EP69 | Chris Burkard: Finding Success Through Adventure

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Episode Description

XOVERLAND CEO, Clay Croft, jumps in as host for this special episode with photographer/social media influencer, Chris Burkard. Chris and Clay share a common bond through a life of making media around the adventures they pursue.

We connect with Chris from his home in Iceland, where he and his family enjoy a life of fresh experiences both cultural and physical as Chris pursues next-level photographic journeys into the island nation’s most remote and extreme environments.

Throughout their conversation, Clay and Chris discuss their experiences in Iceland, their origin stories as adventure-photographer/filmmakers, and the role overlanding vehicles play in their lives.

The two further discuss fatherhood and parenting, the hard and challenging road to success, mentorship, and the wisdom they have learned along the way.

Join in for a conversation in which you are sure to find inspiration and a few pro tips to success no matter what you have your sights set upon.

Detailed Episode Summary

Part 1 (0:40-11:05) XOVERLAND CEO, Clay Croft, Jumps into Host Photographer/Filmmaker, Chris Burkard: Clay welcomes Chris Burkard onto the podcast, the two share their mutual respect and admiration for each other and begin their conversation by looking at what came first for Chris Burkard: photography or adventure? Chris shares his story of humble, small-town beginnings to photography fame. Clay shares his own story of becoming a filmmaker.

Part 2 (11:06-15:54) What drives Chris Burkard? Clay asks Chris what drives him. Chris responds by examining the “why” of his work, looking at his passion for travel, his struggle to prove himself to his mother, and how his work evolved into advocacy for wild places around the globe. Chris further explains how his values influence both his work and his major life decisions, like his recent move to Iceland.

Part 3 (15:55-23:06) Why did Chris Burkard Move to Iceland? Chris describes his first visits to Iceland and how he fell in love with this amazing island country–ultimately deciding to move there recently. The conversation turns to the authenticity of working in Iceland Chris feels around his work and his love of Icelandic culture. As fathers, Clay and Chris discuss what their success and life decisions have meant for their kids.

Part 4 (23:07-29:50) Chris Burkard’s Vision of “Success”: Clay asks Chris if there has ever been a moment when he feels like he’s “made it.” Chris reflects on his own vision of success, and how he has approached the notable successes he’s had. Clay and Chris reflect as creatives on the perennial question they mutually face: “What’s next?”

Part 5 (29:51-34:57) The Philosophy of “Essentialism” and Its Role in Chris Burkard’s Life: The book, Essentialism, by Greg McKeown outlines a philosophy of life that has proven highly impactful in Chris’s life. Chris explains what this philosophy is and how it has rewired him and changed his life. Clay and Chris examine Chris’s past, and what, if anything, Chris would change.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – a book by Greg McKeown

Part 6 (34:58-45:12) Chris Burkard’s Advice on Becoming Successful and Pursuing Your Dreams: Chris explains how meaningful it is for him to mentor and offer advice to others who are seeking it, and shares his own experiences attempting to seek helpful criticism and feedback from others as he developed his career. Chris explains his approach to getting his first jobs as well as getting the work he does now.

Part 7 (45:13-46:49) What’s next for Chris Burkard? Clay asks Chris the big question: What’s next? Chris gets into the details about his current interests and upcoming engagements, including his new passion for fly fishing!

Part 8 (46:50-51:20) What is Chris’s choice of an Overlanding Vehicle? Chris shares the particulars of his own overlanding rig, a Toyota Tundra with a GFC (GoFastCamper), looks back at his lengthy history of a wide variety of overlanding vehicles throughout his career, and discusses his earlier professional work as an auto mechanic that has influenced his choices.

Part 9 (51:21-53:35) Chris Burkard’s Thoughts on Photography Equipment and What is Needed to Be Successful: A lot of people think that to be successful as a photographer and storyteller you need to have a lot of expensive equipment. Chris pushes back on this kind of thinking and explains why the best photography and film equipment is what you are most comfortable with, even if it’s as simple as a phone.

Part 10 (53:36-57:09) A Look at the Overlanding Community in Iceland: Clay and Chris conclude their discussion by sharing their thoughts on the overlanding/off-road community in Iceland. (Technically speaking, in Iceland, “off-road” driving only takes place during the winter months when the snow covers the landscape and Icelanders can utilize specially-built rigs to drive over snow and glaciers.)

Arctic Trucks: Icelandic Company Specializing in Building Extremely Capable Off-Road Vehicles to Navigate Iceland

Part 11 (57:10-End) Chris Burkard’s Final Bit of Wisdom for Aspiring Creatives and Photographers: Chris shares his final piece of wisdom for listeners interested in pursuing the next level in their work as creatives and photographers, emphasizing what we need to share to be powerful storytellers.

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