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Stories about WhereNext's film, video and visual marketing projects. How we work, behind the scenes tips about adventure travel based film, video, and photography productions.

WhereNext People – An Interview with Gabriel Rubiano Groot

Welcome to #WhereNextPeople, where we share content about our creative agency colleagues and stories about the many luminaries we meet in our travels. This week, meet WhereNext team member, Gabriel ‘Gabo’ Rubiano Groot. Watch the climbing video below and enjoy a vertical dance that is calm, fluid, and precise. He brings these traits to all that he does, and so he is the perfect guy to help steer WhereNext into the future. We are lucky to have him aboard.

Tell us about yourself.

Gabo writing his story on stone. (Photo by Felipe Nieto)

Gabo writing his story on stone. (Photo by Felipe Nieto)

My name is Gabriel Rubiano Groot. I’m from Colombia. In 2016, after a 16-year career in the medical device industry, I traded in my old life to embrace my passion for adventure and travel at WhereNext, where I supervise financial operations in Colombia. When I’m not in the office, I’m usually either hanging out at my glamping hostel or overseeing operations at one of my two Bogota restaurants. I have an Executive MBA from Oxford’s Saïd Business School, and I am also an avid rock climber.

Tell us about your most memorable travel experience.

The most memorable was the last trip I took to Squamish in Canada. It allowed me to reconnect with climbing, especially multi-pitch trad climbing.

Dead or alive, who would you like to join you on an adventure?

My partner in crime will always be my wife, Margarita. There’s no one I enjoy traveling with more than her.

Gabo and Margarita ponder the creative possibilities of a new climbing area.

Gabo and Margarita ponder the creative possibilities of a new climbing area.

What are your travel equipment essentials?

I never leave home without a sleeping bag and a sleeping mattress. It’s a real feeling of freedom when you know that you have your bed on your back and don’t have to worry too much about where you’re going to sleep. That way, you can focus on the adventure and the experience.

When did you feel happiest?

The mountains hold Gabo’s heart and his story.

The mountains hold Gabo’s heart and his story.

I don’t know about “the happiest”, but I can tell you that the last time I felt very happy was on the summit of the Chief in Squamish after climbing 1,000 ft. That’s the beauty of climbing: your last big summit is always the best one, the one that makes you feel happiest (for now).

Who taught you your biggest life lesson, and what was it?

My dad taught me always to be kind to others. That’s as true now as it was then and I try to follow that example.

You can teleport to any restaurant on earth: where do you go and what do you order?

I would stay right here in Bogota and go to my restaurant, Anna & Otto. It was always a dream of mine to have my own restaurant. So whenever I eat there, I’m not just getting a meal, I am reminded of all the hard work and how much it has paid off. Where else can you get a meal that also gives you that feeling?! As for my order, I’d have to go with the ‘Clandestina.’ It’s a pizza with mozzarella, pepperoni, jalapenos, tomatoes, and honey. I love it.

Tell us about the most adventurous food you ever ate?

There have been so many over the year. If I had to narrow it down, I’d say Chapulines (Grasshoppers) in Mexico, Scorpions in Thailand, Ants in Colombia, Crocodile in Australia, and Horse in Slovenia.

Drink of choice?

Beer. Ideally Belgian, but I’m not too picky.

Where do you feel most at home?

I always feel right at home when I’m in the mountains.