And I have a lot of feelings

I'm Maddie

But the real "unlock" for me, was figuring out that I have an affinity for articulating those feelings and then sharing them with the world. 

But the real "unlock" for me, was figuring out that I have an affinity for articulating those feelings and then sharing them with the world. 

But who am I, really? I’m glad you asked. But the truth is, I’m a bit of a (undeniably messy, but always optimistic) work-in-progress. My name is Madeline Millsip, and I was born and raised in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. I am brave, courageous, audacious, honest, gritty, and witty. And I am slowly learning the power of simply leaning into “who I am” at this present moment, instead of being caught up in where I’ve been and what’s to come.

I show others the power of healing outdoors and out loud

But I also understand that woven through THE DAYS OF my past, present, and future is a powerful story of devastation, survival, and hope that cannot be forgotten nor ignored.


In 2019 my Sister's death by suicide stripped me of everything I supposedly knew about life. Amidst horror and a desperation for healing, I reverted to my only truth left: the oceans and the mountains. Growing up in the outdoors, these two elements of the wild had always provided a warm, welcoming embrace. So in the depths of my darkest days, it was only natural to ask myself: If I cannot not find contentment in the outdoors, how could I ever start to trickle it down into the other areas of my life that were desperately searching for it? I needed to rebuild. The only thing I knew with even a semblance of clarity was that the outdoors would need to be my foundation. 

So the year after losing my sister, I leaned further into the outdoors than ever before: trail running local mountains, tackling the Sunshine Coast Trail, conquering my first solo multi-day trip on the West Coast Trail, crushing my first ultramarathon, trail racing for five days in the Costa Rican jungle, and motorcycling across our beautiful province. Along the way, I painfully retrieved pieces of my "self" that had been ripped and torn from my being. But what I soon realized, was that these adventures were only momentary distractions. I would arrive home to a heart still overflowing with despair and a mind still overrun with racing thoughts about life and death.

And then one day, I decided to write them down.

AND THAT'S WHEN THE HEALING—and UNINTENTIONAL MAGIC— FINALLY BEGAN.

It started with barely-legible half-sentences in the notes on my Phone. They were thoughts I was afraid I would lose if I didn't put them somewhere. Then, as my "grief fog" started to lift, I began to transform each half-sentence into precise narratives of the moments spent battling with my mind. They were raw, gritty, unabridged. They were also gentle, considerate, and thoughtful. They were not an outlet for my anger, but rather, a home for my heart.

And then one day, I hit "publish"

At first, sharing publicly came from a place of desperation. Consumed by my grief, I felt isolated and damaged. I wanted nothing more than to have the people around me understand why my eyes were glazed over, why I was the quietest person in the room, why it was an accomplishment for me to wake up or go to sleep. This desperation was so overwhelming that it trumped my fear of judgment; of being perceived as weak, needy, or vying for attention.

And, as the days rolled onward I continued to hit "publish". To my surprise, I was met with nothing but words of affirmation, kindness, love, and admiration. And with it, I realized an even more powerful outcome of sharing publicly: being open about my struggles with grief and loss allowed me to close the gap between the face I show in a crowd and the person I am on the inside. It removed the dissonance between who people saw and who I truly am; lifting a weight off my shoulders and removing a lump from my throat. There would be no more need to decide "when" or "how" or "why" to share. I would simply share when I needed to, without hesitation.

What I've learned as a result, is that there is nothing more freeing than saying your own truth out loud. And that's where it all came together: my desire to show others the power of healing outdoors and out loud.

WHERE MY ADVENTURES BEGAN

First, through leading by example, sharing detailed narratives of my own trials, tribulations, and triumphs in the outdoors and with grief and loss (two untangle-able facets of my life)

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Second, by providing a collection of resources to equip you with the know-how and courage to get outdoors yourself, and to empower you with the tools to write about your own wild adventures.

It was New Year's Eve 2005–just a few minutes before the BC Provincial Parks registration would open. My Dad and Brother were signing up for the Bowron Lakes -- an epic journey involving 110 KMs of paddling and portaging in the wilderness.

The excitement was palpable. I'm not sure what my Dad saw in my eyes, but right before the phone lines opened, he looked my way and asked:
"Do you want to come too?" I yelped as my heart took over: "YES".

This would be my first REAL adventure. What I didn't know at the time, was that this would also be the impetus for a lifetime of adventures.

As a result of that first trip to the Bowron Lakes, I grew up immersed in the outdoors, enthralled by the warm, welcoming embrace of the ocean and rugged-backdrop of the coastal mountains. As a result, the outdoors has always been my place of refuge, reflection, and release—the place where I always seem to stumble upon my widest smiles and my most authentic self.

