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

Hi Zuma, how do you think about risk?
I feel like my entire life has been about battling my fears and taking risks. Since I was fifteen years old, I wanted to travel and write about different people, places, and cultures. But when the time came to choose a career, the fear of uncertainty and failure scared me, and I ended up pursuing a much more conventional career, and I became a lawyer. That career choice did not fit me as well as I originally hoped, though, and after a few years of law practice, I started thinking about following my dreams. But again, whether I liked it or not, I already had a stable and familiar routine, and changing it to something unknown was too scary, so I ended up putting my dreamer-self aside for many years, until I just couldn’t do it any more. And yes, it was a huge risk to destroy what I’ve built and throw myself into the unknown. But with the help and support of my family and friends, I did it and never regretted it.

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.
I am a travel YouTuber and am currently working on a series called Documenting America.

When I originally started to travel through the country, I was fascinated by the diversity of each state, their people, cultures, and incredibly unique nature. And the more extreme it was, the more impactful the destination would be to me. Partially it was because it would disconnect me from the world we live in, giving me an opportunity to talk to people, learn from their wisdom, and reflect.
This is what led me to decide to start documenting this truly beautiful country and its beautiful people. It is fascinating that in so many ways we are diverse, but at the same time, we are more alike than different.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?

I am from Orange County, California, and Laguna Beach would probably be my “special place.” Laguna Beach is one of the most scenic coastal towns in the world! It is an artist colony and home to great art festivals, wonderful shops, galleries, and excellent restaurant. There is just so much to explore! Laguna Beach beaches are wonderful too! They stretch for miles and is a great place to spend a day on, or to just take a walk. It is truly a special experience! This would be my perfect day out with a friend:
Get breakfast at The Cliff restaurant. (Incredible view and good food!)
Then go for a walk on the beach and check out the tide pools.
Then grab delicious Empanadas from a store on PCH.
Check out stores, public art, or see the Sawdust Festival.
Get dinner at Nicks.
At night, see the Pageant of the Masters show!
Oh, this would be a really fun day!

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?
Every aspect of my life made some contribution to my success. My education, my career, my life experience. However, I want to dedicate my shoutout to my husband, my boys, my sister, and my friends. Without their support I would NEVER dare to do what I do. And I am so lucky and grateful to have them in my life.

Website: https://www.zumaayriyan.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zuma_ayriyan/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/zumaayriyan

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/ZumaAyriyan

Image Credits
Breanna Moore

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.