wife there. It’s a special place for me.
When did you first catch the travel bug?
In 2003, at the age of 20, I took my first trip to Europe. I visited three countries and when I came back home I knew I wanted more. The following year I enrolled in an exchange program and the rest is history. My life since has revolved around travel.
What was your most memorable experience while traveling?
There are so many to choose from. There was an intense moment alongside a waterhole in Etosha National Park in Namibia where I witnessed a lone lioness take down a baby giraffe less than 50 feet from me. As she had her mouth wrapped around the baby giraffe’s neck, the giraffe’s mother ran to her aid and stomped the lioness four time until the lioness finally released the baby giraffe. Both the lioness and baby giraffe limped away into the darkness. My heart was pounding out of my chest harder than any other moment in my life that I can remember. As graphic as it was, the raw nature and the battle for life that I witnessed was easily one of my most memorable wildlife experiences.
Would you say that travel has changed you?
To say that traveling abroad has changed my life would be a huge understatement. I got my first passport at the age of 20 and since have visited over 60 countries and have been fortunate enough to live and work on four continents. Travel has become an integral part of who I am today.
Why should someone travel the world?
The world is filled with opportunity. I for one have studied, worked and even married overseas. So the more you put yourself out there in the world, the more doors will surely open up for you in both your personal and professional life. And most importantly you will open yourself up to the ‘human experience’, and what it means to be a human in different environments and cultures here on earth.