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educator | author | speaker | photographer



My name is Susan Conrad and I feel blessed to live a life filled with adventure as a writer, educator, and public speaker with a special interest in the faces, spaces, and places of the Inside Passage. My role is to expand people's beliefs about what is possible in all areas of their lives and to prove that personal limits cannot be defined by anyone but yourself. I’m happiest with a paddle, a camera, a notepad, or a book in my hands! 


Like most adventurous souls, I was born with an insatiable desire to discover what's around the next corner. That voracious childhood curiosity has had a far-reaching influence on the course of my life—particularly on my writing. Whether I'm writing or speaking or running a workshop, I'm passionate about sharing my love of adventure in a colorful, soulful reality. May that curiosity to know what’s around the next corner be your moxie, as it was ultimately mine.


I have 30+ years of experience in the paddlesports and outdoor industry as a guide and educator. From my 90-minute indoor beginner courses to 14-hour intensive "how to" courses, I love sharing my expertise in planning and executing multi-day kayak adventures. The principles of adventure planning will apply to any destination, conveyance, or time frame, however, I use the Inside Passage as my adventure blueprint. As a veteran Level IV ACA instructor, my on-water experience includes teaching a variety of skills from calm to dynamic water, as well as guiding groups on adventures far and wide. 



The Inside Passage is my jam, having completed two solo through paddles of this serpentine "water trail" that runs along the western seaboard of North America. So far, I've written three books about this spirited place: adventure memoir, photo essay book, and children's story book. My goal with all my books is to take my readers—you—along for the ride and inspire you to take chances, pursue your dreams, find your truths, and realize your full potential. 



I love sharing my personal stories on stages big and small not only to inspire people, but to demonstrate the power of self-belief and tenacity in order to accomplish anything you want to in life. Since my first book was released in 2016 I’ve hauled my laptop, laser pointer, and lucky water bottle to an expansive list of venues. Along the way, I’ve learned that public speaking is not only about me being on stage. It’s about giving people a reason to care. I look forward to actively promoting and sharing my adventures with a wide-ranging audience, both here and abroad, and in as many formats as possible. 




Adventures turn my world into a visual canvas! The astounding beauty I see while off the beaten path, combined with my degree in photojournalism, has put me on a path of visual storytelling. I'm always looking for new angles and perspectives to share the beauty of the wild (and not-so-wild) places I visit. It's become a passion in my life from which I continue to learn and grow. Have a click here to view my gallery and be sure to visit my Instagram page for a glimpse of the world through my lens. 

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On May 14, 2022, I dipped my paddle once again into the Salish Sea and embarked on another long slow paddle in a long skinny boat. I began on San Juan Island in Washington State and finished in Sitka, Alaska, a journey of nearly 1,200 miles that took me 78 days to complete.

Paddling through British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest was one of many highlights. I was fortunate to team up with Pacific Wild to use this leg of my expedition as a platform to raise awareness for Marine Protected Areas in this vibrant and globally important ecosystem. 


“You only conserve what you love, and you'll only love what you understand. I'm hoping that by raising awareness with my paddle people will be inspired and motivated, understand Marine Protected Areas better, and want to advocate for marine protection in this incredible region."


Adventures can be solitary affairs. I'm grateful that my adventures have transformed into brilliant collaborations with several organizations.

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I have the privilege of joining forces with one of the world’s top expedition gear manufacturers. EXPED is a Swiss company, based in Zurich. Tacoma, Washington houses their ancillary team of U.S. experts who design, test, market, and deliver the highest quality, award-winning gear for the adventurer in all of us. Not just paddlers! This means that I get to spread my passion for adventure and the great outdoors with phenomenal behind-the-scenes support. 

I had the privilege of meeting Ian and Karen McAllister, founders of Pacific Wild, on a kayak expedition along the central British Columbia coast. Since that first meeting in their island home, I've learned much about the history, inhabitants, and threats of one of my favorite places on earth—the Great Bear Rainforest. I'm proud to be associated with this non-profit conservation organization that leverages its many partnerships to influence policy, public opinion, and legislative change to support and protect this precious ecosystem. One dollar of every book sale of "Wildly Inside" goes to support this pivotal entity. My 2022 Inside Passage expedition served as a platform to raise awareness for their Marine Protection Campaign.


2024 marks my seventh season as a Guest Lecturer onboard Princess Cruises, as part of their award-winning "North to Alaska" program. These big ships offer a remarkable opportunity for me to share my stories and images with a captive audience. Speaking onboard an ocean liner sailing over the same waters I have extensively paddled in a twenty-one-inch-wide ocean kayak offers a mind-boggling perspective!

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