Over the years we have met some amazing families who demonstrate what we believe sustainable and intentional living is all about. This Well Worn series is to introduce you to these families to inspire you on your journey and give you a glimpse into the lives of others making small changes every day towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Progress not perfection.
Introducing Katie and Alex Gensitskiy @ thatoneadventurecouple
We want to know all about you and your family! Can you give us a little introduction?
We’re Alex and Katie and along with our two year old daughter, Ariel, we love everything to do with outdoor adventures, travel, and healthy living. For the past year we lived and travelled in a self-built campervan all around the country and Mexico. We have an Instagram and blog called “That One Adventure Couple” where we share local and abroad travel destinations, travel tips, healthy lifestyle living, and about our own journey of creating a lifestyle where we can travel and be outdoors more together as a family.
A few fun facts about us:
-We both know at least two languages and our daughter is growing up trilingual.
-After going on a month-long honeymoon to Thailand we knew we wanted to keep traveling so we saved up money for two years to take a whole year to backpack around the world.
-We’ve been to 25 different countries.
-It took us about half a year to build our own campervan. We call it our “Cottage” on wheels because the interior is white, airy and cozy just like a cottage.
-Some fun things we enjoy doing together are hiking, reading/listening to books, rock climbing, trying new local food, traveling, paddle boarding, learning new skills, and making new friends.
We know you love the great outdoors. Have you always been a nature lover? If not, when did it start?
Katie: I always loved nature and being outdoors. I remember going on camping trips every summer, swimming in lakes, going on bike rides with my family and spending all my free time playing outdoors in the backyard with my friends from the neighborhood. My parents instilled a love for travel and enjoying the outdoors in many different ways.
Alex: I grew up in the foothills of the Cascades where everyone had 5 acres of land. My brothers and I would often follow random trails through our neighbors forests and discover where they led, often a few miles away. We would also go up into the state forest to pick mushrooms, go camping at the coast, or just drive random back roads to see where they went. Nature was a place of discovery and getting off the beaten path.
If you had to describe your philosophy about life in a few sentences, what would it be?
A few words that come to mind,
What does a sustainable lifestyle mean to you?
To us a sustainable lifestyle means to live intentionally in every way. It means consciously thinking through what you want and how to get it. We always try to find our local farmers, figure out how to make things ourselves, or learn how to go without some things that others have. It also means we are intentional about the things that we wear, the way the clothes were made and what they are made of.
Can you share your experience in teaching your kids about sustainable living? Do they understand why it’s important?
We involve our daughter in almost everything we do. I believe she learns so much by being part of the things we do every day and by watching us.
She helps prepare meals and snacks, she waters our small herb garden, we visit farms and let her interact with animals and collect eggs from the chickens, and we all learned a lot about living with less when we lived and travelled in the van.
We hope to instil the love of the outdoors in our daughter. Even though she might not remember all the beautiful places and hikes she's been on, they have shaped her in so many ways already. Most days are spent outdoors playing with mud, sand, rocks and sticks. We let her get dirty and messy. We encourage her to explore and test her skills and strength. We’re not doing it all perfectly but we’re trying our best to model and show her how to appreciate and love nature. She's also teaching us a lot about slowing down and approaching life with wonder and curiosity.
What has been your biggest aha moment in your sustainable living journey?
We live in a fast paced world, where there is always just one more, or ten more, or a hundred more things to buy, see and do. What we have learned, however, is that when we slow down, and do the time consuming, hard and sometimes frustrating work of living more sustainably, we can focus much better. We can see more clearly what is actually important, and we can truly enjoy each activity to the fullest.
As a natural and sustainable clothing brand, we can’t help but ask you about your philosophy on clothes and your favorite materials for your family’s clothing. We would also love to hear your honest thoughts on your experience with Nui.
Our philosophy on clothes is quality over quantity. It’s important for us to own quality clothing that is made in a responsible and sustainable way vs. a lot of cheap clothes that are made with slave labor.
Our favorite materials have been cotton, merino wool, linen, and tencel.
We have been wearing Nui clothes for almost a year now and they have been some of our go-to clothes for outdoor adventures and travel. We love that the merino wool/tencel shirts are so comfortable, moisture wicking, and temperature regulating. We don't need to wash them as often because they don't get as stinky after a hike. Also, I love that the colors are so beautiful and you can mix and match clothes for stylish and comfortable outfits.
Do you have a “go to” outfit you like to wear in your everyday life?
Katie: My go-to outfit is always something comfortable and functional for my active lifestyle and caring for a toddler. That includes a pair of pants/shorts that are lightweight and breathable that I can wear around the house, outdoors and while chasing my toddler. For a top, I usually go with a simple shirt that is neutral in color. I love earthy and neutral colors because they are usually easy to mix and match with clothing.
Alex: My go-to outfit is a pair of lightweight pants and a shirt. If I can get away with not changing my clothes at all for every activity in my day, I’m happy. I prefer light neutral colors, because someone once told me that’s what works best for people with light hair and skin color, and I haven’t heard any different. For winter I will often wear thermals, rather than bulkier clothes.
Ariel: Anything that is comfortable for her to play outdoors.
We discovered you on Instagram and love your page! What do you hope to share with people about what you stand for?
We hope to share adventures, travel, healthy living, outdoorsy activities to get you outside with your family and how to create a lifestyle you love. We believe that anyone can live a more joyful life, and there is hope for the future. Our hope is that when people look at our content they are inspired to think about how to live their own best life.
If someone were just getting started on their sustainable living journey, can you share a few tips to help them start?
It can be overwhelming to think about all the things you can do to live a more sustainable lifestyle. The best thing you can do is to start small. Here are a few things you can start with,
-Define what sustainability means to you and what it would like in your life? Like what is important to you? What can you do in this current season of your life? What is realistic and what is not?
-List things that you are already doing and list things that you would like to do and how you’re going to get there
A few easy things you can get started with is,
-Cut out plastic bags, water bottles, containers and etc. < instead invest into reusable bags, stainless steel water bottle, glass containers/silicone stasher bags for snacks
-Think twice before shopping for new clothes. Buy quality items and clothes that you can mix and match in a capsule wardrobe. You can also find great second hand clothing. Support brands that are ethical and environmentally conscious.
-Support small businesses
-Switch to eco-friendly and non-toxic skin care
-Throw out the toxins in your house for non-toxic ones
- Find your local farmer for fresh produce or visit your local farmer’s market
-Buy in bulk
-Grow your own herbs, vegetables and fruits even if it’s in just a few pots on your deck or in your house/apartment.
-Spend more time outside
-Learn to cook food from scratch
-Turn off your devices at night
-Open your blinds and use natural light as much as possible before turning on your lights
-Be conscious about how much water and energy you use in your home
We imagine you spend a lot of time in nature. Do you have a favorite place?
This is a hard one because in every place you can find something beautiful, unique and special. If we had to choose something local in the WA/OR area, we love the Oregon Coast and the Columbia River Gorge. Both are so beautiful and full of fun hikes, waterfalls, and unique nature. We usually head to the Columbia River Gorge when we want to hike nearby or see a waterfall. We like to go to the Coast to relax on the beach, do a short hike, and get local clam chowder, oysters and fish and chips.
If you could leave the world sharing a few words of wisdom that would help them live better, more sustainable lives, what would you tell them?
Living more sustainably is actually a journey of turning your love of yourself, others, and the world into actions. To slow down, be present, and make conscious choices about what you do, and how you do it.