Hey, I’m Thomas. Welcome to Out and Across!
First, I want to genuinely say thanks for stopping by. There are a bazillion other things to do online, and I don’t take your scrolling time for granted. I also hope that this passion project is useful for you (or at least entertaining!).
But let’s back up for a second. I haven’t even introduced myself. My name is Thomas Coldwell and I’m the brains and heart behind Out and Across. I’ve always loved exploring, and have had some surprising opportunities to do so in Canada and abroad. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you also want to keep life fresh and exciting. As cliche as it sounds, I really want to live to the fullest and I think I have an idea of what that means (for me, anyway!).
I want to help more people quite literally go out and across. We all need time in the great outdoors, connecting with nature and stretching our limits. And crossing borders opens us up to more of life’s possibilities. Whatever that looks like for you—let the adventure begin!
My day job is in the international development sector, where I support and inspire others to learn, grow, and act as global citizens (I suppose that’s a bit of a journey in its own right, eh?). And I’ve been an avid outdoor enthusiast for as long as I an remember (If you ask me about my earliest memories, you’ll soon realize they’re mostly outdoors!). Over the years, I’ve planned countless camping trips, taught canoeing at summer camp, hiked many kilometres, lived in multiple provinces, and visited 13 different countries.
These experiences and more have enriched my life in so many different ways (I’ll do my best to shed some light on that). That’s part of the reason for this blog, to help you experience life-changing outdoor adventure.
In 2020, I started Out and Across as a creative outlet and personal time capsule. I want to remember all the different places and faces I get to know. I’m also having a lot of fun taking and sharing photos of the beautiful areas I encounter. While it’s still serving this initial purpose, it quickly developed into a resource for others. You can learn from my hours of research and planning, and dare I say mistakes (!), as you plan your next trip outdoors. Ultimately, Out and Across aims to help you find ideas, inspiration, and know-how for your life’s adventure (and if you have ideas and feedback, please let me know!).
9 Things You Should Probably Know About Me
1. I’m a Bluenoser: I grew up in Nova Scotia right next to the beautiful Bay of Fundy (highest tides in the world!). I spent hours on the beach, and loved searching for crabs and starfish…. still do.
2. Canoeing makes me Canadian: Ok, not entirely… but I do love canoeing. I’ve done several multi-day trips on rivers and lakes, and was a Paddle Canada canoe instructor for seven seasons at summer camp.
3. I’m a Bluenoser in the Rockies: I now live in Calgary and often head out to the Rocky Mountains. Fun fact: I was terrified of grizzlies when I first arrived in Western Canada, but I’ve since learned to manage my fear and enjoy the grandeur of the mountains!
4. I’ve never been on a roller coaster: Life’s all the roller coaster I need!
5. My first plane ride was Halifax to Nairobi: I was 18-years-old when I first visited Kenya, and I’ve since travelled in 13 countries (including North Korea). Two of my favourite experiences: Hiking in rural Nepal and visiting the Masai Mara in Kenya.
6. I have degrees in sociology and international development: I’ve been working in the international nonprofit sector for the past 6+ years.
7. I enjoy gear talk: When I was in grad school, I worked part-time at SAIL outdoor store in Ottawa. Ahhhh, I miss pro deals…
8. I’ve driven across Canada—more than once: There’s so much to do in this big and beautiful country. I usually find the good ice cream spots, too!
9. I like being outside all year round: In the summer, you’ll often find me camping, hiking, biking, or paddling, and in the winter I enjoy XC skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking.
I’m learning and growing every single day (that’s not an exaggeration… though I am somewhat prone to hyperbole). There’s always more to learn, and I continue to stretch myself through new experiences. Preparation and the right attitude will make all the difference. Good gear also never hurts. Whether you’re planning your first backcountry camping trip or travelling to a new-to-you country, you can make your life the adventure of a lifetime.
My goal for Out and Across is to become a go-to resource to make outdoor adventure more accessible and more fun—especially for folks just getting started. I’ll keep adding more adventure to my own life. Will you?
I’m glad you stumbled upon Out and Across! If you have any questions or comments, send me an email (I read and respond to every one). You can also find me on Facebook or Instagram (or whatever social media you prefer). I’d love to stay in touch!
Alright—that’s enough self-promotion for now. See you out there!