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Sunset Chasers Spotlight - Shanna V.

"When you travel, you learn so much about yourself and others. By disconnecting from your daily life, travel allows you to reconnect in so many ways. Life is short. Take the trip."

Westwind Sunset Chasers are role models for positivity, kindness, and adventure.

This California Native / Flight Attendant / Bookstagrammer / Dog Mom is the focus of this month’s #SunsetChasersSpotlight --and totally has us captivated.

We know you'll love her perspective (and her book recommendations), too!

Here's Shanna!


Outdoorsy woman hiking  in california with her dog

What inspires you? What are your passions?

Travel is my biggest passion and is most enjoyable for me when I get to share the experience with my family and friends. It inspires me to get out and see the world and encourage others to do the same.

Growing up, we didn’t go on any family vacations outside of Palm Springs and camping trips a short drive away in California. I traveled for sports a lot within the US, but I always knew there was a whole world out there for me to see.

When I had the opportunity in college to study abroad, I became obsessed with making sure that dream became a reality, starting with applying for a passport. I visited 10 countries during my semester abroad, one of which I crossed paths with my husband!

When I returned home, I constantly had the itch to travel. It became my biggest source of motivation. Aside from my full-time job, I always had a part time job to save any money I could so I could get up and go, whether that be a rewarding vacation, a quick weekend away, or to go visit a friend somewhere.

All of these experiences opened my eyes to so many different cultures. When you travel, you learn so much about yourself and others. By disconnecting from your daily life, travel allows you to reconnect in so many ways. Life is short. Take the trip.

Woman hiking in the desert at sunset

What’s your favorite outdoor activity? Where’s the most memorable place you’ve done this activity?

My favorite outdoor activity is definitely hiking. I was fortunate enough to snag permits for a backpacking trip to Havasupai Falls.

Pre-pandemic, to make camping reservations in Havasupai, you must reserve online beginning on February 1 at 8am. Be warned, Havasupai camping permits often sell out for the entire season within minutes. And thats exactly what happened, despite being ready with my account created the second the clock ticked 8.

The only dates left were in a few weeks time at the end of February.

Given the nature of this hike, it takes quite a bit of preparation and planning for the 11 mile trek to the campground, but I was determined to not miss this opportunity. Unfortunately, the weekend we were supposed to go, there was a polar vortex bringing extreme conditions (snow, ice, road closures) to the Grand Canyon and we had to cancel our trip. It was definitely for the best, as I am not my greatest self in cold weather. After 2 days of aggressive redialing, I finally got through reservations to reschedule the trip for May, and they even let me add my sister!

My mom, sister and I trekked 42 miles in 2.5 days, and it was worth every single step. The weather was perfect and the falls were unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

It’s one of those jaw dropping destinations that you can’t believe exist. If only the helicopter was operating to take us out that day, it would have been the perfect trip!

Young woman hiking with arms stretched over mountain range

Where’s your favorite hiking spots- locally, and internationally?

My favorite hiking spot locally is Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve located in San Diego, CA. The Reserve features miles of hiking trails, ocean views, nature and wildlife viewpoints. Its one of those places that makes me feel lucky to have access to it and instantly puts me in a good mood.

Internationally, my favorite hiking spot is Lagoa Verde, Sete Cidades e Lagoa de Santiago located in the Azores, Portugal. The trail loops around massive volcanic crater lakes filled with stunning greenery and the most beautiful hydrangeas. There is also an abandoned hotel at the top with incredible views of the lakes on one side, and ocean on the other.

Bookstagram woman reading a book in joshua tree national park

How did you get started with your "bookstagram"? Any book recommendations?

I stumbled upon Bookstagram by complete accident. In fact, I didn’t even know that this marvelous corner of Instagram even existed!

At the beginning of 2020, I decided I wanted to get back into reading regularly and asked some of my girlfriends if they would appease me and participate in a book club so I could be more social (jokes on me, right?). The pandemic hit, and I found myself flying through books and overloading my instagram with completed books, recommendations, and reviews. Then I got this novel idea to create a new page dedicated to my reading journey. I thought I was so clever until I had tons of new people commenting and welcoming me to the Bookstagram community.

I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into and still laugh thinking about how naive I was creating my page. Its been such a wonderful outlet for me to pour my energy in. I hope I can inspire you to read a book too! I read a little bit of everything, but some of my go-to recommendations are:


The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah


Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Educated by Tara Westover

Woman hiking in utah under the arch and a blue sky

What’s it like being a Flight Attendant in the world today?

Flying has drastically changed throughout the pandemic. When stay at home

orders were announced, we saw abandoned airports and passenger loads plummet. Fear was circulating in the air.

As we’ve emerged from the tight restrictions and mandates, people are vaccinated and ready to go again! It’s definitely a different crowd than we normally have. Business travel hasn’t fully resumed, so it’s mostly leisure travelers. It feels good to have full loads again as people reclaim their individual sense of normalcy. I’m excited to get back to some of my favorite international destinations as international borders begin to open.

"If there’s anything that 2020 taught me, it’s that I must live in the present as neither the past or the future should prevail over the power of now."

woman hiking in joshua tree national park in winter

What’s next – what are your big dreams?

As a Virgo-planner, I truly wish I knew what was next for me! If there’s anything that 2020 taught me, it’s that I must live in the present as neither the past or the future should prevail over the power of now. My big dream is to keep traveling the world and creating lifelong memories with my family and friends. I guess winning the lottery wouldn’t hurt either.

I dream of being a better version of myself every year. I hope I can look back and be proud of the person I was, but recognize the growth in the person that I am.

What’s your favorite thing about Westwind?

My favorite thing about Westwind is it’s a sustainable California based company that gives back! 3% of all purchases go to providing surf therapy for children with disabilities. We shop. Westwind gives. We all win.

Aside from this, I happen to know that this was a passion project for one of the creators behind the brand. Its been amazing to see the preliminary designs come to life and to watch Westwind grow as a brand. I am so inspired and absolutely love the designs and collections created. My favorite item is my cropped hoodie. Its so incredibly soft!


Follow her on Instagram :


Thanks for exploring with us!

Do you know someone who deserves to be in the Sunset Chasers Spotlight? Nominate them and they could be featured on our blog!

Send us an email at telling us your reasons why they're an everyday hero, how they inspire you, and how they're making the world a more beautiful place to live. #chasethesunset

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