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.

Why Iceland?

As you can probably already tell from my portfolio, i am extremely inspired by the cold northern landscapes and everything they have to entail. For as long as i can remember, i have always been so mesmerized by waterfalls, glaciers, beaches, volcanoes etc. So as you can imagine, Iceland seemed like a geological dreamland to me.

Anyway, i figured i may as well make a post giving some insight into my connection with Iceland, and why its my favourite place to photograph.

Lets start with my first trip to Iceland.

It had been about 2 years since i had extensively travelled abroad. My last trip prior to this, was when i went to work as an Au-Pair in Spain ; and what a trip that was. I was 18 at the time, and this trip definitely came with its fair share of challenges. Anyway – thats a topic for another time. However, my experience abroad left me with alot of feelings of anxiety and self doubt.

Needless to say, in my heart i knew travelling was something i not only wanted, but needed. And in order to get over my anxieties surrounding travelling, i just had to take the plunge, and book a trip.

My brother and I decided to drop everything and go backpacking around Europe for a couple months. While planning and coordinating getting time off work – i was able to get an extra week off at the begining of September. My brother unfortunately, couldnt leave Canada until a week later. And it was then that i decided, it was time to finally visit the Country of my dreams. Solo.

Iceland was all i had talked about for months

And when the day came for me to step on the plane, a bunch of dormant anxieties surrounding travelling came rushing back. I remember phoning my dad and telling him that i didn’t want to go anymore. And i will forever remember him saying to me “Steph, if you like you can turn around and come home. But i think you’ll really regret it if you dont at least try” and he convinced me to just take it one day at a time. He told me, to at least give it a week. And the next week, turned out to be the best damn week i’ve ever had.

I think its the fact that i pushed myself when my anxiety was telling me to give up… that gave me such a special connection to this place.

As soon as i set my feet down on icelandic soil, i knew i was in the right place.

It was over the next few days, that i fell in love.

I set off from Reykjavik and began exploring the south coast – undeniably one of the most magical places you will ever see. Around every corner you turn, there is a magnificent cascading waterfall, or a glacier, or a field full of horses running wild and free.

Its no wonder i became so enchanted by this country.

I have often felt as if iceland is the earth expressing itself in the most raw way. You have all of this untouched wilderness, and with the bubbling hot springs and waterfalls the whole country just feels so alive.

This whole week i spent in iceland, felt like it was just me and the earth. I felt this amazing connection that i still cant exactly put into words, but essentially (at the risk of sounding cliche) i feel like i found my soul in Iceland.

Anyway, Thank you for reading – and now you have the answer to the question that I get asked all the time “Why Iceland?”

Its interesting, how at home you can feel in a country that you’ve never even set foot in before.

Do you have a special place that feels like home? Share with me in the comments below!

All images found on this blog have been shot & edited by Steph Gaul