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Hayley Kirksey

Age 23, born & raised in Santa Cruz, California. I was raised with an affinity for traveling as a result of my globe-trotting parents bringing me along on international family vacations starting at a young age. I graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara in June 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication. I considered studying abroad, but instead doubled up on units and was able to graduate a year early. I knew I’d prefer to travel freely, rather than have to be under curriculum abroad.

Post-graduation, I moved home and worked nearly non-stop the next seven months to save every dime for traveling. In January 2016, I hopped on a one-way flight to Sydney, Australia with my partner Shaun. We didn't know when we'd return — instead, we planned month-by-month. That first leap took us across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Japan. We came home for 4 weeks to freshen up and then took off to the United Kingdom, France and Spain.

Fast forward to now / 2017 — we're living in Santa Cruz, CA and planning the occasional vacations & surf contest expeditions. I work as an Event Coordinator for Wisdom 2.0, as an Executive Assistant & Event Coordinator for engagedIN, and as an Assistant Editor for LEFAIR Magazine. I'm incredibly lucky to have freelance clients I love working with that allow the flexibility to continue my travels!

Shaun Burns

Age 25, also born & raised in Santa Cruz, California. Shaun started surfing around age 10, and has been in the water almost every day since. Shaun's traveling also started at a young age, with the vast majority focused on surf destinations. His dad was a big influence on both his surfing and traveling, often taking him to Costa Rica & Mexico. After graduating high school, Shaun explored Nicaragua with friends and returned to Mexico a few more times for contests over summer breaks

Shaun made a tough decision and put his surfing on hold to get an education: He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2015 with a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Management. Post-graduation, he is pursuing the World Surf League Qualifying Series (WQS) international surf competition tour. Shaun is thankful to get support from his sponsors, O'Neill Wetsuits, O'Neill Surf Shop, Famous Traction and Guayaki Yerba Mate. 


QS-ing Around The Globe. Printed in the December/January 2017 Issue of Santa Cruz Waves. Read the online version here. 

Windows + Angles. Short film by Skyler Nilsen documenting Shaun's returns home to Santa Cruz, CA to surf and explore the region that shaped him. See it featured on Surfline, here. 

College, Then Competition. Editorial interview with Shaun Burns by Taylor Paul, featured on the online version of Surfing Magazine. Read it here.


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