Boundaries, Compassion, and Self-Love: an Interview with Women on the Road

Dani Reyes-Acosta surfs at La Punta de Zicatela Puerto Escondido Oaxaca Mexico Photo Credit Carlos Cáceres-Thumbnail - Women on the Road Interview

Boundaries, Compassion, and Self-Love

an Interview with Women on the Road

My First Podcast Interview

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This interview shares a snippet of my story, involving international adventure travel, the evolution of my growth mindset, and a journey towards empowerment.

Explore

The Women on the Road podcast shares "honest experiences of life on the road from the perspective of women who've lived them firsthand."

Here, we dive head-first into a few heady topics.

Create

Step into the safe space we create with this interview, where we discuss permission to feel human, set boundaries, and step into self-love.

People Talk

Hold your horses! We’re not trying to sell you on listening to the podcast. Instead, maybe this feedback from listeners might just convince you to do it anyway.

Ade'! (Which is a greeting in my language)
I just want to say Dogidihn (thank you) for your sincerety and vunerability during your Women on the Road episode.....You capture so much in the way that you have thought through your story and the way that you were able to narrate your experience to WOTR. I think, at least for myself, that you were heard and felt in such an immense way. Iappreciate where you have been, the journey you are on, and the constant reflection it sounds like you are engaging in to push yourself forward.
....when you said you're either living for someone else or living for yourself: that hit deep. I ...[am excited to craft] a more authentic, self-driven life, and when I heard that line, it just summed it all up.
Episode 46 with Dani-Reyes-Acosta fundamentally changed me. I know that seems extreme but the past two years have been incredibly challenging....It was the conversation that I needed to hear, that made it okay to take ownership of all of my feelings, and it was the little bit of light that I needed to see to start to shake things up, to question where I am and why I'm there. Change doesn't happen overnight, but that episode gave me permission to start. I just want to say thank you for your work, it's touching vanlifers and non-vanlifers alike. ❤️
@al.hondo
Alex
@al.hondo

Let's create a story

More About Your Gals

Laura Hughes

Producer, Photographer, Writer, Storyteller

Dani Reyes-Acosta

Creativepreneur, Adventurer, Traveler

Seven Outdoor Industry Leaders Break Down Inclusivity in Snowsports

Outdoor Retailer-The Daily Winter 19-Snowsports Inclusivity Roundtable-Featuring Dani Reyes-Acosta-ORWI19-Thumbnail

Inclusivity in Snowsports

An Outdoors Leadership Roundtable, by Sonya Pevzner

from the author

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are buzzwords in the industry these days, but real change is a perennial challenge.

Although the snowsports industry is notoriously white and middle class, many people want to shift the status quo. To learn more,we spoke with seven leaders in the industry. We asked them about management level and among sponsored athletes, why it matters, and how as an industry we can address the inequity. Here’s what they had to say:

My Response

Consider the sponsored athlete as representative of the [perceived] customer base, while organizational leaders are representative of the talent pipeline.

Blame social inequality—and the entrenched social systems that support it—or why diversity (or lack thereof) looks the way it does now.

Increasing representation is just the beginning of helping the industry evolve to meet the needs of a demographically shifting consumer base. This industry needs the enriching flavors that diversity brings, because product, marketing, and sales can all improve when driven by consumer needs. Ultimately, this conversation is a question of how brands evolve.

The journey from creating representation to evolving brands themselves can begin with one simple question from T. Hudson Jordan: “What actions is my organization taking to foster an inclusive culture where uniqueness of beliefs, backgrounds, talens, capabilities, and ways of living are welcomed and leveraged for learning and informing better business decisions?”

Consider how, when, and where your brand is talking to consumers….because one day, these consumers will want to become your athletes. As an individual, consider how your everyday choices either disrupt or support social inequality. If we, as an industry, want to continue to grow, we need to support changes on both the macro and micro level. Remember, after all, the power of one.

Read the rest of this article to hear responses from Jen Gurecki (of Coalition Snow, Sisu Magazine, and Juicy Bits podcast), Clair Smallwood (of SheJumps), Kim Miller (of Scarpa North America), Errol Kerr (of the Jamaican Ski Team), and Eric Tung (of Fera International).

