episode 129 | May 7, 2024
Outdoor Adventure
Outdoor Adventure
Personal Growth
Experts & Industry Leaders

Silvercore Podcast Ep. 129: Homelessness to Wilderness a Story of Resilience

From being homeless and alone in wilderness to embracing the power of nature to become the first Canadian to paddle across America and also to conquer the mighty Colorado River in a tandem sea kayak. Jillian's inspiring journey will ignite your sense of adventure and leave you craving for more. Get ready to be inspired and captivated by the power of nature in this unforgettable episode of the Silvercore podcast. https://www.instagram.com/jillianabrownphotography
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Silvercore Podcast 129 Jillian Brown

[00:00:00] Travis Bader: I'm Travis Bader, and this is the Silvercore podcast. Silvercore has been providing its members with the skills and knowledge necessary to be confident and proficient in the outdoors for over 20 years. And we make it easier for people to deepen their connection to the natural world. If you enjoy the positive and educational content.

[00:00:31] Travis Bader: Please let others know by sharing, commenting, and following so that you can join in on everything that Silvercore stands for. If you'd like to learn more about becoming a member of the Silvercore Club and community, visit our website at silvercore. ca.

[00:00:52] Travis Bader: She is the first Canadian to paddle across America from Oregon to Florida, a feat that took seven months as well as a 675 kilometer track across the great divide with a broken foot. She was also the first to paddle a tandem sea kayak down the Colorado river through the grand Canyon. She's passionate about connecting others with nature and uses her skills as a photographer to inspire.

[00:01:12] Travis Bader: Welcome to the Silvercore podcast, Jillian Brown. 

[00:01:17] Jillian Brown: Thank you for having me. I'm very excited for this. 

[00:01:21] Travis Bader: So am I, you know what, there's so much information that I've been looking through from past podcasts that you've done from, uh, newspaper articles and looking at some of the expeditions and adventures you've done.

[00:01:33] Travis Bader: When you talk about inspiring people, I'm inspired. It's really, really cool. 

[00:01:38] Jillian Brown: Well, thank you. Yeah. I appreciate that. And I'm 

[00:01:40] Travis Bader: glad you're able to get yourself settled in nice and town. Now your, uh, VRBO may not have worked out quite as you'd wanted it to. 

[00:01:48] Jillian Brown: And thanks for bringing that one up. Yeah, it was a day and a half yesterday.

[00:01:52] Travis Bader: Oh man. Yeah. We're going to get together last night and you, uh, give a message up. No, we're moving. Can't, do you want to tell the story why? 

[00:02:01] Jillian Brown: So we've started using Airbnb and VRBOs and it's been a really, really neat experience. So far, nothing's been too terrible with it. Um, and we've connected with some incredible people by doing this as well, the hosts and things.

[00:02:17] Jillian Brown: And, um, Yeah, so we got a place out in the countryside so that I could still do my morning routines out in nature and do my walk and have it quiet and, um, get there. This place was a, um, marijuana grow up. It's all like the marijuana is not there other than what's growing in the fields, but it's clearly a grow up.

[00:02:44] Jillian Brown: And so we. Decided not to stay there. 

[00:02:48] Travis Bader: You know, it's funny cause I put the address into Google and what do you see? A police car out front. They had over 2 million worth of crops that were seized out of that one location alone. And man, it was like 200 and almost 300, 000 worth of equipment. So they had a pretty decent scale operation working out of there.

[00:03:07] Travis Bader: And apparently they still got stuff growing. 

[00:03:10] Jillian Brown: Well, yeah, it's still the same owners that have it, which is what, That was really like kind of annoying for us was we don't want to contribute like any of our money to people who have done something illegal essentially like this and are now using that property because just because the government and yeah, shut it down.

[00:03:30] Jillian Brown: They're now making bank off of it on other people and the place was dirty and stuff too. It was cool to add like a Spanish villa in the countryside of Delta like, Ooh, this will be fun with it. Special karaoke room. This will be entertaining. Karaoke 

[00:03:47] Travis Bader: room. Was it actually a karaoke room? Because you said there's a soundproof room in there.

[00:03:50] Travis Bader: Did they put like a 12 karaoke set in the middle of a soundproof room? 

[00:03:55] Jillian Brown: Um, well, yeah, the room was all soundproof. It, it was a very odd. like access to it. Very much the place looked like it was an old like burlesque or boudoir place, um, where the ladies would be standing up top in the loft and there's a old timey piano, which there actually was an old timey piano.

[00:04:14] Jillian Brown: Um, yeah, and then this karaoke room. With the soundproofing. And it was pretty set up. I mean, there was surround sound in there and a big screen. And, uh, yeah, the guy, we didn't touch anything when we went in after we just kind of walked through and saw everything like, okay, let's, let's find somewhere else.

[00:04:34] Jillian Brown: That's 

[00:04:35] Travis Bader: funny. Yeah. So it's not like, it's not like they just had a soundproof room that they didn't want to deal with. Threw a little karaoke set inside there. 

[00:04:42] Jillian Brown: No, I think it was meant for, I don't know what, but it seemed like a very specific room before that. 

[00:04:50] Travis Bader: I don't get people. Why would you VRBO out your location like that?

[00:04:53] Travis Bader: That doesn't make sense. 

[00:04:55] Jillian Brown: I don't know. And you have to legally live in the residence that your Airbnb or VBO. VRBO now in BC, at least, if not all across Canada, but in BC and there's clearly nobody that's living there. They're just renting it out. And so there was a whole lot of things wrong with it, but now we're in a really nice place out in Steveston.

[00:05:15] Jillian Brown: Yeah. Um, yeah. And it's beautiful. I got for a great walk this morning and lots of birds and there's a park there. 

[00:05:21] Travis Bader: So life's an adventure for you, hey? 

[00:05:24] Jillian Brown: That's for sure. Is it 

[00:05:25] Travis Bader: always like that for you? Yeah. 

[00:05:27] Jillian Brown: Yeah. Somehow it kind of always ends up that way. Right when life starts to feel like anybody else's kind of normal life.

[00:05:37] Jillian Brown: I know everyone has trials and tribulations going on behind the scenes, but for the most part, people live a certain type of lifestyle. And whenever that's kind of started for me, something kind of happened. happens, like, for example, on track with Ryan to kind of start a new life, my ex fiance, and then he gets in his accident and the world is completely upended for us.

[00:06:05] Jillian Brown: Tell me 

[00:06:05] Travis Bader: about this. 

[00:06:06] Jillian Brown: Um, so it's coming up on two years actually this week from his accident and he was moving my place in Squamish. Um, and. He was bringing his motorcycle up. It was the first trip up of things. We were gonna celebrate like new life out here together and I was just ahead of him in the Jeep and he was on his motorcycle and he crashed on the Sea to Sky Highway and I figured he had stopped for gas maybe stopped for a bite to eat or something.

[00:06:39] Jillian Brown: That's why he was a couple hours Late, I didn't really think anything of it until my phone rang Um Yeah, and it was, I've described it before in a piece of writing, it was like straight out of a movie. The phone call of saying your partner's been in a car accident or in an accident. Hold tight, but maybe pack an overnight bag.

[00:07:06] Jillian Brown: And you know that that like uncertainty of the person who's calling is not good. So you're like, well, do I, if I hold tight, am I waiting for a knock at the door for somebody to tell me? I've lost him, um, or should I just start going now, just to be there no matter what? Um, yeah, it was, it, it felt like, A movie.

[00:07:30] Jillian Brown: And so I packed up and headed down and he was in a coma for 15 days. Um, and uh, yeah. And then he was in the hospital for a number of months for treatment. Um, and now since then I've become his full time caregiver. Um, which is great. has completely changed our life, but in so many good ways as well. It's, there was a lot of hard time relearning and we're still relearning, um, everything, especially of course for him relearning now with all of his injuries, um, being partially paralyzed, um, one arm and he's fully paralyzed, the other partially in head, head injuries, things like that.

[00:08:14] Jillian Brown: Um, so navigating that side of life. Um, but also being his caregiver, I get to spend every day with him all the time. That's fantastic. Yeah, so that's amazing. But I'm just starting to try to, um, get back into some of my other, other, um, passions, like my photography and things, which got put on hold, of course.

[00:08:39] Travis Bader: Yes. For 

[00:08:39] Jillian Brown: the past couple of years. And now we're in a good, good spot, um, both mentally and I think, Physically, um, to potentially be going back out and taking on photography work again and adventures. 

[00:08:54] Travis Bader: Yeah. That, that mental, that mental aspect of all that, when your life gets thrown absolutely upside down, that resilience and ability to be adaptable really comes into play.

[00:09:06] Travis Bader: And I got to imagine that from a lifestyle of Exploration and expeditions, there's a high level of adaptability that, that you've learned. Were you able to apply that? Did you use that and apply that to how you're dealing with this? 

[00:09:21] Jillian Brown: Oh yeah. In terms of the adapting and resiliency, um, when that happened, um, I have already in the past few years.

[00:09:32] Jillian Brown: Uh, of going through other life challenges, um, found the tools that have worked for me to navigate, um, mental health and, and PTSD and, and just life stresses in general. So that's part of that morning routine of being out in nature. I do my best to every day wash my face in a river or a lake or some sort of water source in nature as well.

[00:09:55] Jillian Brown: Um, and then. I always do a bunch of exercise, um, throughout the day, both in the morning and generally later, um, just to move all the energy that I find I struggle with that builds up. Um, not just like energy of like, I gotta run around, but like the mental energy, um. 

[00:10:16] Travis Bader: Interesting. 

[00:10:17] Jillian Brown: And, um, so at that time I, I definitely, even though I was having to drive from Squamish down to Vancouver Hospital every day, but for about a week I was also having to move Ryan from Caltus Lake, which is two hours, two and a half hours away from Squamish.

[00:10:36] Jillian Brown: I was dealing with going, driving from Squamish, stopping at the hospital, then from there driving down to Caltus Lake, loading up the vehicle. driving back to Squamish and then doing that twice a day to try to get him moved out because he had booked all of his moving vehicles like a trailer and all those things and I didn't have his phone.

[00:10:57] Jillian Brown: The police had it from the accident. So I couldn't call and get those things to help me move. I just had my vehicle. Um, and then a couple of Ryan's friends came and helped as well, which was amazing. Um, and were there for me too. Um, there were other things that. that went on. I found I was doing well. I had my routine down, um, with both going and seeing him, but also, um, just everything.