I originally cultivated my love for the outdoors as an avid ocean kayaker (and was fortunate enough to build my own boat at age 13!), weaving ocean-time into my jam-packed schedule as a figure skater, varsity wrestler, and business-student. I've now bridged who I am with what I do, working at a Vancouver-based athletic apparel retailer. Lately, I identify most as a trail runner, ultramarathoner, fastpacker, and adventure motorcyclist.

KAYAKING | THE BOWRON LAKES

We all start somewhere—for me, it was with a paddle in my hand and my Dad by my side.

My Adventure Resume

100 KM, 12 Days, July 2006

KAYAKING | THE DEER GROUP

80 KM, 12 Days, July 2007

KAYAKING | THE BROKEN GROUP

85 KM, 9 Days, July 2008

BICYCLING | JASPER TO VANCOUVER

1200 KM, 18 Days, Aug 2016

TRAIL RUNNING | RLAG MARATHON, bc

42 KM, 1 Day, June 2018 & 2019

psssssst... I love to share about these adventures! 

ft. my grandest adventure milestones

What happened here?! A short break from the big adventures to crush high school wrestling, travel the globe with business school, and kick-start my career!

My email inbox and Instagram DMs are always open if you'd like to chat about any of these trips in detail. Just send your question my way!

Building my ocean kayak over 10 months in 2008

TRAIL RUNNING | ORCAS MARATHON, WA

45 KM, 1 Day, May 2019

FASTPACKING | SUNSHINE COAST TRAIL

180 KM, 8 Days, May 2019

FASTPACKING | WEST COAST TRAIL, BC

75 KM, 4 Days, June 2019

TRAIL RUNNING | GOLDEN ULTRA, BC

85 KM, 3 Days, Sept 2019

TRAIL RUNNING | COASTAL CHALLENGE

175 KM, 6 Days, Feb 2020

TRAIL RUNNING | SOUTHERN CHILCOTINS

70 KM, 3 Days, July 2020

MOTORCYCLING | CHILCOTIN-KOOTENAYS

2400 KM, 9 Days, July 2020

Adventure and Writing Resources 

The Complete Trail Running Backcountry Packing List

GRAB YOUR COPY NOW!

MY FOUR WEEK ADVENTURE WRITING CHALLENGE

GET WRITING, TODAY!

A collection of resources to equip you with the know-how and courage to get out there yourself, and to empower you with the tools to write about your own wild adventures.

TRAIL RUNNING

20 Reusable Adventure Writing Prompts

GET WRITING, TODAY!

ADVENTURE WRITING

Four-Week
Adventure Writing Challenge

COMING SOON

ADVENTURE WRITING

Grab My Freebies

ADVENTURE

LIFE, LOVE, LOSS

Rainy Day Reads

Stories That Call My Bookshelf "Home"

These are the books that have entranced me, from start to finish. They tell stories of finding perspective and resilience in the face of life, love, and loss—and with the flip of each page, they captured my heart. I hope they find a home in yours, too.

Already Packing my bags!

Where I'm headed next

TRAIL RUNNING

TranSelkirks | 170 KM | 5 DAYS

MOTORCYCLING

Prince Rupert | 3400 KM | 12 DAYS

TRAIL RUNNING

Whistler Alpine Meadows | 55 KM | 1 DAY

Connect with me on social media to share in the ups, downs, hiccups, and learnings as I train and prepare for these grand adventures!

Follow along with my journey!

INSTAGRAM

PINTEREST

July 2021

Aug 2021

Sept 2021

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Packing my bags!

Adventures on the Horizon

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Packing my bags!

Connect with me on social media to share in the ups, downs, hiccups, and learnings as I train and prepare for these grand adventures!

Follow along with my journey!

INSTAGRAM

PINTEREST

MOTORCYCLING

Prince Rupert | 2400 KM

TRAIL RUNNING

TranSelkirks | 170 KM | 5 DAYS

TRAIL RUNNING

WHISTLER ALPINE | 55 KM | 1 DAY

Let's adventure, together!

All the adventure-inspiration you could need, right to your inbox! Think: beginner's guides, trip planning expertise, and wild adventures to salivate over, curated for your adventurous soul. Whether you're in the off-season or out bagging peaks, this periodic note from me-to-you will keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground!

A collection of raw, gritty, honest stories of my adventures through life, love, and loss.

Adventures, Unabridged.

All the adventure-inspiration you could need, right to your inbox!  Whether you're in the off-season or out bagging peaks, this periodic note from me-to-you will keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground!

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