About Me

Photo Credit: Elena Pressprich 

A super short version: 

I am 25 years young. A whole quarter century! My birthday is on January 22… Yes I am an Aquarius! I like puppies (huskies are the best) and animals in general. I enjoy collecting bracelets from my travels. I drink wine in moderation and coffee excessively. I LOVE my comfy stretchy clothes – baggy hoodies and outdoor gear for the win (Though I enjoy dressing up on occasion). I am a runner at heart though thoroughly enjoy hiking, road biking, camping and kayaking the most (Though I will basically take part in or try activity if in involves being outside!).  I love meeting new people. I have traveled to 15 countries. I am not a ‘professional’ photographer – though I very much enjoy playing with my camera and learning’

 I have 3 sisters. Family is #1.  xo

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A ‘tad’ bit little longer version:

Born and raised in Red Deer, AB, Canada, currently living in Canmore, a small mountain town in the Rocky Mountains. I have a thirsty heart for adventure and travel. Growing up in a family with 3 sisters… I was always known as the ‘tomboy’, ‘Daddy’s girl’, ‘Curious’ one. I was outside as often as I could be, getting dirty, exploring and socializing.

I worked towards obtaining my BSW Social Work Degree) while working in the Red Deer Public School District for 5 years as an Educational Assistant with at risk youth, before transitioning to the schools Youth Worker/Resiliency Coach. I was always taking part in the Outdoor Education programs and acting as the female chaperone on field trips. This is where I saw the greatest growth in the youth and where I found I ‘shined’ the most and really connected with the youth. I recently made the personal decision to leave the school district in June 2015 to take on some new goals full time and try my hand at combining my passion for people, empowerment and  inspiration with my love for the outdoors.

Instagram has played a HUGE role in connecting me with other like minded people and I am so happy to have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing individuals through the tiny app. We all have reasons as to why we get outside and reap the benefits of the outdoors. Each personal story is unique and I LOVE hearing people speak about their passion for mother nature. I have my own personal growth story and the outdoors surely helped me get through some tougher times. I transitioned slowly from being quite the ‘addicted runner’ to a more balanced outdoor enthusiast: kayaking, biking, hiking, camping, trail running etc. The more I chat with other outdoor enthusiasts the more I begin to see how the outdoors have similar impacts on the lives of others.

I truly believe that ECO-THERAPY is > any other therapy.

I am currently working with a number of outdoor companies through my instagram @brookewillson / Tourism Boards, in the ‘Social Media Marketing world’ on various projects. Whether it be through ambassadorship or sponsorship, creating content for them through: blogging, photography, consulting, gear reviews, promotion, etc. I often collaborate with other photographers/videographers on project, as I do not promote myself as a ‘photographer’ per say, where instead it is my ‘lifestyle’ that people are following along with (Though hey, if I can improve my photography skills then AWESOME!)

I have a number of things I am working towards on the side and hope I can share some of these  bigger plans with you all soon! More focused on community connection and empowerment. Though until then, I will just keep doing what I love: staying active and getting outside, in hopes of inspiring, connecting and encouraging others to get outside and share their own stories.

Sure pictures inspire us, though it/s the conversations and stories that truly connect us. ‘Get Inspired. Get Connected. Get Outside.’ is my motto, and my hashtag #freshairandfreedom speaks for itself.

A longer way more detailed version:

A 24 year old gal born and raised in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. I just recently moved to Canmore (A small little mountain town 15 minutes East of Banff). I was constantly commuting 2+ hours each way to the mountains and have found it’s best I just ‘live’ here!

I graduated high-school in 2008 and jumped right into the Social Work Diploma Program at my local college where I spent 2 years running for the x-country running team. I enrolled in Social Work due to my HUGE passion for people and helping others. I LOVE listening to people’s stories and am intrigued by people’s differences and the diversity in our population. After receiving my diploma I saved up some money waitressing and then took off on a 4-month solo trip to Asia, where I traveled through 5 countries (Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos and Cambodia). I can hands down say it was the best time of my life thus far – talk about changing my whole perspective on life, the challenges that came with it, learning, growth, experiences and friendships made. The travel bug definitely got the best of me.

I came back and was instantly like ‘yep traveling is what I want to do and I am going to some day figure out a way to incorporate my passion for helping people, adventure and travel’. I have travelled to 15 countries, and when I am not traveling outside my country I am enjoying everything my country has to offer me in my own backyard… which happens to be the BEAUTIFUL Alberta Rocky Mountains.

