Nature Therapy & Alpine Lakes

A lot of us are feeling the weight of the world these days.

With the current state of the world due to the pandemic, politics, climate change, and SO many additional factors, its easy to get lost in a state of despair. As important as it is to stay informed about the global events, self care must always remain number one. And for myself, that meant turning off the news, logging out of my social media, and spending time in the great outdoors for some much needed nature therapy.

One silver lining of this pandemic,

was that it forced us to really appreciate what’s around us. At first, when cancelling my travel plans for 2020 (Faroe islands, I am still coming for you!) I was feeling so incredibly discouraged, as many people were. However, I kept having this lingering feeling that maybe 2020 was a good year for me to stay in BC and explore my own back yard a little more. And even though it wasn’t my choice to do so, I am very thankful that the pandemic forced me to stay put.

There is nothing more therepeautic than breathing in that fresh mountain air

If it werent for my daily dose of nature, I would have lost my mind during lockdown. And i can thank my beautiful dog for getting me out of the house daily. But there was one hike in particular, that was without a doubt the highlight of my summer, and perhaps even my year. This hike, was to the base of the Comox Valley Glacier, to a beautiful aquarmarine coloured lake called Century Sam.

Now, this hike is not a hike for beginners

It had my friend Alison and I cursing a fair bit on our way up. But man, was it EVER worth it! To me, there is truly no better feeling than completing a challenging hike. I had just gone through a breakup and had spent weeks moping on the couch in a pit of despair with zero motivation to do the things I love, including hiking. But as soon as i got a wave of motivation i decided it was time for some nature therapy, and to finally accomplish the hike that had been on my bucket list for years.

it is important to note that this trail is only accessible on weekends as access to the trailhead is on an active logging road that they keep shut to the public during week days. Four wheel drive is definitely a must for accessing the trailhead as there are some pretty significant potholes and ditches that require a high clearance vehicle to pass. For some directions on how to access the trail, there is an excellent article on The Outbound.

The trail was absolutely stunning. It started out relatively flat and weaves through the forrest next to a beautiful flowing river. Hearing the sound of the water flowing was such a calming way to begin the hike. Next up, you begin to do a little bit of “bush-wacking” and this is when the hike started to get interesting.

Pretty quickly, you begin gaining elevation.

From this point on, its basically straight up until you get to the top. There is lots of area’s where you are required to use your hands, and proper hiking boots are definitely a must!

My favourite thing about this hike was the amount of happy encouraging hikers we met along the way. Every person we passed that was on their way down as we were going up, expressed little phrases of encouragement, which gave us the motivation we needed to keep going. And once we finally reached this lake, we could not believe our eyes.

As much as i love popular spots like Lake Louise or Moraine Lake, the fact that you can drive right up to them takes away from the experience for me. Knowing that i had to put in some hard work and sweat my buns off, made the summit THAT much more rewarding.

Nothing but smiles and good company

Its safe to say that spending this day in the alpine with one of my closest friends, was a major highlight of the summer. This day will forever be remembered as a day of great accomplishment for me. It was also a very important reminder to keep pushing through the mud even when you feel like giving up. The end result is almost ALWAYS worth it, and i mean this in more ways than one. And also, never underestimate the power of nature therapy.

What do you do when you feel the need to reconnect and ground yourself? Let me know in the comment section below!

The soundtrack to our adventure

Connectivity & Self Isolation – What a Time to be Alive

A phrase i have often said sarcastically, and now find myself repeating daily. What a time to be alive.
Being in self-isolation, you’re given so much time alone with your thoughts. Yet I am still finding it difficult to wrap my head around whats going on with the pandemic of Covid-19. Every morning that i wake up, i have to remind myself of whats happening. Growing up on a tiny gulf island on the west coast of Canada, you never expect something like this to actually effect you. Yet here we are.
I have been doing my part by social-distancing in hopes to “flatten the curve” and i hope you all have to.

I am a firm believer that with any negative situation, there will always be at least one silver lining.

By being told to #StayTheFuckHome, Its encouraged some healthy shifts in my life.
I have began each day of “quarantine” by doing an hour of yoga, and then heading into the woods with Nala. I am so incredibly lucky that i live right next to the mountains and miles and miles of dense Forrest. The fact that taking my dog on a hike still counts as social-distancing and self isolation has been a saving grace. It’s times like this where i have the most overwhelming feelings of gratitude, to be born a Canadian citizen, living in an area with an abundance of wilderness.

I cant help but feel like this worldwide slow-down is so necessary for a number of reasons.

Number 1 being to obviously flatten the curve and reduce the spread of this terrible disease. However, i feel that it is so incredibly beneficial for us all to slow down and reconnect with ourselves like this every once in a while. We live in a world where we are constantly feeling the need to have every hour of our day occupied. We always are thinking about where we need to be next, what we have to do next, and we so rarely focus on where we are.
I am not trying to take away from the severity of the situation, but rather find light in an otherwise very dark time.
This has been a time of great discomfort for many. Not knowing when we will go back to work, or when things will improve can be incredibly daunting.

But this is what we need. To reconnect. To learn how to live again.

