THE EXPERT’S EXPERT

Travel pros and seasoned guides with an adventurous spirit



OUR MISSION

Our mission is to open up this amazing world and make every journey a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Because every trip holds the potential to become a lifetime memory, we challenge ourselves to depart from the norm. Every member of our team — from ownership to project managers to guides — exudes unparalleled professionalism, with an emphasis on building authentic connections. We push ourselves to achieve the highest expertise at every level from trip customization to trip management and guiding.

MEET THE TEAM

CLOSEclose

KEVIN JACKSON

CEO & FOUNDER

Kevin has led many worldwide expeditions, including multiple ascents of Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina (the highest peak in the Americas), 13 scalings of Kilimanjaro in Africa, and more than 15 journeys up Mt. Whitney (the highest mountain in the continental United States). He has also led expeditions to Everest Base Camp and attempted the summit in 2014. Kevin is an AMGA SPI, a NOLS-certified Wilderness First Responder, and is ACE certified in First Aid and CPR. He also holds a Wilderness Health and First Aid Certification from the Red Cross. Kevin is an expert on the Western United States, having guided extensively through this region and its national parks for over a decade. He has extensive knowledge of the geology of the Southwest and has spent many years studying the rock strata throughout the Grand Staircase.

Having led numerous private groups through destinations as diverse as Peru, Patagonia, Catalina Island, the Grand Canyon, and Vancouver Island, Kevin truly believes in the boundlessness of the outdoor world. In addition to guiding private leisure travel, Kevin also facilitates and coordinates corporate retreats, adventure challenges, and leadership development outings for several Fortune 500 companies, consulting firms, public organizations, and nonprofits. Kevin holds an MBA in Operations Management and is responsible for the logistics and operations of all North and South American programs. He sits on the board of directors at a San Diego-based nonprofit organization that supports destination-specific causes to the areas they explore.

Contact: KEVIN@EXPJOURNEYS.COM

CLOSEclose

ANDREW ROBERTS

PARTNER & LEAD GUIDE

Andrew was exposed to the great outdoors at a young age and used the setting as a classroom to develop his technical and leadership skills over the years, allowing him to teach and guide people to some of his favorite locations all over North and South America. Andrew guided his first group at age 15 through the deserts and mountains of New Mexico. In the years that followed he has achieved multiple ascents of Mt. Whitney, descended dozens of canyons in the Southwest, paddled many miles on the Pacific Ocean, scaled countless rocks, and skied mountains from the Appalachians to the Pyrenees.  Andrew is an expert on luxury customer service and specializes in privately guiding tours through the national parks in the Western U.S. and Canada. Andrew is an AMGA SPI, a Wilderness Medical Institute-certified Wilderness First Responder, and is Red Cross certified in First Aid and CPR.

Although he has travelled extensively around the globe, Andrew is proudly considered an expert in the areas of our backyard that many take for granted – the West and Southwest of the United States. Andrew holds a degree in Textile Engineering and has an extensive background in systemized planning, operations, and technical skills that surprisingly are very helpful in his current role. When he’s not privately guiding clients in amazing destinations, Andrew works very closely with the EXP and ASC teams to plan logistics on all programs and to ensure the highest level of luxury and uniqueness is achieved on every journey.

Contact: ANDREW@EXPJOURNEYS.COM

CLOSEclose

Sandy Zalewski

Finance Director

Sandy is a big dreamer, and loves making those dreams come true. Raft the Grand Canyon? Been there. Hike the Kalalua Trail in a day? Conquered. If you tell her that something is difficult, or that she isn’t going to be able to do it, it only makes her want to do it more. She’s a regular Tomb Raider; she’s been bungee jumping, sky diving, canyoneering, rock climbing, spelunking, scuba diving, and whitewater rafting. Not only does she love these activities, but Sandy loves to share these experiences to create an adventure that will last a lifetime.

Her vision is to craft the perfect trip and make your dreams come true. When not working, you will find Sandy at the CrossFit gym or in the backyard with her husband playing with their kids and dog.

Contact: sandy@expjourneys.com

CLOSEclose

Cathy Croby

Destination Expert

Born and raised in the Midwest, Cathy spent her childhood summers at the lake where she developed a love for the water and other outdoor activities.