I can be honest and say that I surely wasn’t ALWAYS as into the MTNS as I am today. My story is a little more complicated…

As a runner throughout College I can say I definitely became addicted to the endorphins and running lifestyle. I was running 20+ km a day and it was taking a toll on my body. I loved routine. I would run morning and night and surely wasn’t fueling my body properly. I was always injured. I was tiny. My body was tired. I was put on crutches at one point due to a stress fracture in my hip. Basically my body was telling me ‘Brooke you need some changes in your life’. So I was more or less ‘forced’ to take on new activities.  My friend and I both bought road bikes, then we bought snowshoes, skate skis, camping gear, kayaks and more gear to go hiking! This is when my love for the MTNS and the outdoors really began. The endorphins that were produced from summiting MTNS, hiking far and exploring beautiful lakes, valleys, and by pushing myself in new activities other then just running, had my body loving me a lot more. My mind was also more at ease and I began to feel much more ‘balanced’.

As young women we all struggle with self-esteem and confidence. The pressure to be ‘perfect’ and to fit that ideal image is a lot these days, especially for the younger generation who is growing up amongst social media. I can say that by spending time in the outdoors, among others who were also enjoying nature’s benefits I really began to veer away from that. Don’t get me wrong, I am still a runner at heart and I enjoy being fit and healthy but like I said earlier, I am a lot more balanced now and I can thank Mother Nature for that! Mother Nature doesn’t ask questions, or judge us, she understands, and so do many other people that spend most of their time outside! Instagram has been a huge help in connecting me with like-minded people and I have found many of them also have amazing stories, as to why they feel most like ‘themselves’ outdoors. It’s inspiring and I love connecting with others.

My hashtag #freshairandfreedom encompasses so much meaning for me, and it seems to do the same for many others (With over 55,000 shares!). I believe there is HUGE benefit in nature and getting outside and breathing the fresh air. It brings us a sense of freedom. Freedom from the chaos at work, the hectic life in the city, difficulties we may be having in relationships with friends, family or significant others. The fresh air has a way of setting things in order, bringing us back to center and answering questions. My hope is to continue to connect like minded people and inspire people to get outside and reap the benefits (Eco-therapy I like to call it).

Due to my larger following on Instagram and active lifestyle, I began receiving emails from companies looking to collaborate, and from followers who were inspired and/or wanting advice on getting outside, traveling etc. These types of messages began to become more frequent as I began to grow and soon came a point in time where I thought to myself  ‘I think I am onto something here’. I ended up making a personal decision to leave my 8-4 Mon – Fri secure job with the school district, at the end of June this past year (June 2015) to take on new projects/goals full time. I was going to try my hand at ‘Social Media Marketing’ thing and work towards combining my passion for people, empowerment and inspiration, with my passion for the outdoors and attempt to carve my own route in ‘eco-therapy’.

I would like to be able to say what my EXACT end goal is right now, though I am unable to say exactlyyyyy so I am just going to leave it at that and take things more day by day for a while and continue to do what I do best, and what I love: getting outside, while inspiring others, connecting them and encouraging other people to share their own personal stories as to why they chose to get outside (Like I just shared with you). Sure picctures may inspire us, but it is truly the conversations and stories that connect us.

‘Get Inspired. Get Connected. Get Outside.’

22 thoughts on “About Me

      • Ahhh Will I appreciate the kind words. I dont think age has much to do with how we are it is def experience :p haha I feel old at 25 now! Where has the time gone?! I wouldnt take back a single experience I have had – even though they were tough its led me to where I am and I kinda like where I am at :p

        Thanks! Sorry I never replied. I hope you had a BLAST up in Alberta – Sorry I never got to see you!

        Brooke xx

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  1. Hi Brooke! This is all great stuff. It has been a long time dream of mine to be able to take a solo trip like you did! I would love to hear any tips you might have for a broke college student such as myself (specifically budgeting and costs and overall how you made the trip happen.)

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  2. Hey Brooke!
    I have been following you on IG for a while now (I began due my obsession with the mountains as I am a misplaced prairie girl and loved your photos) and sort of “hopped along” on your journey with you. Such a great decision you have made to be where you are and it’s really nice to learn who you are through the site here! I had no idea about your passion for running, so I learned something new! You are definitely far more balanced now (20 km run every day is amazing though!) and you are so right about the pressures we face. You are even more right about Mother Earth as she never judges and she has healing powers like no other! Congrats on getting this website going and thanks for inspiring women and men of all ages to follow our hearts! ~Janet (Northernlove93 on IG)

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    • JANETTTT! You have been such a big supporter of mine and I LOVE the responses and engagement 🙂 It def helps keep me going – its people like you I am hoping to inspire.

      Yep Running has and always be a HUGE part of who I am… It was a tough past but it led me to now! And I kinda like where I am at ahhaha. Thanks so much for the congrats on the website – sorry it has taken me SOOOO long to reply. I need to get better with that!

      xoxo Brooke

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  3. I somehow stumbled across you on Instagram as my curiosity towards hiking/backpacking/exploring grew and grew. After following along your story, my travel bug tarted to itch more and more. I have an 8 week volunteer trip coming up in May with a program called American Conservation Experience (sound familiar?), and I was hoping to hear some tips from you on how you made your travel experiences into a career such as being an ambassador. I would love to do what you do for a living!