[00:11:23] Jillian Brown: But then there was a couple other things that went on at the same time, and that just. Built up and I found that my tools weren't enough to deal with all of it Well, while Ryan was in the hospital, I found out the same day as his accident that my best friend took his own life and And then I got rear ended and it was all within Ryan's Being in a coma period.

[00:11:50] Jillian Brown: So within this two week span, um, I had lost like my two people essentially because I couldn't talk to Ryan about Kieran is my friend. I couldn't talk to Ryan about him and then Kieran I couldn't talk to you about Ryan and I had other people and my family's always been there. But um, yeah I was getting to be too much to the point then I got rear ended like this is too much and then the The dryer broke and it was like smaller and smaller things that were totally not big deals like the rear ending it was very little damage like the bumper got knocked off not a big deal and there was way bigger things going on and then the dryer breaking who cares just call somebody to repair it but I that was when I had a total meltdown and um When I got to the hospital that day, I accepted help in talking to the social workers and community, actually letting it out.

[00:12:45] Jillian Brown: I've never been one to, um, I don't generally talk about my emotions in that way. Um, when I'm in a negative headspace. Why? So, um, I'm sure we'll touch on it, but I went to, um, I was, I went to a therapist when I was a teenager one, a little bit, um, because I dealt with depression as an athlete, I got injured, injuries, and I couldn't do things that I loved, so I struggled with some depression, so I went and saw one, and they said the same sort of thing that most do, where it's, well, do the things you love.

[00:13:24] Jillian Brown: Because that'll make you happy. And I'm like, I can't do the things I love. Like, this is why I'm here. Tell me what I'm supposed to do. Oh, just do those things. I'm like, you don't get it. And I was like, ripped up. I mean, I'm a teenager, too. I'm like, ripping up the paperwork that she's giving me. And I'm like, I'm not gonna read this shit.

[00:13:40] Jillian Brown: Like, I hate reading, too. Oh, that was like, legit. I was so angry. And then, so I stopped going. And then I just started doing the things I loved, and that was okay. Isn't that interesting how that works, huh? And it totally, but I had to be the one. And it's always like that. You have to be the one to take control of the situation.

[00:14:03] Jillian Brown: Um, you're the only one that can save yourself when it comes to your mental mentality and emotions. 100 percent. Um, and as a teen, that was hard to figure out. Um, And I reconnected with that later on in life when I found myself homeless, and I thought of the same sort of thing. I ended up going to, um, a therapist, because I thought about suicide in that situation.

[00:14:30] Jillian Brown: Went to a therapist, and, um, I felt the same way as I did when I was a teenager. I felt, I walked out of there feeling very judged, almost. And they weren't. There's nothing they were doing that was wrong, it's their job. But the mental state that I was in was not an accepting state of somebody telling me What to do, and just do this thing, like it's just that easy.

[00:14:55] Jillian Brown: Like, that's not, you don't understand. Well, it, yeah, but there's also the side of walking into a therapist's office and they have their great, beautiful family photo on their desk. And they're wincing when you're telling them of what you've been through in some way. And you're seeing those reactions. Well, that's why I don't share, because I don't want to see other people uncomfortable or in pain.

[00:15:17] Jillian Brown: Because often I've already dealt with that pain and overcome it. So I'm okay to necessarily talk about these things and go into details, but to see somebody else now essentially going through what I've already overcome, that's what I don't like. 

[00:15:32] Travis Bader: Isn't it, you know, I've got a poorly thought out, ill thought out premise.

[00:15:38] Travis Bader: I got something that I'm working on in my head and slowly turning around, but. Uh, the amount of, um, mental health issues that are social related in nature and how you mentioned that, uh, concern over how the therapist may be, uh, processing or looking at that. And it's how other people around us, our expectations, and I guess our thoughts on judgment by society, uh, and.

[00:16:05] Travis Bader: How that impacts our own mental health. And I see that so prevalent, like with social media and everyone's, you know, they see comparison is a thief of joy and they're comparing themselves to all these happy people out there on social media, doing all these cool things. And you're like, Oh, but, but look at me, I'm broken and I'm not feeling great.

[00:16:24] Travis Bader: You talking about PTSD and we've have warrior classes like Samurais and Spartans and even modern warriors that will give you a Come back and are praised by society for the great things that they're doing. And despite the fact that they've seen horrific things and done really arduous things that others probably wouldn't want to do, um, there's a societal acceptance behind it.

[00:16:50] Travis Bader: Uh, different from, let's say, uh, the Vietnam vet coming back from war and everyone's calling them baby killers and society's against them. And the, uh, prevalence of mental health and PTSD. In situations where society just isn't on side, or maybe the person doesn't feel that society is on side with them. I got to wonder how big of a role that plays in every individual's mental health.

[00:17:17] Travis Bader: And if we're able to kind of separate that, I don't know. There's a book. I haven't read it. Cause I'm like you, I'm like you as a teenager. But I 

[00:17:25] Jillian Brown: still am not a big reader. 

[00:17:27] Travis Bader: Man, I'll go through the end chapter. And can I get, do I think I got the main points, but I think it's called the subtle art of not giving a fuck.

[00:17:34] Travis Bader: So I haven't read it, but I, the title of it tells me a fair bit. And I think if people can reach that point of, I just don't care what society thinks. And I'm able to, um, Do what I feel is right for me. Like you said, you had to find doctors only to say, no, you're not fixing me. I'm fixing me. Right. But that shift, like you said, it has to come from you.

[00:17:59] Travis Bader: And I think that's where a lot of people stumble is because they're still stuck in this perception of how everybody else, they think they're judging them or how their lives, they think they are. Um, Like I say, not, not the most well thought out, but it's, it's getting there. I'll, at one point I'll put pen to paper and I'll actually, uh, put this together a little further.

[00:18:21] Jillian Brown: Well, I completely agree with you though, what you're saying with like dealing with feeling like others are judging. And especially the fact that we're in this world where our lives, hopefully everyone can see my quotations, but our lives are Displayed for everyone to see everywhere, 

[00:18:41] Travis Bader: like on 

[00:18:42] Jillian Brown: Facebook, on Instagram, social media, wherever you look.

[00:18:45] Jillian Brown: But I use quotation marks because that's the life that you want people to perceive you live. Mm hmm. Nobody wants people to perceive your your life as miserable and terrible, but if you are that person that's showcasing that is that now a cry for help or a cry for attention and then there's the judgment of look at I just said that I just made a Rash judgment that those people are in one of two categories, essentially, who are doing that.

[00:19:16] Jillian Brown: So that's a judgment in itself. Just that like, oh, they're either, it's a cry for help. That's a judgment, like, but, or they're looking for attention. 

[00:19:24] Travis Bader: Or, or a third, they've, they've mentally become whatever it is. They think they are. I am my PTSD. I am my depression, right? It's not like a person that says, oh, I cut my arm or I broke my arm.

[00:19:36] Travis Bader: I am my broken arm. No. Everyone looks at them and they say, no, you broke your arm. 

[00:19:40] Jillian Brown: Yeah. 

[00:19:41] Travis Bader: You're dealing with a broken arm. And at some point you'll get better depending on the break, you might always have a little bit of a reminiscent reminder there, but you'll get better. Sometimes people that get on that want to dwell in the negative on the social media, it's because they haven't figured out that they aren't, they aren't whatever it is that they're ascribing to themselves.

[00:20:02] Travis Bader: Or maybe they are, as long as they're ascribing that to themselves. But if they can realize that they can change that, I think that's where the power comes in. 

[00:20:10] Jillian Brown: Yeah. Yeah. So a big part of why I go on expeditions and spend so much time out in nature is because that nature, nature is completely unjudging.

[00:20:19] Jillian Brown: And for me, as much as I worry about others judging me and what I'm putting out there for, for different reasons, um, things that I, I'm confident in like my photography and my writing. I honestly don't care if anyone likes it because I like it and I'm proud of it. So I'm okay with sharing it. Same with like I, I generally do a flex in the morning.

[00:20:40] Jillian Brown: Well, I've worked really hard and I still work really hard. And for me, um, flexing or like even looking at myself is I judge myself so harshly that Doing that makes me proud of myself that I am overcoming an obstacle of just flexing and putting it out there, like, to show myself that I'm proud of myself.

[00:21:01] Jillian Brown: It's not to get comments or anything. It's simply, this is my social media anyways, so why can't I just put whatever I want on my social media? For me, I'm the only one that, like, I only care that I enjoy my social media. Yeah. That's it. Um, but I do these expeditions because it's completely unjudging. Like, a lot of the time I don't have cell service, if I go up north, um, there's, there's no service.

[00:21:25] Jillian Brown: Mm hmm. So it's just you, and you, you can't judge yourself harshly because you have to trust that you have the abilities, especially if you're solo. So if you're judging yourself all the time, then that's gonna, Make you second guess everything, which is then going to put you at risk. You have to go in wholeheartedly, faithful that you have the abilities to overcome whatever you're planning to go out and do in life in general, really.

[00:21:53] Jillian Brown: But especially when you're going out in nature like this, doing something extreme and risky, um, where you can't just pick up your phone and call mom to come pick you up in five minutes. Um, well, 

[00:22:05] Travis Bader: you mentioned mental energy earlier and he's. You know, we differentiated that from being active and what's going on in the head, just churning around when the cell phone's off, when you're out in nature, things quiet, what happens to that mental energy?

[00:22:22] Jillian Brown: Oh, see, if I'm out paddling for the whole day, I, I don't have any feeling of having to go do exercises or anything, and it has nothing to do with the fact that I'm paddling all day. It's, yeah, that, that energy is already essentially, like, flowing through. There's not anything. The, the fresh air, it, it alleviates stress and energy.

[00:22:45] Jillian Brown: I mean, it's a proven fact. That's why they're, they just started to give doctors permission to prescribe national park passes. 

[00:22:53] Travis Bader: Right. 

[00:22:54] Jillian Brown: For mental health, 

[00:22:55] Travis Bader: that's in the States, right? 

[00:22:57] Jillian Brown: In Canada, too. Is 

[00:22:58] Travis Bader: it in Canada? Yeah. 

[00:22:59] Jillian Brown: Yeah. Good luck finding a doctor who has done it yet. I'm going to fight with it, but yeah, they're, they can do that.

