One year ago today, I posted my very first blog post ever! I have been camping for 2 decades and recording my experiences in various ways. One day, I thought, hey! why don’t I just start a blog and share my experiences with other people. It would be amazing to have my adventures all in one place, not only for myself, but to share with others who were looking for information on the places I go, or help, or just like to look at lots of outdoor photos. (I also started the hashtag #CleanUpOurParks and challenged people to post photos of themselves picking up trash while on adventures. Hope everyone keeps up the good work! )
On July 7th, 2015, I posted my very first post on my Canada Day trip with my mom to Grundy Lake Provincial Park . It started off slowly, and took a lot of time and patience. It took dedication and hard work and many late nights, working on my posts in between working 3 jobs, living life and adventuring to actually get the content for the posts, but since that day, I have published a minimum of one post per week without fail for an entire year!!! Even through my knee surgery, I didn’t miss a week. It is definitely something I am very proud of.
I have had many great supporters over the past year and I want to take a moment to thank them. One of the first people to inspire me to adventure more and start my blog was one of the Woods Explorers, Melba Seto! Watching her deal with the public and her supporters, and gracefully disarm those who didn’t see her point of view, inspired me greatly. Although we have yet to meet in person, I consider Melba a friend and can not wait until we go on an adventure! Melba also started her own blog upon returning home from her 5 month adventure called Melba’s Toast! It’s pretty cool, you should check it out.
Another great inspiration has been my friend Karen, otherwise known as Karengeterdone ! She is an incredible person and continues to meet goal after goal and never lets anything stop her! Karen also is the person responsible for all my cover photos, which I have used for each social media platform since their creation. Karen also started her own blog shortly after I did and she can be found here.
Since starting my blog last July, my life has changed enormously. Part of the reason I started blogging was to share my passion with others and inspire people to get outside. I was blogging because I was passionate about it, and people could see that and it was contagious. I decided from the very start that I would just make myself happy and do what I loved, and whatever came from it, was meant to be. I never imagined the support and comments I would get and how many people on social media would become special to me along the way.
Over the past year, I have met so many incredibly amazing people because I shared my passion on social media. I have met friends online, I have met them in person, I have adventured with many of them, froze my butt off with some of them, shared stories, we’ve helped each other, shared trip information, passed on gear tips, spent endless hours on twitter chats and even gotten a few perks including free gear, complimentary accommodations, boat rentals and a ridiculous amount of patts on the back and amazing encouraging words from complete strangers. With the exception of one person, I know everyone in the photos below because I started a blog, in one way, or another. Pretty cool huh! And they are the most awesome people!!! 🙂
Not only have I met some amazing people, but I have done some pretty cool things. Some, I am not sure I would’ve done had it not been for my blog. But I regret nothing and am pretty proud of all my accomplishments. Some of them are, and not in any particular order: built my own tipi, camped in -42 degrees in a summer tent, earned my Level 1 Sea Kayaking Paddle Canada Certificate, made it to the top of an ice wall, snowshoed skated and skied on the same day, came face to face with a bear, learned Map & Compass 1, Solo camped (more than a few times now) and well…. 93 posts worth of stuff… !
In the process I have also built up some very rewarding friendships with people such as Ontario Parks, Trans Canada Trail, Keen Canada, Stormy Kromer, Conservation Ontario , Ontario Trails , Algonquin Outfitters , Ontario Sea Kayak Centre, Let’s Discover Ontario, Ontario’s Highlands and on of my longtime favourites, Outdoors Oriented , just to name a few!! I am grateful and love you even if I didn’t mention you! I could be here all day if I wrote out every single person I should be thanking. You all know who you are… thank you sooo much!
As some of you know, today, I reside in Muskoka! After watching my own journey progress, and realizing how much I camp and explore through documenting my adventures on my blog, I couldn’t find a reason not to live closer to where I like to play. Last Thursday, my house closed and I am now a permanent resident of Port Carling, where I work, live and play!
It has been so awesome to be able to drive an hour or a half hour or even two hours to get to places that used to take me four and five hours, to hear a loon while sitting in my backyard, to see deer out of my office window, and to hear all the sounds of nature every single night I go to sleep, whether I am at home in my bed, or out camping.
I want to thank each and every one of you, for all of your support, for your incredible comments, your advice, your gracious feedback, for sharing my posts, my tweets, my instagram pictures and my facebook posts. You have helped me become the me I wanted to be and I appreciate every single like, share, comment and person that takes the time to stop in and see what I am up to. I hope you continue to enjoy my posts and they inspire you in some way to get outside and follow your own dreams and goals and live the life you want to live, no matter what that means for you. Life is short, do what you love and love what you do, and inspire as many people as you can.
I am in awe, with over 36000 views to date, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate you all more than I can ever say and I hope I continue to do, whatever it is I’ve been doing that has brought you all to my blog and inspired you in some tiny way or another. I am looking forward to another fantastic year…. who knows where this one will take me? Hope you stayed tuned and see! The first thing on my agenda, is to buy a new boat…. but what will it be????? Canoe, kayak? Maybe both?
WITH LOVE AND GREAT APPRECIATION,