Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. During her time there, she participated in a study abroad program called Seamester. She was one of 21 students who crewed a 112-foot sailing vessel, Argo, for three and half months, covering more than 4,850 nautical miles throughout the Caribbean. Aboard the boat, the students took classes in marine biology and oceanography, as well as leadership courses, while also learning how to scuba dive. Back on dry land, Kelly got a master’s degree in tourism management from Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
After graduate school, Kelly became a travel administrator at Ocean First in Boulder, where she also worked as a retail specialist and scuba diving guide. She had the opportunity to lead several group trips to different international destinations. Some highlights of her diving adventures include swimming with schooling hammerheads and whale sharks in the Galapagos Islands, exploring colorful coral gardens in the Red Sea in Egypt, snorkeling with humpback whales in Mo’orea, freediving with orcas in Baja, and experiencing the sardine run with hundreds of striped marlin and other species in Magdalena Bay.
Kelly’s travels have also led her to Iceland, Scotland, England, Greece, Bosnia, Croatia, Ecuador, Canada and on road trips to various U.S. national parks. Whether at home or on the road, she loves trail running, mountain biking, climbing, canyoneering, camping, backpacking—basically anything she can do outdoors with friends (and dogs)!