Chasing Cairns began in 2014 as a mechanism of accountability and a filter through which to process my thoughts and experiences. As I left behind my life of consistent obligation and professional responsibility, I knew I wanted to put in place a structure that would encourage me to mindfully embrace my nomadic existence. With that goal in mind, I designed a website that encapsulated my love of gear and food, while simultaneously creating a platform for my writing and photography.
Simply put, Chasing Cairns is an organized distillation of what I am passionate about. It allows me to be a gearhead, a health nut, an amateur moral philosopher, an athlete, and a storyteller, all through my words. Storytelling, though, will always be front and center. As an educator, I rely on my ability to convey information through enticing narratives that, if I do my job well, excite students about the possibilities of history and shifting perspectives. Even though I am far from a classroom, travel writing affords me the same opportunity with the possibility of reaching a much larger audience. As interactions, expeditions, and adventures help me grow my understanding of my own expectations, prejudices, and passions, that journey becomes my narrative arc, laid bare for anyone who wants to follow along. I learn from my experiences, no matter how big or how small, and Chasing Cairns is the journal of that learning. Transparency with an eye towards education is my goal.
From the get go, Chasing Cairns has been a journal about the way I live my life, which is why I always understood that it would likely be a lifelong project. The transient lifestyle that I adopted in order to study America’s National Parks in 2015 and 2016 continues to appeal to me. Whether I am living in my Honda Element or out of a backpack, it seems like home ownership (or even becoming a tenant) is far removed from my present reality. Chasing Cairns, therefore, will likely be a relevant part of my life for quite some time. Sure, the expedition that I designed it for has come to an end, but I will undoubtedly be processing and writing about my experiences for years to come. And you can be sure that I am already planning other projects both in the United States and abroad.