NEWS CENTER MAINE PORTRAITS is a series created to spotlight what it means to be a "Mainer." We are excited to introduce you to Mainers that have a special bond with this great state we call home. Meet Christi Holmes. Christi is a Mainer with deep roots. Her family has lived in Machias since 1765 and her love of Maine has pushed her to hike the Appalachian Trail, become a civil engineer in southern Maine, get certified as Registered Maine Guide, and help support women becoming outdoorsmen. Share her story to celebrate our Maine connections!
Christi was born and raised in Machias, a Downeast town with about 2,000 residents. She grew up lobster fishing and raking blueberries, two industries for which the region is well known.
"I think when you grow up in a small town, everyone knows your business," Christi says. "It forces you to do your best because everyone's going to find out if you don't."
Remarkably, her family has lived in Machias since 1765 — a decade before the onset of the American Revolutionary War and more than a half-century before Maine's statehood.
"Growing up in Machias, you learn to take care of yourself," Christi says. "You have to be independent and a little bit tough."
After earning a civil engineering degree from the University of Maine, Christi didn't feel like entering the workforce quite yet. At 22 years old, she decided to go on a hike. A big one.
"Love the outdoors, so I was like, well, I guess I'll go hike the Appalachian Trail," she says.
Christi spent four months walking 2,000 miles back home to Maine.
Psychologically, she says the journey helped her learn a lot about herself.
"I knew if I could do that, I could do anything," she says.
PHOTOS | Christi Holmes
Christi is now a civil engineer at Gorrill Palmer, a design firm based in South Portland.
She has traveled all over, but the avid outdoorsman says Maine offers something truly special:
"I think if I left Maine, I'd really miss being able to fish after work," she says. "The work-life balance here [sic] you can work 40 hours a week and still have a great life."
That lifestyle and interest in succeeding new challenges presented her with the opportunity to volunteer and take other women fly fishing. She even became a Registered Maine Guide, something she says furthered her ability to empower more women to be comfortable in the outdoors.
"When you live somewhere you love," Christi says, "you spend your time doing what matters to you, and then relationships are more genuine … It's nice to realize what's important in life."
Do you know a Mainer who should be profiled? Do you know someone that embodies what it means to be a Mainer? We would love for you to forward us nominations. Please forward your ideas to portraits@NEWSCENTERmaine.com.