Outdoorists have the unique opportunity to create change. This week's guest is the incredible Katie Boué - outdoor advocate and creative powerhouse. Katie shares the importance of finding nuance in complicated topics, her method of distilling policy issues into bite sized nuggets, and how she finds balance in her work and herself.
Follow Wheelie on Instagram: @wheeliecreative
Don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss new episodes every Thursday, found wherever you get podcasts.
Photo courtesy Johnie Gall.
Lisa: Welcome to episode 16 of season 4. It's us, it's your hosts, Lisa and Iris from Wheelie.
Lisa: Welcome back and thank you for being here. Today is a fun episode.
Iris: It is a new month, the month of June, and we have a new word of the month, which is…
Computer Robot Voice: Joy. Joy. J-J-J-Joy.
Iris: And what does joy mean Lisa?
Lisa: Well, according to our friends at dictionary.com, joy is a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Example: tears of joy.
Iris: Yeah. So we're going to talk about something pretty positive this month, the feeling of joy and where our guests find it in their lives, how they seek out joy. Yeah. It's going to be good.
Lisa: Jubilation. Triumph. Exaltation. Rejoicing. Happiness. Glee. Exhilaration. These are all good things.
Iris: Those are great synonyms you have there.
Lisa: I like big words.
Iris: So today our first guest to talk about the word Joy is the incredible outdoor activist Katie Boué. Katie does a lot of work in the outdoor industry. She's spent lots of years working with outdoor policy and bringing issues surrounding the outdoors and public lands to the masses. And she is on a freelance journey right now and I'm finding a new place for her work and this is a really interesting conversation. So Katie talks about finding joy in the desert and she talks about her work in the outdoor industry and being committed to finding nuance in really complicated topics. She talks about finding time for self-care and how her dog Spaghetti gets her outside. So Katie does a lot of work in lots of different areas of the outdoor industry and she has a lot of things to talk about. So let's get to it.
Lisa: So Katie, thank you so much for being here today.
Katie: Yeah, thank you guys for having me on. I'm really excited, just spent the weekend out in the desert in Moab with some creative women and it really,I think, set a good energy for this podcast today for me.
Lisa: Awesome. That's so great. The very, very first question we ask everybody is to tell us where you are right now and what you're looking at.
Katie: So right now I am sitting cross-legged on my floor in my office at home in Salt Lake City. I am looking at my Boston fern and my fiddle fig and my sweet potato vine and a mess of plants and just trying to find some sunshine. It looks like sunshine is going to happen by the end of this podcast, but right now it's a little cloudy.
Lisa: That's cool. So you are back home in Salt Lake City.
Katie: Yes back home enjoying a week-long period of being home before hitting the road again.
Lisa: Oh cool. And so tell our audience a little bit about yourself and the work that you do because I know a lot of it involves traveling around in a van and outdoor advocacy and I just love to hear what you’ve got going on.
Katie: So the work that I do... I finally found the one-liner for it, and I think that that's a struggle that so many of us creatives have because we wear so many hats and we dip into so many buckets and people are like, so what do you do? It's like well, I do some social media consulting, and some Talent work, and also public speaking, and I have a podcast, and... and... and... and so my one liner that I finally, you know, after 10 years of working in the outdoor space have nailed down is, I take big complex ideas specifically around outdoor policy and policy changes. So everything from public lands to climate change. And I take those huge ideas and I distill it down into social media-able bites that anyone can learn from, get psyched on, and then take action on.
Lisa: Wow, and what is an example of that? Because that sounds totally amazing.
Katie: So I think a great example would be the Vote the Outdoors campaign that I worked on through the Outdoor Industry Association last year for the midterm elections and it's essentially just taking these big ideas that we have going on in society, in our culture right now, and making it accessible to everyone. So we just took all the huge ideas that were floating around around the election and distilled it into a campaign that people could identify with and connect to and really galvanize around. So, you know, looking at the different candidates in an election and there's like all these big ideas about how they feel about healthcare and how they feel about taxes.
But for us, a lot of us are... we're really honed in on all those things, but also deeply into the outdoor space. So we took this whole election and translated to like so what does this mean for an outdoors person? What does this candidate’s stance on climate change mean for the places you love to play in? So kind of like, taking all these huge things and translating them into something that our community can understand and see how they're affected by because all of this affects us, right?