[00:23:06] Jillian Brown: And this is what I've always said. And I'm sure many others who have gone through the process of battling their own demons and overcoming, they probably feel the same way that why are doctors not prescribing natural things like. Go outside for a walk or get a gym pass. Like, why are they not prescribing those things?

[00:23:24] Jillian Brown: And then after, say, six months, if the person is still struggling, maybe there is some sort of medication that they do need because mental health injuries, PTSD injuries, things like that, they do cause chemical imbalances in people depending on how they absorb the trauma. They can, they can need medication.

[00:23:43] Jillian Brown: I'm in no way saying don't take medication, but there's other things to go through first. What is your diet like? What are, what's your environment like at your house? Is it a hoarder's house? Like, that's gonna make your mental state horrific. Yeah. Like, there's so many things like that. Um, yeah. 

[00:24:03] Travis Bader: But that's hard.

[00:24:04] Travis Bader: That's not easy. Prescribing a pill is easy. 

[00:24:07] Jillian Brown: Yeah. Well, it makes money. The other things do not make money. It makes money. 

[00:24:11] Travis Bader: Uh, it means that you're going to be coming back. Um, and there's also that liability standpoint. Like what if a doctor is like, oh, go, go to a park and the person does something to themselves or has, has a really bad incident and they're like, well, you should have prescribed them.

[00:24:27] Travis Bader: Right. That should have been one of the options. I think so often people look for those easy options. But I've yet to see anything worthwhile in my life that's come easy. And I don't disagree with you or medication is an important tool that can be used, but I think it should be used, uh, holistically. I just don't think we have the resources in Canada to do that.

[00:24:48] Travis Bader: Properly allocated to monitor an individual, uh, and provide them with the proper care that they need to ensure that they're getting proper diet, exercise, um, social support, sleep, um, goal setting structures. And medication all in the same, uh, realm, but they can moderate, I had 50 milligrams this morning, and how are you feeling?

[00:25:12] Travis Bader: And move from there. 

[00:25:13] Jillian Brown: Yeah. But that's also the thing of choice, and the only way, if you chose to go to a doctor for. a bellyache while you chose to go and get answers. Like, are you going to a therapist as a choice that you want to get better, or are you going as an expectation they're going to make you better?

[00:25:30] Jillian Brown: Because even if they tell you or prescribe you medication, it's still your choice to take that medication. That doctor's not there. Throwing it down, putting it down your throat each day. You're choosing, okay, that doctor told me that that medication is going to help me in some way. Well, if the doctor told you going for a 10 minute walk that day is going to help you, if you choose not to do it, what's to say you're still going to choose to take the pill?

[00:25:53] Jillian Brown: That's mentally your choice. Struggle that you have to overcome at that point is, okay, the pill's easy, so I can just take it. Well, easy, isn't going to make you better when you're overcoming demons. 

[00:26:03] Travis Bader: Never, 

[00:26:04] Jillian Brown: never, never. And that's the easy out. And that's why people are still getting all the medications and still taking their lives.

[00:26:12] Travis Bader: Brought up an interesting point. You said it's you that'll fix you. And. You know, I, I did a podcast as the date that we're recording this, it hasn't come out yet, but by the time this comes out, it should be out, uh, with an individual. And he says, you know, I've got an issue with this whole, uh, PTSD and, uh, medical industry.

[00:26:34] Travis Bader: He says, yeah, there's PTSD, but there's also a multi billion dollar industry that's been created around this to perpetuate, uh, Whether it's medications or talk docs or whatever it is that can be sold and see a person on a reoccurring basis. Right. Um, there is the idea as well, that some of these things don't require a long time to fix.

[00:27:01] Travis Bader: They may in some people require a long time to finally get there, but when that click is made. When that switch is turned, when you realize that you have the power to be able to go out and walk or enjoy nature, make these small steps and look at it as the macro, not I'm feeling really bad today. It's not working well.

[00:27:17] Travis Bader: What's the trend yesterday is feeling good. And today I'm feeling bad tomorrow. I'm feeling good. And that bad. Each day, it's going up a little bit. If you look at it more in the macro, it's a trend and you keep applying these practices and principles, um, generally the outcome is going to be beneficial.

[00:27:35] Travis Bader: And when you say that you, you fix yourself, if you go, so friend of mine. Mike, he was diagnosed with diabetes. Doc says, you're going to have to take medication. And we're going to have to monitor this. He's like, I don't want to take meds. This is, well, you know, you should, you got it. It's all part of it. And you're going to be on it for the rest of your life.

[00:27:54] Travis Bader: Um, diet and exercise can help. He's like, what if I just do diet and exercise? We come back and we do another examination the next number of months. So, okay, I can't force you. Right. But this is what I tell you, you got to do. So he goes, he does his diet and exercise. He's really diligent about it. He goes back, he has checked out.

[00:28:11] Travis Bader: Doctor says, you don't have diabetes anymore. 

[00:28:14] Jillian Brown: Wow. 

[00:28:14] Travis Bader: Right. Uh, my wife, uh, last September broke her ankle. Uh, doctor says, you know, Usually we can screw the bone back in, but you've powderized it, right? We're going to have to fuse your foot. Uh, you've broken several, your heel bones, your foot, your ankle, ligament damage, all the rest.

[00:28:31] Travis Bader: And so big time surgery, fuse a foot, all the rest, but, uh, you'll be able to hobble around. She's like, I, I don't know. Let's put off the surgery for a little bit. I'm going to see how healing goes and I'm going to keep, um, working this out. Well, sure enough, now we're at a point. Doctor says, I don't think you need surgery.

[00:28:50] Travis Bader: I think that we can find doctors and they might say something and we can buy into it fully and go down that path. But when you say that we fix ourselves, maybe it's okay to get a couple of opinions. And maybe if we're having issues, it's not just the doctors that we hang around, but also our social circles and our friends and the people that were around, find the people that are solving the problems that you look to solve.

[00:29:18] Travis Bader: If you're always negative, find the people that can bring greater positivity into your life. And there's an unwritten social contract that you too have to produce that same positivity back for them. You can't be just a leech draining on them. Because I do think that there are, for a lot of these things, there can be a quick fix.

[00:29:38] Travis Bader: It just might take a long time to find it. I don't know if that makes sense. Yeah. 

[00:29:42] Jillian Brown: Yeah. 

[00:29:42] Travis Bader: I think 

[00:29:43] Jillian Brown: from what you just said there, I would say the number one thing that. cause of any mental health issue is environment, the environment that you're within. If it's a traumatic environment, so abuse, well, obviously that's your environment that you're surrounded in.

[00:30:00] Jillian Brown: It's a negative household. You're walking on eggshells, things like that. If you're, obviously, if you're in the military and you're stationed somewhere where there's bombs going off while you're sleeping, you may not even be in combat. Well, your environment is putting your nervous system, um, In, in a traumatic state, even just sleeping, all of that, um, I fully think that it's complete environment.

[00:30:24] Jillian Brown: Like I said before, hoarding, just your house. If your house, you're living in a hoarder's house, um, that's That's your environment. It's a negative environment. All of those sorts of things clutter just in general. Um, and then, yeah, technically social media is your environment. If you're choosing to go and just be on social media, that's what you're surrounding yourself and looking at.

[00:30:45] Jillian Brown: You could put the TV on. I'm not knocking TV or social media in the regards of What are you looking at on those platforms? Are you going and looking at NatGeo and reading stories about, um, different new medications they're finding through the work with frogs and the Amazon or things like that? Like cool, really interesting facts and stuff.

[00:31:05] Jillian Brown: Getting an education side of things. Or are you just going and looking at Taylor Swift's next album and seeing her, she's lost weight and she's wearing a political statement dress or something like, are you, I'm just saying like, are you choosing to go and surround, make that your environment? And now you're of course putting yourself in a mental state of like, well I should look that way.

[00:31:29] Jillian Brown: like that. I should believe that. Um, for me, um, when I mentioned briefly that I was homeless, well, I left it an abusive relationship and there were aspects of that environment. Um, I was in it for five and a half years and there were aspects that were positive. We had a dog sled company and every day I would go down to the dogs to feed them and water them and clean up.

[00:31:53] Jillian Brown: And I would nuzzle my face in their, their fur and their neck and give them big hugs. And, I would be thankful it was me there and not somebody else because somehow I knew I was going to get through it. That was the positive and that was what got me through. There was some positive context to that environment.

[00:32:11] Jillian Brown: That's part of why I was there for so long. And when I left, um, I had to leave everything. I had to leave the dogs, everything behind and, um, ended up homeless. But, I was homeless in a tent in nature, so my environment shifted and in ways I felt it was negative because I was scared and I was alone and I had left everything, um, and yeah, I'm homeless and I'm worried about judgment of my family.

[00:32:36] Jillian Brown: How are they going to think all of those sides of it? I was in nature, which was a very healthy environment. So um. After getting through that side of things, um, like, having suicidal thoughts while I was there, but I never had suicidal thoughts when I was in that relationship. Um, and that's what scared me and why I went to the therapist at that time.

[00:32:57] Jillian Brown: Why do you think that is? Um, so, the, for a month, After, I was still dealing with the person, um, in some way trying to contact me, so I was still living in a lot of fear. So I was still in fight, flight, freeze, um, aspect. So I hadn't decompressed yet. And after that all subsided, I, um, basically I was able to now feel every emotion, every Everything, like literally everything from the past five and a half years that I had held in.

[00:33:34] Jillian Brown: So it was like imploding and exploding all of it with it, like inside me. 

[00:33:39] Travis Bader: And that's what I was asking when you're in nature and everything quiets down, what happens to that mind? And I'm, I take it, this is. 

[00:33:46] Jillian Brown: Yeah. What happened. Yeah. So then all of a sudden. It was, I was going through every, everything possible and yeah, went, went on a walk with my dog to a river and I contemplated suicide in the river.

[00:34:01] Jillian Brown: And I immediately turned back, tied my dog out to a tree and went to a therapist because I'm like, I don't understand this. And again, I walked in, it was the only time I went to a therapist since I was a teenager. Um, and yeah. Um, I felt I judged and all I was told was sounds like you have PTSD and I was diagnosed with PTSD, but I wasn't told even what those four letters stood for.

[00:34:26] Travis Bader: Well, you have your own definition of PTSD. Yes, 

[00:34:29] Jillian Brown: but I was sent out and she didn't ask like if I was safe and like there was nothing and I saw her beautiful family photo and I'm like, well, that's nice. She gets to go home to her house and I'm going back to a tent and yeah, I never went back, but. it pushed me to, like I said, heal myself.

