Meet the #GWHAmbassadors: Julie Ann Perez

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Name: Julie Perez

Hometown: San Francisco, California but I lived in Bremerton, Washington for most of my life.

What chapter are you an ambassador for: Los Angeles, CA - San Fernando Valley

Favorite three hiking trails: Strawberry Peak via Colby Canyon, San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek, and Big Pine Lakes.  

How long have you been a part of Girls Who Hike for?: One year and proud :)

How did you find the Girls Who Hike organization?: I found out about the Girls Who Hike organization through Instagram. At the time I just started the #52hikechallenge. I was half through the challenge and a few months in. I wanted to find more trails and see more of nature. I stumbled upon a girls Instagram picture and I noticed one of her tags #GirlsWhoHikeLA. I saw more pictures and ladies talking about how great the event meet ups were. So I decided to join the group.  

What made you want to become a Girls Who Hike ambassador?: The community aspect is what made me want to be an ambassador. Being a part of a large group of people that all loves hiking and nature is spectacular. I love meeting other people who enjoy being outdoors. As well as taking care of our beautiful trails. It’s honestly amazing to me to see the positivity in our forever growing community.  

What got you into hiking?: What got me into hiking was my need for change and growth in wanting to stay active. I did parkour for two years before I started hiking. Before hiking I was also an active member at 24 hour fitness. I remember my first hike to the Wisdom Tree and Hollywood Sign. It was my first time seeing how beautiful nature was. How amazing life can be. I never realized how lucky I was to be out on the trails. All I needed was a pair of hiking boots and I was ready to conquer more hikes. 

What’s your favorite thing about spending time in the outdoors?: My favorite thing in the outdoors is that there is no time limits. You can always go on your own pace. Preserving these beautiful lands is also important. If we take care of our trails we can always come back and see it. I love returning to a favorite trail months later to see it at a different perspective.  

List 3 things you can’t live without while hiking: Water, hiking boots, and my battery charger.  

What do you love most about being a Girls Who Hike ambassador? I love being able to help challenge other girls in personal growth. Show them in time they can conquer any hike they want to complete big or small. Continue with the No One Left Behind mindset. I love seeing our girls on the trail happy when they tackle something on a hike they would not have expected to do. The best part is that we all did it together. Our community is love. Sometimes all you need is one hike to make it happen. I’m happy I get to experience these moments with everyone.  

What advice would you give to someone new to hiking? Go on your own pace. I’ve had my fair share of trying to rush myself on hikes. All because I wanted to keep up with others on the trail. Halfway through I’m exhausted with little energy. Not being able to fully enjoy the hike and see the spectacular views. Take your time. Give yourself time to grow.

Julie is the Ambassador for our Los Angeles chapter. You can join her local meetups and discussions through the Los Angeles chapter by clicking here.