Lisa: Wow, so what… when you sit down to kind of do that distilling process with information, what are some of the key things you look for to help distill everything to social media bite-sized info?
Katie: So one of the first things that I look at is what's the connection point so, how can someone like me, how can someone… just like the everyday outdoorist, what is their connection to this? And how is it going to affect them? Because that's how we get people to care about these issues. And that's step one, raise... getting people's attention. And then figuring out how we can take this information, sometimes it's something really complicated like the public lands package that just went through Congress recently. And that was like a 600 page document. So how can we take those 600 pages of dense information and distill it into, you know, a 200 character tweet. So it's like taking the meat of things and what really stands out and the unique points that identify with our community and it usually starts as a big mess.
There's a lot of brainstorming and creative process that goes behind it all and how can we take really complicated language, and what's a way to say this in an approachable way. Or how can we take a piece of legislation and share that through an image. What's the photo that's going to capture this bill?
So there's a lot of creative problem solving which I love and it keeps me on my toes. And I think combining the real heavy aspects of policy work and this changemaking with the beauty and creativity of, you know, the creative work and the marketing behind it creates this really fun storm that I think is a joy to work in.
Lisa: Nice and you just said the key word of the podcast, because the word of the month for June is joy. And so every month we have everybody on the podcast talk about what that word means to them. So when you hear Joy what comes to mind for you?
Katie: Joy, maybe it's because I was just there but I hear joy and I'm immediately transported outside to the desert in the sun. Joy to me is a place. It really, it's a very specific place in the desert in southern Utah. But I think that joy is a practice. It's an exercise. It's something that I don't think we get enough of these days, you know, where we've become a culture so consumed by objectives and measurements and analytics and I think that we've lost a little bit of touch with joy.
So joy for me right now is a huge priority. I just stepped away from nearly five years of work at my job that really was the stepping stone for me into all this work and was a huge milestone and a huge gift in terms of furthering my career. But I realized that I had lost my joy in the work that I was doing. And so I stepped away from that largely to reinvigorate my work and I think that one of the ways we reinvigorate our work is by refocusing on joy, you know, remembering what... where we find joy and I think that in the outdoor space in particular, there's so much room for joy to be a driving force in the work that we do. So, I'm really just trying to focus on that right now. How can I bring more joy in?
Lisa: And how do you find joy in the outdoors? What does that feel like to you?
Katie: Joy in the outdoors, for me, more recently has been tied to this idea of idleness. That workshop that I referenced that I was just at in the desert was a weekend retreat with just a bunch of wonderful outdoor women. And one of them was this woman, Kit, who has something she calls the idle theory. Which is just this idea of us idling, just going outside to exist, just to be and to kind of soak it in and you know, there's... there's a lot to be said for going outside and wanting to send hard or tackle a huge objective, but her perspective was, let's bring it back to just being. Just idle outside, just, you know, feeling the sand beneath your feet, feeling the warmth of the sun. Just taking it all in. And so I've been trying to practice that more and that is... I mean, talk about Joy. When you have nothing to tick off, nothing pressuring you, nothing that you need to try hard for, it just simply is. And I think that... that is just so joyous because there's so much joy to be soaked up from these places, especially the desert. You know, I'm pretty biased toward the desert if you can't tell already.
Lisa: Oh, yeah, that's awesome. I tend to find a lot of joy in movement outside. So it'd be interesting to try this Idle Theory and get joy from basically, like, non-movement and being sedentary outside.
Katie: Yeah, and it's interesting because I think, you know, we think of this, like, idleness as just kind of sitting there, like, oh, that should be so easy to do, you know, you just plop a chair down and sit. But it was really hard for a lot of us initially to practice and that's why I call it kind of like a practice, like it's almost like a meditation as an exercise. It's something you have to work towards because ironically we've become a culture where just idling is a hard task. It's hard to ask someone to just sit down.
Lisa: Yes, it really is. [both laugh] Yeah, and so for you, I mean, another popular topic always is work-life balance. And because you do invest so much of yourself and your passion and your joy into the work that you do, and you're traveling a lot and like, living it. What... what does joy look like to you and work-life balance and how do you know that your nourishing yourself enough when you're out on the road for work?
