Deana grew up in the Midwest before setting out to explore the western states for 13 years. She enjoyed eight years in Washington State while working in water resources policy and planning and exploring the waterways of the Pacific Northwest. She also spent three years coordinating a non-profit in the Mojave Desert of California focused on environmental and economic development projects. In 2012 she moved to Northern Michigan with her husband and two children. She enjoys being outside as much as she can hiking, kayaking, or gardening. She is a Level 2 Coastal Kayaking Instructor, certified by the American Canoe Association.