Hi!

I'm Chelsey

It’s not that fear doesn’t exist, it’s about evaluating fear and making decisions based on what’s real, what’s in your head, and what to do about it.

I’m passionate about the outdoors

In my family, we camp before we crawl. Many vacations were spent up at the cabin in the middle of the woods or sleeping in the back of grandpa’s pickup truck, both of which included campfire stories from the old mountain man who instilled my respect, curiosity, and admiration for raw, jagged, snow-covered peaks. Thus, the beginnings of my adventurous, free-spirited nature.

Studying abroad in 2008 showed me just how massive and dynamic the world is. There was more to life than the city I lived in, the people I knew, the beliefs that I held, and the things that I thought were possible. While this is something I inherently knew (as do most people), it was only by letting diversity into my bubble that it really sunk in.

After graduating college, everything was going as planned… except for my questions about where this plan even came from and if it was right for me. I liked my job. I loved my partner. I enjoyed my house. I drove a nice car. But deep-down, an uneasy feeling made me think this routine wasn’t actually supposed to be mine.

In 2010, I quit my job to spend a few months backpacking through the vibrant cultures and wild landscapes of South America. While the jungles of Ecuador were a fascinating start to my adventure, the mountains and glaciers of Patagonia stole my heart right before I made my way home. Once back, I started at another great job, got involved in my city, and lived a life that made me happy. But, at random times, the unease still whispered in my ear.

And so, in 2012, I temporarily committed myself to a new life in Chile. I wanted to reshape my “normal” and explore the mountains. I tapped into new levels of motivation and fulfillment by consistently stretching my comfort zone just enough at a time. I discovered that happiness is exponential and watched it multiply as I filled my world with activities, people, and places that brought a smile to my face. Although it was a bumpy road, one year turned to seven as I found a balance that felt just right. I shortened my work week by investing in longer days and spent most of my free time growing as a person and athlete in the mountains. The more I climbed, the more alive I felt and the more aware of myself I became. I started Finding North as a narrative on outdoor adventure and the journey to self-awareness.

I got off the plane and arrived in Chile, without many expectations, but also without really being able to understand all that this country, and the experience of living away from own, had in store for me. I got here, feeling like nothing was missing from my life, that I had all I could need and want, that I was the happiest girl in the world, but I learned that "not missing anything" doesn't mean "having everything".

It's not that one life replaces the other, not at all. I've simply come to realize that there's no limit to happiness. When I thought I was the happiest girl in the world, I didn't comprehend happiness' potential.

MeOn my 3rd anniversary in Chile

When life takes a detour, it’s good to know where you’re going

But life took a sharp turn in March 2019 with a high-altitude accident in the mountains. Unconscious overnight at 20,000 feet, hypothermia took, but gave back, the life I knew. After rescue the following day, I spent 11 days in the ICU and a total of 14 days in the hospital before undertaking an unconventional and extremely painful 7-month battle to have the best post-frostbite operation possible.

The perseverance paid off as I managed to massively reduce my glute surgery and only amputate 2/3 of the four fingers on my right hand. However, being so focused on surgery day itself, I didn’t foresee the emotional, mental, and physical struggle that awaited on the road “back” to life. It took a while to accept that my North and my life, while not dramatically different, were no longer the same.

At a moment when what I most wanted in the world was to catch up, I needed to slow down and reorient. I began to deal with the emotional aspects of my accident and push my body to recover the functionality my lifestyle required.

My journey has always been rooted in a desire to be driven by purpose. But when I added in the mountains, I tapped into an unknown level of clarity and courage. The peace of knowing my path allows me to confidently keep my head up despite whatever challenges appear along the way.

I hope you to pick up your compass and find your North. Should you need any help, browse around for coaching packages, educational and experiential outdoor activities, and numerous articles written to help you live a purpose-driven, outdoor-inspired life.

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