WHOA is a boutique adventure travel company that empowers women to see the world while giving back to the global community. Its name, which stands for Women High on Adventure, evokes the indescribable feeling that Allison and Danielle experienced after summiting Kilimanjaro. The company started by offering three adventures a year: climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, hiking the Inca trail in Peru, and paragliding in Bavaria during Oktoberfest (have you ever heard of a more heavenly combination?). Today, WHOA offers close to a dozen trips per year in six locations; they've since added Rajasthan, India, Mount Elbrus in Russia, and every climber's pinnacle, Mount Everest. What started out as two new friends bonding over their first climb has evolved into a global network of women who share a mutual love of adventure.
For the two friends and cofounders, the seed was planted in the snows of Kilimanjaro. Climbing the mountain is mentally and physically challenging, even excruciating at times. To help propel them to the top, Allison and Danielle decided to tie their summit to a charitable cause.
"I think from Allison, I've learned the power of two," Danielle says. "We can't do what we do alone; it takes the both of us. It takes two sets of eyes . . . it takes four hands to do everything." And for Allison, it never hurts to have someone keep you in check. "Danielle is somebody who can hold you accountable with everything," she says of her partner. "And I appreciate it so, so much. She will make you the best version of yourself; that's the kind of person you want around."
Danielle plots her Banana Republic travel wardrobe based on varying climates. "If I'm going somewhere warm, [I pack] a suitcase full of colorful, flowy sundresses. For cooler places, a perfect pair of black skinny jeans. Something I can be comfortable exploring all day in and dress up in the evening if I need to." Another must have is a roomy purse. "Something to hold my camera, sunscreen, wallet, and a few rocks and shells — which I am always picking up to add to my collection!" And she makes sure to leave room in her luggage for a few unique items from abroad. "I love earrings and always make it a point to buy unique and funky earrings in the places I travel," she says. "I get asked a lot of questions about the earrings when I wear them, and they are a great conversation starter."
"For me, it's buying those items that are timeless, that are classy, that have versatile elements," Allison explains. "I definitely think that Banana Republic offers that. They have pieces you can wear to the office, or you can wear to drinks with a friend, or lounging around the city."
SHOP THE STORY
Beyond travel and adventure, women can learn something even more universal from Allison and Danielle: how to take what moves you and turn it into a career, a life. For anyone out there who's yearning to take their turn, but something is holding them back, these two best friends and adventurers have rock solid advice for you: "Do it!"