We had the good fortune of connecting with Kinga Philipps and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kinga, how do you think about risk?
Risk in my career choice has encompassed everything from entering a rather male dominated field in the capacity of hosting travel, adventure and investigative television series; diving with sharks; trekking to remote areas and digging into stories of travelers who met their end somewhere in the wilderness and visiting hard to reach locations to explore history. Without risk I would honestly not have a shred of the career I have. It was only with risk I learned that in order to do what I feel passionately about I need to fight for the opportunities to do so and blaze my own trails if there are none for me to follow. Risk should be calculated and one should approach it fluidly, knowing that there is no set course and redirections are part of the journey. In my personal life, risk is part of the process as well. I often travel solo, have hobbies that could be considered dangerous and partake in activities that usually require at least one liability waiver. Yet, my life has been enriched beyond comprehension by stepping out into the unknown, often with knees trembling, both professionally and personally. If I had not taken risks in my early career days I would be an entertainment reporter covering red carpets. That’s what women in hosting were pushed towards. Instead I get to host shows like Lost in the Wild and Enslaved where heading out to sea to dive shipwrecks is part of the adventure. Nothing wrong with being an entertainment reporter but I would rather be climbing mountains in Alaska alone or traveling deep into the jungle to interview murder suspects. It’s been a wild ride and I hope it continues to be for a long time to come.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Bio: Never one to sit still, Kinga has tested herself for the past 20 years by traveling the globe…scuba diving, free diving, spear fishing, surfing, jumping out of airplanes, spelunking and swimming with sharks as a writer, producer and on camera journalist for networks such as CBS, NBC, ABC, USA, AMC, Travel Channel, Fox Sports, Universal Sports, Food Network, Current TV, Syfy, Discovery, EPIX and National Geographic. Kinga was born in Warsaw, Poland into a family of explorers and adventurers. Her dad, a geologist, trekked repeatedly across Europe and her mom, trained in botany, can give the Latin name of every plant. Expeditions are in her genes. Her folks believed in regular road trips, camping, cultural exploration, photography and natural sciences. She didn’t stand a chance of becoming anything other than the world wandering, adventurous, story telling soul she grew up to be. She has traveled the world reporting on intense subjects like police corruption in Mexico, gangs in LA, women in the sex trade, humanitarian and environmental causes, world conflict and natural disasters. On the flip side she has explored the night life, festivals and exotic eats of the world’s most vibrant cities. Kinga was one of the original on air journalists to launch Al Gore’s Emmy Award winning Current TV, where she covered everything from travel, car culture and entertainment to current issues and hard hitting vanguard journalism stories that put her in the line of fire…sometimes literally. As an on air producer for Syfy’s Legend Quest, a Da-Vinci-Code-meets-Indiana-Jones style adventure show traversing the globe in search of mysterious artifacts, Kinga traveled to 13 countries in two months exploring some of the world’s most exotic destinations. The team investigated sunken churches in Ethiopia, trekked the Andes in Peru, went spelunking in the Philippines, dived Mexican cenotes, rode camels through the desert in Jordan, located one of the oldest known churches in a maximum security prison in Israel and braved rough seas to access remote islands off Scotland’s west coast. For National Geographic Kinga co-hosted America’s Lost Treasures, traveling across the United States in search of hidden links to America’s past, authenticating artifacts and telling the stories that connect our past to our present. The items from the show went on display at the National Geographic Museum in Washington DC. Kinga’s background includes a minor in anthropology and a fascination with history. Kinga has done several projects for Travel Channel including The Wild Side with Kinga Philipps, which had her kite surfing, bungee jumping, free diving and mountain biking across the US; the network’s yearly special The Trip, where Travel Channel talent team up to show off exciting destinations; Travel Hacks, an animated multi part series written and hosted by Kinga and based on her more off beat and comical adventure travel moments and the award winning THE REAL, a comprehensive locals perspective of exotic destinations…repeatedly nominated and winning Tellys, Webbys and the Cynopsis Model D…among others. THE REAL is currently one of Travel Channel’s premier shows on Facebook Watch. Her latest project with Travel Channel is the new series Lost in the Wild. Kinga, along with co-host JJ Kelley, travel the world investigating unsolved mysteries of missing persons that took place in some of the planet’s most harrowing and remote locations. The series filmed in the US, Panama, Brazil, Ecuador, India, Zimbabwe, Malaysia and the Philippines. Currently, Kinga is on the road working on the six episode documentary series, Enslaved. As a journalist and scuba diver she is part of the team diving shipwrecks all over the world to tell the profound stories of the transatlantic slave trade. Kinga is also the regular travel expert for Beond TV, a morning program on KDOC LA, ROKU and online that is viewed by almost 6 million viewers weekly. As a writer, she has two columns for Inside Hook: Off the Beaten Path, a modern nomads guide to a world less traveled that explores some of the last bastions of wilderness this planet has to offer; and the acclaimed Real Life Laura Croft series that highlights inspiring and accomplished women. She is also a regular contributor to Adventure Journal and her travel expertise has appeared in a variety of publications including Travel + Leisure, Martha Stewart Weddings and Readers Digest. Kinga is a fellow at the prestigious Explorers Club. She joins the likes of Elon Musk, James Cameron, Neil Armstrong, Robert Ballard, Silvia Earle, David Attenborough and many others in this extraordinary family of explorers, who over the past 114 years, have dedicated themselves to the advancement of field research, scientific exploration, resource conservation and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. In her free time, Kinga explores a singular fascination with the ocean, free diving (see below), scuba diving (she is advanced open water, nitrox and dry suit certified), surfing, spearfishing to harvest her own food, exotic travel and sharks (those are her two friends from Guadalupe Island, MX swimming up top)… followed just slightly by a love of solo adventure travel, charity work, exotic foods and action sports. Kinga is a board member of the nonprofit environmental group, Shark Allies, dedicated to changing the image of sharks and conserving our oceans. She gives yearly shark talks aboard the HORIZON, a live aboard eco tour that visits white sharks in their native habitat off the coast of Mexico. She is also an ambassador for Waves for Water, on org committed to providing clean water to those in need. —— My story is one of not giving up and knowing that with passion and purpose, you really can do anything you want. My career has encompassed so many incredible projects and adventures and I am grateful beyond words that I have been able to live such a life. My brand has always been one of curiosity, story telling and a message that says “If I can do it you can too.” Im a jack of all trades, truly a bonafide expert at nothing…just someone who always believed that if I work hard enough I will get to make my passions my career.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
San Diego? I would put I would put them on a dive boat and send them off to see the great whites of Guadalupe or some of the exciting local diving options. We would grab surfboards and hit the waves, then stop by a taco stand for some take away and go eat on the beach, feet in the sand.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Stefanie Brendl at Shark Allies has been my mentor in the conservation space for over 10 years. Her approach is hands on, totally committed and focused passion. In the television world Anthony Bourdain was a master game changer. He altered the voice of the travel genre forever with his non apologetic, authentic style. I am inspired daily by the women around me who have integrity, a strong sense of purpose and are driven to pursue their goals on the merit of their own accomplishments and dedication.

Website: http://www.kingaphilipps.com
Instagram: @kingaphilipps
Twitter: @kingaphilipps
Facebook: @kingaphilipps
Youtube: @kingaphilipps

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