[00:34:49] Jillian Brown: Like, I'm gonna have to get through this on my own. And because I had changed my environment to somewhere that I felt I could do that, because I had grown up in nature as well, and it was always a safe place for me, but it's always a healing spot for anyone, really. I, I, I started just walking every day with my dog for hours and hours hiking around and I'd let her off her leash and I would just follow her and I realized that I was healing and moving past things because I was not focusing on the past and what I was had been through and I wasn't worrying about the future.

[00:35:25] Jillian Brown: I was living in that moment wondering, where are we going next? I wonder what Roxy dog is following. Are we going to see an animal? And, and then I just started to do some exercises out there as well. Um, 

[00:35:38] Travis Bader: and. Like what kind of exercises? Oh, 

[00:35:39] Jillian Brown: I would do like squats and things. Like physical exercises. Yeah, physical exercises.

[00:35:43] Jillian Brown: Yeah. Squats and pushups. I'd grab rocks and lift them, all sorts of stuff, but I would do it in nature. Um. And it was only up till a couple years ago that I actually got real weights. It was like logs and all these things. I literally had a log in the back of my vehicle that I would drive around with. It was my special weight log.

[00:36:01] Jillian Brown: Um, but um, yeah. And, and that changed environment to be homeless in nature was the best home I could have ever had. Been in to heal and get through all of that. Isn't 

[00:36:12] Travis Bader: it crazy how just getting out and walking can change your mental perspective? 

[00:36:18] Jillian Brown: Yeah. 

[00:36:18] Travis Bader: There's so many people that I've talked to in the past, oh, I've got to talk this through.

[00:36:22] Travis Bader: I've got to, I got to think about it. I've got to, maybe there's some medication. Well, you know, I've, I've heard about diet. Uh, I don't know anybody who's gotten themselves mentally well, sitting on the couch Thinking themselves better. However, getting out for just a simple walk can allow some of that decompression to happen.

[00:36:45] Travis Bader: And you know, that's why I ask, like, when you're out in the wilderness and everything's quiet, the cell phone's off. Yeah. Go for a walk, leave the cell phone behind. And you can find the thoughts can start racing on through, but that's a mental processing. And it's so powerful. 

[00:37:01] Jillian Brown: Right? And part of the thing for me in the mornings, which I've done since that day of contemplating suicide, is every day I stop at a water source, and I.

[00:37:13] Jillian Brown: wash my face in it. And it's been since that day. So that was 2016 till now 2024. And every day possible, I have done that since then. I have washed my face in water and at times I was doing like fully immersed in, in ice, like glacier water as well. And a big part of that is because it stops those thoughts.

[00:37:37] Jillian Brown: It is a total reset. There's a lot of studies that show that even just splashing cold tap water on your face, it's like a reset for your nervous system. And for me, that's a big thing because my mind will race and race and race while I'm out for that walk and it'll race in negative ways. It'll race through anything that I potentially had on my mind the past couple days and to the point where sometimes I have to actually stop and write it out just because I'm like, I can't, I have to like get this off my mind.

[00:38:08] Jillian Brown: But as soon as I wash my face in that river. The rest of my walk, I'm not thinking about really anything other than probably my dog or throwing a stick. I don't remember. But I remember before that, what I was thinking about. 

[00:38:21] Travis Bader: Interesting. What happens if you miss that routine? 

[00:38:24] Jillian Brown: Um, 

[00:38:26] Travis Bader: ask Ryan, 

[00:38:28] Jillian Brown: um, um, I can get away with it.

[00:38:31] Jillian Brown: Um, like I'll still wash my face with cold water or just from a tap. Um, I can get away with it at times depending on. that is the reason for it. What's going on in my life at that time. Um, but it's so ingrained in me and it's so important for me because none of us truly get over, I don't think, these, these demons and things, they're always there.

[00:38:57] Jillian Brown: And for me, I just, As much as it's been a long time and I have these tools and I share and stuff, I still feel like it's still so fresh. 

[00:39:06] Travis Bader: Mmm. 

[00:39:07] Jillian Brown: That, like, some of those moments still feel like they were yesterday. 

[00:39:10] Travis Bader: Mm hmm. 

[00:39:11] Jillian Brown: So, um, I definitely build up that energy really, really quick. Also, I just have a lot of like, go, go, go energy.

[00:39:21] Jillian Brown: So if I can't get out and go for like an hour, hour and a half walk and then do some exercises and hopefully do that routine again in the day, then I'm also like, I gotta go. What can I do? 

[00:39:37] Travis Bader: Yeah. And you're right. It never goes away, but the way that we perceive it can change. The way that we look at it, the perspective can change.

[00:39:48] Travis Bader: You have those instances where somebody looks at something and they're like, well, here's another way to look at it. Have you thought of this? And, Oh, hold on. You're right. It's like, Oh, I don't want to be running away. I'm a fighter. I'm not going to run away from my problems. Are you running away from your problems?

[00:40:03] Travis Bader: Or are you running towards something that's more desirable? Oh yeah, yeah. Maybe I am. Okay, here we go. Right. And that little perspective shift for that mind shift can change everything. It's still there. You're still doing the same thing. It's still running through. Do you do anything to help change that perspective?

[00:40:20] Travis Bader: Are there ways that you find that it's been helpful for you to help change the perspective? Or do you find yourself ruminating on the same thing over and over again, kind of stuck in a, like, how do I get over this? 

[00:40:30] Jillian Brown: I, I totally agree with you that it's all about shifting your perspective on a situation.

[00:40:36] Jillian Brown: And it's, It's so hard to, for one, tell somebody that. 

[00:40:41] Travis Bader: No one wants to hear it. 

[00:40:41] Jillian Brown: Yeah. It's so difficult. And there are definitely aspects that there's no way I'm, like, there's no way I can look at that situation and be like, find the positive in him doing this to me, or, like, there's not a positive. There's not.

[00:40:53] Jillian Brown: But. That something else like the dogs. That was my positive. I'm not focusing that. I'm not leaving that aspect out of that time. That was a positive. But, um, the, for me, a big way that I have shifted is, um, I still have all those, those stories, and like I was saying, I don't like seeing people feeling uncomfortable, uncomfortable by me sharing, um, traumatic events or hard things to talk about, having those hard conversations, um, for me, the shift of perspective on it is If I share my story and what I've been through and my tools, maybe it'll help somebody else.

[00:41:35] Travis Bader: I think you nailed it on the head. 

[00:41:38] Jillian Brown: That's why I do these things, like podcasts, why I public speak. It's why I take photos. Like, I want to document people's journeys and feelings. Nature's journeys in hopes that either I could protect somewhere or protect somebody or something may change in a person, it may impact them, um, and it may shift their perspective on potentially how they're looking at a river and its need to stay clean or shift their perspective on themselves.

[00:42:07] Jillian Brown: Like, I'm out paddling while I'm seeing this photo and the story of paddling. Um, Maybe I need to shift my perspective and go out paddling because clearly that person is enjoying that and I'm not enjoying what I'm doing, shifting those perspectives. Um, but yeah, a big part of why I share my negativity or the things I, sorry, the things that I've gone through that are negative is because it may help somebody else.

[00:42:30] Travis Bader: It's funny how you say there's nothing positive that came out of that. And then you go on to talk about the positive that came out of it. Well, 

[00:42:35] Jillian Brown: there's still a lot. But there's parts in it that there's no way I could shift that, that thing into like positive. But yes, by sharing like that I was in an abusive relationship, by saying that, then yeah, I can see like, oh, it's positive.

[00:42:51] Jillian Brown: I know that there's one person out there. She found me and told me. So just that in itself, I may be able to help one more other than just her. 

[00:43:00] Travis Bader: And that's it. And that's a perspective shift right there. Yeah, that's true. The fact that you are now provided the background and the street cred, so to speak, and the authority, you can actually reach other people.

[00:43:10] Travis Bader: And the fact that you're still, you're looking at tools, you found tools that work For you, you're exploring new tools and you're able to share that those it's not necessarily something positive for us. And I think that's a very powerful thing. I think that's the place where a lot of people, uh, have difficulty.

[00:43:27] Travis Bader: It's like you're in the airplane, oxygen mass comes down. Oh, I got to take care of me so I can take care of others. And this. In that situation, it makes sense, but that mentality of, Oh, I got to take care of me. So make sure I get myself sorted first. From a mental health standpoint, very often that can be the worst advice because you just spiral into yourself over and over again, trying to Try to figure out what's wrong with me.

[00:43:54] Travis Bader: It's like, it's like looking at what's that saying, you know, you get bit by a snake and you try and chase down that snake and figure out why the snake bit you and tell the snake that, you know, you didn't deserve that, or else you can just realize, Hey, you know what? I've been bit by a snake. I got some poison.

[00:44:08] Travis Bader: Let's deal with it. And so I can get on with it. Right. Um, the act of being of service to others can help you immensely. And what you're doing. That difficult times that you had, the areas where you see no positive outcome from it actually has a positive aspect that you're able to use that to help others.

[00:44:30] Travis Bader: So I, I think that's a very strong perspective, Jeff. 

[00:44:33] Jillian Brown: That's, that's definitely true. I guess I, yeah, I hadn't, uh, looked at it in this conversation like that, but yes, it's totally true. Like I, from doing all those things, I wouldn't have, and, um, being through all those things, I wouldn't have ended up working at a camp like for PTSD and helping others, um, with it and, and sharing all of my tools that I've learned, um, and, and taking them out in nature to do that.

[00:45:02] Jillian Brown: Um, yeah, and putting people in uncomfortable situations out there that they find uncomfortable and potentially by them seeing how comfortable I am. It allows them to feel more comfortable there, but teaching them the tools to, to find that, um, find that comfort there and find their tools, whether they utilize the ones that I share or they find their own that work for them, um, yeah, that's, I wouldn't be there if it hadn't been through going through those negative experiences, 

[00:45:33] Travis Bader: so.

[00:45:34] Travis Bader: That discomfort builds resiliency. And I think that's another aspect that, um, is lacking when we look for that quick fix. What, what pill can I take so I can sit on the couch and comfortably take a pill? And I've talked to the doctor so many times and you know, the uncomfortable part is sit in my car and drive in there and driving back, but I don't have to do that because I can do it through zoom now or whatever it might be when you're out in nature.

