Q & A With Genevieve Hathaway: Founder Of ArchaeoAdventures Tours, Explorer, Photographer
Genevieve introduced herself to us this past fall, and we’re thrilled to finally be able to share her profile here. She makes traveling the world sound both accessible and important, yet she still manages to appreciate the PNW (something we can relate to). Enjoy her awesome insights and if you need us, we’ll be over here, trying to find the closest camel.
Name: Genevieve Hathaway
Where did you grow up?: Issaquah, Washington
Where do you live now?: Bothell, Washington
Tell us about your career path: It definitely wasn’t a straight line. I earned a BS in Biology, BA in Archaeology: Emphasis Osteoarchaeology and Egyptology. After taking some time to focus on mountaineering and climbing; I launched a woman’s climbing magazine. From there I began working as a freelance editorial and commercial photographer and videographer. I moved back (that’s another story) to Egypt during the Arab Spring. From my time working as a photographer in the Middle East, I decided to launch a tour company, ArchaeoAdventures Tours running adventure tours to the Middle East and North Africa. We employ an all-local female staff of guides and local women tourism professionals as a way to help economically empower local women through good jobs. With my career path — which is a work in progress, still changing and growing — each opportunity led to next opportunity, and they built on each other.
What other passions do you have?: I love traveling and telling stories with my camera. I also love exploring our amazing Pacific Northwest — hiking, climbing, mountaineering, skiing, snowshoeing, trail running. And I enjoy gathering friends and family together for dinner parties.
What is a “normal” day like for you? (if such a thing exists!): There’s definitely no “normal” day for me. Some days I’m editing photos and videos in my studio office. Other days it’s all administrative work — answering emails, handling travel logistics, talking with clients of an upcoming ArchaeoAdventures Tours. Some days I’m on location running a tour or photography/filming for a client. Recently I’ve been working a lot in my office preparing for three months overseas in the spring/early summer. These days I wake up at 5:30am for my morning routine (a small work out, leisurely breakfast with awesome coffee, meditation, yoga, gratitude practice) then begin working around 8am. I work until around noon, then take an hour run, then work again until around 6 or 7. Or, when I’m on the road, my days could involve anything from traveling around Morocco, Egypt, Jordan or elsewhere with clients, to long days photographing or filming for a client. I’ve tried to build self care into my days to help balance the work with keeping myself grounded, nourished and energized. When I first started as an entrepreneur I would just work as long and hard as I could until I burned out. As I’ve grown and continued on my journey I’ve learned I need to balance the hard work with rejuvenation and self care. It’s about working sustainably.
Where can others find you/your work online?: My photography and videography work is here. My tour company ArchaeoAdventures is here. My documentary photography project, War on Walls: Egypt’s Arab Spring Street Art Movement is here. I love connecting on social media: Instragram (@genevievehathaway and @archaeoadventures), Facebook (@gshathaway and @archaeoadventures), and YouTube.
Favorite thing about the PNW?: Stunning nature in our backyard.
Favorite season in the PNW?: All four seasons! Each season has its own magic, beauty and outdoor activities to enjoy.
How do you take your coffee?: Cappuccino with goat milk.
When you’re out, how do you protect yourself from the rain and deal with inclement weather?: Raincoat, boots, umbrella which is usually threatening to turn inside out due to the wind.
I love how, in the CreativeLive mini-documentary, you talk about how your experiences traveling alone as a woman in the Middle East have been very positive. Can you share an example or story of what it’s like?: There have been so many amazing moments where locals went out of there way to help me and pretty much adopted me as family. On one of my early trips to Morocco, I was photographing and interviewing Bouchra Baibanou, Morocco’s first professional female mountaineer, for the Outdoor Women’s Alliance. After the interview and photo shoot, Bouchra invited me back to her home to meet her family. I enjoyed tea and sandwiches with them. They were so kind and gracious and welcoming. By the end of the night, I felt like a member of the family. I’ve found that locals in the Middle East and North Africa are incredibly welcoming, kind, and big-hearted people. They care deeply about guests and travelers and will go out of the their way to help you.
Please share what it’s like to be a woman business owner in the travel industry: I have run into people who are surprised that a woman started an adventure tour company to the Middle East and North Africa. But overall my experience working in the travel industry has been positive. I have found other women business owners in the travel industry very supportive, willing to share advice and very encouraging. To any women beginning in this industry, reach out to other women. Actively seek out a community. Definitely ask for advice and tips, but also make sure you are giving back to them as well. Find ways to provide value — share what they do, connect them with opportunities, buy them coffee, attend their events. It goes a long way in building strong relationships that can really help you learn from them and grow your business.
On a similar note, why is women-powered travel important to you?: Women need greater representation across the industry — particularly in the guiding realm. In many parts of the world there are a disproportionate number of male guides or the majority of the work goes to the male guides. Tourism can be a great tool for economically empowering local women through good jobs at fare wages, though it’s important for both travelers and the travel industry to be conscious and thoughtful about whether women are being equally represented in the tourism workforce. Travelers and tour companies can help empower women through seeking out to work with organizations that employ local women and intentionally hire women guides.
How have your many travel experiences shaped how you feel about the PNW?: Every time I fly back into Seattle I think how lucky I am to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. The mountains. The Sound. The more I travel, the more I appreciate what I get to come home to. It’s just stunning and it’s right in our backyard. I’ve been to some gorgeous parts of the world, and I feel really lucky to live in one of them.
What do you miss most about the PNW when you’re away?: My partner, family and friends. I’ve built a lifestyle I love, but traveling a lot though does mean time away from my favorite people.
What do you love talking about at parties?: Travel. And photography. But mostly travel. :) I love hearing where people have traveled, hearing their perspectives on it, hearing their travel stories, seeing the joy they got from them, and hearing how it impacted them.
Has any specific woman or women in your life made a significant impact on you?: Ami Vitale. She’s an amazing visual storyteller, but more importantly, it’s her perspective on life and work that has greatly impacted me. She makes it about the people first and the camera second. When I first heard her speaking about how she works and how she spends a long time getting to know people before taking pictures and working the assignment, it resonated with me. It changed how I work in photography, in my tour company and even how I travel. It taught me to make it about the people first and foremost. Connect with them, have empathy, genuinely care about them, and get to know them. The rest will follow.
What are the most cherished parts of your day? And why?: My morning routine. My partner and I get up early — 5:30am early. We do a little exercise, make a big breakfast and some excellent coffee, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, meditate, I do a some yoga, and I start my day around 8am. My routine helps me slow down, stay grounded and focus on what’s important
What brings you joy?: Family, friends, travel. Sunrises anywhere in the world. Visiting a new place or location with my camera. Exploring the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Quiet mornings with coffee and my partner.