Welcome to Outsideways.
We are Damien and Renee Tougas.
We started this blog a couple years ago as ADVENTUREinPROGRESS (we agree, a bit clunky), with the purpose of chronicling our family's adventures and to encourage other families to get outdoors - together.
Then a funny thing happened.
All that time in the outdoors together created space for some really big dreams. Our vision grew and we worked our butts off to launch a grand adventure. A start-all-over-again, life changing move that required some serious creative thinking and out of the box problem solving.
We got a taste of the good stuff - living our dreams as a family. Now we're addicted and planning more big adventures and scheming how we can spend more time outdoors together.
Outsideways is a blog for people who want to live a better story with their life. It's for families who want to get outdoors more together. We write for people who want to be inspired to think outside the box and embrace adventurous living.
We value your readership and contribution here. We are currently not publishing very often on this blog, but you can find us at Toe Salad and FIMBY. We decided long ago that living the life was more important than "talking" about living the life. So if we're quiet here it's because we're actually living an adventure, not just writing about it.
To get a feel for our writing you might enjoy some of our most popular posts.
- Fall Day Hiking Clothing List
- Have Tent Will Travel
- Going Light
- Backpacking With a Reluctant Spouse
- One Day a Week
- Loving This Man Means Loving Adventure
It's the way God made me and it must be written in my DNA. Or, I got a taste of some really good stuff and now I am hopelessly addicted. Or maybe it's that I have a deep psychological problem and I am trying to compensate. Whatever the cause (I am hoping it is the first one), I crave adventure. The kind of adventure that involves getting outside, braving the elements, and experiencing all that this wonderful planet has to offer and NOT from the comfort of my own home.
When was the last time you heard of a family thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail? Or do a bicycle tour across Europe? What about a multi-day backcountry ski trip in the Rockies? [Insert your vision for adventure here.]
Families just don't do this, but it doesn't have to be this way. At least that is what my gut tells me.
Family is a tremendous blessing that should not be missed. Life is an adventure that should be embraced. Who better to share adventure with than the ones you love?
The real problem is not responsibility, and we all know family is very real responsibility. The problem is that there aren't a lot of models to follow.
Pessimists may say that the model doesn't exist because it's not possible. I would argue that the model doesn't exist because discovering it is an adventure (in itself) that few are willing to attempt.
This is the adventure I live.
Professionally, I am a web application developer, technical strategist and computer geek.
I am a teacher, encourager, and beauty seeker. I am a mother to three kids ages 14, 12 and 10. I am married to Damien Tougas; computer technology "guy", outdoor enthusiastic, and minimalist shoe expert.
I live, work, and learn with my family in our mountain-side home, at the end of a dirt road, on the Gaspé Peninsula of Québec, Canada.
My personal mission is to nourish, encourage and teach. To build relationship and create beauty, investing first in my family and then others.
I am an ESTJ and an adventurer, writer, homeschooler, homemaker, photographer, telemark skier, backpacker, blogger, and plant-based cook.
See my complete media kit and caboodle which highlights the work I do outside my calling as mom and homemaker.
The Tougas Family
Our family is location independent. We live, work, and play - together, wherever we are. We are life learners, earning a livelihood using our skills and experience while following our passions and interests.
Damien and I have been married for sixteen years and have three (creative, beautiful and intelligent) children in the late elementary school and early teen years.
Following Jesus Christ, living our personal and family dreams, earning enough money to feed our kids and fund our adventures, having adventures, home educating our kids and ourselves, and building relationships is "what we do".
We love to connect with people - in person and online. If you're ever in the Gaspe Peninsula we invite you to pitch a tent in our yard or sleep on our couch. If that doesn't work, you can always just send us an e-mail and connect that way.
Let us know if there's anything you'd like us to write about here.