The adventurous of Summit County have a new place to visit, and it's right in the heart of Breckenridge. The Worldly Traveller, a store catering to adventure and leisure travelers, opened its doors Saturday.
At the heart of the store is its owner, Jennifer Hopkins. An avid traveler, Hopkins only just returned to Colorado in August. Though she has traveled to nine different countries on four continents in the past year and a half, her most recent destinations were in Africa.
Two years ago, Hopkins sold her car and most of her possessions to go work with the International Rescue Committee, a nonprofit organization that responds to humanitarian crises all over the world. Hopkins worked logistics for its emergency response team. In one case, she was in charge of organizing a center for emergency medical treatment of South Sudanese refugees in a refugee camp in Kenya.
She came back, she says, to be closer to her family, and to start on the new adventure of opening a store.
"I love the mountains, and I love the mountain culture," Hopkins said. "I wanted to come back to a place that's a fun place to live."
Travel has been a big part of Hopkins' life, so starting a travel-themed store just seemed natural. Her focus has always been global, since earning an international relations degree at St. Andrews University in Scotland, and a degree in political economy at the London School of Economics.
"My whole life I've been traveling," said Hopkins, whose father worked in aviation, and whose mother was a flight attendant. "I feel that the thing I know most about is travel."
The Worldly Traveller caters to those seeking adventure and inspiration through travel. The store offers a range of products, from luggage and backpacks to books on travel to vintage globes to medical kits and neck pillows.
"I didn't want to be just a luggage store," Hopkins explained. "I wanted this to be a place where not only you buy cool gear for where you're going, but something that inspires you to travel."
One of the things that makes the World Traveller unique is that customers have a world traveling expert in Hopkins, who currently runs the store by herself. Rather than an employee that simply points out random brands, Hopkins holds a wealth of information, because she's done it all before.
"I try to sell the products that I used and can vouch for, or stuff that I wish I'd had," said Hopkins. "I spent two years in Africa with my Eagle Creek gear, and it never failed me."
In addition to the success of her store, Hopkins is looking forward to being a part of the local community. After spending time in small African villages, and in similar places throughout the world, Hopkins recognizes the value found in small communities.
"I want to settle here and make this my home," she said of Summit County, though she will continue to travel, most likely during the shoulder seasons.
"This is my passion, what I care about," Hopkins said of the travel store. "Of all the things I've done in my life, this is the thing I'm most excited about."