[00:45:56] Travis Bader: It can push you and it can test you and you've pushed yourself and you've tested yourself in nature and there's an inherent resilience that's built from that, that I think, um, even more than just being outside and listening to the rainfall and the birds chirp and, um, the act of moving through nature.

[00:46:18] Travis Bader: It can be, the discomfort could be that you're getting cold. It could be that you're getting wet, that your legs are getting tired, or it could be that you're going through, uh, the Colorado river on a two person sea kayak. Is it? I mean, each one of these things is going to build a different level of, um, resilience for the individual.

[00:46:40] Jillian Brown: The one thing with what you just said is that it makes me think of is when we reconnect to that way of life, that's the way humans. You got it! So, it's no wonder that we're so stressed out in our everyday when we're doing the mundane. Yes, routine is important, but so is change and experiencing new things.

[00:47:02] Jillian Brown: Mm hmm. And exploring and learning, um. And we, so much of us don't do that. It's just the everyday mundane routine. Seeing new places. That's, we're meant to. We're supposed to see new places. We're supposed to see new things. We're supposed to taste new foods, like all of these things. Life is not supposed to be easy for us.

[00:47:23] Jillian Brown: And yeah, everyone listening is probably like, well, my life's not, not that easy. Everyone, everyone has that struggle. We all have things that make our lives not easy. But when you look at how we're supposed to be, like cavemen and. But before we had civilizations really, that's technically how we're supposed to be.

[00:47:42] Jillian Brown: And their life was certainly not easy. That's why they, they were just resilient. They got through everything. Yeah. They died really early, but that was because like some saber tooth tiger ate them. That's right. Or they didn't 

[00:47:52] Travis Bader: wash their hands, I guess. 

[00:47:54] Jillian Brown: But they were extra resilient to that. 

[00:47:58] Travis Bader: Yeah. Well, and that, well, that difficulty is going to be relative and, but that's okay.

[00:48:02] Travis Bader: I mean, People compare so often. Well, why should I be upset? This person has got it so much worse. Well, just realize that this is our natural response to it based on our life experiences, our level of resiliency, whatever it might be. And we will get through it. And if we frame this right, that gives us that extra little step up the, uh, up the staircase of resilience.

[00:48:24] Travis Bader: And then it makes us tougher for the next thing. I think we were talking about this earlier. My daughter was mentioning some of her friends who have anxiety. And I'm like, I asked you, I'm like, When you were growing up, did anyone like talk about having anxiety as kids? And no, not, I'd never heard about any of this, but you see it over the mental health issues and the anxiety and children is prevalent.

[00:48:47] Travis Bader: And maybe that's due to the amount of information that we have coming at us really quickly. I think a part of it is that we've created such safe environments. Like I asked my kids about school and I'm like, they gotta be lying to me. School can't be like that. Are you sure these people aren't. Picking on this person over here or, and I think our society and our schools have done a really good job of making things, um, setting boundaries for people of what's acceptable and what isn't, what's safe and what isn't, so you can't be racist and sexist and, uh, mean and discriminatory and all these different things.

[00:49:28] Travis Bader: Uh, it, It hasn't produced those resiliency tools that would accompany that adversity that people would experience when we're younger. So I think kudos for creating a better sort of system and environment. But maybe we should look at how do we create that resilience in the kids as well through some sort of, uh, preferably shared adversity so people can, uh, relate to each other.

[00:49:53] Jillian Brown: Yeah. We're supposed to have disagreements. Yes. We're not all supposed to get along. We're not all supposed to be friends. I remember when I was in grade five, this, this girl and I, I, for some reason, I don't remember, but I didn't want to be her friend. I didn't like her. There was something about her that I, I I just didn't want to be a friend of hers.

[00:50:15] Jillian Brown: My teacher would keep us inside at recess to try to make us be friends. And, uh, uh, like, like, I must be really cool, but I don't think so that this girl is that desperate. But, um, um, I remember just thinking, like, how is this going to make me fri Why, why am I having to be friends with someone? Like you're trying to force me to like somebody.

[00:50:37] Jillian Brown: That's not going to make me like them. You're taking away my time with my actual friends to do this. But, um, yeah, there, there were obviously that we moved past that. And funny enough, she's actually come out and visited me and we've stayed in touch and 

[00:50:51] Travis Bader: good job, teacher. 

[00:50:51] Jillian Brown: So funny. Cause they're just like circled back that I have not seen probably anyone from grade five, but I've seen her.

[00:50:59] Jillian Brown: Cause you have a shared adversity. I don't know. Um, but yeah, we're supposed to. Not all like each other like that's normal. That's why there were different tribes in the same region. That's why there were fights and things like that. Yes, we don't like fights, but that creates resiliency and it creates rules and stamina and boundaries, personal boundaries.

[00:51:22] Jillian Brown: Yes, you said that there are boundaries and things are safe these days, but there's also. Everyone's right all the time in school. You can be a cat in school. 

[00:51:32] Travis Bader: Oh, I've heard that one. Yeah. You're 

[00:51:33] Jillian Brown: allowed to be a cat. Like, no, you can't be a cat like these things. Um, I'm not going to get on that topic cause we're going to have so many haters.

[00:51:43] Travis Bader: Like you should be able to say you're ridiculous if you want to do that. You're on your own doing your thing. I'll respect your right to do your thing, but come on. I mean, like we're a group here. Why don't we kind of get together, do this together, go home, be a cat, come back here and let's work as a team.

[00:51:57] Travis Bader: You have a 

[00:51:57] Jillian Brown: great imagination. Right now we're learning, save the imagination time for recess time or play time or free time, whatever you call it. But right now we are focused on learning something. That's like, it's a very simple conversation. We didn't have, I, I always was a dog when I was playing outside as a kid, but I couldn't be a dog in the classroom.

[00:52:17] Jillian Brown: Like that's, that's ridiculous. That's it. You're canceled. Yeah. But I'm just saying, no, those teachers are canceled cause they wouldn't let me in the classroom. Um, but. But I think that's a big part of, of the, of it. Like you're, yes, it, it, you'd look at it and be like, well, then there shouldn't be that much anxiety because they can be, they have freedom to do all those things.

[00:52:40] Jillian Brown: Yeah. But then there's the kids that don't know what they want to be. So then there's even more anxiety because all these other kids are like, well, I'm a dog. I'm a, I'm this, I'm that, whatever, what it is. Well, then the person who doesn't know they're going to be anxious, anxious, extra anxious. And they're a kid.

[00:52:55] Jillian Brown: Um, I think, I don't, I don't know how to, how to say it like having winners and losers, I get, it creates resiliency. It creates understanding of how to know how to, how to be okay with not being perfect and not being number one and not being top of the class because you're not always going to be top of the class through life.

[00:53:23] Jillian Brown: But if you're all told you're all top of the class, then when you're done with class, well, you're screwed. You're gonna have a big reality check like you go into high school and high school you have exams and stuff Well, you're gonna fail like you if you fail an exam, well, you're gonna you're gonna be told you fail There are national exams.

[00:53:43] Jillian Brown: There's not everybody passes. There's no way you can't say cuz I'm a dog I still pass like you've seen 

[00:53:50] Travis Bader: idiocracy The movie? 

[00:53:53] Jillian Brown: I have at some point, but I don't remember it fully. 

[00:53:56] Travis Bader: Basically it's humankind gets less intelligent as time goes on and their primal urges are all, everyone's listened to, you can do whatever you want and society basically all collapses and it's, uh, Um, it's a comedy by Mike Judd's, it's not supposed to be a roadmap for where we're going, but, um, but boundaries, people need boundaries.

[00:54:23] Travis Bader: And by saying no, and this is where you rank on this scale. Hey, if I rank zero on a scale of one to 10 on my mathematical abilities, um, Doesn't mean I'm stupid. It means I get a zero on that scale for whatever that testing group is. It's like Mansa. I've done very well on Mensa, um, on all of those tests, doesn't mean I'm smart.

[00:54:45] Travis Bader: It means like I like puzzles and games and I can, and I can work my way through it. Right. That depends on the, uh, the system, but those, those, those, those. Boundaries, kids crave them, adults crave them. If you have employees and you say, ah, you know, go do whatever you want. They will push those boundaries and they'll look to where their limits are.

[00:55:05] Travis Bader: And if you don't push back, eventually they'll become dissatisfied in one way, shape, or form. Kids will become disgruntled, upset, feel unloved, um, coworkers will feel, well, I guess I can do whatever. Maybe I run the show around here, right? We need these boundaries to, uh, uh, To know how to be able to interact with each other socially.

[00:55:28] Travis Bader: And when we start removing them and everybody's opinion is just as valid. Um, I think that's where a lot of these issues are coming in. And I see the pendulum swinging back to like this whole canceled culture thing, you said something wrong, that's racist or that's sexist. And the person's like Jimmy Carr, a comedian in the UK.

[00:55:49] Travis Bader: I love it. He says, next time I get canceled for whatever I say, I'm going to stand up and say, I'm sorry, and they're going to say, He's just saying the words. He doesn't mean it. He's like, ah, you get it. I'm a comedian. I can say words that I don't mean it. Right. 

[00:56:06] Jillian Brown: Yeah. 

[00:56:06] Travis Bader: Um, I, I think that, uh, having a society where we can disagree with each other respectfully and not everyone's on the same page, massive.

[00:56:17] Jillian Brown: Yeah. Yeah. You have to, I mean, look at like Vancouver is what the most diverse. City in the entire world, debatably. Is it? I don't know. Culturally. Well, how are we all living in a city together? Because we're accepting of everybody's different beliefs and stuff. But is anybody sitting, you have to sit down and under, like, go and understand people.

[00:56:40] Jillian Brown: That's how we grow, too. And how we learn. Like, I absolutely love debating. Growing up, my brother's very stuck in his ways. Like, he's, he's, this is the way, it's right or wrong.

[00:56:54] Jillian Brown: He's been like that since we were kids. For me, I could care less if I'm right. I, for one, want to have a conversation to learn, um, and, uh, so I would just start a topic, and I, because I would know it would go into a debate, and I would just love it because, you know, I love it. I would learn from him, too, and I would learn.

[00:57:14] Jillian Brown: He's like steering the plot. Well, yeah, I mean, that was really why I loved it. But I would also learn other opinions and other views on the world. And I learned so much through that. I've, still to this day, I've learned, I learn so much through my brother when we get together because of that. Because his, what he shares and knows is so vastly different than what I know.

