Hello kind krafters!
I hope you are all doing well and enjoying these last few days of 2017. I don’t know about you but 2017 has been a tough year for me. Juggling my class schedule trying to get it right in order to graduate this year, dealing with new challenges and people in a professional capacity, dealing with a lot hurt and heartbreak on a personal level, and getting very, very sick, have all been difficult, exhausting and painful. At the same time, 2017 has brought so many new and exciting things. I made new friends, and saw acquaintances develop into flourishing and fulfilling friendships. I began a professional partnership with AllTrails that let me spend my summer experiencing all of the nature my city has to offer. I camped alone for the first time, and further solidified by confidence and comfort in the outdoors, especially as a solo female adventurer. I read a lot of books, watched a lot of great movies, cried a lot of tears, and let loose a lot of loud belly laughs.
On top if the difficulties, it was definitely a year of adventure…and more than a few selfies!
It has been a wild, crazy, happy and heartbroken, exciting, and fun filled year. And as we move into the end of this cycle around the sun, I am excited to see what the next year will bring. I’ve never been one for resolutions. I usually make a list of goals I hope to keep in mind and try and focus on in the year, but a list of resolutions never really work for me. I think it’s because I have always favoured trying to attempt to go with the flow and let the year take me where it will, while keeping certain values, hopes, and goals in mind, instead of setting out a list that I always end up straying from and then feeling bad about. But that’s just me, and I know resolutions can be a powerful tool for many people. It all depends on who you are, and what you know about yourself. So I encourage you to take some time to figure out which approach is better for you, and go from there!
Looking forward to more hikes with this boy in the coming year.
So what am I thinking for this new year to come? Well new projects, new experiences, new places, new people, and new doors opening. This year I will for the first time move away from my home and my city. In a week and a half I get on a plane and fly across the country to live in Haida Gwaii for 3.5 months. In the spring I graduate, finally finishing my undergraduate degree after 5 years of classes, essays, and studying. From there, I don’t really know, as I’ll be faced for the first time with the openness of no more classes, and the vastness of opportunities open to me. And, I am excited to announce this year will also offer the opportunity of a variety of new projects, the first of which will include expanding my AllTrails Internship project by adding in bus route information to each trail page, making these wild places more accessible to everyone.
And always excited for more and more views like this.
And so, with the end of this year, I move towards an end to a lot of pain, and a lot of excitement in the form of the events of the last year of my life. But so to, do I look towards an opening towards a new set of opportunities and a new chance to do what I can to be happy, and pursue what I love. I hope you all are ending this latest year around the sun on a positive note, regardless of what the past year as brought you, good or bad. And I hope you all can look happily into the coming year, and spend as much time as you can making space for what you love, who you love, and what makes you happy. It is not always easy, and neither is life, but I hope you all will join me in ringing in a new year of new projects, opportunities, experiences, and chances to make your soul sing.
Stay Kind and See You All Next Year!
It is easy to get caught up in the busyness of life. Somehow the time gets away from us and our to do lists just keep getting longer. I tend to loose track of the things I need to do to keep myself at my best when my life gets hectic. It is important to recognize how hard we work, and to give ourselves credit when credit is due. Sometimes it is worth treating ourselves. At the end of my school term, I was feeling fatigued, stressed-out, and worn thin- definitely not my best self. I was lucky that my semester wrapped up early! Despite how awesome it was to be done early, the days leading up to the end were madness. So what did I do to treat myself for my hard work? I booked a trip.
When I heard that my exams would be finished by early December I couldn’t help but book a flight to Ontario to visit my boyfriend, family, and friends! I was excited to spend two weeks there before coming back to Nova Scotia for our first family Christmas in our new home. This blog captures some highlights from this trip. Thank you to all those who made my trip to Ontario so special. Thank you for your kindness, your generosity, and your open arms!
Traveling with Friends!
My housemate, Jill and I were lucky enough to finish the semester on the same day and booked the same flight. Traveling with friends is always so much fun. If you haven’t had the opportunity to do so yet, I would highly recommend it. Traveling with Jill made the time fly by and made the start of the trip full of good times and laughter! Thanks Jill for kicking my trip off right!
The Best Reunion
The hardest part about moving across the country this year was saying goodbye to the boyfriend, friends, and family. I couldn’t wait to arrive in Toronto; Dan was patiently waiting to pick me up. We hadn’t seen each other in 4 months! After some exploration of the airport we found one another and I felt right back at home! Dan planned such an extravagant itinerary for my trip back and I couldn’t be happier with how it panned out. Thank you Dan for making my trip home so exceptional.
When You’re Stressed- Blow Off Some Steam
We kicked off my stay in Ontario with a bang! Dan introduced me to airsoft last year and I have been hooked ever since! For those of you who haven’t tried it I would highly recommend it. Airsoft is a sport that uses bb guns to simulate battle combat. For those of you who have played paintball, it is a similar concept- but Airsoft is gnarlier in my opinion! Anyways, I got to play twice throughout my stay and it was amazing. Having the opportunity to play twice in a short period of time allowed me to see my improvements and helped build up my confidence.
We played at two different locations and both times we played, we met great players. The Airsoft community is a great one to be a part of. Participants are diverse in age, skill, and experience. People are supportive of one another and the staging room is always full of laughter and highlight stories from the battles. The second time we played, we met a group of folks from Burlington, our home city. This group was awesome to play with. They ended up exchanging contact information with Dan and are now connected for future play. Airsoft is a great place to meet great people from all over.
Airsoft is one of my favourite ways to blow off steam. It is physically demanding, and requires mental focus. The adrenaline rush from Airsoft always distracts me from stress. Airsoft allows me to be present and be immersed in the game.