Katie: Ooh, I love that. I think one of the indicators to me of if I'm taking care of myself properly, if I'm balancing work, play, and joy, is reflected through my plants. So I spent many, many years either living on the road full-time or bopping around so frequently that you know, I couldn't have plants. I didn't have an actual home that was my own. And now I have over... I think we're pushing like 60 plants now in our house and for me, it's like, when I see my plants starting to struggle, it means that I haven't been taking care of them, which means that I haven't been taking care of myself, either. This idea of taking care is really important to me and over the last few years. I think this is something that probably every outdoor creative can identify with especially if you touched any sort of political or policy related work in the last three years since Trump was elected is there's this strong, strong burnout.
I'm really... I think, coming out from the other side, I hope, of just this incredible burnout. We all put so much of ourselves into our work and with the political climate that we're dealing with right now, we really just ran ourselves into the ground. And I lost a few plants during that time which is, you know, a reflection of like, so if I'm not taking care of my plants well enough and all they need is some water, think of all the things that I need. If I can't keep this plant alive, like how am I treating myself? So I think that's always a really interesting thing to consider and a good metric, too, you know, if you want to see how well you're doing it taking care of yourself trying to take care of something else.
Ad Break: Lisa, dating can be really hard. / It can be really hard to know what you want in life. / When you're trying to find the right person. You have to like go up to someone in bars or you have to download an app and you gotta swipe in different directions. It's really complicated. / You know, sometimes it's about timing and fit like who's available at the time. / Yeah. / sometimes it's about going with what you know, because your friends said they like someone or going with someone that your friend tries to set you up with. / Yeah, we've all been on dates like that where it's like. This just isn't a good fit. When can it be over? / Yes. Luckily. There's an app for dating. But you know what there's not an app for? / What? / Finding the right creative agency. / There's so many creative agencies out there. How are you going to find the right fit? / Let's just save people some time and tell them about a really great creative agency we know called Wheelie. / Oh, yeah, we do know that creative agency. / There's a fun-o-meter wheelie and so you have to like fun, be outdoorsy, have products that make a difference in the world. And basically not be boring. / Yeah, so if you thrive outside, you should swipe right on a great creative agency called Wheelie and visit wheeliecreative.com. / If you're boring swipe left.
Iris: So Lisa, I love what Katie has to say about place and finding joy as a practice, seeking, like idleness, in... in the outdoors and finding joy that way. What do you think about that?
Lisa: Yeah. I thought that was awesome. I think anything that brings a little bit of mindfulness and grounding into a work routine is extremely important and I think you know, if doing that through idling or Joy or movement, whatever it is that makes you as a person feel good and feel centered and grounded. I'm all about it. I think it's so important to figure out what works for you and pursue that and really view it as a practice not as a perfection.
Iris: Yeah, I think that as outdoor recreators a lot of times you go outside to do something and it is an interesting, interesting take on something that I think is hard for a lot of people is going outside to be versus like accomplishing a goal or like doing an activity. That's something to think about like finding yourself and... and just existing in a place.
Lisa: That's awesome. When I go outside, I feel like I'm there for two reasons these days, which is either to participate and you know, very fast repetitive motion such as mountain biking or running or, you know, paddleboarding. Movement. I really love movement, but then I also find myself like looking at the way that light hits things and I'm always scoping for photoshoots now and it's... I'm always like observing for different, you know thinking about different clients and thinking about different projects and scoping and constantly almost like working and not turning my brain off. So I do think it would be extremely beneficial to mindfully just be.
Iris: Yeah, I think both ways are beneficial. Just get outside. Okay, let's get back to Katie.
Lisa: And you have a dog?
Lisa: As well. So does that method also apply to you and your dog? Which I think I think his name is Spaghetti?
Katie: Her name is Spaghetti. Yeah, and she. She's a little bit harder to read I think than my plants, she's always stoked. So I think, you know, you could like, forget her breakfast and she would still just be running around stoked. So she's a little bit more difficult, but she does, she has been a great accountability partner for making sure that I go outside every day. That's another irony, I think of working in the outdoor space is that we often get so wrapped up in these projects and these deadlines in our work that we forget to go outside, you know, we’ll spend four days cooped up writing about how other people should go outside but we haven't left our couch and days and I think that Spaghetti has been a really great constant reminder that I need to go outside every single day. Even if it's just a quick walk around the block. She helps me remember to get out there and just... and slow down, too. She's been a great contributing partner to my pursuit of finding joy through slowing down because Spaghetti doesn’t move fast. So once you're on Spaghetti time you really you notice everything around you more.
