About This Website

a woman wearing a hiking bag with trekking poles crouched low on an icy hiking trail with pine trees in the background


Welcome to An Ordinary Odyssey!

I’ll be honest, I don’t know yet exactly what I intend for this website to be. I have so many great (well, I think so at least!) ideas running through my head for where I could take this. It’s a bit overwhelming trying to decide exactly what the best option is! I’m constantly worried that I’ll commit to one of the ideas, throw myself into the work, and then realize months later that some other direction would have been better. So I go around and around in circles, brainstorming and refining, instead of actually doing.

And heck if that just isn’t the story of my life! But the thing I’ve learned is, when you wait and wait and wait and don’t commit to a path because it isn’t “perfect” what you are really doing is making indecision itself the decision. It doesn’t matter what the “best” or “worse” options are. If you never choose ANY of them, they all end in the same result. So that’s where I am. I’m just gonna get started and see where this journey takes me!

All that being said, there are a few things I DO want to achieve with this platform!

1. I want to inspire people, especially women, to get outside more, to travel, to deepen their connection with nature, and to feel a sense of wonder at the glorious world around them!

2. I want to showcase what it looks like to be an ordinary person exploring the outdoors. I want to help normalize nature as both an everyday experience accessible to everyone, as well as a deeply personal odyssey that is as unique as you are!

3. I want to provide the repository of resources that I would have died to have when I was starting off! Detailed guides for beginners that answer the mundane and obvious questions that seem to get overlooked elsewhere. And real talk about fear, anxiety, low self-esteem, and lack of confidence which are, in my opinion, the biggest barrier to outdoor adventure.

4. I’ll be honest, I wanna make a little money here. I hope to provide meaningful content that enriches the lives of those who choose to follow me. I dream of eventually creating a podcast, writing a book, developing beautiful and useful physical products, and maybe host workshops and gatherings in person. I’d like to eventually be able to make a living doing this work and take the show on the road, at least some of the year!

Now, here’s what you need to know about me!

My name is Christine Noelle and was born and raised in Central Wisconsin and currently live in the Milwaukee area of Southeast Wisconsin. Most of my childhood was spent in potato farmland where I mainly read books, kept to myself, and watched endless hours of Animal Planet, dreaming of wondrous far-off places! I fancied that I would go to college and become a world renowned naturalist, traveling the globe and making amazing discoveries about rare plants and animals that I would share with the world. Like my idols Steve Irwin, Jeff Corwin, Jade Goodall and David Attenborough, I would inspire people to care about the world. I would be someone others looked up to in the outdoor community.

Once in college though I discovered that my brain wasn’t quite as science minded as I thought and for all my day-dreaming of climbing mountains, I never thought about how physically hard that would be. I flunked a botany class in college. I bawled my eyes out in the locker rooms after having a panic attack in a level one swimming class. I was also painfully shy and lacking in any and all self-confidence. I quickly set my bar much lower, settling on just being a camp counselor somewhere, which seemed more realistic for someone like me. As I ‘grew up’ I settled into the random field of urban agriculture education, teaching kids to grow and cook food. It was rewarding and interesting work and definitely made a difference. But the idea of seeing the world never left me.

Fast forward to today. It has taken me many many years of pushing myself to break out of my shell and feel comfortable out in nature. Tons of trial and error, false starts, jealousy, self-recriminations, constant doubt, little bits of headway, and leaps of faith. I’ve quit more things than I care to recall! But I’ve pushed myself to try SO many new things! I’ve been on a safari in Africa, road tripped around the Grand Canyon, led a 1000 person hiking group, gone on solo camping trips, and so much more. Every single one of those things caused me anxiety, made me cry. But I got through it all and came out stronger on the other side. All of this struggle and pushing has helped me to not only finally feel like a competent, confident outdoorswoman, but has gotten me to a point where I feel like I could actually help empower other people in the outdoors. Hence, this website! My hope is that I can figure out how to share my journey and the knowledge I’ve gained to help the next person not have to struggle so hard.

Some other highly important facts about me:

🍦 Ice cream is my favorite food group.

🐒 Turtles, frogs, snakes, dragonflies, bees, and beetles will always elicit childlike glee from me.

πŸ“· Silly pictures are the best pictures! I love taking random selfies and doing weird photoshoots!

πŸŒ… Mornings are my jam. The only time I wanna see 1am is if that is when the alarm goes off and don’t expect intelligent speech if I’m awake after 10pm!

πŸ«– I don’t like coffee, but I love a good chai latte! I also collect thrifted tea pots and enjoy herbal tea .

πŸŽͺ I do aerial fitness/circus! I love the lyra (aerial hoop) the most but have the longest experience doing pole dance. Silks are iffy but I look forward to trying them again, as well as dabbling in trapeze!

πŸ‘— The majority of my wardrobe, including hiking clothes, comes from thrift shops. But I love to indulge in jewelry from local artists when I travel!

πŸ“¬ Snail Mail needs a revival, ASAP! I wanna see post cards from everywhere you have been and do let’s exchange a Christmas card or letter!

“I would rather set off on my own, even when I feel scared and lonely. Something might happen: I might meet a stranger, jump ship, climb an unnamed mountain, lose myself on a winding trail. I might forget who I am and where I came from.”

Candace Dempsey, “Alone Again” from Gifts of the Wild: A Woman’s Book of Adventure

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