In 2005 Emma's passion for American literature, the wild west and country music made Emma decide to read American Studies at university with a one year placement in America. Based in the dorms of the University of Oregon, and subsequently becoming the basketball team's number one fan ("Go Ducks!"), Emma had the perfect opportunity to explore Oregon and the Northern United States.
After university Emma worked in London for two leading magazine publishers, which helped to fund return trips to the States. Becoming a USA specialist provided the perfect opportunity to revisit her old stomping ground - the idyllic Pacific Northwest, as well as giving her the opportunity to venture up mountains and through rainforests in Washington, become a bone-a-fide cowgirl riding horses in the prairies of Wyoming, and admire the incredible Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
My Most Memorable Experience
"Set in the National Park, Mount Rainier is the iconic Washington mountain and an active volcano. In spring and summer Mount Rainier is a haven for over 800 species of wild flowers, which coat the mountain's base, but at other times the mountain is a snowy heaven for hikers, skiers and snowboarders.
At base camp, suitably named "Paradise", the mountain offers numerous hikes and trails in which to discover hibernating wildlife and enjoy the great wilderness of the Western Cascades. My tour with Evergreen escapes saw me snow-shoeing my way up part of this 14,410ft mountain, which was a great personal achievement and revealed breath-taking views of the park and beyond.
The vast amount of snow melt from the mountain allows for pretty waterfalls along the base of the mountain and in the warmer months provide the perfect setting for a summer stroll along the 93 mile Wonderland trail."
My Favourite Destination
"My favourite destination has to be Hawaii! Before I ventured into this Polynesian paradise I thought that Hawaii was just sandy beaches and nice hotels. Much to my surprise the islands are all unique and brimming with culture! Oahu is a must for all wishing to experience busy Waikiki beach, the surfing culture of the north shore and the poignant Pearl Harbor and its Arizona memorial.
Kauai is luscious and green, the perfect "movie set" and a great place for keen photographers. Maui is a true sun-kissed paradise, and travelling in March meant that I got to see whales galore on the west coast. The road to Hana was idyllic, and there was even time between buying the odd coconut and papaya from the road-side shacks to explore some of the cascading waterfalls a little further into the rainforest. The Big Island was vast, and diverse in landscape and character – and seeing the lava oozing over the side of the island to create a lava shelf was a once in a lifetime experience!"
My Favourite Accommodation
"The Inn at Mama's fish house on Maui is tough to beat. It's not a 5* hotel that many tourists gravitate towards on the west coast of Maui, but this is a real gem. Tucked away along the north shore about a mile from the quirky town of Pa'ia this traditional 12 room property is perfect for families looking for a low-key, self-catering holiday, but also boasts one of the archipelago's best restaurants. The beach is secluded and the perfect spot to get away from it all, relax in a hammock with a Mai Tai and take in the fresh north shore air. If you're lucky you might even spot dolphins swimming, or whales breaching offshore (January – March)."