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  4. Hey lil’ lady,
    I must say its been a real pleasure watching you become who you are! I am inspired by you & the way you are seeing the beauty all around you..
    We seriously need a catch up. Maybe next time I’m in the mountains I’ll shoot you a message.
    Stay well

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  5. Brooke!!! I can’t believe how far you’ve gone with your love of travelling and the outdoors already! I’m so happy for you and LOVE following along on your adventures with you via IG. We’re definitely missing you in the school district but I would say you have DEFINITELY found your passion and what you were meant to do in life! Congratulations on all your successes so far! I can’t wait to see where you are able to take #freshairandfreedom and ‘Eco-therapy’!!

    Can’t wait to join you on a hike someday soon! All the best!

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    • Courtney!!! THanks so much for replying! Hope all is going well with you! It is crazy to think how far I have come as well but I jumped into it FT and kinda forced myself to make opportunities for myself! I do miss the kids and the district and I can say its been insane trying to make all this work but have to work hard for what ya want right? We create our own opportunities 🙂 WHo knows maybe one day I will be back in the district! Time will tell 🙂

      Thanks sooooo much for the congrats! #freshairandfreedom has HUGE meaning to me.. along with eco-therapy 🙂 I have some plans for it all thats for sure!

      Yes would LOVE to have you on a hike as well! Dont hesitate to message me !

      Brooke xo

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  6. What an amazing journey! Thank you for sharing your pictures and adventures on Instagram. I love the website idea. I’m at the same place you were with running and trying to find other alternatives outdoors. I’m addicted to the fresh air and freedom where all the stresses of life seem to melt away. Keep sharing your thoughts, adventures and pictures. You are wise beyond your years and you are leaving your footprints on more lives than you realize. IG: @lpteach2

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    • Hey Lauren! Thanks so much for your reply! Your welcome :p I hope you are able to find more balance and seek other activities outdoors! Dont hesitate to email me or DM me on insta to ask for advice or if you have any questions! I will check out your IG account!

      Thanks for the words girl – keep getting outside and taking advantage of that Fresh Air!!!!

      Brooke xx

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  7. Hi Brooke!!

    I recently just stumbled upon you and after reading your blog I see so much of myself in you. I don’t know if you know your personality type but I am an ENFP and I feel like you would be too! I myself am from Canada, have worked in the educational system & camps, have a degree in a social science (psychology) and a passion for travel and people.

    I saw that you have been to Webster’s Falls in Hamilton – those are my stomping grounds! I hope you got to do the hike to Dundas Peak while you were visiting.

    Your blog and instag have me feeling inspired again after a recent return from a solo backpacking trip.

    I would love if you could check out my site so we can connect!

    instagram.com/mskeccles
    http://www.kaylaeccles.wix.com/runningamok

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  8. Your freaking sweet gal. Don’t know how I came across your website but your exactly the inspiration I’ve needed! Eventually want to move up to banff after doing some travels and would be more then awesome to connect with you when I’m up there! Cheers

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  9. Brooke! My goodness your story is inspiring and it’s not even over yet! I love following your adventures and hearing all of your stories and what not. You are so amazing and I would love to do the things you do someday. I’m fortunate enough to live in beautiful Colorado with our breath taking mountains, so maybe I’ll start there!😉 You are a totally awesome woman to follow and I hope you never stop! Thanks for being radical!!

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  10. Hey Brooke! My name is Gwen and I live in Wisconsin and ever since 2 years ago I needed to get my feet dirty and be going places and traveling. Yet the only problem was that I was only 10. Now I’m 12 and I follow you on Instagram and your pictures make me so jealous and just wanting me to go out and explore. I always take spring break as a privilege because it’s the only time that my family will really “travel” I have been to a lot of states yet never been out of the country. I always dreamed of being a National Geographic photographer, yet now I just want to help animals all over the world,travel, and get to meet new people!! Also I’ve been dreaming of climbing Mt.Everest with one of my best friends and we haven’t stoped thinking about that. I love going hiking by Lake Michigan and swimming in the water seeing all the rocks, and getting to see a few fish. I love going snorkeling and getting to see a lot of fish and sometimes crabs! I love kayaking with my friends at the lake and getting to go on adventures with them! I wanted to tell you this because you always have great pictures, and have inspired me to ask my mom if we can go to Hawaii for next spring break😂

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  11. Hi Brooke, Found your site by accident. But soo happy I did. What a life you have!!
    I was looking at places to kayak and a picture of you turned up. Your in a kayak on a lake, I think. You have your back to the camera and your wearing a red baseball cap. Can you tell me where that is?? And can I get in and paddle or do I need permits or ? I think it’s by Nordegg?? Great pic of you and your family. I look like your father. Same white beard. Same jeans. Same leather jacket. Lol.thanks for any info you can give me.
    Patrick

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