[00:57:39] Travis Bader: And it's no less valid or important, but it's good to see that other perspective because you can comport yourself accordingly as you move forward with, with a different, uh, set of guiding principles perhaps, or. 

[00:57:52] Jillian Brown: Exactly. There's also with the, going back to the fact that your daughter brought up that her friends have anxiety, this is a funny one, cause a lot It's hard to, I'm, I'm having trouble navigating how to, how to bring, how to talk about it, but um, it's great that mental health is so talked about now, and it's a lot more accepting, but I think a lot of it through social media and that side of things, it's almost Glorified it so a lot of kids in particular and youth think that that is what they're going through when they're really just kids And they just need to go outside more or whatever like you all kids have energy not all kids have ADD and ADHD Well, all kids have cell phones.

[00:58:46] Jillian Brown: Well, that's why like That's like but I think that's a big part of it. Not like There are definitely kids and people who have ADD, ADHD, anxiety, all of these things. Again, I'm not saying anyone doesn't, but I think a big part of the fact that it's so popular to talk about, but also not, but it's not in certain realms and in certain context, but When it comes to youth and schools and things, nowadays in social media, it's, yeah, become like almost pop culture to talk about how I have anxiety.

[00:59:25] Jillian Brown: I have two stepdaughters, and I watch some of their videos that they're watching on YouTube and stuff, and they're watching Kids Channel YouTube. And there's literally skits about, like, a kid having anxiety, but it's been made into a comedy. Yeah. So then the kid comes back and she's like, I'm so depressed.

[00:59:43] Jillian Brown: Like, she's a nine year old, but this was going on before that. Like, the past three years. She's, she'll just quote it. Like, no, you're not. But she'll act like what she saw because she's a kid. Sure. That's how we became resilient because we acted like what we saw, which was our hardworking parents who were outdoors and we were forced to go outdoors with them and work too.

[01:00:04] Travis Bader: That's right. 

[01:00:06] Jillian Brown: That's, that's such a huge part of it, I think, as well as the whole fact that because of it's so talked about and so popular, the Pharmacare and doctors can really utilize that to make money. 

[01:00:21] Travis Bader: Well, if you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail, right? And if, if, okay, so neurodivergent, we're going to call everyone neurodivergent now.

[01:00:29] Travis Bader: What level of the spectrum are you neurodivergent on? And well, maybe we're normal and maybe this is a normal, natural psychophysiological response to stressors that we've encountered based on our life experience and based on our, our social structure because. You and I can experience the exact same thing and mentally experience it in two very different ways based on our, on our background.

[01:00:54] Travis Bader: And for, it was like, when we were talking about STAS, right? It's like STAS, you know, PTSD, like, you know, flashbacks, dreams, memories, recurring thoughts, like, is that something you have? He's like, oh yeah. Not really like in a, like I'm upset about it, but more like a nostalgic way. Like, man, it'd be great to be back there with the lads out there and meant we're doing a good job.

[01:01:16] Travis Bader: And so he keeps coming back to his mind. He's going through events, his, uh, ex British special forces events of, uh, highly kinetic encounters as he called them. Right. Um, and he looks back on it with nostalgia, like, man, I was doing a real good job. We were all cohesive as a team and other people. Based on their background and resilience and whatever it might be, might look back at that and say, Oh, that was, that was terrible.

[01:01:43] Travis Bader: How do I get over this? I just, I keep having those memories and the sounds of the back of my head. That, that piece of resilient, and that's, you know, where you and I, I met was that talk I was asked to give. Basically I had a, about a 45, half hour at a 45 minute talk that I had to condense into 11 minutes.

[01:02:03] Jillian Brown: It happens to the best of us. I completely understand. 

[01:02:06] Travis Bader: Speed through this thing as quick as I could. Actually, I threw it up on YouTube and. I wasn't going to, but, um, co workers suggested I should. Yeah. But, um, you know, talking about, uh, the resilience, uh, that the outdoors can bring and the lessons that you learn and you're mentioning like, man, I'm going to get upset here.

[01:02:27] Travis Bader: It sounds like you're glorifying unsafe practices about rafting down rivers without a life jacket. Yeah, it, that for me has been a massive thing in my life is just pushing myself in the outdoors in whatever way I can. And that sometimes it's mountaineering. Sometimes it's just walking around Ladner where I live here, but, uh, um, it's been a huge, uh, piece of my own sort of mental health piece.

[01:02:57] Travis Bader: For you, you've taken that and you've turned it into some pretty cool expeditions. Can you tell me, so I was into rafting and you got into kayaking and, um, paddling across the continental United States. You want to talk about that one a little bit, cause I'm curious. I want to hear more about that. I specifically didn't go far into the details of that because I wanted to hear it fresh from you.

[01:03:23] Jillian Brown: Okay. I will happily share. Um, I'll, I'll. Say something about prior to that about the Grand Canyon and before that. So this all came to light doing these expeditions after the whole homelessness and finding my tools and those sorts of things. And a big thing that I learned going through all of that was that nothing is placed in front of us that we don't have the strength to overcome.

[01:03:47] Jillian Brown: As long as we believe in ourselves enough. That's what I came to believe. I 

[01:03:51] Travis Bader: 100 percent agree. 

[01:03:52] Jillian Brown: And, and that encompasses believing that we can find the knowledge and the skills and the athleticism to accomplish those things. Every mountain anyone can go up. it's just that people summit those mountains by training prior to and setting their mind to it and believing that they can go up that mountain.

[01:04:12] Jillian Brown: Anyone can do that. The mountain is no different for each person. So after kind of coming to that realization, I started to say yes to almost anything that, you It fell in front of me, and it opened up this incredible world of expeditions. The Grand Canyon was not my plan. I was out on an expedition documenting killer whales and paddling with killer whales, and the guide was this gentleman, Jamie Sharpe, and he threw out this harebrained idea of taking a tandem sea kayak down the Colorado River, and I was like, that sounds super cool.

[01:04:47] Jillian Brown: I'd totally go along, and he's like, well, I have a partner already, but that's cool that you're interested. Well, a week out. He calls me and he's like, yeah, so my partner can't, is, is backing out there. They got cold feet. You expressed some interest a little while ago. Would you like to come? And I was driving down to go and paddle the ferry route at the time.

[01:05:08] Jillian Brown: So I'm like, I'm going to have to call you back, Jamie. Like I'm going and paddling right now. And as I'm putting my boat in the water, I text him back being like, I'm in. It was like half an hour later. And so that's how that one came to light. But. The same thing goes for the America one, a month out from doing this trip, um, I got a call from, from the one gentleman saying that the three other teammates had backed out and they needed somebody and they needed somebody who could document and paddle and the sponsors that everyone was already on board, like all the funding.

[01:05:44] Jillian Brown: Um, and they all trusted that I could get the job done as well. So they all backed my skills, which was incredible. Just like Jamie did with trusting me to accomplish this world first goal. He trusted that I would be Going to be the partner to be able to do that with him and so I said yes, so a month out I said yes to the original plan of 210 days with a stranger paddling across America and Ultimately I ended up solo on it.

[01:06:12] Jillian Brown: Tell me about that and

[01:06:15] Jillian Brown: Yeah after a day after a hundred days together I came to realize a few things, um, I had been lied to why those three people weren't on the trip anymore. And it was truly because they couldn't get along with that person. And essentially, there was no more room for his ego and another person in the boat.

[01:06:35] Jillian Brown: And that's why he went through a number of other people after me. But I lasted 100 days and I moved into a kayak and I was going to continue to do my job and document him and his journey and we, I was like, we'll just tell the sponsors that I'm getting a new perspective on it from a different boat.

[01:06:50] Jillian Brown: It'll be easy. And we were invited to stay at somebody's house for a night for a fresh meal, shower, and I took the guy up on that. The family up on the offer, and him and the other paddlers, there was a few other boats with us at the time, didn't, and the next day I woke up to a text message saying, um, like, basically, good luck, if you want to keep going, go on your own, I, I believe that you'll be able to do it, which was, that was nice, but, He took everything.

[01:07:18] Jillian Brown: He had all the gear, all the like, I had my basic gear. I had my like clothes and stuff and a tent. Okay. But he had all of the GPS, all the radios, all the solar panels, all the batteries. Mm. And, and left. And I didn't even have a map. Um, so I had to, you know, Ask a stranger who I had met, um, we call them river angels, um, to print out maps of the Mississippi River for me from the library and he printed them out and I kept going till Baton Rouge is actually where I ended, um, Louisiana, after 150 days.

[01:07:49] Jillian Brown: Wow. Um, so I went from Astoria, Oregon, Up the Columbia River to the Snake River, up the Snake River to Lewiston, Idaho, and from there portaged from Lewiston, Idaho over the Continental Divide, um, to Helena, Montana. But it broke my foot on the second day of that. So I actually, on the 

[01:08:09] Travis Bader: portage, 

[01:08:09] Jillian Brown: yes, on the portage, carrying too much 

[01:08:11] Travis Bader: weight.

[01:08:12] Travis Bader: Yep. Yeah. 

[01:08:12] Jillian Brown: Yeah. Stress fracture. Fifth menopausal. Um, I don't know. I was like, I'm not going and paying money. You're going and dealing with x rays. I know what I did. I've done it before and it's very obvious. Um, and so I kept going until I couldn't get my boots on anymore, which was 16 days of, I was, had a backpack on and then I had the canoe strapped to my backpack on a cart and I was pulling it and he was walking.

[01:08:37] Jillian Brown: Um, And so I was like a little pack mule with my camera gear and everything too. 

[01:08:43] Travis Bader: Wow. 

[01:08:43] Jillian Brown: Yeah. How much weight? Like, well, the canoe alone's 90 pounds. And then I had my camera gears, at least 40 pounds, um, and then all the food and tents. 40 pounds 

[01:08:54] Travis Bader: of camera gear. 

[01:08:56] Jillian Brown: Yeah. 

[01:08:56] Travis Bader: Wow. 

[01:08:57] Jillian Brown: That's why I trained like all the time, especially right now of trying to like get back into that scene.

[01:09:04] Jillian Brown: Um, yeah, people don't think about that when it comes to photography and outdoor photography, like adventure photography, they're all praising the athlete and they're giving sponsorships to the athlete and the athlete gear. Well, who's capturing the photos of the athlete? Cause somebody's up there with them doing that for the most part.