Since We Were in the Mood of Blowing Off Steam…
Okay, you all need to try this! After airsoft, Dan and I made a trip to Urban Tactical. At Urban Tactical, there is a shooting range where you can purchase different shooting packages and a range officer will teach you how to shoot different guns at targets. This is a cool experience, as you don’t need a license to shoot the different packages. Prior to this, my gun shooting experience consisted of a wide range of water guns, Nerf guns, paintball guns, and airsoft guns haha, but never a real gun. The idea of shooting a real gun was slightly intimidating at first, but that quickly changed when we started!
The Urban Tactical range officers are knowledgeable and make safety the top priority. It was fun to see some father and son bonding, some couples bonding, and some friends bonding over the experience. Our range officer was awesome. He was not only funny but also gave clear instructions and support. My first shot was a bull’s-eye and I was hooked! After you have shot your package worth of ammo, you get to take home your targets! These packages make for great gifts!
After the Excitement it was Time to Relax and Did We Ever!
Dan surprised me with a trip to Blue Mountain as a Christmas present! During our stay, we were able to make a trip to the Scandinave Spa. This spa was the best experience I have had to date with its off-the-grid feel. This spa is known for its outdoor baths and hydrotherapy. We were able to spend the full day exploring the outdoor baths, saunas, and steam rooms, as well as the massage services. I have never been more at peace. It was lightly snowing outside and it was beautiful. Upon arrival everyone is given a big, comfy, white robe. You get to explore the different baths at your leisure. After spending the day at the spa, I was the most relaxed I have ever been- all my stress was gone. I couldn’t believe how much the hydrotherapy worked for me. The spa has a ‘honour the silence rule’ which makes the experience that much more peaceful. I would go back to the Scandinave Spa in a heartbeat.
If you are battling stress please try hydrotherapy- it works wonders. It doesn’t have to be at a luxurious spa to work! Try running yourself a bath at home with some eucalyptus- this is my favourite stress buster! I don’t have a bath in my apartment so having a full day to do nothing but bath hop was a dream come true. We spent the rest of our time exploring the village, and city! Thank you Dan for the best surprise ever!
Other fun highlights!
When being home I was able to see one of my bestfriends, Asha and was able to catch up over some yummy food! Asha, it was so lovely to see you and I missed your hugs!
Dan’s Mum, Kimberly, brought a group of us to the Christmas Market in the Distillery District! We enjoyed amazing food, and immersed ourselves in the Christmas atmosphere!
Family time! I was able to see my Aunt Alison when I was home. Seeing her made me feel at home too. Aunt Alison, thank you for the lovely chat over some delicious tea. I missed you so much! Glad to hear the family is doing well! Xoxo
Overall, this trip was jammed-packed and I wouldn’t change one thing about it. I had an amazing time visiting and everyone made it so welcoming and memorable. Anytime you are able to treat yourself to a trip I would recommend it. Traveling to see the people you love is always worth the trip! Thank you again to all of you who made my two week vacay an amazing trip to say the least.
Stay kind and unwind,
Hello kind krafters!
I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying this busy time of year. For those of you who are students, hopefully you’re exams will soon be over and fun free time can set in soon! This week I want to talk about an important topic, one that our land conservation friends to the south have unfortunately been forced to face this week; protecting our wilderness and public nature spaces.
This week in the USA public lands were dramatically threatened, and in the case of Bears Ears National Monument, will potentially face an 85% reduction. The threat comes from political figures who have consistently failed to acknowledge the importance and value of the natural world, nor the importance of protecting and preserving it. And make no mistake, here in Canada we have similarly failed to protect sacred and valuable pockets of the natural world. About a month ago the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against the Ktunaxa Nation’s efforts to block the construction or an unnecessary and unneeded ski resort in Jumbo Valley BC, on land that is central to the spiritual belief and identity of the Ktunaxa people. Meaning not only is a valuable pocket of wild space being threatened, but also the identity and foundation of a entire culture.
To learn more about the fight to keep Jumbo Wild and the efforts of the Ktunaxa people please visit https://www.keepitwild.ca and watch this excellent video by the Ktunaxa about their sacred territory
Our public spaces and wild places have a value beyond that which is so often understood and communicated on the level of government decision. These places so often threatened and reduced to economic and development value are vital to our wellbeing as human beings, and our ability to sustainably thrive on this planet.
Those of you who know me, either personally or from reading my posts on this blog over the last 8 months, know that all my free time is spent in the wild, and my passions and loves can be found in the wild places I frequent. The spaces I run to on the weekend, or after work, hold a special place in my heart and my life. A park where I first vowed to spend more time in nature, the backcountry trail where I found my confidence as a outdoorswoman, or the national park campsite where I experienced nature alone, in all of its frightening and beautiful glory, for the first time. I love these places for what they have given me, for what they can give to everyone, and for their inherent value just in existing and being open for me to explore.
Proposed reductions to Bears Ears National Monument in the US, announced this week by the Trump administration.
I believe nature should be open and accessible to everyone because I understand the magnitude of what it can and will do for people who are able to experience it. I also know from my own experience what this can do for a person and I wish for everyone to be able to have the same opportunities I have had in the outdoors. But I also believe nature should be open and accessible because I want people to fall in love with it, and in turn have the same deep seated fight and desire I have to protect it. When you love something, when I has given you a piece of itself or has changed you and made you better or more whole, you will everything you can to keep it safe and protect it. When people are outdoors, engaging with their public wild spaces and exploring and enjoying nature, they are more likely to take action to ensure those spaces remain accessible, unaltered, and protected.
My puppy and I hiking the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Wilderness Area. I’ve group up exploring this wild place, and learned to become comfortable in the outdoors on its trails.