Luis Enrique Coll is a system analyst and developer based in Seattle, Washington. His multiple points of experience include systems engineering, web development, and social media strategies. He is a respected freelancer who works with a wide variety of large and small companies, enhancing their use of technology to leverage their business development.

Coll specializes in coding new software from the ground up. His expertise allows him to develop quality solutions for any need presented by a company.

Luis Enrique Coll has taken it upon himself to teach young people to code. The position of systems analyst is expected to grow by 17 percent by the year 2024, meaning that many new coders will be required to fill the industry’s needs. He believes that young talent is sorely needed in the world of software engineering, especially young minds that have no preconceptions about what a piece of software should look like.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is international travel. I spend a lot of time in Central and South America, where I enjoy learning about the local culture and history. My favorite countries to explore are Peru, Ecuador, and Argentina.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I first began traveling with my family when I was a young boy. We made trips to visit family in Peru and Argentina. My first travel memories are of traveling high in the mountains, where we saw many indigenous animals like llamas and alpacas. I loved the thrill of driving on winding mountain roads, even though my mother was nervous. Being welcomed by family in a new country gave me a lot of confidence in exploring on my own.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love exploring culture and history. There are so many rich cultures in South America; it would be difficult to experience them all. Each region has its special charms, from the food to the art. I have a special interest in the Precolumbian cultures of Peru and Ecuador. I am fluent in Spanish. I am also beginning to get a foothold in Quechua, the indigenous language of many people in the Andes and the surrounding areas.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I have been involved in a local club for travel enthusiasts. We can get together and share the best stories and photos from our journeys, as well as helping people plan their adventures. I have encouraged many of my travel club friends to go to South America, even if they don’t speak Spanish. The travel club has enhanced my own travel experiences by pointing me to places I would not have otherwise traveled.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Most of what I invest in are good quality backpacks and hiking shoes. I like to explore the natural environment when I travel. I spend a good amount of money buying supplies for travel. I recently bought a new hydration system. When you are traveling in the high mountains, it’s doubly important to make sure you are well hydrated. I also buy comfortable but presentable hiking wear. I had outgrown the age when I backpacked around in my worst T-shirt and shorts. This way I can hike during the day and visit good restaurants at night.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I mostly shop for my travels at REI, though I buy things from LL Bean as well. It’s crucial to try on backpacks and hiking boots, so most of those purchases are done in person. Seattle is the location of REI’s flagship, so they have an excellent selection at my hometown store.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I am a big fan of the Lonely Planet series of books. I would highly recommend them to novice travelers who want to get away from the crowds. I don’t need them in many of the areas where I travel today, but whenever I go to a new place, I try to pick up a Lonely Planet guide to give me ideas.

How has this changed your life?

Travel has opened my horizons in amazing ways. My job is demanding, and freelancing can be lonely. When I travel, I can interact with a wide variety of people from around the world. Getting away from the keyboard is also a valued part of travel. Like most tech people, I do use my phone a lot while I’m traveling, but mostly for taking photos and sharing them with my friends at home. Many of the mountainous areas where I travel have no cell service, and that provides me with a perfect reason to unplug. I am planning a trip to Antarctica.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Don’t be afraid to stay in small hostels or bed and breakfasts. You’re not getting the full travel experience if you stay in American chain hotels.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Art is a hobby of mine that I’ve recently picked up again. I am learning to paint landscapes of the areas where I’ve traveled.