Erica Baker, a 27-year-old agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty in Annapolis, MD, set a goal of traveling to 30 countries before she turns 30. So far, she’s halfway to her bucket-list goal. With a friend, Baker has so far climbed the Great Wall of China, swam with whale sharks in the Philippines, traversed 82 miles of Mt. Everest and spent hours holding the perfect spot for New Year’s Eve fireworks in Australia.
“I’m a real estate agent, so traveling keeps me the best,” Baker told Capital Gazette. “I’m making sure I feed my soul so that I can help others.”
On Nov. 30, Baker and her friend, an emergency room nurse, flew to Bejing, China, hiking four hours in the Jinshanling section.
Next,they swam with whale sharks in the Philippines on Baker’s birthday (Dec. 8). Baker said she suffered puncture wounds from sitting on a sea urchin while there. Then, with minimal training, they spend 12 days climbing partially up Mt. Everest dressed as Santa Claus.
By Christmas morning, Baker was 18,300 feet above sea level at Kala Patthar, north of the base camp.
After Everest, it was off to Australia to scuba dive and snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef. New Year’s Day was spent at the Sydney Opera House, where the two waited 14 hours for an up-front spot to watch the world-famous fireworks display over the Sydney Harbor.
Finally, they’re headed to New Zealand, to bungee jump off the country’s tallest building, Auckland’s 1,076-ft. Sky Tower before returning home to Annapolis.
For Baker, the entire trip has been a testament to the satisfaction derived from taking risks. “Last year I was going to Thailand and flew over Everest,” she explained to the Capital Gazette. “Before that I never dreamed of going to Everest.”