The entire article was originally published here, .at Outdoor Retailer Magazine’s Winter 2018 Pre-Show Daily.

Learn More

Sonya Pevzner

Writer, Activist, Outdoorswoman

Dani Reyes-Acosta

Interviewee, Brand Strategist, Culture Builder

The Dedication to Self-Actualizing: An Interview with No Man’s Land Film Festival

San Francisco Glacier, Alto Maipo, Photo by Dani Reyes-Acosta - Thumbnail

"A hard-charging, passionate and magnetic force...."

An Interview with No Man’s Land Film Festival

Describe yourself to a stranger so that they could find you on a crowded street…

Keep your eyes peeled for a tall-ish, tan brunette of unidentifiable national origin speaking either Spanish or English. The biggest giveaway:  I’ll be animatedly talking to another stranger (using my hands) or dancing down the sidewalk. Yes, all those are real things that actually happen.

What are your three most prized accomplishments?

  1. Realizing in 2013 that my life wasn’t what I wanted it to be….and coming into my own to realize that I had the power to change it. (Involved within that:  quitting my job at a Fortune 100 company, packing my life into a storage unit in Portland, and buying a one-way ticket to South America.) This is where the Not Lost, Just Discovering project first began:  as a dedication to those who are exploring both themselves and the world, those who are inspired by the beauty of the outdoors, and those who seek to do something more purposeful with their lives. This project, honestly, is dedicated to anyone on the path to self-actualization. The idea? That the journeys on the outside strengthen the ones within.

  2. Learning to forgive others…and myself. It’s really difficult to face challenges when both internal and external factors play into how you perform and behave. “I can’t do this climb,” “I shouldn’t paddle out today,” “I’m angry that X coworker/family member did this,”  or “I’m so frustrated that Y happened to me” are all really annoying and frustrating and pissed me off—both, that these things happened and then, that I let my head wrap around them even more. My biggest accomplishment in this sense has been learning how to slow down, forgive, and not let actions/emotions/events out of my control determine my reaction. (Note:  this has been a great emotion-saver!)

  3. Solo summit attempts up 3 Chilean volcanoes! This was my first big “adventure” when I struck out in South America, and there was a lot of fear and anxiety involved on each expedition. The most exciting part:  snow sliding down!

What are your three favorite things to do?

  1. Play, every day. In this order, my preferences:  surf, climb, snowboard. And, if the conditions aren’t suitable for those activities, I’ll find some other way to get my kicks. Dependent upon where I am, that could mean exploring the neighborhood market, hiking through the jungle, or scrambling up a chossy trail.
  2. Reflect:  my meditation and yoga practices are areas I’m trying to grow into every day. They keep me grounded, help me make better decisions, and force me to breathe in ways I might not if I didn’t make the time to do them.
  3. Cook! I love to create nourishing meals that feed the body and soul. Cooking, for me, is a heart-opening exercise in keeping your loved ones close. You can put effort and emotion into creating something that nourishes, while you doing the activity with them. The kitchen—ever since I was a child—was a place where family and friends gathered, and over our meals we shared experiences that brought us closer. That’s an important tradition for me to continue.

Where are your three favorite places to be?

  1. The ocean, and recently, the local break in Mexico where I’m spending the winter.
  2. Hanging out with a few select friends on a foreign adventure. So far, the Frey, Piedra Parada, Cobquecura, Arequipa, Iquique, Las Trancas, Sayulita, and Punta Hermosa are a few of my favorite places.
  3. Climbing something with my partner, Johnny. Going on vertical adventures with him is always eye-opening, educational, and fulfilling. I’ve learned a lot through climbing with him that applies to life, personal growth, and relationships. WARNING:  Climbing with boyfriends is a hazardous activity.

Ultimately, being in the outdoors, and sharing those experiences, is why I wake up in the morning. My goal, whether I’m playing outside or creating a storytelling campaign for one of my clients at Nomad Creativa, is to funnel that energy to a place where more of us can use the lessons of the outdoors to guide how we live our lives.

