We had the good fortune of connecting with Julianne Madsen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Julianne, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
Variety is the spice of life, new experiences make me happy. I love hiking a new trail… discovering a new species… eating at a new restaurant… tasting a new fruit… going to a new museum… exploring a new town or country… sometimes just taking an alternate route to see a new street will do the trick.
I try to do something different every day, and I am continuously impressed by the amount of places I’ve never been, the things I’ve never seen. My bucket list grows and grows to dizzying lengths, as does my appetite to take it all in.
You never know what tomorrow will bring, so seize today.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What I do stems from my passion to see every inch of the world. It’s exhausting, and amazing. I prefer slow travel, the kind that really lets you connect with the land, delving into its quieter corners even some locals are surprised to learn about. I freelance for travel publications, I sell my photography, I develop itineraries, and I create content for my own brand on my blog and social media. Traveling is what makes me tick, I could talk about it all day and I truly love sharing secret spots and stories.
A lot of people try to find success in travel writing. It’s not easy, but it sure is fun. At the end of the day if I can help other people create happy memories, I feel like I have made a small positive impact on the world.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First time visitor: The most important thing if you’re visiting the area for the first time is to immerse yourself in the Sonoran Desert. It is the most biodiverse desert on earth and home to one of the worlds most unique cactus: the Saguaro.

Local hikes:
+Camelback Mountain
+Piestewa Peak
+Papago Park’s hole in the rock
+Fat Man’s Pass in South Mountain

Not a hiker? No problem!
+Visit the Desert Botanical Garden (pro tip, don’t miss the cristate saguaro)
+Take a drive up to Dobbins Lookout at South Mountain Preserve

+Heard Museum
+Phoenix Art Museum (pro tip, Free Wednesday’s 3-9)
+Pueblo Grande Museum Archaeological Park
+Musical Instrument Museum
+Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

Authentic Mexican restaurants:
+Tacos Sahuaro
+Cocina Madrigal
+Just Tacos and More
+La Frontera Food Truck

+Urban Cookies Bakeshop
+The Dinersaur
+Alien Donuts

Extra fun:
+Uptown Farmers’ Market
+Find a cristate saguaro
+Go mural hunting around Roosevelt Row

Day trips:
+Superstition Mountains
+El Dorado Hot Springs

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be who I am without my family, they are my everything and helped create the version of myself that I am today.

My parents instilled the love of nature in me when I was young. We were always out hiking and birdwatching, I am so thankful that these are things we still enjoy doing together today. I am at peace outside in the wilderness because of them. The benefits of moving your body, breathing fresh air, relaxing your mind, and feeling sunshine on your skin are priceless.

When we first started dating, my husband suggested we vacation to Puerto Rico. The next year he mentioned Costa Rica. His last suggestion was Hawaii in 2013, because that was the year the travel bug took a bite out of me and thus my obsession with seeing the world began. Vacation has turned into travel, and he has been my steadfast companion tackling my intense itineraries.

Website: http://juliejourneys.com/

Instagram: @julie_journeys

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JulieJourneys

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChGXH1f0WbmGASfTBqYSMIQ

Other: Buy greeting cards or wall art with my photography from around the world: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/julianne-madsen

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.