On October 28, 2011, sitting in the library during a class break in my university, I launched Mike Off The Map. When I first started writing, it was meant to be a chronicle of my adventures and my travels. It was a simple travel blog that I didn’t think anyone would read and would be lost a few months later in a sea of experienced and professional bloggers.
When I started writing, I never thought about how much potential it had. I didn’t realize at the time that the site would lead me to some of my closest friends, or that instead of just typing out ideas for adventures, it would be the reason that I travel and explore. It’s taken me from a glacier in Alaska, the depths of the Everglades, and the summit of Rainier, sometimes if only to go looking for a story. In the end, and most importantly, I never imagined it would inspire others, to the point where I could be recognized in the middle of the Utah desert.
Mike Off The Map has defined my life.
I could sit here and recount how I found my voice, or how the blog encouraged my move to the Northwest, or the evolution from a Southeast boy who’d been climbing just over a year, to living a dream life of travel and adventure.
But I’m not good at patting myself on the back.
Instead I want to say thank you. Thank you to the outdoor writers, adventurers, and travel bloggers, who accepted me into the community. Thank you to my friends and my editors who gave me the opportunity to hone my craft, allowed me to post articles, and sent me biting critiques so that I’m forced to challenge myself and look always take my writing one step further. Thank you to the wonderful companies who I’ve had the honor of working with, and for lending me the gear to always search for wilder places and push my dreams forward. Finally, thank you to the readers. Thank you for coming to my site, sharing my stories, and encouraging the search for adventure, no matter where it is.
I don’t write on the site for myself anymore. I write it with a mission in mind: We’re all capable of looking for adventure and pushing our comfort zone to its limit. The world is meant for exploring, whether its in the mountains, on the trail, across the river, or on the faces of cliffs. Put words into motion, dream big, and travel far.
Thank you again for your undying support.