You Really Can Climb and Adventure for a Living, According to Jacob Fu and Esther JuLee

You Really Can Climb and Adventure for a Living, According to Jacob Fu and Esther JuLee

Jacob Fu and Esther JuLee are nomadic adventurers who spend their time exploring and documenting every city's bucket list on their blog, Local Adventurers. They are multi-talented human beings and in addition to being full-time travel bloggers, they are both climbers, photographers, digital creators, and entrepreneurs. They are also advocates for people who want to live a non-traditional life and even publish their monthly income reports to inspire others to take the leap.

We fell in love with these two because of their lighthearted spirit towards adventure and climbing, but also their honesty. I can't think of anyone else in this world who would be comfortable with releasing detailed income statements to the public, let alone share intimate details about their life. They have genuinely good hearts.
So, what is it like to adventure for a living? We did the hard work and found out for you!
Jacob Fu & Esther JuLee
Based in Las Vegas, NV
We are Travel Bloggers
Our home gym is Origin Climbing & Fitness in Henderson, NV
If we're not answering our phones, we're at Willow Springs, Red Rock Canyon


How did you get into climbing? Don't spare any details - we want to know your exact experience and true feelings!

Climbing has always intrigued us, but since we already have a lot of hobbies, we never pursued it until our neighbors in San Diego invited us to go with them. We were both afraid of heights and thought it was about time to face that fear. Little did we know that we would be hooked! That year, we joined the Grotto in San Diego and have been climbing since.

You are both also route setters at your local gym. How did you get into route setting and what is that like? What goes into making a good problem? How would you describe your type of setting? 

I (Esther) am setter at our local gym, Origin (Jacob isn’t a setter… yet). At first, I didn’t intend to become a setter. I joined a setting clinic just to learn more about it since I found it fascinating. What I didn’t realize was that it was a group interview and afterwards, they offered me a job. When it comes to making a good problem, I find that hard to answer. I’m still very new at it, but from what I understand there could be many different purposes to a route.

Is it supposed to teach a certain move or skill, help others work on strength or endurance, etc? Ultimately though, if it boils down to one thing, you want people to have fun on them.

What are your tips for a person trying to read beta for a climb? What's the most effective way to prepare yourself for an onsight or flash?

Ooh.. that’s also very tough. I’m realizing there can be a specific style that develops at each gym, and sometimes that gets you stuck in a certain mindset on how you read a problem. 

My main tips are to take your time to read a problem, and to try to think of multiple scenarios and think outside the box from how you would normally climb a problem. 

Part of why we fell in love with climbing is the problem solving aspect of it. Each problem can also have different beta for different heights or people who have different strengths. That's also part of the reason I started my @petiteclimbing Instagram account.

What is your current training program? What are your climbing goals for this year and beyond?

What's training? Haha! For the past couple of years, we both have hit a plateau and know we need to train to get past that but neither of us have been disciplined enough. We’re hoping this is the year, we’ll give ourselves a real routine.

I’ve also had a couple nagging finger injuries, so my number one priority has been to rehab them. This year, we're trying to focus on good self care and properly warming up and stretching.

You are both also the founders of a very popular brand and blog, Local Adventurer, where you explore different pockets of the world and share detailed and incredible insight on those places. Tell us more about your nomadic lifestyle. What are the pros and cons about it?

For the past 6 years, we've moved to a new city every year. We’ve lived in Atlanta, LA, Las Vegas, San Diego, Portland, NYC and used those cities as our home base, making it a great way to dive deeper into a place. The cons are the actual process of moving, and then having to start over again ie make new (climbing) friends and make the next place feel like home.

What are your favorite travel hacks that everyone should know about?

I’m not sure it’s a hack, but we always carry a Bestek Universal Travel Adapter, so that we can keep all our devices charged. It’s one of our favorite travel products to date.

What is one climbing or adventure-related bucket list item that you think everyone should have?

Climb at Red Rock Canyon. It's 30ish minutes from almost anywhere in Las Vegas and there's easy access to a ton of bouldering and sport. It's part of the reason we moved to Vegas and why we love it out here. Plus you still get conveniences of being in the city after a long day outside!

Have questions for Esther & Jacob? Share them below! You can also find Jacob on Instagram @jacobthefu and Esther @petiteclimbing and @estherjulee.

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