[01:09:19] Jillian Brown: Yes. There are people who set up their own GoPros and stuff, but for the most part, I don't There's a photographer there with all the same 

[01:09:25] Travis Bader: gear, plus 40 pounds of camera gear. 

[01:09:28] Jillian Brown: Exactly. The photographer, but also the photographer has to be able to run ahead and get photos, fall behind and then catch back up.

[01:09:36] Travis Bader: Yep. 

[01:09:37] Jillian Brown: People don't think about those things. Yeah, yeah. People don't think about those things. 

[01:09:40] Travis Bader: I think about those things. Yeah. Grylls go out and do his stuff, like, but the cameraman's right beside him doing the same thing. 

[01:09:46] Jillian Brown: Exactly. It's like 

[01:09:47] Travis Bader: that clip of the guy running down the side of the track field in these, you see that one?

[01:09:51] Travis Bader: Yeah. And he's got this massive camera on his shoulder and he's going faster than the guys are coming up to the finish line. That was, you know, that's a guy you should be praising right there. 

[01:10:00] Jillian Brown: Right? Yes. It's fun that his video, that video has gone completely viral. 

[01:10:05] Travis Bader: Yeah. 

[01:10:05] Jillian Brown: Um. So from Helena, Montana, um, I got on the Miss, the Missouri River, and the Missouri River to the Mississippi River, and then the Mississippi River down to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which is where I ended up finishing.

[01:10:19] Jillian Brown: The goal was, um, Miami, Florida, and taking the intercoastal waterway along the Gulf of Mexico. But because I didn't have radios, GPS, those sorts of things, um, I didn't feel safe, is the hardest thing to, to know when to. You feel like it's quitting, but when to stop. And you can always go back at, like I've said about Mount, the mountains there for anyone to climb.

[01:10:43] Jillian Brown: Well, that river Gulf Mexico is there. I can go back when I feel safe, when I have the knowledge and do it properly and do it in a way that I'm going to enjoy it as well. 

[01:10:53] Travis Bader: That is a hard thing. Am I quitting or am I making a pragmatic decision? 

[01:10:56] Jillian Brown: I, I vanished off social media. When the, I had so many people following like sponsors, partners, magazines, all of these things that I was working with.

[01:11:06] Jillian Brown: And I felt like I was letting everyone down, 

[01:11:09] Travis Bader: calling it 

[01:11:09] Jillian Brown: quits there. And um, I hadn't really, I hadn't shared what had gone on either. People saw that I was all of a sudden in a kayak and by myself. So I had all of that weight on me too. Um, and, um, and I'm not one to like to speak negatively about another person.

[01:11:29] Jillian Brown: In a way, like, you'll hear me say that I was in an abusive relationship, and if you knew me, you could know which person, who that was. But I'm not gonna go saying the person's first and last name or anything and being like, this is where they live. And, and, like, Smiting their character in some way because maybe that person changed.

[01:11:46] Jillian Brown: Maybe it was just me I don't know, but everybody also has their own story of events that have gone on too 

[01:11:53] Travis Bader: Yeah, what and what value does it bring you to go over that over and over again? 

[01:11:56] Jillian Brown: Well, yeah, it doesn't doesn't make me any a better person by saying negative things about another person. Yeah but I, at that time, it was really negatively impacting me to the point I was actually started doing my exercise routine again while I'm paddling across America.

[01:12:14] Jillian Brown: I was doing squats and sit ups and push ups every day because I had built up that energy and just paddling and being out in nature wasn't, wasn't doing it for me anymore. I was in such a bad head space at that point that I tried to use my tools some more to help. 

[01:12:28] Travis Bader: Did that suicidal ideation return? Nope.

[01:12:30] Jillian Brown: Nope. The only time I've ever had that. experience was that that one time there. And, uh, yeah, when I, I've never ever had any thoughts like that. That's why it was so scary and why I did something that I was so, that was so not me to go and talk to somebody about it. Um, Because I've never, ever experienced a feeling like that or a thought like that before.

[01:12:54] Travis Bader: So if the, um, negative thoughts are returning to you, despite being out in nature, despite being physically exerting yourself, kayaking, canoeing, uh, and you find yourself in a situation where you got to start getting back into your exercise regime, um, It would suggest to me that maybe exercise isn't the ultimate answer, and there's another piece of the puzzle in there that needs to be addressed.

[01:13:18] Jillian Brown: Well, there's always, like, the best thing you can do What anyone can do is learn as many tools to help yourself as possible, like go into like, it would be like going into Home Depot and learning as many tools as possible because you want to build your own home. If you only go in and learn how to use the hammer, good luck building that home, that's going to be really difficult.

[01:13:40] Jillian Brown: But if you learn how to use as many tools as possible, then you may only need the hammer, but at some point you're going to need a saw. So you go back and get the saw. You know how to use it. It's in your tool belt. You're going to use it. And at that time, I knew, okay, well, I'm not doing fitness in that way, like a fitness routine that's like regimented.

[01:14:00] Jillian Brown: I can bring that tool back in. That's an easy one for me to start incorporating again. I stopped writing. At that time, like, writing for me is a big thing that's, again, people perceive social media for everyone is, is that it's to show off and it's for everyone else. Well, my social media, my writing, my photos, I do that for me.

[01:14:20] Jillian Brown: I write every single morning and I write about a photo or a story or whatever I'm feeling. And that's what I post. That's my, like, journaling that day. 

[01:14:31] Travis Bader: Very cool. 

[01:14:31] Jillian Brown: And, um. 

[01:14:32] Travis Bader: And that's a routine though, too. 

[01:14:34] Jillian Brown: Yeah, it's one of my tools. 

[01:14:35] Travis Bader: Yes. 

[01:14:36] Jillian Brown: Um, I don't like to, to write out, like, I went through this, and like, the, like, abuse and that's what's on my mind.

[01:14:42] Jillian Brown: I don't like to write that out, but I'll write out something about a photo or a story or, um. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, something, if I'm struggling, I'll look into a word that's on my mind, like perseverance, and I'll write about perseverance in a way that relates to a photo in some way. But while I was out there, I stopped journaling, and I couldn't get myself to go back to it.

[01:15:07] Jillian Brown: Um. So that might have been something if I had started journaling again, maybe that would have helped, but there was a lot of factors. I had poison oak all over. I had bug bites all over. Hurricane Michael. Hit five days after I stopped so there was also that in the back of my mind like there was a few factors that were Weighing on it that weren't making the situation better And then also 

[01:15:32] Travis Bader: as it should 

[01:15:33] Jillian Brown: ultimately there are things like family and friends and home some like Places you know, um, that help your mental health.

[01:15:42] Jillian Brown: That being out on an expedition like that, you just can't overcome that when you're out there. And you have to look at it and realize, like, I'm not, this is, This is not good for me anymore. Mm hmm. There's going to be points where you're out on an expedition where you, uh, eventually you get injured and you have to press the, the emergency button.

[01:16:01] Jillian Brown: There's no way around it. You have to. 

[01:16:03] Travis Bader: Mm hmm. You've 

[01:16:04] Jillian Brown: broken your leg. You have to press the button. Sometimes you're just at that point mentally where you have to go home. 

[01:16:12] Travis Bader: You know what? One of the things that really kind of Duck with me, I did a podcast with the, um, one of the co founders of an app called metal, um, which is British term metal, M E T T L E for like mentally strong, spiritually strong.

[01:16:28] Travis Bader: So, uh, he, Neil Smith and Bear Grylls got together and put this app together and, uh, Talks about mindfulness and meditation and a bunch of different tools, just in little bits as specifically designed for men's mental fitness and talking about, um, having somebody to, to talk to friends and family, like you say.

[01:16:54] Travis Bader: And the comments that came up afterwards, a number of people that would say, I don't have anyone to talk. I don't have any friends that I can confide this kind of like, I'll hang around with people. There's, who can I talk to about this? Right. Over and over and over again, which is, um, which is interesting.

[01:17:11] Travis Bader: I thought. 

[01:17:13] Jillian Brown: You know what? When it comes to that, on that trip, I mentioned that I went silent on social media. I was posting every day, as long as I had service, like, All of it. And I'm actually redoing that right now. I've never shared all my journal entries and all the photos and I just started again. And um, because I never touched upon it.

[01:17:32] Jillian Brown: And um, when I went silent, the amount of comments and messages that I got from complete strangers was overwhelming. And I was so scared. Like I said, that people would judge me. People would think I was a failure. Like I was looking all negative. Mhmm. And every single message was, are you okay? Where are you?

[01:17:57] Jillian Brown: Oh, we miss your stories. I hope you're okay. Everything like that. Everything under the sun. And that was really big in helping me. I started to, just writing them saying, yeah, I'm okay, actually really helped. But seeing how much support it was, and then when I did ultimately share that I had called it quits, just saying, or like stopped there, I everyone.

[01:18:20] Jillian Brown: It was, what you achieved is incredible. And I hadn't looked at it that way. I was like, I didn't achieve what I set out to. They're like, look at what you did do though. That was all I was ever met with. Sponsors, everybody, like family. It was incredible. Um, to the point that I had a follower. This is, this is what shocks me because I don't think my life's like that special or anything.

[01:18:46] Jillian Brown: And people were so devoted or are still potentially so devoted to somebody on social media or my work. A follower saw my story about how I had poison oak and all these bug bites and stuff and I actually posted a video like I was sharing the good the bad everything. About an expedition the truth about an expedition.

[01:19:09] Jillian Brown: I don't want it to be glorified I want you to know that it isn't all easy. It's hard and that's part of it And I shared that this follower is a doctor and she's like you need to go to a hospital And if you can't go to a hospital, I'm sending you medication I'm like, I don't think you can do that. And she's like in America.

[01:19:26] Jillian Brown: I make the rules like She literally sent me a prescription to the closest pharmacy and And a river angel picked it up for me and brought it to me so that I would have this medication to treat these like infected wounds I had all over. 

[01:19:44] Travis Bader: You've used that term a couple of times, river angels. 

[01:19:46] Jillian Brown: Yeah. 

[01:19:47] Travis Bader: And in the same, even though the doctor wasn't on the side of the river there with you, um, I guess they could be viewed as a river angel.

[01:19:56] Travis Bader: These people who are writing in saying, are you okay? Like what's going on? They could be viewed in the same way. And for people who say. I don't have anybody. I can't talk about these things with anybody. Um, maybe, maybe when you said earlier that we've, anyone can have some of that mountain, we might have to choose a different route or use different tools to get up there.

