Hey there! I’m Marlina, aka “Mar”, and if you haven’t already guessed it, I’m the gal behind Mar Gone Wild.

 

I’m a former NFL cheerleader & professional dancer turned conservation biologist, filmmaker and, of course, wildlife-lovin’ travel blogger (random I know, but I’ll explain in a bit).

 

When I first got the idea to start Mar Gone Wild I simply saw it as a fun way to keep my family and friends up-to-date on my wild adventures and work in the conservation arena. Today, the mission is a lil’ bit bigger than that, which you can read more about HERE.

 

How I become the Mar in Mar Gone Wild is a slightly longer story. . .

 

For anyone interested, you can read all about my personal and professional journey below (embarrassing childhood pics included).

MARLINA MORENO_MAR GONE WILD_MEET MAR square
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PART I
LITTLE MAR

I attribute my love for all things wild to growing up on a small farm in Vista, California. Thanks to my parents (my pops — a professional falconer, and my momma — a horseback riding enthusiast) I was always surrounded by Mother Nature.

 

As a kid, I spent most of my time outdoors and around plenty of animals (both domestic and wild). When I wasn’t livin’ the barn life I was usually at dance class — a dichotomy that would ultimately carry over into my adult years.

Me as a the little farm girl.
My pops, Abel, in his early years as a falconer.
Fishing + camping during my tomboy phase.
PART II
COLLEGE + CAREER MAR

Throughout college, I worked as an NFL cheerleader and professional dancer, as well as dabbled in a bit of on-camera hosting and commercial acting.

 

After completing my bachelor’s degree in advertising I went on to start my own green cleaning company. During my 5-ish years as an eco-entrepreneur, I also returned to school and completed my MBA.

 

I eventually came to realize that neither the traditional ‘corporate world’ nor ‘entertainment world’ was right for me. So I decided to my change career path and pursue one that would allow me to combine my true passions: wildlife, travel, and media.

 

The major catalyst for it all came in 2012 when I went on my first solo trip to South Africa to do some volunteering. It was during that trip that I got my first taste of working in wildlife conservation (and my first real taste of picking up a video camera). From that experience came my first wildlife-inspired short-film, and after that, I was hooked.

 

The following years would ultimately become a random blur of working multiple freelance jobs and dancing as a nightclub gogo dancer in order to fund my journey along a new, wild-inspired path.

Marlina Moreno NFL Cheerleader
Team photo from NFL cheerleading days.
Marlina Moreno On Camera Host Presenter
Behind-the-scenes as an on-camera host + presenter.
Marlina Moreno Nightclub Dancer
Performing as a nightclub go-go dancer.
PART III
GONE WILD MAR

Fast forward some years, and things slowly started to come together.

 

In 2016 I was named a finalist for National Geographic Wild’s Wild To Inspire film contest for my work in conservation media. Later that year I founded Project:Conservation — a nonprofit media organization dedicated to raising awareness about pressing global conservation issues.

 

Come spring of the following year I had completed my second master’s degree — this time in conservation-focused biology — and soon after I knew it was time to start connecting the dots… That’s when my initial ideas for Mar Gone Wild were born.

 

In early 2017, my fiancé, Zander, and I relocated to South Africa — the birthplace of Mar Gone Wild (figuratively and literally). After arriving (and with no prior plans to do so) we bought ourselves an old Land Rover, fixed her up, and started planning an epic road trip across Africa.

 

On February 15th, 2018, I officially launched MarGoneWild.com from the rooftop tent of our new home. After that, we set off on a wild 6-month long road trip across Africa with the mission to discover authentic and sustainable wildlife-inspired experiences and I, of course, plan to share all about the amazing people, places, and projects I encounter along the way. . .

 

#StayTuned

 

<< I’ll be on the road in Africa until August 2018, so my ability to regularly put out blog posts and videos will be limited until then (but I’ll try my best to keep Mar Gone Wild updated)! In the meantime, you’re welcome to follow my adventures on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK. >>

MAR GONE WILD SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL BLOG - Marlina Moreno
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