And we have this van now, a 1993 Mitsubishi Delica that, you know, is pushing 65 on a downhill. And so when we're going uphill struggling at like 30 miles an hour. I've also really slowed down and started to take it all in and these are all great contributing factors to my life right now trying to help me restore that balance. And I think that's something so many listeners probably are identifying with right now is this imbalance. And in the outdoor space you would think we would have such great balance, but we don't. And how can we how can we fix it? How can we restore balance there? How can we bring more joy into our work and into ourselves, and I don't know the answer. Maybe you do.
Lisa: I, you know, I really don't know the answer to that. But you know at my company, Wheelie, a creative agency, we are closed on Fridays so that every single weekend people get a three-day weekend.
Katie: Oh, I love that.
Lisa: Yes, and then they come back reinvigorated and we live right on the Canadian border in Montana. So people can bust up to BC in the winter or do whatever they need to do.
Katie: Mmm. Sign me up. Friday's off. All right.
Lisa: Yeah it’s pretty good. Cool. And... and you you left your job because you were not feeling the 9-5.
Katie: Well, so that's a yes, and. So I worked with the Outdoor Industry Association in house for about a year, a little over a year. And really I was commuting from Denver to Boulder every single day. Yeah, and this was after I had spent a year living out of a big yellow Sprinter, like, on the total opposite side of that lifestyle spectrum, right? Like I had no structured schedule, I wasn't beholden to things like rush hour. And then I spent this year really living that grind, that 9 to 5 grind, the rush hour grind, you know, I sat in traffic for two hours a day, every single day. And it got to a point where I was crying every morning sitting in traffic. I would get so frustrated and so angry that I would just cry and I realized that like, this is no way for me to live. This is just not going to work for me. So I had this crazy idea to pitch my employers to send me out on the road. And so the OIA is a trade Association so they have members all across the country, you know from REI to Patagonia to Mom and Pop shops just small advocacy groups, so I pitched them: Listen, I love my job. I love the work that I'm doing here, you know and I had the slide deck that had all the stats on how much I had grown our social and you know, how my work had proven ROI and I said, I love this work. I want to keep doing it, but I have to leave Colorado. But here's how we can still make this work.
So I pitched this road show idea where I traveled around the country meeting up with our members across the country, hosting sustainability happy hours and trying to tell the story of the outdoors from on the road, which also got me out of that 9 to 5 schedule and the rush hour. And by some absolute miracle they bit and so I spent another year in house with them traveling and doing this thing. We called the OIA Roadshow and then from there. I eventually left OIA for a little while but returned pretty quickly and had been working with them on a freelance contract basis for the last two years before my final departure. So it was like an evolution of how do we... you know, I love this work. I love what I'm doing. How can I make this work both for the organization and for myself and my lifestyle? And I think that that has been a really eye-opening journey for me. I will never work in a cubicle again.
Lisa: As an employer. I absolutely love that you had a solution, you know, you brought up. Hey, this isn't working for me. Here's my solution that works for you and me and I think that's fantastic.
Katie: Yeah, you, you have to do that. You know, like, of course, anyone in that an office can boohoo about being really miserable being in commuter traffic, you know, that- that's a pretty universal problem that so many employees face but there's not really a solid solution to that. Unless you come up with this really wild campaign idea and create the solution. And I think that that's such a... that rings true through all of my work. So much of what I do is identifying these problems that we have, you know, like lack of federal funding for national parks or too many people going outside and negatively impacting a place on public lands or climate change. There's all these huge problems, but I think that anytime you present a problem you are only doing justice to or furthering that situation. If you're providing a solution you have to come to the table with solutions.
Lisa: Yes. I like you very much. That's awesome. So, okay, so then you're on the road, you're living your dream, kind of living your truth. And then you went full-time freelance, right? Yeah. I went full-time freelance. And I think that was another huge gift of my time spent working with the Outdoor Industry Association is that essentially, they exposed me to my clients for like the rest of my career, right? So I got to meet all these incredible people behind these brands and organizations and got exposed to such incredible work that's going on in the outdoor space. And now having gone freelance, it feels like, you know, the world is my oyster.
