If you’ve ever spent time living in a major city, you know finding nature takes a lot more intentionality than if you spend all of your time in a rural environment. You might even think about experiencing nature in a city as happening in spite of the concrete jungle, not because of it.

But what if you flipped that on its head? What if you learned ways to appreciate nature because of the city it’s in?

That’s something today’s guest, Brittany Gowan, has become good at as part of her work coaching organizations and executives. With an industrial and organizational psychology master’s degree, she works with her clients to lean on nature in and out of the city, a concept also shares in her new book “Turn to the Sun.”

In this episode of Humans Outside Brittany talks about:

  • Finding nature wherever you are
  • The gifts of an outdoor habit in an urban environment
  • How noticing nature can raise awareness for other things

Listen now!

[2:17] Brittany Gowan’s favorite outdoor space

[4:02] How Brittany became someone who likes to go outside

[4:57] How do people react to the idea of nearby nature?

[6:02] Ways to find natures in the city

[8:23] Why birds are cool for this

[10:59] How to build awareness for nature in a city

[13:06] How to create space for nature

[15:03] The art of nature visualization

[22:53] Do houseplants move you towards nature?

[28:00] The top thing Brittany has learned through her outdoor practice

[34:01] Brittany’s favorite outdoor moment

You know the photos don’t tell the whole story: doing something cool outdoors or going on an epic adventure takes work.

And I don’t just mean deciding where to go and then peeling yourself out of your house. I mean:

  • Sacrificing other things you want/need to do
  • Living with the discomfort of flexibility
  • Preparation and vision

But is it worth it? Yes.

Listen to this episode to hear more now!


[:35] Just a little introvert dilemma

[1:06] Answering the call of adventure despite inconvenience

[2:56] You’re going to have to make some sacrifices

[3:40] Some of them will be related to flexibility

[5:07] Regrets? None so far.

You’d think after all of these days outside over years of keeping my outdoor habit, I’d have figured out that after feeling some kind of way in the winter, I am an entirely new person when the daylight comes back.

But no.

So this is a letter from current me to future me, based on the experience of past me. And I bet these me-s can you help you, too.

Listen now.


[:35] Dear all the Amys: listen up

[:48] This is a letter about the power of sunshine

[1:52] Remember back like two weeks ago when you thought you were done for?

[2:22] It’s all about powering through to the light

[3:27] Will I ever get the memo?

Remember my rim-to-rim hike in the Grand Canyon that became a dangerous disaster after another member of the group put us all at risk? Yeah, that wasn’t great. But when I shared that story, I immediately received a parade of messages from Humans Outside followers and podcast fans with their own stories of outdoor misadventures caused by someone else’s poor choices.

There’s some comfort in knowing my experience wasn’t unique. But it also made me think maybe there’s a lesson there on what we can all do better next time. If so many of us have had a similar problem, maybe we need someone to help us avoid it happening again.

Enter: Luc Mehl and Sarah Histand, adventure experts who happen to be married to each other.

You’ve probably heard Sarah here before, bringing insight on adventuring in ways that feel safe. Luc is a trip planning expert who has done major expeditions in Alaska and teaches courses on heading into the wilderness while having fun and not dying. Together they’re the perfect pair to help us with this problem.

In this episode hear:

  • Luc’s advice for building a solid adventure group
  • What to do if you’re stuck on adventure with someone who is falling apart
  • How to be kind to yourself (and others) while deal with the whole thing.

Listen now!

[3:33] Sarah’s favorite outdoor space

[4:04] But wait, Luc has a different favorite

[4:50] Luc and Sarah’s outdoor stories (plus, how they met)

[8:05] What is risk management and why is it important?

[11:04] It sounds harsh, but are there simply people who shouldn’t be invited on adventures?

[12:20] How to figure out who is the right fit for your trip

[13:45] What to do when you thought your had it figured out, but actually you did not

[17:41] The role of people picking in trip planning

[20:24] What to do when you get into the adventure and now you’ve got real problems

[26:45] The fear of offending someone

[29:29] Think about it as “carrying pride”

[32:28] So you’re in a bad situation. Here’s what to do next.

[37:50] The rumors are true: don’t leave a buddy (or frienemy) behind

[41:40] How to avoid an emotional stress injury

[45:16] Luc and Sarah’s favorite outdoor moments

There are just certain outdoor things that drive me absolutely bonkers. They make my nerves feel like tattered edges, especially if they’ve been going on for awhile.

And that’s a problem, because I am committed to getting outside every single day, no matter what. … and that “no matter what” includes stuff I don’t like, and even stuff I hate.

So what do I do when this happens? I take these three steps.

Listen now.


[:35] I’m betting you have some outdoor thing you hate. Don’t be a hero about this.

[1:01] Here are some really good examples

[1:55] And here’s the thing I hate, thank you.

[2:04] I need you to hang on while I get this off my chest.

[4:06] Obviously, it’s not going to keep me inside

[4:34] Which means I have to take a few steps to move through it

[6:54] Here’s a fun fact about Amy in March