Kimberly Walker is the managing partner of Nomada Hotel Group, which provides authentic hospitality experiences for guests with a passion for travel and the terroir of California’s Central Coast. Learn about Kimberly Walker…
Hometown: San Luis Obispo
First job: My official first job was a newspaper delivery girl, but I was a little hustler from the time I could remember. My grandparents owned a meat factory and as early as 6 years old, I started my own little business by selling the factory workers quesadillas and breakfast burritos. My grandpa (the boss) would stand behind them and basically force them to buy food from me. It was all in good fun and my first foray into hospitality.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: Exploring the outdoors with good friends and great rosé.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: In my mid 20s, I bought a one-way ticket to East Africa–Tanzania, specifically. During my time there, I wrote and produced a stage play called “Wanawake Jukwani” (Women Center Stage) about the issues young women face in Arusha, Tanzania (there are plenty, from gender inequality to education). The experience changed the course of my life and taught me that we can do hard things.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Fear. It can become a real issue if it goes unchecked.
Someone who inspires you and why: Michelle Obama. She is a strong, intelligent, independent thinker. Every time I read or listen to her, I feel inspired and challenged to do more, to be better.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Travel often. Stay at everything from low-cost hostels to five-star hotels. Take notes. Examine how the experiences make you feel and why. You’ll have a solid foundation to start from. If you love travel and strangers, hospitality is a perfect passion to devote your life to.
Favorite quote: “Be brave, this world is not for cowards.” –Ferran Adria
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I’ve raced in the Baja 1000.
What makes someone fabulous: Effort. Someone who wakes up every day and goes after it. That’s fabulous.