There's so much work to be done in this space and people are really getting excited about outdoor advocacy and brands really want to step up on outdoor advocacy. And I originally left my position at OIA with the intent of going on what I call a micro sabbatical. So kind of to really honor that burnout and what I feel is a transition in my career. I wanted to take this summer off and like really just like be off my phone and read a lot of books and not take on any new clients. And as soon as I left my job, inevitably, you know, everyone who I've been wanting to work with for the last few years, but didn't have the bandwidth to, came out of the woodwork and all these great projects are coming up and all these great clients and I'm like, well, I can't say no now! The sabbatical was a failure. But we’re working on it.
Lisa: Wow, and you do a lot of writing and then you link on social media via like short... short sentences and then inspire people to read more, right?
Katie: Mhm. Yeah. So training... my training really came in the form of writing. I studied creative writing. I... my dream is a little girl was to be an author. Writing has always been the backbone for me. Like, words are my tools, words are my paint brush. And so being able to turn it all back and bring it all back to writing is definitely a big part of my art if you will.
Lisa: Yeah, and your blog. Well, your website, theMorningFresh.com is awesome. And I love your blog!
Katie: Thank you. I... I've actually been trying to decide if I should kill it or not. Well shoot, I guess I can't now since you like it and it's on the podcast. So I guess we’ll keep it around.
Lisa: What's... what's instigating that change for you? Because that's... that's something our audience will just love to hear what you're thinking.
Katie: Well, so, this has been around for 10 years. I started writing the Morning Fresh in college as part of one of the advanced writing workshops that I was doing and it was just an exercise to write every day. So if you really dig deep and go back 10 years of blogs on that website, you'll see some weird random stuff, but it evolved. So I started going on climbing trips. I discovered climbing when I was in college and started going on climbing trips. So the blog started being. Like a trip log, it was really, you know, basically just me writing to my mom while I'm on trips to let her know that I'm still alive and more and more people started reading it and it's so it evolved with me and my work over the last 10 years.
And now I'm at this point where my calling is so clear to me, my direction and purpose is so clear to me, and I'm just wondering if the Morning Fresh as a brand is the most appropriate vessel for the work that I'm going to continue doing or, you know, do I start a new website outdooradvocacy.com or…
Katie: You know, you know, like, it's like, it's the pivot, like does the brand pivot with me? And I don't know.
Lisa: That's fun. That's a fun topic because you, you know, over a decade have evolved and so why shouldn't your brand?
Katie: Yeah, totally.
Lisa: That's cool. But you're going to continue writing no matter what, even if you rebrand or…?
Katie: Yeah, I think if I did end up rebranding I would take the content that's on the blog now, you know the stuff that really focuses on... on the outdoor topics and the community and the advocacy and policy work and move that over to a new site, but I just don't know. I mean 10 years of a website. That's... we've been through a lot together.
Lisa: Oh, yeah. Your SEO is probably Flawless.
Katie: Oh, I don't... I've never been... creative writer not SEOer, you know, so I think even with 10 years, it's still got some pretty janky SEO.
Ad Break: Are you a busy business owner that doesn't have time in the morning to make breakfast when you're running out of your door with your briefcase and your coffee? / Super dope briefcase. You look good. / Well, there are companies out there that will send frozen fruit cups right to your door. So you just pour them into your blender in the morning and you buzz it right up and it turns into delicious smoothie and it's so fast and easy. / That reminds me of a creative agency I know that takes all your ideas and blends them together into a digital strategy. Good ideas. Bad ideas. Great ideas. Our ideas. Your ideas. We take all those ideas and throw in other things like experience and strategy and facts and come up with the greatest digital strategy your bread has ever tasted. wheeliecreative.com keeping your brand delicious.
Lisa: I loved when Katie was saying about when she realized something wasn't working for her with Outdoor Industry Association, she came up with a solution. So she presented a problem and she presented a solution and I'm really impressed with that ability to see the problem and find a solution and I think that's great. I think that's how you get what you want in life is if you do mindfully think of the solution. Or at least work toward it, because maybe you don't know the solution but you're at least maybe can work toward it.
Iris: Yeah, and she could have just kept suffering because she thought that that was the only option or she could have just thrown it all away and started something totally new, but instead she saw an opportunity to keep doing what she loved and do it in a way that she loved and it worked out great.
Lisa: Great example of proactive thinking.
Lisa: And creative thinking and using creativity to solve problems.
Iris: Totally creative problem solving. Okay. Let's go back to Katie.