After college Cathy moved to California and turned her love for travel and adventure into a career. Cathy has had the opportunity to experience the leisure, group and corporate markets. Her years in the travel industry have provided her with invaluable lifelong lessons and knowledge that have allowed her to build strong relationships within the industry and travel to far-off places. Cathy is committed to making sure her clients have the best possible experience on their journey.

​If she is not helping clients or traveling herself you'll find her at the beach or hiking San Diego area trails with friends or family. Spending time with those close to her, exploring new cultures, and spending time near the water is simply first nature to Cathy.

Contact: cathy@expjourneys.com

CLOSEclose

Hadley Rexroth

Destination Expert

Hadley’s love for travel and adventure started at a young age. Listening to her grandparents’ stories about their exotic travels all over the world sparked a curiosity in her that she had to experience for herself. She has spent summers in the Swiss Alps, road-tripped around Ireland, grew up in The Bahamas, studied abroad in South Africa, backpacked through Southeast Asia and drove across the United States. She has a passion for experiencing the unknown and for sharing that with others. At EXP Journeys, Hadley strives to give clients unique experiences which in turn create lifelong memories of their travels.

When she is not working she can be found exploring her new home of San Diego by hiking with her dog Cooper, chasing sunsets with friends, or searching for the best tacos Southern California has to offer.

Contact: hadley@expjourneys.com

CLOSEclose

ERIC JACKSON

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Growing up in Cleveland and spending his childhood summers on the coast of Vancouver Island, Eric was shown the gift of travel from a very early age. Combining his years in engineering and manufacturing with his true passions of art and travel, Eric is dedicated to constantly improving the internal processes at EXP that help make guests’ journeys seamless and unique. His goal is for every journey to be filled with unforgettable experiences that deepen the personal connections between family, friends, and colleagues. He will tell you that there is nothing better than hearing a client say, “This was the best day ever!” or “I never thought we could have so much fun as family.”

Exploring the outdoors is a lifelong passion that has taken Eric from working as a dive master on the Great Barrier Reef to exploring every corner the national parks; from snowcat skiing in the Canadian Rockies to surfing the waves of Nicaragua. You may catch Eric in the field behind a camera lens or playing a character set on delighting and entertaining everyone around him.

"Everything that you can imagine is real." - Pablo Picasso

Contact: ERIC@EXPJOURNEYS.COM

CLOSEclose

Katy McCoy

Operations Manager

Katy had the opportunity to move to Solana Beach, where as an Arizonan she had vacationed for years, and jumped on it. She traded driving to work in a suit for walking to the office in flip flops. She believes departing from the norm can make you feel most alive and she loves the creativity involved in building those experiences for other people.

When not working, you'll probably find Katy exploring town with her husky, taking advantage of a low tide and walking the shoreline of Encinitas, or biking Highway 101 as the sun rises.

Contact: katy@expjourneys.com

CLOSEclose

Shane Retelski

OPERATIONS MANAGER
AMERICAN SAFARI CAMP

Brought up in Charlotte, North Carolina, Shane developed a love for the outdoors at an early age through Cub Scouts. After receiving the Arrow of Light Award, Shane continued into Boy Scouts where he further developed his knowledge of and respect for the outdoors, achieving Eagle Scout rank. With the Boy Scouts, Shane was able to develop extensive outdoor leadership skills and he rose to the role of Troop 133's senior patrol leader for two terms. Shane led adventurous trips including an 80-mile kayaking excursion in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and an 86-mile hike through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at the Philmont Scout Ranch.

Shane continued his adventure by moving to Boone, North Carolina where for three years he was engulfed in the Appalachian Mountains. He regularly hiked sections of the Appalachian Trail and hopes to one day complete the entire trail in one trip. Shane made his way west to Flagstaff, Arizona where he currently resides and enjoys regularly hiking Mount Elden and Humphreys Peak (Arizona’s highest, with an elevation of 12,637 feet). When not sharing his knowledge of the Southwest or preparing for the next big adventure, you can often find Shane snowboarding, mountain biking, or climbing. The great outdoors has impacted Shane immensely, and he aims to share his knowledge and love for all things wild with clients through customized journeys through the Southwest.