[01:20:19] Travis Bader: Maybe it takes a team of Sherpas to drag us up there, right? But we have the ability to have interpersonal skills or develop them to a point where we can convince some Sherpas or whatever it might be. Right. Um, maybe. These people, you don't feel they have anything there. Aren't looking at the right areas.

[01:20:41] Jillian Brown: There's the choice, choice thing, not to, again, I don't know everybody's situation, but if you're saying that there's no one for you to talk to, well, it sounds like you're also choosing not to talk to anyone. There's all you can, there's a ton of, phone call in places that you're anonymous and you can call and just talk.

[01:21:07] Jillian Brown: It can be as simple as that, if that's all you, if that's what you feel you need to do, just to get it off your chest. You can go, I've had the most incredible conversations with strangers. Mm hmm. Going, and actually, I, I was able to leave that abusive relationship, and, because of a stranger. 

[01:21:25] Travis Bader:

[01:21:26] Jillian Brown: sat down at a bar in Squamish, I was, I was living in Golden, in that relationship, in Golden, British Columbia.

[01:21:34] Jillian Brown: So it's like nine hours away from Squamish. And I was back there for work, for photography work, and I wasn't sleeping. I hadn't slept in years, essentially, at this point. So I went into a local bar, and I sat down at the bar, and this hockey puck slid across The bar towards me, like if the name on that, if he scores, then you'll win a free pint, but you probably won't because he's already scored two goals.

[01:22:01] Jillian Brown: This is the start of the conversation. It's so vivid to me and I look over and there's a younger guy sitting beside me and then another gentleman on the other side, who's the one that slid it. And I started having this conversation with them and these two guys, a gentleman and his niece that are the.

[01:22:18] Jillian Brown: that are there. They take me in like family for the time that I'm in Squamish. Like, they invite me out to go to dinners, like with them and their family. They have me over. They tell me I could stay on their couch if I want. Like, they didn't know me at all. And at that time, I didn't feel like I had anyone.

[01:22:35] Jillian Brown: Yes, my family has always been, been there for me. They live in a different part of Canada. Again, I didn't want to put, I never wanted to put stress on my family. Your choice, but yes. It was totally my choice. Exactly. Um, they always would have been there for me and been understanding and done whatever they could, but it was my choice never to involve with them or talk to them.

[01:22:57] Jillian Brown: And anyways, this one gentleman, he, he stayed in touch with me and, um, and, on my drive back to Golden. I, I would get in trouble for any, anything on my phone. My phone was always searched and I had phone calls and texts from clients like that were like just a phone number. There was no name and it would be a phone number and it would say like, Oh, I'm running five minutes late or where are we meeting?

[01:23:28] Jillian Brown: And I looked at it like, well, I'm going to get in trouble. For this, even if it's obviously, it's a client, I'm gonna get in trouble for this, but I can't just delete all this because then it's gonna look, then I'm gonna get in trouble for this things being deleted. So I'm looking at my phone and pulled over on the side of the road and the first name that came up was this gentleman on my phone for a text conversation and I clicked it and I called him and pretty much without saying anything, he figured out what was going on And he, I left a week later, that relationship, and that gentleman answered the phone every single time I called, and texted me, and he set up a like, escape plan, essentially.

[01:24:13] Jillian Brown: He had done some work over in Afghanistan with kids. Hmm. And. In doing that, he had to go through some safety procedures of escape plans and things like that, um, and so he kind of went through that process with me, and he knew people in the area, so he actually contacted people and said I could go stay there, things like that, um, but he was there for me.

[01:24:37] Jillian Brown: the whole time, this stranger that didn't know me at all. Um, and I always say that he saved my life. And he's always like, no, you save your own. You chose, I didn't go and drag you out of that situation. You chose to, for one, call me and talk to me. But you chose to leave. And he was the first person I saw after I left.

[01:24:56] Jillian Brown: Really? Yeah, he was over at his best friend's place. And he's like, just come here and gave me a big hug. And he said, I'm so proud of you. I'll never forget that. Wow. Yeah. And he's still a good friend. Yeah. Um, but yeah, like just the fact that a stranger kind of acknowledged my existence at all, I attribute to saving my life.

[01:25:16] Jillian Brown: And I, that's why I will always invite conversations to you. And if I see somebody not doing so great at a bar and people are like, well, they're just, they've been drinking all day. Is that really? Maybe a reason why. Is that really it? And I've gone and like asked, eh, is it like, you okay? They're sitting by themselves.

[01:25:34] Jillian Brown: Yeah. And I've had random people start crying and we've gone outside and sat on a park bench and like share their, what they've gone through. Like, yeah, you just needed somebody to be able to cry to you. Like you just needed that. I didn't do anything. I don't even know your name. But if, if it can go both ways where we can all be that.

[01:25:52] Jillian Brown: Willing to just listen to somebody, but be that vulnerable to share with anyone. 

[01:25:58] Travis Bader: I like that. We really should normalize. Are you okay? I mean, not to the point where you're like, are you okay? Are you okay? Are you okay? Come on, give me a break. Right. But, uh, being open and at least cause you know, you ask a guy, are you okay?

[01:26:12] Travis Bader: Oh yeah, yeah. Yeah, no. And it's always going to be the answer, right? Especially in Canada. Yeah. No. What does that mean? Um, normalize. Are you okay? And as well. Understand that no matter what you're going through, there's going to be other people out there who might be able to offer a different perspective on it.

[01:26:31] Travis Bader: So maybe. Maybe you talk to somebody and they totally brush you off. Maybe the next person you talk to, and they're the, uh, they've got the perspective that's going to work for you, whether that's a professional or somebody you meet at the bar. Is there anything else we should be chatting about? We've chatted about a whole bunch of different things on here.

[01:26:50] Travis Bader: What's your next trip? Do you have another, an adventure lined up? 

[01:26:53] Jillian Brown: Um, well I have a, uh, I have an expedition that we're working on funding for that's down in the United States again, um, that's a paddling expedition, um, but the main concept, actually there's two concepts towards it. We're making a documentary, um, and it's about the importance of clean waterways, and we'll be paddling this river system that has the biggest drainage, um, for, for people.

[01:27:19] Jillian Brown: northeast United States, um, from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Lake Erie. So it's like 28 counties drain into the, the Maumee River. Um, so we'll be paddling that and documenting the ecology, the ecosystems. We'll be doing some education and water sampling along the way, but a big part of, My portion of it, and what I'll be sharing, is the importance of clean waterways and nature, clean, um, ecosystems for us physically and mentally.

[01:27:52] Jillian Brown: Mmm. Um. People are talking about that. And having, yeah, having those, those safe spaces to go and yeah. Wash your face in some clean water. I definitely, this morning, walked to certain, a certain spot around here to wash my face. Because we're right beside Vancouver and we're in Delta and Richmond and all of that area.

[01:28:11] Jillian Brown: So, I wasn't about to use certain water to wash my face. But I did find some clean ocean water. So, I felt that was acceptable. So, for me, that was really important. And. Yeah, and that brings clean air to 

[01:28:23] Travis Bader: mm hmm 

[01:28:24] Jillian Brown: less polluted air, which is of course gonna affect us physically and mentally Anyways, that's on the horizon.

[01:28:31] Jillian Brown: We're still trying to work on some funding for it. How do you get funding 

[01:28:34] Travis Bader: for something like this? 

[01:28:36] Jillian Brown: There's A lot of ways. So we already, we have PBS Ohio on board. Um, so they were helping, they've helped us write grants. So there's grant opportunities. So you can apply for those. And there's government grants or there's specific platforms like the Explorers Club, um, um, Or the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, things like that.

[01:28:57] Jillian Brown:

[01:28:57] Travis Bader: friend of mine just became a member of the Explorers Club. I just, I just learned about that a couple of days ago. That's awesome. Florian Wagner. He's in New York, cause I guess they had their induction for new, so I, I'm just learning about what this Explorers Club is. 

[01:29:12] Jillian Brown: Super cool. Yeah. To get into them, you have to be invited.

[01:29:16] Jillian Brown: Both the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and the Explorers Club, uh, um, a member of the Explorers Club has to have invited you to be able, you can't just sign up. Um, but, but there's things like that. And then there's, of course, like, Clean Waters Org, like. organization, um, that offer grants and MEC offers grants.

[01:29:37] Jillian Brown: But then you can get sponsorships too, um, which are just a different form of grant, kind of, is an easy way to, to put in. You can get investors and things as well. To expeditions. It's really it's that's the work. Yeah. Like people look at the amount of comments that you get as I'm sure you get these two through your social media is I love your life.

[01:29:59] Jillian Brown: I wish I had your life. And I'm like, this is like 10 percent of my life. There's like, yeah, I like it. But 90 like 90 percent of what I do is sitting in front of a computer. Or going around and pitching myself, essentially, which I'm terrible at doing, but trying to get funding. And that's, that's such hard work.

[01:30:21] Jillian Brown: It's so frustrating, too. Because you're like, this idea is so amazing, this project is so important, but nobody believes in it. Or maybe they do, but why won't they help? Like, yeah, it's that. That's, that's the next part. Kind of big expedition thing. I'm also doing a paddling race in the Amazon next year with, um, a friend of mine, um, Canadian female team doing it.

[01:30:45] Jillian Brown: Yeah, that'll be fun. Um, so right now this year it'll be, unless anyone hears me on here, sees me on here and hires me for some gigs for photography or writing or documentation. I'm totally open to it. 

[01:30:57] Travis Bader: We'll put a link in the bio. 

[01:30:59] Jillian Brown: Yeah. Um, it'll be the standard summer. We, we do our best to go out to our family cottage where I grew up, um, in Northwestern Ontario and we'll get to do lots of time outdoors and paddling and seeing turtles and frogs and all the wildlife.

[01:31:15] Travis Bader: I love it. 

[01:31:15] Jillian Brown: Yeah. 

[01:31:16] Travis Bader: Well, we'll put some links of those in the description. So people will know how to contact you, follow you on social media, see the work that you're doing. And if there are people out there who want to be sponsors and see some of these adventures, Through to fruition. I'm sure they'll know how to get ahold of you through social media.

[01:31:34] Travis Bader: Jillian, thank you so much for being on the Silvercore podcast. I really enjoyed this conversation. 

[01:31:39] Jillian Brown: Thank you. It was great. I'll come back anytime. 

[01:31:42] Travis Bader: Oh, you'll be  back.