Today we’d like to introduce you to Briana Gallo.
Briana, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My love for travel got me into photography. My dad was from Argentina. My family and I would travel there a lot when I was little. I always had a camera in my hand and a story to tell. I was an only child. I would use my camera, even as a young kid, to break the ice and get to know people. I traveled throughout high school and into college focusing on teaching English as a second language and photography.
My sense of curiosity and my love for different cultures led me to do what I do today. I am an International Fine Art Photographer. I have a favorite saying….. “Courage is the Power to let go of the Familiar.” My inability to stay in one place along with my love for adventure and different cultures took my photography abroad.
Honestly, I loved to travel and needed a way to do so. I have worked with non-profits in Honduras, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Vietnam. Other projects have taken me to Cuba and Nepal. Every time I would come home from a trip I would want to share my experience, so I started Driftwood Adventure Treks – a boutique travel company that focuses on cultural immersion and photography workshops while trekking in remote places such as Nepal and Ethiopia.
I have always used my camera to form a bridge between cultures, to create a connection between communities and to capture life. Starting Driftwood Adventure Treks has allowed me to bring people with me on my adventures.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
International travel always has a few bumps in the road. For me, my challenges have been leaving my family for long stints at a time. I thrive on travel, but I miss my family. A dream of mine is to bring them with me one day!
Driftwood Adventure Treks – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
When I first started working internationally my goal as a photographer was to reach as many people as I could. I have been fortunate enough to combine my freelance international photography with adventure.
I started Driftwood Adventure Treks a few years ago after a trip to Nepal. Driftwood Adventure Treks is a small boutique company that specializes in cultural immersion, photography and community service. Our groups are small, max ten people. Creating an emotionally safe community when you travel really allows you to “step out of the familiar.” I feel it’s important to be genuine when you are experiencing a culture that is foreign to you. In order to do this travelers must feel safe and comfortable.
I designed DW Adventure Treks with this in mind. We don’t just trek the Himalayas or explore Northern Ethiopia we immerse ourselves in their cultures. Each trek will have the opportunity to engage with the local villages and communities; learn how they live, laugh and see life. Through genuine interactions, we will create an opportunity to tell a story through a lens different than our own. Our camera is our tool, but our hearts are how we will connect.
I have help design many personalized trips for the travel adventurer, families or personal groups for those who love exploring new cultures. These trips can be in Nepal, Latin America, Ethiopia, Vietnam and more. I really try to have everyone come home from my treks with an experience that is special to them.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
How do I personally define success? Happiness. Are you happy? Do you enjoy what you do? Are you passionate about your work? I am very fortunate to love what I do. My work is my passion, and it fills my soul, that is success for me.
There will be bumps in the road where bills may get tight, or I may be away from home for longer than I wanted, or maybe a trip doesn’t fill. But I love teaching and helping others experience their dreams of traveling to a place they may not have ever thought they could go. That’s success.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek $2850
Trek Northern Ethiopia $6850
Everest Base Camp/Gokyo Lakes $2850 – $3650
Address: 5519 Waverly Ave La Jolla, CA 92037