Explorer Spotlight: Christin Healey

Name: Christin Healey | Age: 30 | Location: Charlottesville, VA

What’s your day job?
Co-Founder and CCO of an awesome internet startup, Borrowed & Blue

What are your favorite things to do outside?
Anything that gets me outside is awesome, but there is something about the simplicity of hiking that I really love. You don’t need any equipment, and really anyone can do it in so many different places. Many of the best moments of my life have been on a dirt trail just wandering out in the world. I also got a collapsable kayak this year and have taken it with me everywhere. There is something pretty magical about paddling on gorgeous bodies of water around the world.

What first drew you to the outdoors?
I grew up on an island (Islamorada, FL) and spent summers near the Blue Ridge Mountains, so I was always surrounded by the beauty of nature. I spent my childhood sailing on boats, snorkeling around reefs, camping outside all summer, and was just constantly outdoors. I have moved around a lot, but nature and the outdoors has always a place where I could feel right at home.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?
My favorite hometown adventure would have to be an early hike to Humpback Rocks, followed by a paddle on Beaver Creek Reservoir. It’s such a classic Charlottesville day, and I can bring my dogs along. There are also tons of great spots to grab a drink afterwards! Blue Mountain Brewery is tops though, winning out for its great views, brews, and perfect post-hike wood-fired pizza — SO good.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
Aside from my camera, I never leave home without my headlamp and GoalZero charger. I’m constantly shooting sunrise and sunset, so a good headlamp is key for finding your way in the dark, not to mention the sometimes tricky navigation of your tent :) The solar charger is key for taking my photography on the road. I can charge my batteries, computer, and phone with this guy — total lifesaver when traveling.

What’s your favorite trail snack?
I really love the classic peanut butter, banana & honey on just about anything. Add mini chocolate chips if I’m feeling really crazy.

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
Oh man, I really love music. Right now my mixes have had a lot of Shakey Graves, MMJ, The Lone Bellow, Shovels & Rope, Jukebox the Ghost, & Cat Power. Anything you can roll down the windows and sing along to on the open road is a winner in my book though.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/or, the funniest?
Oh jeez, so many crazy things. One of the scariest was driving back from a shoot in Iceland in the winter and coming down a sketchy road covered in ice (I definitely should not have been on that road!). The car started to slide off the road straight into a sheer drop off down a ravine. I pulled the emergency brake just in time and somehow over the course of a few hours coaxed the car back on the road — I will never forget staring down into that drop-off. Seeing an enormous grizzly on the trail in Glacier during springtime when I was doing a week of solo travel is right up there too.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
I do a lot of my adventures solo, but when I can have my husband Adam along for the ride, it’s pretty much always awesome. Also my two adventure dogs, Virginia & Cora. They are the only ones that I have found so far that are just as ecstatic at getting up at 3am to go catch that sunrise as I am. // So many great inspirations out there! I have been a huge admirer of Andy Best & Chris Burkhard for awhile now, and I was recently able to meet up with fellow explorers Tiffany Nguyen & Scott Kranz in Canada. They are not only stellar photographers, but really amazing people as well — so much inspiration out there.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
Iceland has been one of my favorite spots for some time now, and the Canadian Rockies are coming in for a close second. Iceland for so much beauty packed into such a small island, the most amazing, mystical light you will ever see, and an overall feeling of being on another planet. The Canadian Rockies are just in-your-face stunning and the adventure there is seemingly endless.

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
So. Many. Places. Patagonia is the next big trip I’m planning. I was there a few years ago, but am really excited to go back and explore more of the incredible landscape. Other tops that I’m dreaming of are Alaska, Norway, Cordillera Huayhuash hike in Peru, Namibia, and going to Yosemite for the first time.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
I took this image in on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in Iceland just as a winter storm was clearing last March. It’s my most memorable image because not only is this particular spot in the world, where the ocean overlooks the snow-capped mountains, one of my favorite corners on the planet, but the light that morning was simply incredible. The weather had been treacherous for days on end, and to see the sunshine breaking through the clouds was just such a gift. It was a place that you don’t see in any of the guidebooks, but for the solitude and beauty of the moment, it has always stayed with me.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?
Life is made up of a series of moments. Some big, some small. Some simple, some monumental. Some terrifying, some exhilarating. You have just this one chance; go out there and grab all of those moments.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.