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Dawn Rainbolt

Dawn Rainbolt

Adventurous | Bookish | Creative


Mini Bio

American by birth but European in spirit, I’ve called the US, Costa Rica, Spain, England, Poland, France and Ireland home. In the past decade, I’ve explored some 35 countries, but have fallen in love with the rich Irish culture, history and sweeping landscapes. I’ve been Wilderness Ireland’s Marketing Executive since 2017.

Favourite Place to Play

Anywhere I can hike or bike with spectacular views, see a castle, and take beautiful photos. In Ireland, I’ve become fascinated with the ancient history of the Neolithic and Mesolithic era and love hiking the hills to find forgotten sites – probably my favourite are those of Carrowkeel in Co Sligo. I also love the great wilds of Donegal, and am fascinated by the strange landscapes of the Burren. In Northern Ireland, I love walking along the Causeway Coast, marvelling at the wild geology, the clifftop castles and the swooping birds. In Scotland, I love the Isles of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides – great hiking, and ancient sites here too, like the Callanish Stones. In England, I love Bath and the surrounding Cotswolds in the south, as well as the vast expanses of Brontë Country in Yorkshire in the north.

Not a lot of People Know This 

No matter where I go, faraway or just down the road, I always travel with a book, and nearly always come home with more books than I left with. Most books are in English, but I also read in French and Spanish. I can also read the Cyrillic alphabet but not quite ready to read stories in Russian yet.

Education Read More

I obtained my Bachelors Degree in Communications & Writing in Virginia, USA, with a focus in writing and analysis. In 2016, I received my Masters Degree in Marketing & Tourism in Lyon, France (in a bilingual French-English programme) after completing a thesis studying the connection between millennials and adventure travel in Europe’s adventure tourism industry.

Experience Read More

I’ve been the Marketing Executive for Wilderness Ireland since 2017 where I continually hone my marketing, writing and photoshop skills as well as share my love of Ireland, adventure and the outdoors with the wide world. Within this role, I manage B2B and B2C marketing projects and initiatives, as well as writing and editing content, supplying imagery, and liaising with PR/press and media. 

Previously, I’ve worked for the ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association), the worldwide renowned authority for adventure travel, as well as the tourism marketing brand, OnlyLyon in Lyon, France.

Awards & Publications Read More

Over the past several years, I’ve contributed and written for a number of different publications, both of a B2B and B2C nature – AdventureTravelNews, World Travel Market, FOGHORN Magazine, Textile Services, among others. Feel free to view my online writing portfolio or check out my latest articles on Wilderness Ireland’s blog.

In 2017, I was recipient of the David Clark Excellence in Editorial Award from Philips Publishing and FOGHORN Magazine.

Travel & Biggest Adventures Read More

Living in Europe since 2011 in a combination of the UK, Spain, Poland, France and Ireland, I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some 35 countries (including most countries in the EU as well as Russia and Ukraine). I’ve hiked through mountain ranges such as the Rockies and the Appalachians in the USA, the Alps in western Europe, France’s Massif Centrale, Italy’s Dolomites, Poland’s Beskids and Romania’s Carpathians.

Since moving to the Emerald Isle, I’ve hiked in the Ireland’s Blue Stacks, Twelve Bens, Ox and Dartry Mountains –  and been to 29 of Ireland’s 32 counties (not to mention 34 US states). But it’s the age-old conundrum – the more places I go and activities I do, the more I want to see and do.

Hobbies & Activities Read More

An avid long-distance runner and hiker, I’ve clocked up too many miles to count (including a 1h55 half marathon in Warsaw, Poland). I also love being out-of-doors, exploring new places, and discovering amazing off-the-radar sites.

As a travel enthusiast and amateur photographer, I’ve taken more than 100,000 travel photos, and I enjoy writing about the places I visit (I even have a blog where I do so). Languages fascinate me – bilingual in English and French and conversational in Spanish, Italian is next on the list (though I’ve dabbled in Russian, Polish and Danish).

I’m passionate about history and architecture – with a special fascination for castles, monasteries and Neolithic monuments – and I love learning about Europe’s abundance of beautiful places. As an outdoor and adventure lover, I am often found either outside exploring the little-travelled corners and castles of Ireland (and Europe at large) or reading about the amazing places still to visit. I am fascinated by archeology and history, and recently got the chance to volunteer on my first dig at a potential Bronze Age site in Sligo. I am also a member of an Irish living history group to promote knowledge of early medieval and Viking history in Ireland.

As my family’s ancestry is mainly Polish, French, Scottish, and Irish, I guess you can say I’m slowly going home.

Specialist Regions Read More

Currently living in Sligo, I know Ireland the best of the UK and Ireland. I travel up to Northern Ireland and Donegal quite frequently (both for hiking and to attend events) – in fact, I prefer Belfast to Dublin. There are some many hidden corners in places like Fermanagh and Derry and even Antrim.

I’ve hiked a good deal in Connemara, and I have family in Limerick so therefore visit it regularly. I have walked the length of the Dingle Way, as well as part of the Causeway Coast.

Having lived in England several years ago, I know the region of Bath and parts of the Cotswolds quite well. Though having only visited, I am smitten with Yorkshire and the Lake District in the north.

Our holidays reviewed
in your own words

Wilderness Scotland is a perfect name for your organization. From the guide to the walks to the locations to the accommodations and beyond, we experienced exactly what we signed up for and were promised. Your flexibility in accommodating our available time and willingness to tailor our trip was greatly appreciated. It was a total Scottish Highland immersion and it was unforgettable.

Susan Rathgeber
16WSPD_Private Departure
Reviewed on 25/05/2016

Rated 4.87 out of 5 based on 4,807 reviews

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