Meet the Acanela Team
Kylie has spent numerous years living abroad leading tours across the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa. She studied Business Strategy and International Development at the Marriott School of Management. Further, she attended the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge to study Social Innovation and Business Strategy and has lived in Portugal, India, and Malawi. Her international experience and love for authentic travel led her to found Acanela Expeditions, allowing individuals the opportunity to immerse themselves in hands-on cultural experiences around the world.
Andrew grew up in the metropolitan city of Hong Kong, where he had the opportunity to learn about a variety of different cultures from a very young age. He spent his childhood and teenage years volunteering for groups such as Habitat for Humanity in Thailand, Climbing mountains in Malaysia & Indonesia, and biking through the beautiful trails of Australia & New Zealand. He studied Business Strategy, after which we chose a career in Management Consulting. He has a passion for travel, rock climbing, and anything that has to do with innovation.
Holly has spent many years traveling and putting together trip itineraries all across the globe visiting countries such as India, Costa Rica, and Italy. She is a globetrotter at heart, and always welcomes a new adventure. She is married and is the mother of two beautiful children, making it a priority to travel and explore the world with her family.
Ashley is passionate about photography and capturing the beauty of the world, and has spent years developing her talent as a content creator and digital marketer. She received a Fine Arts degree in Photography and has spent the past several years directing large scale photography projects on land, overseas, and underwater. She loves traveling and enjoys learning about new people, places, and cultures - while still taking a moment to capture each moment on camera. She is originally from Idaho where she developed a love for mountains, lakes, and wildlife.
Kaitana grew up in a native Yup’ik Eskimo fishing village in Alaska, where she learned to cherish diversity of people and culture. She later relocated to Idaho, continuing to visit amazing parts of the world as frequently as possible. Kaitana played basketball at Dartmouth College, where she earned degrees in Neuroscience and Religious Studies. While an undergraduate student, Kaitana spent time living in Peru and Spain, which allowed her the opportunity to travel and experience various cultures in South America and Europe. Kaitana’s love for immersive cultural experiences continues today, which she hopes to instill in her growing family.
Alex has dreamed of traveling the world since she was a little girl. While enrolled in Boston University’s College of Communication, she spent a semester abroad in London, where she interned at a digital agency and had the opportunity to write for multiple travel sites. Since graduating with a degree in Public Relations, she’s decided to combine her passion for travel, writing, and PR and is thrilled to be generating content for Acanela! She hopes the future will bring more travel and new experiences her way. When she’s not working, she can be found attending concerts, exploring cities, and watching Borussia Dortmund, her favorite soccer club.
Originally from Athens, Georgia, Grace grew up traveling with her family, but did not become an avid traveler until college, when she did several internships in Latin America and fell in love with the language and culture. After graduating from the University of Georgia, she moved to San Jose, Costa Rica to work with an international non-profit for three years and became an expert traveler with an insatiable desire to explore new places and experience different cultures around the world.
Scott grew up in California and calls Encinitas his home. He'd rather be behind the camera than in front of it. He first started shooting photos and taking video of his friends skateboarding. Now, he works with Acanela to create video content that captures the spirit of each trip. At the top of his bucket list is surfing in Bali.
Born and raised in the small village in the Peruvian mountains, Juan has dedicated his life to farming and caring for his family’s home and herds. Because the conditions are so extreme at the top of the Andes mountains, only certain products can survive, namely potatoes, corn, and, of course, Alpacas. This is how they survive in the mountains.
Espional was born and raised in Papua New Guinea. A a native to the Asaro Mud Men tribe, his fondest memories of his childhood were simply spending time in his village, fishing, hunting, and going to school with his friends. “I love where I live,” he admits, “because of the many cultures and traditions that I have. I’m very proud of that.”
As the CEO and founder of Acanela Expeditions, a boutique travel company that offers small group tours all over the world, Kylie has dedicated her life to learning how to use travel to create a positive impact on local communities in almost every continent.
Growing up in the second largest city in Morocco (and the only city in the country that doesn’t allow cars!), Rostom quickly learned the ins and outs of the famously warped streets of Fez. As the son of an historian and a tour guide, Rostom had the unique opportunity from a very young age to soak up the rich history and culture of the city that has inspired great artists, scholars, and writers for centuries. Even today, Rostom’s favorite hobby is still wandering the streets of Fez, discovering the history of the best hidden spots, and then sharing those discoveries with travelers from all walks of life. As he reflects on his life, he shares, “My most influential experiences are being with travelers who love my town and have stayed here forever.”
Imagine living in a country that did not have any traffic lights, where all tobacco products were illegal, and where it was forbidden to hunt, fish, or even climb extra-tall peaks (where spirits dwelled). Imagine a nation that kept itself closed off from the rest of the world for centuries just to protect its unique culture from outside influences. Now imagine a country that measured the well-being of its citizens not in dollars, cents, or in any other economic terms, but rather in happiness.
Mornings are a simple routine for Loc: wake up early; make breakfast with his lovely wife; take his two sons to school; head to his office in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. When he arrives at the office, he takes his first moments to sip on hot, strong coffee and remind himself of these words by which he strives to live and work. Joy, growth, and giving are the central values of both his life and of his business.
With over fourteen years of experience as a guide in Sumatra, Lillix leads thousands of travelers from all over the world on excursions through the lush jungle and brings them up close to extraordinary wild animals, like the friendly orangutan and the rare Sumatran elephant. “The jungle is like my second house,” Lillix reveals, “the orangutan lives here, and I want the orangutan to stay here; that’s why I promote the use of responsible tourism.”
To Abdul, Kilimanjaro is more than a picturesque backdrop to his village; it is his whole life. This mountain is his job and his livelihood, as well as that of his family and friends in his village. But even more than that, Kilimanjaro is Adbul’s home, and he has a profound love and appreciation for it.