Oh, hi there! My name is Mikaela and I’m the voice behind Voyageur Tripper, a blog dedicated to outdoor adventure.
I was raised in your run-of-the-mill mid-sized North American city. But I grew up running on the rugged rocks of the Canadian Shield and swimming in the dark green waters of Georgian Bay. I grew up laughing with friends under stars, crying with friends while rain pelted our tent. I grew up at summer camp.
I know that sounds overly romantic. It’s almost too romantic even for me to write (and, as you’ll soon find from reading my blog, I am incredibly romantic in my prose on the outdoors).
But for me, that was camp. A wonder-filled, magical place where I always felt at home. Truth be told, this probably had something to do with the fact I was never particularly ‘cool’ or ‘popular’ in school. But when I got to camp, boy oh boy, did I shine. I was in my element. Weird and quirky kids flourish at summer camp, and damn, was I quirky.
It wasn’t long before I found myself on staff at summer camp. I loved working with children at camp itself, but the part I got most excited for was out trip.
On out trip, we left camp for some number of nights. We canoed with the sun on our backs (well, on our life jackets). We cooked over a fire. Soon I was leading one-week and two-week canoe trips in destinations like Killarney and Temagami (my official job title was Voyageur Tripper).
But as much as I loved canoe guiding, I was itching for something different. After a series of coincidences I found myself with a job in Iqaluit, Nunavut, as a field guide for the summer.
Working in Nunavut opened my eyes to a whole other world, and is perhaps the most formative experience I’ve had. What started off as a painstakingly lonely endeavour transformed into excellent friends and great learning in the most incredible environment.
I returned from Nunavut a different person (though I doubt anyone could see it but me). And immediately after my return, I started business school.
I had two years of engineering under my belt, but business was a whole other ball game. In totally transparency, I hadn’t expected to like business school. Yet, somehow, I was kind of killing it.
My classes were engaging and loved getting into class discussions. Essay exams played to my strengths and I got good grades. I even landed one of the coveted internships all business students are shooting for. The outdoors took a back seat.
This is the part of the story where everyone expects me to say “I hated being in the office, no corporate job can contain my outdoor spirit” or some empowering line like that.
But the truth is that I enjoyed it. So when an offer for full time employment after graduation came around, I didn’t think twice.
I still had two more years of school (and one more summer) before graduation. So I used that final summer to return to my roots. I canoe guided on the Missinaibi and Noire rivers. I also spent six months in New Zealand and two months in India (I really delayed started work full time!).
It’s around this time I started developing a greater appreciation for the power of the outdoors. I watched campers overcome all kinds of physical and emotional challenges. On trip they built meaningful connections with one another and the environment around them. I started feeling the world will be a better place if more people could get outside for prolonged periods of time.
And this is about the time I started this blog.
So where are we at now?
Well, I sort of feel like I live two parallel lives. On the one hand, I’ve been working a corporate job for two years (and am excellent at PowerPoint and Excel, I might add). I also go camping as much as possible, write this blog and am a board member for the Wilderness Canoe Association.
I know eventually these two passions will converge (perhaps in renewable energy, or maybe climate policy). But for now, I’m juggling two identities. And I feel like a lot of other people are too.
Who says adventure has to be a full time job? Why can’t I work in an office one week, and then canoe down a northern river the next? Where are the resources to get normal, amateur adventurers on epic trips outside?
Well, I hope that’s here. I would love for Voyageur Tripper to become a go-to place for all things outdoor adventure. Destination guides, how-to tutorials, the odd (mis)adventure thrown in for good measure.
So however you’ve found your way to Voyageur Tripper, welcome! I hope you find this blog helpful, informative and inspiring. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me (I read and respond to every single message). And if you like what I do, consider subscribing to my blog (it’s the easiest way to read new posts). Okay, that’s enough self-promo for one day.