Contact: SHANE@AMERICANSAFARICAMP.COM

CLOSEclose

Liam Galbraith

Experience Manager

Growing up rock climbing along the northern coast of California, Liam has always been one to seek out adventure. He has had the fortunate opportunity to travel to numerous countries in pursuit of the best rock-climbing spots in the world including France, Switzerland, Italy, and Australia to name a few. He enjoys designing unforgettable experiences for families, because he appreciates the personal growth people can find through travel and departing from the norm.

When not working, you can likely find Liam climbing in nearby Joshua Tree National Park, hiking with his husky, Sasha, or learning about real estate investing.

Contact: liam@expjourneys.com

CLOSEclose

Sunny Trann

Experience Manager

Sunny didn’t grow up traveling or exploring the outdoors but is quickly making up for lost time. She has come a long way from spending summer breaks on the couch watching Power Rangers as a child to spending weekends hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, and canyoneering.

Her favorite aspects of travel are wildlife encounters, getting to know local people, and immersing herself in the culture and cuisine. Some of Sunny’s favorite memories are from visiting South Africa, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Yellowstone National Park, Cambodia, and Cuba. Her biggest accomplishments are rafting the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe, hiking the Grand Canyon Rim to River to Rim in a single day, and summiting Mount Whitney.

When she isn’t helping clients experience these adventures themselves, you will find Sunny working out at her favorite CrossFit gym, churning ice cream, or regretting spicy food challenges.

Contact: sunny@expjourneys.com

CLOSEclose

WILL PAYTON

CAMP MANAGER
AMERICAN SAFARI CAMP

Growing up on the Eastern Seaboard, Will always found peace in the outdoors whether through sports, scouts, or long hikes in the Appalachian Mountains. Will eventually found his way out west for the first time in early 2018, and he made the permanent move to Northern Arizona just over a year later. It was here that his love for outdoor recreation grew even more. His favorite hobbies include hiking Mount Elden and Humphreys Peak whenever possible, free climbing in Sedona and Oak Creek, kayaking on any accessible river, and mountain biking in the Coconino wilderness.

Will’s knowledge of the wilderness throughout the country continues to grow, and he loves to share it with anybody that shares his passions!

Contact: WILL@AMERICANSAFARICAMP.COM

CLOSEclose

RICH GOMEZ

GENERAL MANAGER
AMERICAN SAFARI CAMP

Rich grew up in the pines of Flagstaff, Arizona as an avid camper and backpacker which gave him a love for the Southwest and all the wonders these lands hold. Following a career in the Navy living on the East Coast and exploring the lands across the Atlantic, he moved his family back to Flagstaff and embarked on outdoor adventures in the ropes course industry, rock climbing, and directing the local scout camp thereby continuing the wilderness explorations he began in his youth.

As General Manager of American Safari Camp, Rich brings an energetic, in-depth background of camping and outdoor activities into customized luxury camps resulting in a truly unique experience for families and groups. His love for the outdoors, dedication to the “Leave No Trace” ethic, and passion for camping drive his vision to make camps incredible. Sharing the awe and wonder of our Southwest landscapes, our environment, and the openness of the wilderness keeps Rich young and inspires him to explore more. When not working camps or hiding behind his computer, Rich can be found working with youth in FIRST Robotics, running the back streets of Flagstaff, working with wood, and refining his land navigation skills.

Contact: RICH@AMERICANSAFARICAMP.COM

CLOSEclose

Annik Boulva

Destination Expert

Annik caught the travel bug in her teens while skiing competitively in Europe, South America and all over Canada and the US. Ultimately landing out west for college, the mountains of Utah and Colorado quickly became her permanent home.

For about a decade after college, she had the opportunity to share her love of travel while guiding bike trips through the vineyards and sunflower fields of France. When not guiding she could be found bike packing in Ireland, or hiking across Corsica, around Mont Blanc, and in the mountains of Norway and Italy.

Annik’s favorite part of working with EXP is combining creativity with sound logistics to deliver exceptional experiences that leave a lasting impact. When not at work, Annik is outside exploring her majestic playground with her family.