Lisa: And I loved what you wrote most recently about geo-tagging. It's really interesting. I haven't really seen anyone tackle the topic of geo-tagging this attainably.
Katie: Yeah, geo-tagging is one of those topics that... and in most topics, and I think that this is part of what makes my perspective unique in all these conversations is that I am so incredibly committed to the nuance in all of these really complicated topics. When we talk about things, you know, whether its climate change or geo-tagging, they're complicated. There's a lot... there... there's a lot of perspectives to consider. There's a lot of history to acknowledge. There are so many different things that play a role in forming our opinions on these huge complex ideas, and I just try my hardest to present things in a way that's thoughtful and empathetic above all else and gives us an opportunity to learn on both sides of a conversation or a perspective. You know, there's I think we've forgotten the fact that multiple things that are contradictory to each other can exist at the same time.
So with geo-tagging. Yes, geo-tagging can be a harmful tool when it comes to the pure impact on a specific public land space and at the same time. Geo-tagging can be weaponized as a gatekeeping tool to keep people out of the outdoors and those things can happen at the same time. A lot of the conversations I saw around geo-tagging were either A: geo-tagging is terrible and it's ruining the outdoors or B: geo-tagging is gatekeeping and racist. And they seem to be exclusive of each other. And I don't think that they are exclusive of each other. And I think that the only way we can really get the community to come together is once we start using our critical thinking skills and our empathy and understanding that all of these complicated things exist simultaneously and like we can acknowledge that we're all really smart humans and we have the brain power to be able to process the fact that both things exist at the same time.
Lisa: Absolutely. And the duality of things not being mutually exclusive, you know, like because one group of people is getting elevated doesn't mean that other people are not elevated as well, tight? Like I think I think that dichotomy is always really, really an interesting thing to tackle. And so it's cool. What... so what are your thoughts on geo-tagging?
Katie: Well as this airsin June my interview with NPR that I'll be doing later today while we're recording will be live and you can find out all those opinions. I'm going to be on air with the man who runs the account @publiclandshateyou have you heard of that one?
Lisa: No, I have not heard of @publiclandshateyou.
Katie: Yeah, so it's this account that addresses the issues that were currently facing of people violating Leave No Trace and just you know, generally acting a fool on public lands by calling them out. He like reposts people who you know, lay the poppy fields or whatever and then his community kind of takes up their pitchforks and like burns it down. So we're going to have a conversation about that today and my overall thoughts on this geo-tagging thing and I guess social media and Instagram and the outdoors in general are that we need to be, again, acting with empathy and compassion and we need to remember that on social media we're engaging with humans still.
I think one of my biggest qualms with social media in the digital space is that it removes that human to human connection. So many of the things that people say on the internet you would never say to someone's face you would never you know, that's not how you would engage in a conversation in real life. And I'm excited to be committed to and hopefully help be a change maker in shifting that way that we interact with the internet. And getting us to really connect back to ourselves and our intention. I think so much of it is wrapped up in intention, especially around topics like geo-tagging. Like what is your intention when you don't geotag? If you're not geo-tagging because you want somebody to say away from your special swimming hole that you found 10 years ago and you don't want anyone else to go there because it's yours and nobody else should be able to experience it. You're wrong in my opinion. You know, that.. that's gatekeeping. That's the... that's not cool. But if you're not geo-tagging because of recognizing that this specific place lacks the infrastructure to be able to handle an influx of visitors and has some really sensitive petroglyphs that aren't being protected right now. And if you send a bunch of people there you understand that you could potentially be responsible for harm coming to those petroglyphs. I think that's a totally different conversation. So it's all about examining our intentions and holding each other accountable and holding each other capable.
Lisa: Wow, so that's huge. That is that's a very, very, very huge concept to tackle.
Katie: Yeah, and I think that's why accounts like @publiclandshateyou exist right now because you know, I'm... in all these things in the outdoor space, I'm really trying to play a long game. I'm trying to change the way our culture and our community thinks and interacts with the outdoors and honors the outdoors and fosters a sense of responsibility and ownership over the outdoors. And I'm fully ready to recognize that that is a very long game. You know, that's... that's a lifetime's work and there's a lot to be handled in the immediate time frame. You know, my Kumbaya of like, let's all just learn to love the outdoors isn’t going to help the poppies that are getting trampled right now. So I think it's, you know, you got to have both. But I'm definitely committed to that long game and recognizing that in that long game there's a long transition period where the progress is slow.
