My name, is Mario Smith-Mena. I was born in Hospital Mexico in San Jose Costa Rica to an American Lawyer and a Costa Rican Saleswoman.

At the age of five, I moved to the United States with my Father and began, unbeknownst to me at the time, a grueling academic career.


It was during this time that I was introduced to the world of “Nature Documentaries.” I became fascinated with travel, mesmerized by adventure. I would stay up late just to watch a special on The Discovery Channel. I had a National Geographic magazine subscription that, with a new issue, marked the start of a new month for me. I dreamed of trekking through the Amazon, machete in hand, slapping away at mosquitoes and testing fate with wild animals. I envisioned expeditions that took me miles under the surface of the sea, exploring a new world within our existing one. I couldn’t wait until I had the opportunity to see different cultures, taking me to the far ends of the earth.

Well, I’m 27 now and I haven’t really done any of those things yet, but I have begun to build a sturdy foundation.

No, I don’t really take myself this seriously.

I graduated from The United States Naval Academy in 2012 with a degree in Ocean Engineering and am currently stationed in Japan, just south of Tokyo.

I have been fortunate enough to travel to a good portion of South and Central America, Western Europe, and Asia, and the United States, of course. I have hiked 8 glorious mountains in Japan now, and would be lying if I said it was anything other than an addiction. In my spare time, if I’m not at the beach, and aside from hiking/traveling of course, I enjoy tasting new coffee beans, maintaining my small aquaponics set-up, and learning Japanese.

Favorite Travel Book- “Cloud Forest” by Peter Matthiessen

Runner-Up- “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer

On top of Mt. Asahi, 2291m (7516ft)

Enough about me, I’d love to hear about you. If you consider yourself a hiker, a traveler, an adventurer of any sort, send your story in with some sweet pics to and we’ll see about adding you to the team. Look forward to hearing from you. See you on trail.