Adventurer Kirsten Alexis stops by on Close-Up Culture to talk about her exciting lifestyle, prioritizing mental and physical health, summiting Mount Kilimanjaro, and much more.
Can you tell us about your upbringing? Were you born into an adventurous family or was that adventurous side something you discovered along the way?
I am so lucky that I was born into such a great family. They really motivated me to try everything in life, from sports to arts and music. They encouraged me to always be true to myself, and to pursue my dreams and passions.
Growing up we were pretty active. My parents were into sports when they were growing up, and encouraged my brother and I to do the same. I really enjoyed swimming and running. Every night we would go on walks after dinner with the dog, which was great for family bonding (even if I thought I was too cool for them at the time). On vacations we would hike, ride bikes, snorkel, paddleboard and ski. It’s pretty safe to say it was a lot of fun!
I did get into more extreme adventures along the way, but I do credit my adventurous spirit to my parents, who love adventure and always encouraged me to explore and create.
Most people fall into 9-5 jobs without even realising it. What led you down a different path?
I actually never really had a set path for myself, and have constantly found myself taking many different paths along the way. I’ve always tried to follow my passions, and make sure it was profitable. I’ve always been interested in adventure, travel, wellness and creating content, and somehow just got lucky to be able to incorporate all of them into a career.
I am a social media and marketing consultant and designer for my real job, and do content creation and blogging on the side. I’ve been in 9-5 positions before, but I definitely prefer to be a freelancer and make my own schedule. The office life, while there is nothing wrong with it, just wasn’t for me. I much preferred to work remotely so I could put in the work and then go off and explore and create during my free time.
I’ve learned a lot from every experience, whether it be working for a corporation or running my own business. I’ve learned from my successes and failures, and met a lot of people who have inspired me and taught me valuable skills along the way. I’m definitely grateful for all of it!
I’m awe-struck when I look at your socials and see what you get up to. How do you try to approach each day?
Thank you! My social media is a fun little highlight reel, and I have had a blast creating content and connecting with other creators and outdoor adventure enthusiasts on the platform.
I just try to be genuine and share real stories, experiences and thoughts. In a way, I treat it like a journal. I have always put a high value on authenticity and being a positive influence on the app, and in real-life.
As for each day, I just try to be the best person I can be. I want to make sure that I make the best of my time, whether I’m out on an adventure or having a more “routine” day. I want to make sure I did the best I could, pushed myself and was kind and compassionate to the people in my life. I try to see everyday as a blessing as well as an opportunity for growth. I try to be mindful, have fun, make progress in my goals and spend my energy wisely.
What are the biggest challenges you face living this exhilarating life?
I definitely feel like I live quite an exciting life, but the adventures don’t happen every day. Many days are spent working, training at the gym, doing everyday chores and spending time with family and friends.
I’d say that one challenge can be giving off the wrong impression that the adventures are all that I do. It’s just not sustainable. I really strive to live a life of balance, and I think that makes the experiences a lot more special.
That said, I definitely can suffer from a fear of missing out, and I try to just be more mindful about those thoughts, and replace them with gratitude and being fully present. I am also guilty of finding way too many adventures and experiences that I want to do, and have made quite a large to-do list! Blame it on my chronic wanderlust and ADHD!
How do you ensure you’re always looking after your fitness and your mental health?
I make sure to prioritize my mental and physical health everyday. It’s very important to me to have a good balance in my life. I make sure to workout everyday, whether it’s hiking, skiing, hitting the gym, kickboxing, yoga or swimming. I also put an emphasis on eating a well-balanced diet, without punishing myself or obsessively counting carbs. I drink lots of water, get a good night sleep and make sure to get time to write in my journal. It’s so therapeutic.
I really believe that focusing on improving mental health these days is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. I am working on not being so reactive, and not letting my thoughts control me. I only aim to focus on what I can control. I am practicing inner peace, self-love and fostering compassion for myself and others (even if they haven’t been kind to me).
When do you feel most at peace?
Being out in nature is the best form of therapy for me. I just feel so peaceful and hopeful there. There’s so much positive energy in the outdoors, and it really rejuvenates my mind, body and spirit.
I also feel at peace when I am active, which is why I love working out so much. It allows me to get out of my head and focus on being present. Same with being creative. Any form or art or writing.
There’s always great content on your socials. What do you enjoy about being a content creator?
Thank you so much! Creating content has been such a learning process for me, and I’ve grown so much in it behind and in front of the lens. I’ve definitely learned a lot of photography, videography and social media skills along the way. And, I’ve learned a lot about myself, and gained a lot of confidence in the process. I’ve learned to accept myself by sharing who I really am with the world. It’s actually quite fun!
Besides sharing my stories, I love seeing what other people are accomplishing. It’s so inspiring watching other people grow and create in their journey. And the friendships I’ve made have been so meaningful. I think I like that part the most.
You skydive, surf, ski and so much more. What’s the most daring adventure you’ve been on?
Getting my skydiving license is definitely up there! That was definitely a life-changing experience, and helped me gain a lot of confidence that I was able to take into many aspects of my life.
Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro is also very high on the list. It was the catalyst for many other high-altitude climbs that I have on my list, and helped me realize that I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. Plus, the safari afterwards was just magical! Highly recommend it!
What are your hopes and ambitions for the future?
I have so many crazy goals, but my main focuses are on completing big mountain summits and leveling up my skills in downhill and backcountry skiing. I am hoping to summit Aconcagua soon, and then I have my sights on Island Peak and Cho Oyu.
Outside of my adventure goals, I want to keep progressing in my photography and one day have an art show where I can feature my work and use the funds to give back to nonprofit organizations to do some good. I want to get back into painting, and eventually finish the book I have been writing. The most important thing for me is to just use my energy and experiences to make a positive impact, and I hope I can do that in some way.
I have quite a lot of goals, and I’m excited to see what the future will bring!