We had the good fortune of connecting with Jena Kirmse and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jena, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
The things that make me happiest in life have always been the same. There are really five main factors that lead to my happiness. All are fulfilling in their own way and all are necessary to maintain my happiness.
Traveling the world makes me extremely happy and fills my heart in a way that is unmatchable. I absolutely love exploring new cultures, meeting new people, understanding their lifestyle, and learning ways that I can improve my life through the things other cultures and countries teach me. I am so fascinated by how open and loving people can be, even when you don’t speak the same language, and somehow you still understand each other through body language and laughter. I love exploring the geography of each country and how shocking the landscapes can be! I love being absolutely mind blown to find crystal clear swimming holes in a land you thought was only filled with barren fields or snowy tree-filled mountains right outside of the Sahara desert. I thrive off of being shocked by the world’s beauty, educating myself, and in turn others on what our planet has to offer.
I am also filled with happiness in a different way by physical fitness. The endorphins that are released and the serotonin spike are incredibly necessary for me in my everyday life. This is the way I deal with stress, anxiety and clear my mind of clutter. My favorite place to work out is outside, I love to run in beautiful settings while getting to explore my surroundings. A few of my favorite spots to run are up mountains and canyons and on the beach with my feet in the sand. Both are incredible workouts and amazing ways to meditate and relax your mind at the same time.
Helping animals makes my heart so full, this feeling is almost unexplainable. One thing I’m going to do as soon as possible is a volunteer at an animal rescue, hopefully in Australia, or Africa. I’d also like to do that here in the states in the meantime. I grew up saving and rehabilitating birds on a daily basis, and any help I can give to an animal in need brings so much happiness to my heart. I adopted a miniature poodle about 7 years ago, he was found running on the freeway. He was emaciated and covered in bugs and dirt, etc. He has drastically changed my life for the better in so many ways. He brings me more joy than I ever thought was possible and I owe him my whole life honestly. He has healed me from so much pain and filled my heart more than a significant other even could. The bond we have is unbreakable and unmatchable and I would absolutely love to help as many animals in need as I can. We undoubtedly need each other.
Spending time with my family makes me so incredibly happy. Although we all have our differences in beliefs, way of life, etc. and that can be challenging at times, when we butt heads, they are still everything to me. I am so lucky to have such an incredible family. Even though we all live far apart, I work daily to keep that bond and make it even stronger as I get older. I’ve made a conscious effort to visit my family more and more every year. I have plans to start on a few projects with my dad so I can set myself up to go stay with them whenever, work together, and learn from my parents.
Having someone to love and talk to makes me extremely fulfilled and happy. I have always been a very independent person, but with that being said, I love people. I love collaborating with people, sharing ideas, and loving one another, both with friendships and significant others. I’ve been extremely lucky to find someone that fully believes in me and supports my ideas for my life and my business.
These are just a few things that make me happy, but they are definitely the most prevalent joy-filling parts of my life. I started my business and my blog as a platform to let me live my happiest most fulfilling life while helping others do the same. I hope this is just the beginning of an incredible journey exploring the world, working out all over the world, getting to know and learn from others, getting to help animals in need, and loving every moment along the way!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The thing I’m most proud of and excited about for my blog is its potential to change people’s mindsets on travel and fitness. Neither should be stressful and neither should be daunting. Where I want the blog to go and grow into, is a platform of showing others easy ways to explore really off-the-beaten-path areas around the world and incorporating fitness into it. Since starting my business it has made me truly dig deep into each location to find places that are not what you’d typically think of when beginning to plan a trip to that destination. I have been a personal trainer for 10 years, so my fitness side of my career has been pretty stationary to Los Angeles. I’ve had dreams of getting my business to a place where it can be done from anywhere, and it’s not easy to figure out. I’m on my way to understanding how to do it, and slowly but surely getting there. I have learned that if you want something bad enough, and put all your effort into it, you will get there, but you have to also be very patient, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It also goes without much ROI for a long time. I want the world to know about my brand as the travel blogger that takes you to super unique destinations all over the world and teaches you how to use your surroundings to stay fit while on the go and learn the culture of each place while doing so.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite spots in Los Angeles are all concentrated in the beach areas. Outside the city though, there is SO MUCH to see. If it were a week-long trip, we would go on a Cali road trip. The hardest part would be deciding what direction to go, so since I’m crazy, we’d do it all. We’d start at my place in West Hollywood, pack up my convertible, put the top down, and hit the road. I would want to take her for 2 nights to Catalina Island to rent a boat and explore the whole island, swim with the sea lions, and snorkel all day! Then we would get back from Catalina, get in the car and check out the beautiful coves in Laguna as we make our way back up. We would spend one night camping on a cliff overlooking the ocean at my favorite campsite in Laguna, then we would hit the road and start heading up the PCH. We would of course cruise through Malibu and check out Paradise Cove for a drink and swim then grab a lobster roll and continue up the coast. We’d stop quickly at El matador and return to our drive. We’d end up in my favorite central coast beach town for the evening in Avila Beach, have wine on the beach, wake up early explore the sea caves and spend some time splashing around before heading up the PCH to do the Big Sur drive. We’d make it to Tree Bones, spend the night in a nest over the ocean. Then we will continue all the way up the coast before cutting inland to head to the Russian River, where we’d spend the night and float the next day. The following day we’d grab lots of wine from my winery where I own vines in Napa then we’d head to Lake Tahoe to spend the rest of our trip beach hopping and swimming. I know it’s a lot, but that’s what I’d want them to see if possible! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My friend Danessa Estupinan has helped me so incredibly much! She saw that I was struggling in learning how to create my blog and learn WordPress and marketing all on my own and she gave up so much of her time to help me. She deserves all the praise and recognition and margaritas possible! She is awesome and such a genuine friend and an incredible giving person!