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Can you tell everyone a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in Red Deer, AB, though currently residing in a beautiful little mountain town: Canmore, AB.
Growing up with 3 sisters I was always known as the tomboy, most outdoorsy/sporty one… aka ‘Daddy’s girl’. I have always had a curious/adventerous soul, which has certainly been both a blessing and a curse. I am a real ‘people person’ and enjoy meeting, conversing with and hearing people’s stories. I have my social work degree and was working in the school district in my hometown for 6.5 years, as an Educational Assistant with at risk youth before I took on the role of Youth Worker/Resiliency Coach. I ended up leaving the school district at the end of June to pursue some of my other passions full time… which are travel, adventure and inspiration/empowerment. I am currently doing social media marketing for various outdoor companies / tourism boards and promoting ‘eco-therapy’ and the benefits that come with it. Hoping to check off country #18 and #19 this coming year!
Oh and I REALLY love running, coffee, dogs and wine. Hope to get a husky pup as soon as I ‘settle’ down a bit.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Only three!? … I would have to say: Passionate, motivated and inspiring. I think passion truly goes a long way. It’s hard to see other people doing work, or in jobs they despise. When they get up in the morning and dread heading out the door for a 8 hour shift… I told myself there is NO way I am going to be one of those people. Life’s too short to be unhappy, or working a job you don’t enjoy. I would way rather pursue my passions and create something for myself and find work that I truly enjoy. I believe opportunities are not stumbled upon by luck, though instead they are created. I believe my passion and motivation to take risks and follow my heart have helped lead me to where I am today, which in turn has inspired others to pursue their own as well. I want to inspire the world to travel and get outside their comfort zones, to challenge themselves, travel and explore.
If someone wrote a book about your life and the adventures you’ve been on up till now; what would the first chapter be about and what would the last chapter be about?
I actually have a dream of writing my own book one day… My life has been nothing short of ‘crazy’. My past hasn’t been the most perfect one out there but it has certainly lead me to where I am now and wouldn’t change a single thing!
I would have to say the first chapter would be about my own personal struggles in high-school and into college. I wasn’t always the most adventurous person… I was SUPER into routine, running and a tad bit obsessive you could say. I was unhealthy. Self-conscious. I was running way to much and injuries were frequent. It was affecting my personal relationships. I had decided to book a 4 month solo trip to Asia in hopes of ‘finding’ myself… So I went. It helped and I came back and continued to work towards getting healthy and finding more balance in my life. I found nature… and soon things began to change for me. I bought snowshoes, skiis, hiking gear and started getting outside among the trees and in the mountains. It did something for me that is hard to put into words. But this is really where it all began for me… 5-6 years ago. I was HOOKED on the outdoors.
The last chapter… Would definitely be about the impact I made on people around me and who I inspired along the way. I hope to leave an small imprint of individuals who get to know me throughout my life time. Through sharing my own personal story and continuing to live a passionate/adventurous life I want people to say ‘Brooke inspired me to _____________’ Whether it be start hiking, running, camping, follow my dreams, take up photography, live a healthier lifestyle, find balance, push myself etc. The list is endless. I want the last chapter to be about the impact I made on others who got to know me
What do you think we could do to improve the education system?
Bring it OUTDOORS! Outdoor classrooms all the way baby! More fieldtrips to the mountains! Bringing it back to the basics. Having worked in the school district for almost 7 years I was involved in the outdoor ed program, as female chaperone and I can say this is where I saw the most growth in the kids. Kids NEED the outdoors, the fresh air and the therapeutic feeling that comes from it all. Getting off their phones and back into nature. Our generation is losing it and it does scare me, but I don’t believe we are too late. I hope to stay involved in the school district as the years go on… and heyyyyy who knows maybe I will be back there one day in a different light, proposing some outdoor program for kids. Only time will tell!
What is Eco-therapy?
It is a term I used to described the benefits that come from being outside, breathing the freshair. There are SO many lessons we can learn from Mother Nature herself and their ain’t enough people taking advantage of it. I know the impact nature had on me… and the positive changes that came as a result. I want others to be able to reap the benefits as well. I have had numerous conversations with people who get outside on a regular basis and many of them have similar answers… It’s where I feel most as Peace. It allows me to disconnect and get back to the basics. It puts everything back into perspective for me. It reminds me to slow down. It provides balance. It allows me to escape the chaos and daily grind at work. Yes counselors, psychiatrists, teachers, family and friends etc. are all there to help us along the way though often times all it takes is getting outside and going for a walk… a hike, a bike ride, challenging ourselves etc. It answers questions for us without even having to say a word.
When did you get bitten by the Backpackers ‘Travel bug’?
Like I had mentioned above it was 5 years ago when I booked that 4 month solo trip to Asia, through Free and Easy Traveler. I kicked it off with a 21 day trip through Thailand, Laos and Cambodia! Then set off on my own…. That was the start of it all. I met some life long friends, learned a ton about traveling, culture and the freedom I felt was just something else, something only other travelers can relate too. Living out of a backpack is so freeing. We really don’t need much to get by!
What are the top 5 items you pack for your adventures?
Well it does depend what ‘adventures’ I am going on buttttttt lets say I am headed on a day hike… I always pack:
- My cellphone
- Peanut butter / Apples or bananas
- Mini first aid kit
Nothing like a piece of chocolate to celebrate getting to the summit :p
If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you say?
I would give two… 1) LISTEN to your gut and 2) ‘mistakes’ are proof that you are trying. So many times I have turned to friends or other people for advice… and asked so many people that things would just get confusing…. When really if I would have just listened to my gut and followed that things would’ve worked out better. Our gut doesn’t lie… yes sometimes it doesn’t speak to loudly but take time for yourself and DO NOT try pleasing everyone. I grew up a people pleaser and would drain myself. I would often forget about the most important person… that being myself. My happiness is important too. Though like I said about ‘mistakes’… I have made thousands and wouldn’t take back a single one. Make em’, learn from em’ and keep on truckin!
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
I would want to FLY! I have always wanted to fly. Birds amaze me and it would be super cool to have a birds eye view of everything around you. One of the reasons I truly LOVE flying. Airports… planes. Love em. I use to want to teleport but then I thought to myself… transportation is half the fun in traveling. The buses. Boats. Taxis… Elephants :p its all part of the fun!
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Well 5 years ago I would have said the same thing that I am going to write now. I didn’t expect I would be where I am at 25 but can’t change that! I thought I would be in a stable 8-4 job, engaged… or married with a kid! Oh and dog(s)! But here I am single, traveling the world, having left that stable 8-4 desk job kind of unsure where I am gonna be with ‘work’ in the next couple years but I have accepted the confusion and am taking it day by day for now. I don’t even know where I want to live! I have some goals and going to keep pushing forward and focusing on those. I want all those things by the time I am 30 though they will happen as they happen and I will continue to put passion into everything I do. Networking, adventuring, and things will happen when they are meant too. I may be back in the realm of social work, in the school district, or working for an outdoor company, or hey I may be a FT mom. I only know one thing for 100% certain and that’s that I WILL have a husky pup :p