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FIELDTESTED | CAITLIN GARCIA-AHERN

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Caitlin Garcia-Ahern’s passion for travel has brought her city to city, inspiring her to create her own tour company. Thread Caravan is a passion project that celebrates artisan adventures around the world, while creating a meaningful way for others to see the world.

Tell us what keeps you busy.

A daily walk or some sort of adventure with Bowie, my one year old puppy that my roommate rescued here in Guatemala. No matter how busy I am with work or other activities, I make sure to find the time for Bowie and I to go out, explore, and get some exercise. We’ve hiked volcanoes, gone camping in the mountains, and been on lots of other adventures.

As an entrepreneur, I work every day of the week, throughout the day and even at night depending on the task at hand. Currently, Thread Caravan requires heavy focus on networking and outreach in the form of emails, Skype meetings and social media to spread the word about what we are doing.

With that said, I also make sure to pause and take time to enjoy where I’m currently living: Guatemala. After all, what kind of tour company would Thread Caravan be if I didn’t know about what the best things to do in the country were? Recently, I ventured to a finca (farm) that had a wonderful fresh spring lagoon and rope swing.

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What keeps you up at night?

Ayy, all my project ideas!! Both of my parents are also entrepreneurs, and so having been raised by creative problem solvers, I think it’s just in my blood to have my mind occupied with ideas.

I’ve actually always had trouble sleeping at night because that’s when inspiration hits me hardest and I get the most ideas. Right now, Thread Caravan is my main focus. Even so, I still can’t help and think of other new projects (one on my mind lately is a bamboo farm in New Orleans’ 9th ward to pave the way for more sustainable building). At this point I’ve started sharing my ideas with others just to see if anyone bites and wants to commandeer the projects because I unfortunately don’t have time to do all that I want to do right now. Thread Caravan will stay my #1 for a while… 🙂

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When did you first know that travel would become such a huge part of your life?

It’s been an evolving path. I definitely never thought I would start a travel company – things just slowly progressed in that direction.

I first traveled internationally when my best friend from middle and high school moved back to her home country, Chile, and I went to visit her. The experience opened my eyes to many things I’d never thought of as a 14 year old in the United States – reggaeton, street dogs, and even how wasteful people in the US. are with food.

As I grow older I’ve continued to seek out those mind-opening experiences, both at home and in my travels. That seeking has led me to live and dance in New Orleans, surf and free dive in Maui, see the aurora in Iceland, teach in Cambodia, explore the arts and cultural elements of Central and South America and so much more. Eventually I realized I’ve become a good little traveler and it would make sense to help others in their travels by providing their journeys with more meaningful connections and experiences.

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Where are you most at peace?

Definitely in nature. Somewhere with fruit trees, lots of green, close to water, where I can walk barefoot and have wind blowing through my hair. If animals are around, that’s even better!

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What change do you hope to affect with Thread Caravan?

Thread Caravan provides an outlet that works towards several different avenues of change: preserving cultures and their corresponding art forms, empowering artisans in marginalized communities, and educating travellers about the valuable process of handmade goods so that they can have a better understanding and hopefully in turn opt for ethical, handmade goods over factory-made alternatives. These are the pillars of Thread Caravan and I like to check in with myself frequently to make sure that the business’ actions are consistently aligned with these goals.

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We are inspired by Caitlin’s creativity that fuels her to build a community that empowers and educates, and are proud to have her as Fieldtesters, a group of inspiring friends that regularly test MATTER products in their workplace and trails to help us improve durability and design. Chloe is wearing The Classic Wideleg + Trikora, Size 1.