Merry Christmas – from Annie with Love
Thumbs up for Annie Love
Who doesn’t know her in the world of geocaching: always friendly und kindly smiling Annie Love alias Mia Wallace, working as a Lackey in Geocaching HQ Seattle since January 2007.
Her sign “Thumbs up“ is shown on most of her photos, also her scarf from Seattle Sounders, because she is a big fan of them. We can see this on her avatar which is on her Love Tag and personal Coin.
Annie is geoaching since October 2004, she already found about 4500 geocaches.
We (webmicha and I) met her at Xanten and thanks to social networks we’re in contact again and again. Finally close to the end of the year Annie allowed me to make a review about the last months and to speak with her about her ideas and passions.
Wuselelfe: Hi Annie, when I see your facebook profile I always can look at a friendly smiling young woman with „thumbs up“. It seems this friendly and happy way of life is your specialitiy, isn’t it? What was the inspiration for you nickname „Mia Wallace“?
Annie: Basically I’m a big fan of Quentin Tarantino films. Back when I signed up for Facebook, I didn’t know you were supposed to use your real name so I used my online persona name of Mia Wallace. It’s Uma Thurman’s character in the movie. I’ve thought to change it, but now I even receive mail under that name!
Wuselelfe: What exactly is your job at Geocaching HQ?
Annie: My title is Partner Programs Manager. I started when the company was still very small so I wear many hats here. I oversee our tracking code program. I handle any inquiries about trackables, design approvals and process tracking code orders. I also work with all of our International Distributors for Shop Geocaching. (There are currently over 200 distributors around the world). Among other projects, I work on logo licensing for the Geocaching logo, Signal the Frog, geocache icons, etc. and I take most of the product photos for Shop Geocaching merchandise.
Wuselelfe: We all could see that travelling is your big passion. What is your motivation for your trips?
Annie: I’ve always been an explorer. Ever since I was a kid playing on my family farm, I’d walk the fields around our house looking for adventure. I always want to see what’s around the next corner, and I love getting to experience new cultures. Before this game, I tried to travel when I could, even if it was just for a day. Since I started geocaching, I travel for the game. For example, I just went to Alaska in December with coworkers just to check off a new state on my geocaching map!
Wuselelfe:: How many countries did you already visit?
Annie: My Geocaching profile says that I’ve cached in 23 countries. Before caching I also visited at least three other countries. I definitely need to go back to those places. ☺
Wuselelfe: Are you working for Geocaching HQ during your trips or do you have to take free days without money for that?
Annie: Though I geocache on every trip I take, more than half of them are personal trips. I am fortunate to travel for work about 2-3 times a year and I always add personal travel time on to those trips. For example, I spent some holidays in Italy before attending the Giga in Xanten for work. Pretty much all money that doesn’t go to pay my bills goes to travel. I’m constantly looking for cheap airfares or creative ways to travel on a budget (traveling with friends, using miles, free hotel nights, etc.)
Wuselelfe: When you think about great geocaches: which areas/countries have been your favorites with the best caches?
Annie: Probably one of my favorite cities so far for caching was Salzburg, Austria. I kept wanting to give every cache I found there a favorite point! They were all very creative geocaches in a beautiful setting. I also loved doing Ireland’s Top 10 Challenge (GC2RQB4). I have yet to find the final, but the top 10 most favorited caches provided an excellent tour of Ireland with some quality geocaches and amazing scenery. I look forward to when I head back to Ireland to finish the challenge.
Wuselelfe: What was your highlight in 2015 ?
Annie: Joining local geocachers in Japan for the Mt. Fuji CITO (GC5VHC6) was definitely the highlight of my year. The weather was horrible and it kept us from reaching the summit (only 30 minutes climb from the top), but getting to meet those wonderful people and having the memories – I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I will hopefully join them again someday to reach that summit.
Wuselelfe: And your vision for 2016?
Annie: Several years ago, I heard about a geocaching trail in Spain on a famous walk. The trail of geocaches is on the Camino de Santiago. Next summer, I’m planning to take a six week sabbatical and walk 500+ miles. I’ll be starting in southern France, crossing the Pyrenees Mountains, and then walking across Spain to Santiago. I’ll definitely be geocaching along the way!
Wuselelfe: We’re calling Christmas the festival of Love. How do you celebrate these days?
Annie: Festival of Love – I like this! It’s appropriate for me too as I will be spending Christmas with the rest of the Love family in my hometown in North Idaho. My family has a wonderful farm with horses, dogs, and a cat. I look forward to spending the time with friends and family and hope that there will be some snow to play in!
Wuselelfe: The situation in our world is far away from a world full of peace and love. When we look in countries with wars like Syria, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Sudan – when we remember Paris … when we think of the situation of millions of refugees: is there anything that we geocachers can do to save peace and love? What is your message?
Annie: The thing I’ve come to love about geocaching, aside from the outdoor adventures that it takes you on, is the people you meet through the game. You have instant friends all over the world simply because you share the same love of the game. Hobbies aside, all people have a bond in this world – we’re all human. If we all opened our hearts to everyone in the world the same way geocachers open theirs to other geocachers. Well, this would be an even greater world to live in.
Wuselelfe: Thank you for the interview Annie! I hope to see you next year at a German MEGA!
Together with Annie Love we wish to our Geocacher friends all over the world:
Merry, Christmas, Joyeux Noël, Buone Feste Natalizie, God Jul, Noeliniz kutlu olsun, Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia, Zalig Kerstfeest, Feliz Navidad, Kellemes karácsonyi ünnepeket kívánok nektek, メリークリスマスMerii Kurisumasu, Glædelig Jul und Frohe Weihnachten!
From Annie with Love
We’re happy to present you a little Christmas Surprise! We kindly invite you to participate to our contest “Merry Christmas”. Please post your christmas-greetings and wishes for other geocachers as a comment below this blog article until 5th January 2016. Among all coments we’ll find out the winner on 6th January 2016. And of course the winner should start the New Year with a lots of love: the prize is an original Love Tag, given from Annie Love. Thank you Annie ☺ and Merry Christmas to you!