Contact: annik@expjourneys.com

CLOSEclose

Julie Warman

Experience Concierge

Whether spearfishing off the Kahala coast, seeking out the best bistros in Paris, or horseback riding in the Grand Tetons, Julie believes in the wisdom, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” Taking every possible opportunity to travel, Julie believes much of who she is, is a result of where she has been. For her, the most fulfilling parts of travelling are the experiences of meeting new people and exploring different cultures. Many of her “best moments ever” have been while traveling. As an EXP Concierge, Julie strives to ensure that every trip includes some “best moments ever.”

Julie recently decided to leave the Northeast and start enjoying life in the sunshine… and why not relocate to Southern California!? When not working, Julie can be found hiking, gardening, and hanging out with the sea lions in La Jolla.

Contact: julie@expjourneys.com

CLOSEclose

JOSH PARAFINIK

LEAD GUIDE

Josh earned a master's degree in Adventure Education from Prescott College and a bachelor’s degree in Social Psychology from Northern Arizona University and is a full-time guide for EXP Journeys. He has been guiding and instructing clients around the world for the past 25 years. Having spent his life exploring Arizona and Utah, Josh has extensive knowledge of the national parks and particularly the Grand Canyon. His specialties include technical rope work including rock climbing, rappelling, and canyoneering, as well as water-based adventures.

Josh has traveled down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon many times (24 trips in total). He has also completed many personal adventure trips including a solo 2,100-mile off-road mountain bike tour from Colorado to Canada in 54 days. Having worked in the field of recreation for the last two decades, Josh is an expert in Lake Powell as well as Southwest human history. He specializes in flora and fauna of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the desert climate of the Southwest. Josh’s fresh and creative adventure programs have earned him numerous awards and teaching positions. Josh is also a certified CPR and First Aid instructor for the American Health and Safety Institute.

CLOSEclose

DIANA HERNANDEZ

LEAD GUIDE

An Arizona native, Diana earned her Bachelor of Science in Park and Recreation Management, with an emphasis in outdoor leadership and education. She is well-versed in the history of Arizona’s people, flora, fauna, and the geology of the Southwest and has summited many of the canyons and peaks of her home state. Diana is an outdoors enthusiast by nature but turned it into a career as a private guide and loves sharing her passion for the outdoors with other people. Her favorite activities include hiking, backpacking, biking, paddling, rappelling, canyoneering, climbing, luxury camping, facilitating challenge courses, and team building with corporate groups.

Diana enjoys challenging herself and finding new ways to share amazing experiences with her clients in the national parks and beyond. Her previous adventures include the Rim-to-Rim of the Grand Canyon, Havasupai, rafting the Colorado River from Diamond Down, exploring over 100 miles of Lake Powell and many others. Diana is NOLS-certified as a Wilderness First Responder, CPR certified, outdoor leadership certified, a Leave No Trace Master Educator, a Steward for the Arizona Trail, a member of the Arizona Trail Association and is fluent in Spanish. She has volunteered over 400 hours in the field to help protect, maintain, and build recreational multipurpose trails for public use. Diana is passionate about sharing her knowledge with clients and creating adventurous experiences that leave lasting memories for years to come.

CLOSEclose

KYLE SHERMAN

LEAD GUIDE

Kyle loves adventure stories of the great adventurers and recreationists so much he made his life one. Whether it’s backpacking, climbing, paddling, or biking, if there is a new way to see the world, he does it. Although he may call the Grand Canyon State home, he has guided many trips in Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Teton, Olympic, Mt. Rainer, North Cascades, Banff and Jasper, exploring the expanse of most of the Western U.S. Guiding groups of all ages for over six years now, he continues to expand upon his own love of the outdoors, sharing the connection between man and nature with everyone he comes into contact with.

After spending 400 days in the backcountry since moving to the Southwest, some might say Kyle has gained a lot of knowledge from the field. They would be right. Prior to joining EXP Journeys, Kyle was an operations manager and ran logistics for other adventure companies. When he is not working, Kyle is out exploring the slot canyons of Utah, the hidden gems of Arizona, and many other places you may have not heard of but he’d love to tell you about. As his history of ski patrolling in the Lake Tahoe area and current certifications as a Wilderness EMT, an Urban EMT, and a Head Safety Coordinator for multiple events demonstrate, Kyle also knows the importance of safety while in the wilderness.

