Michele Segalla

San Diego Office

Since traveling to Guatemala and India early in my university career, I haven't been able to shake the travel bug. My next journey was a semester abroad where Seville, Spain was my home base and each weekend I traveled to different cities in Europe, as well as Morocco.

Upon graduating, I pursued a career in finance and traveled as much as possible, my next stops included Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Thailand, and Malaysia.

It wasn’t long before the wanderlust took a hold of me again, and I left my finance job to travel more extensively – first, up the east coast of Australia in a campervan, then to Thailand where I spent one-year teaching English. I spent every weekend and break from school traveling Thailand and Southeast Asia extensively, before returning home to the US where I finally figured out how to combine my passion for travel with a permanent career.

Most recently, I was lucky enough to spend three weeks traveling Costa Rica and one month in Chile and Argentina. In Costa Rica, I was fortunate enough to experience the abundance of diversity in wildlife, culture, and landscapes that this relatively small country has to offer. The contrasting Caribbean coast and Pacific coast were each amazing in their own way.  I saw an immense amount of wildlife, including sloths, toucans, dolphins, and endless birds. In Chile and Argentina, I was absolutely wowed by the diversity in landscapes and experiences. Within one week, I had seen rolling green vineyards in the Chilean wine country, red rocks and white salt flats in the Atacama Desert, and crystal clear, turquoise glacier water in southern Patagonia. I love panoramic landscapes; which Chile seems to have an endless supply of. Argentina had a breadth of diversity as well - I trekked on a glacier in El Calafate, rode a horse through Argentina's lake district of Bariloche, and saw the iconic Iguazu falls. 

I’ve ziplined in Costa Rica, watched sunrise over Angkor Wat, trekked the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, beach-bummed my way up Australia’s East Coast while living in a campervan, bathed elephants in Thailand, witnessed sea turtles hatch on the beach in Chennai, India, floated down the Mekong River on a slow boat in Laos, and I’m dreaming about my next adventures in Latin America...

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Travel nuggets

  • Journal! Traveling can be a blur, so it’s great to try to remember as much of your trip as possible. Simply jot down a few highlights of each day in a notebook or your phone while unwinding or waiting at the airport. They may even inspire future trips.

  • Save space in your suitcase by wearing your bulkiest clothes on the plane and only packing shoes that are absolutely necessary.

  • Facial cleansing wipes are truly a refresher on any long, international flight or in any warm climate.

  • When traveling in Patagonia, make sure to bring waterproof gear, as the region is known to experience all four seasons in one day. Waterproof shoes are especially helpful!

  • in the Atacama Desert, make sure to drink more water than usual and don't push yourself too hard when hiking or doing excursions on the first day or two.

  • When traveling in Costa Rica, be sure to wear insect repellent at all times. I usually avoid using it if possible, but it was my best friend during my time in Costa Rica - those mosquitoes can be sneaky!

  • Even at luxury accommodations in Costa Rica, don't be surprised if you find a harmless critter or two in your room. I think it is indicative of the way that wildlife and tourism coexist in Costa Rica, which is really beautiful!

My hot picks

Awasi Atacama, San Pedro de Atacama, Northern Chile

Awasi Atacama is a desert oasis. The thatched roof and adobe style buildings feel truly exotic. The outdoor shower that each villa has is the perfect way to enjoy the peace and quiet of the night, as well as the breathtaking views of the stars.

Eolo, El Calafate, Southern Patagonia, Argentina

Eolo is such a peaceful place to escape. The massive windows that line the hotel give you a 360 degree view of mountains, rolling grassy hills, and sweet farm animals from the estancia next door.

Explora Patagonia Hotel Salto Chico, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

The views at Explora are unbeatable. The hot tubs overlooking the crystal clear blue lake are true luxury. Explora is located in the national park and has its own catamaran which means you can get an early start on and beat the crowds.

Pacuare Lodge, Turrialba, San Jose and Central Valley, Costa Rica

Pacuare Lodge is unlike any other hotel I've been to before - the concept of white water rafting in and out of the hotel was so unique and an adventure! The food, service, experiences, and suites were all top notch.

Vina Vik, Central Valley, Santiago and Central Valley, Chile

The modern architecture, stunning views and uniquely themed rooms make for a perfect experience. The infinity pool overlooking the valley and the delicious food were my favorite parts. The mountainous curves in the roof design were inspired the landscape.

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