• Mikaela Bolling

Into the Alaskan Wilderness: Overcoming fear and tapping into creativity



Three sisters, a plane, a small tent, and an epic expanse of wilderness. My first thought is “I asked for this.” My stomach is turning and I can’t quite figure out if I’m motion sick or scared sh*tless.

Some people say that as we get older we become more hesitant to try new things, take risks or put ourselves out there. An interesting insight but as I’ve grown older, I’ve found the opposite. I find myself shedding the skin of past fears, old paradigms and more willing and able to take on a wild adventure.


This wild adventure starts with Emily and I.


At the foundation of our company are the values of exploration and mindfulness. We were ready to get out of our home offices, connect IRL (in real life) and find some needed inspiration and rejuvenation.


Everyone can relate… we get caught up in the day-to-day activities of executing, putting out fires, and checking things off the list that we lose some of our creative juices. What we strive to bring to our clients, our secret sauce, is to be holistic and strategic advisors. And that means taking a pause, stepping back and looking at the big picture.


Therefore, we’ve committed time and space to cultivate our creative process so we can better serve our clients. We hope that sharing our experiences of getting connected to nature, being around the people we love, and attempting to build an everlasting pool of creativity will inspire others to do the same.


It was my turn to pick this current adventure and I was feeling a deep need to be totally disconnected. Emily and I grew up in Alaska so this was the obvious choice for the location. To get some inspiration to do something really epic, we called up our good friend, Dory, a wonderful Alaskan outdoor guide, to pick her brain.


“Why don’t you get flown out somewhere in a little plane,” was her response. “I know just the person to call.”

That’s how we ended up in a small 4 seater bush plane in the middle of the mountains.


So here we are getting flown out to the middle of nowhere and dropped off with our backpacks and bear spray. We’ve all backpacked before growing up in Alaska but we’ve never been dropped off with no cell service, far away from a road system, to go backpacking for 4 days.


This was next level and we were on our own.


We flew over mountains, large lakes, rivers and glaciers. It’s beautifully daunting realizing how far away from “civilization” we were. Our long-time Alaskan pilot finally started circling our drop-off point: a beautiful lake on the summit between two large rivers.





A bumpy landing, a hike and we were setting up our campsite above a magical snow-fed lake in utter awe. There isn’t a tree in sight. This is tundra and the hills are our playground.


What does anyone do once they finally hit their vacation spot? Nap time!


The next 3 days we spent hiking, relaxing, and dipping in the freezing river. Our last full day we hiked 12 miles up and down mountain slopes and ravines to overlook a massive river and glacier.


On the way, we saw caribou antlers, flowers, and birds galore.


Beyond the beauty, I reflect on some of my favorite times cooking our freeze-dried meals or filtering water through our small pump twice a day at the nearby stream. For me, being totally connected to the people around me and in tune with raw, wild nature makes me feel my happiest and most carefree. In these moments, my creative tank is being refueled.


I’d like you to take a moment and reflect. When do you have your brilliant ideas?


Is it when you’re falling asleep or in the shower or swimming in the ocean? And all of a sudden you'll have a brilliant idea about your projects. Excitement surges through you. And many times it’s not as much about the idea itself, but the exhilaration to dive deeper.




That is how this adventure felt. Connecting on a personal level allows the inspiration and creativity to bubble up. I reflect on this trip a lot when I’m back in my home office. I think about some of the lessons I learned like…

  • How simple and wonderful joy is.

  • How overcoming fear of the unknown is powerful to becoming confident and competent.

  • How a need for creativity can be soothed by putting your feet in the dirt. It may not always result in a brilliant idea, but it’s the process of connecting that allows you to access a pool of creativity.


Joy, fearlessness, and creativity.


Lessons that we, as business owners, leaders, and conscious marketers, must learn to be successful, impactful and engaged in what we do.



No matter how big or small, go on an adventure and tell us how it fuels your business!


Brilliant Adventures

Brilliant Adventures is our approach to tapping into creativity and inspiration by getting outside, learning new things, and spending time with the ones we love. Through this series, we aim to bring you insight into our own (and other creators’) adventures that are the foundation of our work and hopefully inspire you to find some needed time to take a step back, reflect and get invigorated.