Hanson Family Camping _jpg_t285For as long as I can remember, I've been encouraged to explore. My earliest memories are of family camping trips into the heart of Algonquin and the interior of Killarney Provincial Parks. Looking back at my family's earliest photographs of our adventures, I can't say that much has changed in the quarter century that has passed (although I am thankful that I've since chosen to ditch the side ponytail and Ghostbusters rain suit). My early beginnings as a campfire-loving, bug-catching, mud-puddle-jumping, tree-climbing tot sparked in me a love for the natural world that has been nurtured and grown into a full-blown passion for everything outdoors. Imagine my excitement when explore, the magazine whose issues littered my family living room for decades, offered me the opportunity to blog for them! I could not be more thrilled.

You're probably wondering, 'Who is this girl, anyway?' Well, ask no more. I've always been a small town girl, growing up on a small family farm, north of Toronto, Ontario. I've been lucky to have played the role of 'oldest sister' to four younger siblings and of daughter to an amazing pair of 'campy' parents. I've always spent my summers exploring-on family camping trips, at the family cottage in Apsley, Ontario, at Camp Huronda on the shores of Lake Waseosa in Huntsville.

After pursuing degrees in both kinesiology and education, I made the decision to follow my passion for the outdoors and step outside of the box (read: classroom) I felt I was stuck in as a teacher. I began working on an exciting new initiative that outdoor adventure and experiential health education a non-profit organization called Connected in Motion, whose mission is to use physical activity and outdoor education as a forum for experiential diabetes education.

Although Connected in Motion is still in its infancy, my work with the organization has allowed me some pretty amazing experiences over the past year. I've paddled the waters of northern Ontario, hiked the Rocky Mountains of Alberta and splashed in the cool Pacific waters off the coast of Vancouver Island. All while helping others discover their passion for the outdoors and for experiential education.

I would never say that I am an outdoor specialist, in any way, shape or form but I proudly think of myself as a well-rounded lover of the outdoors and Canadian outdoor culture-Just an every day girl who prefers a rocky trail to a city street, a pristine skyline to a cityscape, the crackle of a campfire to the buzz of traffic. But really, who doesn't?

I'm very excited to be joining the explore community and sharing my adventures and experiences. I hope to inspire others to get outdoors, be active and explore all that mother nature offers.

 

 
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