I’m Chris Istace. It’s nice to meet you!

The story behind Mindful Explorer

Several years ago my daily life felt like it needed a change. I was reading more and more on the topics of Simple Living, Minimalism, Financial Independence, Early Retirement and Mindfulness. All these readings had me realize that I didn’t need to stick to the course and there was a new lifestyle design choice out there waiting for me if I wanted it.

So I decided to make that change.

In the fall of 2013 my wife and I along with our two children packed up our belongings and moved half way across the country to Vancouver Island on the west coast of British Columbia. In the process we downsized our home, our belongings and generally all the excess in our life. It is still a work in progress but we constantly work at optimizing our daily lives.

This new journey involves striving to inspire others, be mindful in my actions and to just let positive energy be my guide. With this in mind the blog posts will sometimes cover topics on personal finance, living simply and being aware of our consumer choices while saving aggressively for the future. ( More on what formed my path here  )

I will also touch on topics of mindfulness and how it can bring more happiness into your life. I  talk about finding the good in every situation and how to bring positive energy to your actions and those around you. A constant governing thought in how I guide myself will come up from time to time throughout my writing which is:

The only thing we control in the world around us is how we react to it.

The biggest change with my new life has been discovering a passion for getting outdoors. To explore new and amazing places while reconnecting with the simplicity that nature rewards us. These past years have found my spending all of my time in the outdoors, so much so that it is now the focus of the Mindful Explorer website.

My work now is focused on writing and photography with a special attention to trip reports and gear reviews. I work with many destination and tourism marketing organizations to feature beautiful places across the country. I work with top recognized brands in the outdoor industry to bring you detailed gear reviews on products to help you spend more time on your adventures.

One of the funnest aspects of my content is providing backpacking and mountain biking  trip reports of all the amazing places I have visited, from road trips to even detailed how to articles to better enjoy those trips.

I hope you find my website both enjoyable and helpful.

Cheers ~ Chris

"Not only is Chris a positive and energetic team player, his passion for the environment and our community comes through loud and clear in his beautiful photographic work."

Caroll Taiji

Director of Strategy, Taiji Brand Group


Capturing images that inspire, create emotion, and ignite your imagination.


Storytelling, trips, reviews mixed with life lessons to help navigate both the wild places and our daily lives.


From mountains to forests, the adventure is only limited by your perception of what is possible. Let me help you “Explore Beyond The Usual” in thought and action.