Meet Shoestring Warrior & Special Education Assistant Ana

Between raising 3 teenagers and assisting children with severe speech and physical impairments, Shoestring Warrior Ana finds adventure by running with two other moms who love to move, Diane and Valerie.

We are exhausted, but that never slows us down. We are always looking for gaps in our calendars to go on the next adventure.

In March, Ana shared a Shoestring Adventure in Joshua Tree National Park with her two favorite sidekicks. Learn more about Ana in our interview below, including her advice for busy parents on finding time to travel, and follow her adventures on Instagram!

Shoestring Warrior: Ana


San Mateo, California

Current Location:

San Mateo, California


Special Education Instructional Assistant

What are your passions outside of work?

I love spending time with my family and friends.

How would you describe your level of camping experience?

Beginner, although I have done some pretty advanced backpacking when others plan it out.  I never say no.

Tell us about yourself!

Most important, I am a mother to 3 teenagers. I love the community in which I work and live. I love being outside. I work hard. I love to be creative. I have a million and one projects on my list. I also have an imaginary bucket list with my best friends. And I always lose my lists. I am a free spirit and rely on being outdoors to rejuvenate.

When did you first discover your love for the outdoors?

While hiking in Peru with my son I was faced with heartbreaking news. I felt small in Machu Picchu, which made my problems dissolve themselves and brought me clarity. Being outside I was able to focus on happiness and love. After that trip, I returned the next year with my best friend and continued my journey of healing and finding happiness being outside and working hard earning every mile I hiked.

How did you 3 ladies meet?

I met Valerie and Diane through our kids schools. Once we went out, I locked them into my special friends that I love list. They are amazing woman, mothers and friends. I love them greatly.

What advice do you have for Shoestring Warriors on finding their adventure community?

Do what you love and your community will come to you. I am a planner. I just started telling people what I was planning. I personally only need Valerie and Diane as sidekicks. When others join us it just adds more fun to the experience.

How do you balance being a busy mom with exploring new destinations?

I run with moms that love to move and adventure. We are exhausted, but that never slows us down. We are always looking for gaps in our calendars to go on the next adventure. Sometimes I stretch myself too thin, but every single time I go to sleep with a huge smile. Eventually I will rest.

What is your favorite local adventure in Northern California?

I love Alamere Falls in Bolinas and Muir Woods and Pinnacles. Yosemite is not that far and another favorite place. There is so much in NorCal to get lost in and the list will just keep growing.

What is your favorite memory from your Shoestring Adventure in Joshua Tree?

Pizza Night, Star gazing. Morning coffee and the amazing people we met. Best weekend ever! Joshua Tree was amazing and we were lucky to be there during the super bloom.

What is your greatest personal accomplishment?

Getting a job at The Bridge School and being involved with children with severe speech and physical impairments. Dream Job!!!

Words to live by?


Where to next?

Los Angeles, Washington and Colorado

The perfect s’more?

I love burnt smores. Double marshmallow, 1 Hershey’s piece.

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