CLOSEclose

CONNOR PHILLIPS

LEAD GUIDE

Connor graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Forestry and Conservation Biology. After graduating, he took a job as a Research Biologist for the USGS Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center. This work required multiple 25-day river trips a year, accumulating to almost an entire year spent on the Colorado River. He was a co-author on several scientific papers on native and non-native fish species like the Humpback Chub and the Rainbow Trout, respectively. During his search for a master’s degree Connor was recruited to Edward Jones Investments where he received a graduate-level education in the Financial Advisor Career Development Program, built a multi-million-dollar office, and still holds a Series 7 and Series 66 license today. 

Connor grew up fishing the Boundary Waters out of a canoe and bow hunting the wilderness areas of Arizona out of a backpack. He currently resides in Arizona where he is a full-time guide with EXP Journeys. He has over 10 years of experience taking clients hunting, fishing, hiking, and backpacking in the remote wilderness of Arizona and Colorado. He has spent considerable time in American and Canadian National Parks including Zion, Yellowstone, Teton, Yosemite, Glacier, Grand Canyon, and Banff. Connor is also a certified Wilderness First Responder from the Wilderness Leadership Institute. When he isn’t with clients, you can find Connor working on a nonprofit that cleans and maintains local trails, trail running ultra-marathons, rock climbing in Yosemite, competing at archery, and snowboarding in Steamboat.

CLOSEclose

JASON HAMBURGER

LEAD GUIDE

Jason grew up in a small suburban town in Northern New Jersey before pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Connecticut College. While in school, he had an impactful internship with the US Forest Service in the Chugach National Forest in Alaska. After graduating, he followed his newfound passion for all things outdoors by training with the National Outdoor Leadership School and working various jobs building and maintaining trail systems across the U.S. Jason’s first experience with the Southwest was while working for an Arizona-based trail crew, performing maintenance on trails in Grand Canyon. He would later return to Grand Canyon as a backpacking guide leading trips around, into, and through the canyon.

Having worked and recreated in the outdoors for over five years, Jason has extensive backpacking and hiking experience. He has spent over 150 nights below the rim of Grand Canyon in addition to backpacking in Yosemite National Park, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Superstition Wilderness, and others. When he’s not walking through these natural landscapes, Jason can be found rock climbing, rappelling, canyoneering, mountain biking, and kayaking. His medical training includes Wilderness First Responder, Adult/Child CPR, AED, and Airway Management, and Epinephrine Auto-injector certifications. He is also an active Leave No Trace trainer. Jason aims to continually utilize his training and experience to provide high quality customer service while sharing his love for the landscapes that have so thoroughly captivated him.

CLOSEclose

DALLAN CALDWELL

LEAD GUIDE

Raised in Montana, Dallan has over a decade of experience in outdoor recreation, including hiking, camping, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, horse backpacking, snowshoeing, skiing, and fly fishing, to name a few. Dallan earned his master’s degree in Sports Administration from the University of Nebraska and his Bachelor of Science in Outdoor Education from Colorado State University, both of which fed his passion for the outdoors while building his background in education and leadership.

As an outdoor enthusiast, Dallan has explored national parks around the country, with Glacier, Grand Canyon, and Bryce among his favorites. To date, Dallan has guided trips in most national parks across the Western United States, and some areas of the Canadian Rockies. His major accomplishments include spending more than 370 days in the bottom of the Grand Canyon in the last 4 years, guiding and hiking some of the least populated trails; climbing eight “fourteeners” throughout Colorado and Mount Whitney in California; backpacking and hiking through most of Yosemite including doing Half Dome over a dozen times; cycling over 400 miles across Montana; and river rafting in five states. Dallan is Leave No Trace certified, a Wilderness First Responder, has a Wilderness Education Association Certificate to train leaders in the outdoors, CPR certified, and is certified in Commercial Standard Food Handling. In his free time, he likes to spend time with his wife and kids, golf, cycle, trail run, and discover the best food in every new area to which he travels. As an avid outdoorsman, Dallan looks forward to sharing his knowledge and experience with you to create a lasting memory.

Prev

21/20

Next