We (Emily Oakes and Steve Thornton) started Last Minute Exploration because we wanted to share our photos and travel experiences with anyone in the world who is interested. As young adults, we travel on a budget and plan our trips very last minute. We believe that it is a common misconception that it is expensive to travel and by starting this website, our goal is to showcase that traveling and exploring the world is not as difficult as it seems.

It all started in 2009 with a high quality bottle of Vladimir Vodka and a typical high school house party. We grew up in the same neighborhood in West Chester, PA but we never really talked or got to know each other. After a few drunken hookups and a lot of wasted years, we actually decided to give this thing a shot towards the end of 2015. It wasn’t until then that we realized we had a lot in common and a lot of the same goals.

One cold Thursday night in West Chester in February 2016, we had decided that we were going to grab a bite to eat. Before we could do that, I received a call from Emily asking if I wanted to drive down to visit her Mom in North Carolina. Without even thinking twice, I packed a bag, requested off of work and hopped in my truck to pick Em up.

While in North Carolina, we had talked about how we both wanted to see the Northern Lights before we were too old. We started looking up the best locations and times to see them and we stumbled across Fairbanks, Alaska, After a few Captain and Cokes, we were on booking our flights. We ended up planning a week-long trip to Oregon, Washington State and Alaska in a matter of minutes. Although we never ended up seeing the Northern Lights, we realized that we had something special and the rest is history!