Lisa: Absolutely. I can't wait until you write a book.
Katie: That was another goal of that micro sabbatical that you know, it doesn't seem to be playing out for me. But I really do... since I was a kid I've always wanted to write a book and I love the idea of writing a book around like how to become an outdoor advocate because that's the question that I get asked the most, is how do I like do what you're doing? How do I get your job and it's hard to answer because like I made it all up. I straight-up fake it till I make it, made everything up as I went along. You know, my, my dad would probably tell anyone listening to this that I am like the master BSer. No one no one can make it up the way I can and scam my way through things.
But I would love to write a book that kind of takes this accumulation of experiences and travel and adventure and work and wrap up all these anecdotes that I have with kind of like a novel workshop where you're reading these stories, but then also there are exercises embedded within the book that help people find their why. Like I have such a specific why that was developed over my life. And just what I've experienced in the places that I've been. And so taking what I've learned and helping other people guide themselves through figuring out what that why is for them. Because no one is going to have the same why that I do, no one is going to go down the same path that I do, but there are so many paths right alongside me that people can take. And I think it's really exciting to think that maybe I could write a book that would help other people find their path and outdoor advocacy and we can all become this Great Army of people who change the world and make it better and save the planet from climate change and whoo! Wouldn't that be nice.
Lisa: Yeah, well I'm in, I can't wait till you write a book because it sounds like you're living... you're living your why and you're putting problems into action. And I'm, you know, I think that's impressive.
Katie: Yeah, and it's I think another thing too is I'd love to see that become less impressive.
Lisa: Mmm, mmhmm.
Katie: You know, I think we get a lot of feedback, there are folks kind of in this weird public sphere, you know, I hate to use the word influencer, but I guess that really kind of is what it is. But when you're in that position you get a lot of comments in people like “oh it's you know, it's so amazing how you're able to have these conversations in a nuanced way.” “It's phenomenal how you're able to see these issues in this way” or go on these trips and... I'd love for that to be not a special thing. I'd love for it to just be like basic decent humanity that we can approach a topic and have a nuanced conversation about it. You know, so I'd love to normalize being spectacular.
Lisa: Also lofty. [both laugh] I love it. Is there anything I haven't asked you that you'd like to tell our audience?
Katie: I think I'd love to tell our audience that we are in such an incredible position in the outdoor space through our creative work to really take on these lofty ideas. I think that the people listening to this podcast, whoever you are listening to his podcast right now, you are a changemaker. You're in the position to be a changemaker. You have such beautiful and great responsibility placed on your shoulders. I think that working in the outdoor industry we really have a responsibility to serve the places and the outdoors which we benefit off of and we profit off of and this is our livelihood. And I think that we are so beholden to these places to dedicate our lives to giving back. And as creatives in this space, I mean, we get to have all the fun with it too. So, you know take your work seriously. Go for big lofty goals. And remember that there's so much space for joy in all of that. We don't work in the dental industry or you know, the construction industry or the postal industry. You know, we don't... we work in such a fun exciting beautiful industry and I think that we should all reap the benefits off of that. We live, we work in a joyous and we live in a joyous space and I think we should take full advantage of that.
Lisa: Well, that was really beautiful. Thank- thank you so much for being here today. And where can people follow you? Where should we direct them?
Katie: People can follow me anywhere you can find my name online, it’s Katie Boué, which is a weird, funny last name. It's B-O-U-E, you can find me on Instagram on Twitter. You can find me on Facebook if you still like Facebook, but I... I won't be participating there. You can find me on LinkedIn and of course on my blog, which I guess after this podcast we have decided to keep around and that is theMorningFresh.com.
Lisa: Awesome. Thanks so much.
Katie: Yeah. Thank you.
Lisa: Well, thank you so much to Katie for being on the podcast and much love to Spaghetti.
Iris: Yeah, thanks for being here and being our first guest for the word of the month Joy.
Lisa: If you liked that episode share it with a friend.
Iris: Yeah, you can find all of Katie’s social links in the show notes and you can also find links and transcripts and more at wheeliecreative.com/podcast and we'll be back next Thursday with a brand new episode of Outside by Design. So be sure to subscribe so you don't miss it.
Lisa: And in the meantime, go seek joy.
Iris: Yeah! Bye.