A guide to outdoor adventure for those of us who aren’t National Geographic explorers

Not all of us are expert photojournalists or professional explorers, but most of us wish we were, at least some of the time.

For me, this feeling is most of the time. In the summer I work as a guide but during the year I’m a university student. I’d be lying if I said I don’t think about dropping out of school, grabbing my paddle and never looking back.

I’m not going to though. The professionals behind the photos in National Geographic have dedicated their entire lives to turning their passion into a career. They make sacrifices everyday: constantly being away from friends and family, the risks that come with exploration, and much more. It’s not a life for everyone, and that’s okay.

I am definitely passionate about outdoor adventure and exploration, but it would be foolish to drop out of an engineering and business degree when I’m 80% done. So maybe some day I will make a living by canoeing new rivers or uncovering new routes, but for now I’m limited to the adventure I can create for myself in between.

I’m also not alone. Whatever your reason is for not dedicating your entire life to adventure, whether it’s family or a stable job or another passion, it’s important to make room for outdoor adventure when and where you can.

Some may call this a travel blog, but I say it’s a guide to helping ordinary people with a thirst for adventure find it in their lives.

As I said, I work as a guide. This summer I led whitewater trips in backcountry Ontario. In the past I’ve also led flat-water canoeing, hiking and kayaking trips. In 2015 I spent the summer supporting day trips and base camps in the Canadian Arctic and the summer before I lived in central Quebec learning French. Right now I’m doing an exchange semester in beautiful New Zealand (I predict there will be more surfing than studying though).

I’m a student, bound to a student schedule and a student budget, but I’m constantly trying to get outdoor adventure into my life. And I think I’ve done a pretty decent job of it so far.

So if you’re trying to get outside more or just interested in what exactly goes into a whitewater canoe trip or Arctic base camp, read on. The wilderness really is accessible to everyone, it just takes a little work to find it.

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Iqaluit, Canada (2015)

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