What keeps your passion alive?

Every day I wake up and think about how I’m going to try and do something just a little bit differently than the day before. Maybe it’s trying to be better, i.e. working on my patience with myself or little things that frustrate me, maybe it’s working on a certain jamming technique or how I drop into a wave. In following this desire to keep improving, my passion becomes a positive feedback cycle. (Note:  some of you may call this being a perfectionist. I just call it getting better at life.)

What is one thing that people don’t know about you, but should?

I love self-deprecating humor, and think that if you can’t laugh a little bit at yourself, then you’re taking everything just a little bit too seriously. What’s that Oscar Wilde quote…”Life is too important to be taken seriously?” 

What is your wildest adventure?

Every day is an adventure! Sometimes it’s a work adventure (Will the designer finish the files on time? Will the client want to move a meeting? How will this pitch be received?). Sometimes it’s a travel adventure (please, please, don’t give me another 10 hour layover in JFK). And sometimes it’s a play adventure (“today:  my first big wall in the Black Canyon!”). I try to approach life as if it’s a game, and see how the moves that I make affect the outcome of what that adventure will be. Choose your own adventure? Yes, please.

If you could go anywhere and do anything, what would it be?

I would go everywhere and do everything:  work, play, and live the world over. And actually, I’m working on this right now:  I’m putting this dream into action by building my location-independent agency, Nomad Creativa into a robust, full-service content marketing consultancy that works exclusively with clients who touch upon some element of social good through their work in the outdoors, sustainability, and inclusivity. I’m currently based out of Mexico, with upcoming trips to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The idea is to keep traveling, living, and growing for as long as humanly possible.  I like to explore local spiritual and culinary traditions, even while figuring out some of my own habits and practices. Needless to say, I should be an interesting person in 5 years!

 

What is your personal definition of feminism?

Rejection of the patriarchy, and the values it represents defines feminism. This “social system in which power is held by men, through cultural norms and customs that favor men and withhold opportunity from women” permeates our everyday lives, from our work relationships to our new backcountry partnerships, and unfortunately manifests in ways that we ladies can find frustrating, infuriating, and tiring. I don’t think feminism equals man-bashing, though:  all those un-woke dudes need some lovin’ and ultimately need us (even if they don’t care to admit it). If ladies educated ourselves enough on how to have intelligent conversations about gender equality, speak up for what we need and want, and make sure that we’re being inclusive, we’re headed on the right track. Also, it’s important to remember that calling someone sexist—just like calling someone racist—doesn’t solve the problem.

What do you find valuable in being a woman in the adventure/outdoor industry?

It’s fun to subvert societal norms and defy expectations. From continually being asked in South America “where is your husband,” while driving between mountain towns on a peak-bagging mission, to being the person that wants to double check our knots on climbs. I appreciate the opportunity that both defying expectations and speaking up when no one else does presents. Perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of being a woman in action sports is also one of it’s greatest strengths:  being an outsider. As an outsider, you can see things that insiders can’t and you’re willing to ask questions that the entrenched majority don’t. Whether that means asking questions while acquiring new outdoors skills or championing women’s representation and racial inclusion in the outdoors, embracing the diversity of thought that comes with our unique position is an exciting opportunity to help the industry evolve as our nation confronts shifting socioeconomic demographics.

 

Who is another woman who inspires you?

Ever since I was a scrawny 13-year-old paddling out at Lowers, Keala Kennelly has been my hero. She’s the ultimate hard charging badass lady.

In the coming years, where would you like to see women in sports?

Plain and simple? Pushing the limits, just like the boys do.... (2019 Update: "But with more style.")

Backstory

Hit the Reset Button, Make a Video

I spent a year in South America dedicated to resetting my life on a basis of doing things that mattered to me. Then, I made a (now very dated) GoPro video that recapped that experience—and which I used as a pitch for clients in my post-corporate graduate life. While this video didn't make it into the film festival, I still got to connect with the NMLFF team and share a little bit of my story.

Do you want to tell a story?