LEAH YETKA ESTERLY
AGE // 31
OCCUPATION // Account Lead at Yves Behar's design firm, Fuseproject
LOCATION // San Francisco, CA
HOMETOWN // Cloquet, Minnesota
Leah summited Mt. Kilimanjaro on International Women's Day with WHOA in 2014. The adventure wouldn't have been near as fun without her sharp wit and make-shift gear getups!
Window or aisle seat?
Window all the way!
What are the three things you never leave home without when you're traveling?
1) My tiny Tumi 4 wheeled roller bag; it's been around the world with me!
2) Body wipes of various sizes and functions, LOL.
3) A LBD in an easy to care for fabric like jersey.
If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
I'd be Warp Woman, capable of time/space warping to anywhere in the world at any time.
Would you rather spend a day scuba diving with sharks, hiking in the Himalayas or hot air ballooning in Turkey?
Hands down--hiking in the Himalayas. Dying to go back!
What’s the hottest place you’ve been to? What about the coldest?
Hottest = Siem Reap, Cambodia.The combination of 100% humidity + 95 degree heat = so bad for my soul and my hair. Coldest = My hometown of Cloquet, Minnesota which reached -40 when I was growing up, but at least schools were closed to prevent people from frostbite!
What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life?
Last year, my husband and I quit our jobs and traveled around the world. I was terrified to take the plunge but i'm so proud i chose life and love over that fear. In a lot of ways, the WHOA kilimanjaro trip prepared me for that adventure--both mentally and physically.
In what moment or trip did you fall in love with travel?
I grew up in a very unglamorous place, so I've always loved glamorous things. In high school, my Spanish class was offered an optional summer trip to Europe so naturally I wanted to go because I knew Europe would be glamorous. I went, it was, and i loved every second of it. But these days, as I continue to explore more of the world, it's often the least glamorous places I love most.
What is the weirdest thing you've ever eaten? Where did you eat it?
I ate a Tsampa [nutty-tasting flour made from barley] meal mush in the Tibetan region of Eastern Sichuan, China. It would have been okay, but it was hand-mashed by a woman who had just picked up yak dung to throw on the fire so I was less into it....
What is your dream adventure?
I'm dying to explore Patagonia. Not sure if a two-week vacation will cut it or if I'll need to wait until my next Sabbatical ;) I'm also hell-bent on going to New Zealand for at least a month and to Iceland.
What is your mantra or favorite quote?
"In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different." -my hero, Coco Chanel