We need to be forced to stay home so we can focus on ourselves and our well-being. I have always said “i wish i could just have 2 weeks to get caught up in life and have no responsibilities”. well… ask and you shall receive!
We need to take this time to re-learn how to live.
Learn to cook the meal you’ve had saved in your Pinterest folder for ages but are always “Too busy” to make.
Paint that picture that you bought your paint supplies for but talked yourself out of.
Call that friend that you’ve been meaning to call for ages.
Fix that thing in the house you’ve been procrastinating fixing.
Do that yoga class you’ve had saved in your YouTube watch later playlist.

Or, do absolutely none of that.

Take this time to sleep in for as long as you need.
To simply just exist, and to breathe.
To do the things that make you feel happy, and make you feel alive.
You have nowhere to be, and nothing to do, other than exist.

The Earth is healing. And I hope we all can learn from this

It breaks my heart that it took a pandemic costing the lives of so many, for us to realize how badly we needed to stop. But The earth has been healing, and after all the years of damage, we must give it time.
CO2 emissions have significantly dropped.
The canals in venice are running clear.
The streets are quiet & the air is crisp.

Its Time to Create!

With nothing but time on my hands, I will be using this as a time to focus my energy on photography, and to create some new and exciting content!
Time to get the creative juices flowing, and see where this forced down time takes me.

What does Self-Isolation & Social-Distancing look like for you?

Let me know about the things that help get you through the self-isolation period in the comment section below!

And for anyone who feels like having a couple “Quarantini’s”… I’ve got the perfect playlist just for you.

A Perfect Weekend in the City

This weekend was one for the books.

My dear friend Madison and I escaped the rock and headed over to the mainland for a pretty perfect weekend full of good tunes, dancing, hiking and lots of belly-laughs. With a thirst for adventure, and a need to get out of town for a day or two, we could not have been more stoked. And, we kicked it all off by seeing The STROKES! Need i say more?
Well… probably.

For those of you that are not familiar with The Strokes, basically they never tour. Or at least its been a long damn time since they toured. So last year, when they announced that they were playing All Points East in London around the time that i was meant to be there, I had to go. I figured that id never get the chance to see them in Vancouver, so may as well! And well, it was amazing. We saw so many incredible musicians that day and it was an experience ill remember forever. But i had pretty much accepted that that would be the only chance i ever get to see The Strokes. Thankfully however, i was wrong.

In February they announced the show for March 5th at Rogers arena, Vancouver.

One month away. I couldn’t believe it! They only announced 3 tour dates: Vancouver, Seattle & LA. Super random, but i definitely wasn’t complaining!
Anyway, we boogied to Vancouver and danced our asses off. It was definitely a night to remember. Unfortunately, i did not take a single photo or video of the concert. Which I am now realizing is actually a beautiful thing. There’s something so freeing about turning off your phone or camera, and just fully immersing yourself in the experience. Unfortunately though, this leaves you with nothing to post on the gram! Oh the horror! (which is why i left you with a picture from All Points East) Pics or it didn’t happen right?

And then, we climbed a hill and saw the most incredible views.

Eagerly we woke up the next morning, ready to tackle the day and ignore our lingering hangovers. We headed into gastown and enjoyed our morning coffee at Milano’s – to fuel us up for a day on the slopes.
We brought our snow shoes with us as we were heading up Cypress Mountain that day for a hike before heading home. Because the weekend just is not complete, unless you squeeze in a new hike.

As much as i absolutely LOVE the city

I will always be an island girl at heart. Because as we left downtown and began driving up the mountain and into the trees it was almost like a breath of fresh air. Don’t get me wrong though, I do love the city. I still love the hustle & bustle, and endless opportunities that you have in cities. But the mountains are and will forever be, my safe & happy place. Part of the reason I love Vancouver however, is it’s close proximity to the beautiful mountains and ocean. Which are necessities for this Island girl’s heart to be happy.
We had the most amazing weather which made for an incredible snow shoe up to the Bowen Island Lookout Point.

When we made it to the lookout point, my breath was taken away.

We were greeted by this beautiful bird… Which I’m guessing was a young eagle? But please correct me if i am wrong. He was beautiful. He stayed perched on this tree branch the whole time we were there. Obviously not a shy fella. I guess we weren’t the only ones soaking in the good views.

I felt as though i could have stayed here for hours.

We stayed up here for at least an hour just completely awe-stricken by these unbelievable views. There were blue jays everywhere, squirrels, and whiskey jacks. Oh the alpine, how i love you.
Being up here got me so stoked to do the Saint Marks Summit in the summer once the snow has melted. We initially thought that we could snow shoe up to the summit, but really that was just a fantasy. After being warned of the avalanche zone and having a ferry to catch in a few hours – we decided Bowen lookout would be much more suitable.
If you’re ever looking for a quick hike just outside the city – you have to do this one! It is not strenuous, very quick and amazingly close to the city. And of course, you get these views! This was my perfect weekend in the city. Anyway, enough from me. Now enjoy these photos, and let me know what you think!

After an amazing day in the alpine

We then made our way home back to the island. It was a jam packed 24 hour visit to the mainland, but it was filled with good tunes, great company, scenic views and the yummiest coffee’s.
Here’s to many more weekends like this one in 2020.
What is your idea of a perfect weekend? Let me know in the comments below!