Obstacle Course

Exploring Financial Independence and the Great Outdoors

Episode Summary

For episode 33, we decided to record outside on John's back deck. Enjoy the variety of background sounds including birds, dogs, squirrels, falling nuts, wasps and something that sounded like a rooster at one point? We had a great conversation with Chris Istace aka The Mindful Explorer! Six years ago, Chris and his family sold everything and left their posh lifestyle for a new vision of life and style on Vancouver Island. We discuss challenge, risk, mountain climbing, mindfulness and financial independence. In the intro, John shares how he dislocated his shoulder at the top of a Mount Prevost and what he learned when he decided to climb down. This! Is Obstacle Course. From John's back deck.

Episode Notes


Mount Prevost has a fantastic walking/running trail that starts across the entrance from Bings Creek on Drinkwater Rd. Just follow the ribbons all the way to the top! Give yourself a solid 4 hrs round trip or less if you run it. Since the injury 2 weeks ago, John's been back up several times although he claims he's more cautious. Do we believe him?

For the record, John was given Propofol in the ER NOT Propanol. Turns out, there's a huge difference. 

This experience helped John discover a strength he never knew he had. Pain and trauma can be great teachers if we have the strength to listen.

Episode Notes

Note: The sounds of nature in this episode are incredible.

Andrew mentioned this episode is about a giant Leap Chris took. Shoutout to John's website.

Mindfulness is a lifestyle and a code of conduct. It's the way we think, act, breathe and believe. It helps us not react but experience.

Sam Harris has written a great book and has a fantastic meditation app called Waking Up.

Strathcona is an incredible park brimming with mountains and adventure. Andrew recalled his own rainy adventures in Strathcona in a previous episode. The fact that John has still never been is a crime.

Solitude is a forgotten art. Like exercise, it's important we make time for this each day. Put away the phone, find a local trail and experience the wonder of our world.

CalTopo is a fantastic backcountry trip planning tool that includes high quality maps and trails.

Here's a great article Chris wrote on the Squamish base jumper that died and how risk and adventure both play a role in our outdoor pursuits.

People would rather receive electric shocks then be alone with their thoughts for 15 min. The onus is on us to learn to be ok with our thoughts. Meditation is essential as is learning to shut of your phone. Practicing solitude might just be the next great human discipline.

It's easy to get on a Hedonic Treadmill believing more is better. It seldom is.

Here's the 2 books Chris mentioned..

Your Money or Your Life. -

The Way to a Meaningful Life.

Mr Money Mustache is a great website/blog for transforming your relationship with money!

Chris and his family sold everything they had and left Alberta for the Island! When we continued to push Chris asking him how he was able to make this huge leap he pointed to the Matrix moment. Chris and his family had two choices and he likened the choice to a life and death choice. Chris saw a new vision for his life and had the courage to go after it.

Spend your money on things that align with your values.

Want a tiny home? Check out Rewild Homes!

Greta Thunberg is leading up! Go Greta!

Keep on Recycling. But take a step back and look at how you can reduce and reuse what you already have.

"Debt. Treat it like your hair's on fire. It crushes people." Chris Istace

Don't think about the price. Think about the cost of ownership.

"We can't be too mindful, that's one thing that doesn't have limits." -Andrew Langford

If you liked what you heard and want more Mindful Explorer, please connect with Chris here!