The continuation of life

It’s like the summer never wants to end in Vancouver this year, providing endless opportunities to be outside exploring nature. After four months in this city my life has fallen into a comfortable rhythm of work and adventure interspersed with short moments of downtime; and I’m pleased to report that the work/life balance I’ve been able to achieve is definitely leaning more heavily towards life as opposed to work. The various chapters of my almost 33-year-old existence have introduced me to a wide variety of lifestyles, cultures and routines; and although all have had their merits, they’ve allowed me to appreciate just how fortunate I am to be living this one right now.

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I haven’t felt this grounded since hiking the trail, enjoying the simple pleasures life has to offer, without all the bells and whistles a healthy income allows. It’s helped me to realise how easy it is to overcomplicate things, reminded me that less is more, and shown me that the simplicity of living from a backpack can be achieved off trail too.

I still can’t figure out what the actual meaning or purpose to this life is, what my ultimate objective should be, what I’m destined to achieve, or why I’ve been given the opportunity to roam this magical planet. But maybe that’s just it; I’ve been given the opportunity to roam this magical planet, maybe I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to be.

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Photo taken by Jon Lane

During a three-day sea-kayaking trip this week, I realised that activities like these can be incorporated into a regular lifestyle. I don’t need to take big chunks of time off for epic adventures every two years; I can simple have shorter adventures more frequently. Upon this realisation, I said to one of my colleagues from work, “Wow, I want to live like this!” – to which he responded, “You are!” I guess I’ve been so used to living in transition mode, ready to move onto what’s next, that I sometimes dismiss what I’m doing in the present. I feel like I’ve been in research mode, attempting to discover what life I actually want to lead; without realising the clock started ticking many years ago, and the present is where it’s all at.

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When I look back at the last ten years, the timeline of my journey seems to lack continuity. To me it’s like reading a book of short stories. Every time I reach the end of a chapter I begin a new one, as opposed to continuing on with the same theme. My last three years have been especially disjointed; a collection of two, four, or six month experiences, where I seem to have gone back to square one at the end of each. But for the first time in a long while, I’m not thinking about where I’m moving to next or what my next job will be. I’m focussing on the continuation of life, laying foundations, joining clubs, adopting routines and cultivating friendships, without that familiar restless feeling nipping at my toes. It probably helps that I need to remain in Canada to renew my residency, reducing my ability and desire to up and go whenever I choose. And my mood is certainly aided by the flawless weather we’ve been having. But it’s also nice to feel that foreign sense of belonging I rarely experience during my short-term stints, because like any good thing worth waiting for, it takes a bit of time.

I’d been saving up so many things to write over this last month, but when I put pen to paper this morning, this stream of ramblings simply spilled out. What I originally wanted to share was the video of my sea-kayaking adventure on Howe Sound along the Sea to Sky Marine Trail this week.

Music: Mr Probz – Waves (Robin Schulz Radio Edit)

Not only were we in the middle of the Perseid meteor showers, I also experienced bioluminescence for the first time. For those who have never had the opportunity to witness the astounding spectacle, I have included a stock image below because I wasn’t able to capture the magic on my own camera. Three of us kayaked along the sound at midnight, with the disturbance of our paddles through the water creating an electric glow like sparks of electricity igniting just under the surface. The stray droplets were falling like fairy dust onto our shoulders, and as the power of the luminance increased as the night became darker; we dove into the water creating human silhouettes of light through the dark blanket of ocean. It was one of the most phenomenal, spectacular and beautiful visual experiences I think I’ve ever seen. No words or pictures could ever do it justice, but my eyes will hold onto those memories forever.

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Image taken from http://www.robotspacebrain.com/tag/bioluminescence/

17 thoughts on “The continuation of life”

  1. Hi Rozanne, I am seriously jealous of your sea kayaking trips- and in one of the worlds most beautiful and picturesque areas. Keep the stories and pics coming! Gary- Perth West Oz.

  2. Hi Rozanne. I just finished to read your 2013 PCT Adventure and was blown away by your courage, your honestness and your determination to finish it. It really got me and I was curious to know what you are doing today after this big Adventure. So I followed the link to this page and then I realized that we were on the Camino del Norte in the same year and that you just started before me in March. I left from Portugalete on the 6th of April and arrived in Santiago on the 1st of May. I really would have loved to meet you on the trail and get to know you.
    Also in that time I didn’t know anything about the PCT. I stumbled over it because there was a documentation about the AT and then I went for research in the internet and found the PCT. I am thinking about doing it in 2017 but I don’t know if I can manage all the weight with water, food and tent. Right know I am in the process of finding light weight outdoor gear and saving money..;-).
    Your were writing that you still don’t know what the meaning of life is and the answer I found for myself in all this years (I am 54) is, that the meaning of life is to live it as fully as you can. Life has the meaning you give to it and as far I can see you are living that already. Just be true to yourself, listen to your heart and live the life you want to have.
    Keep going…
    Françoise

    1. Hi Françoise, thanks for your message and your thoughts about life. It’s great that you were able to experience the Camino del Norte too last year. In regards to your dreams of the PCT, all I can say is that you’ll be surprised what you’re capable of when you put your mind to it. As I discovered almost every day on the trail, if your mind can think it your body will follow! I cringe thinking of carrying all that weight again now, but when it’s a matter of survival, you simply find a way. Best wishes!

  3. Rom 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
    Rom 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

  4. Hi Rozanne… I have been thinking a lot about you these last two days…..reading it made me think about writing a poem…..You said that you were wondering, and still are perhaps, about the meaning of your life….I think that Francois’ thought was right on.. a poem,( Life is a gift…….live .it and BE….wait, don’t leave…stay awhile ….let’s be friends it will take time from both of us….it will be worth it…perhaps to love and to be someone’s dear friend….it may be a risk….but love is worth it….Live, Live, Live and Give Give, and take a chance at staying here awhile…Life is a gift…you are a gift to all and everything…)

    Smiling now….I know it doesn’t rhyme, but that’s alright…it’s my joy to hear about the way you have found some peace in your heart and mind….wait, stay awhile….says Barbie to you….love from your old friend….

    1. Barbie I have read your poem over and over numerous times and the words simply make me smile. What a joy you must be to those so close to you. Thank you for sharing this journey with me and for every one of your insights. Your comments always bring me inspiration and peace!

  5. OOPS….I have a new computer and am having trouble learning how to use it….I left out words …. And so I know you understand….

  6. Ahhh, thanks, Rozanne…I wish that I could come right on over to your house and meet you face to .face….well, not likely….so you make me happy every time you write your blog….and happier than ever when you respond…. I think I really care for you, my dear young friend….

  7. Hi again Rozanne, I did finally get my reply together to your last episode. Had to add that before I could progress to the newest installment. As I said there life has taken some drastic, but great changes. My PCT is still about 2 years away, but I am so ready to go now. Hiked up Whitney 2 weeks ago, and wished I could go back and do it again the next day (little better acclimated)! You sound incredibly happy with your life now. I’m glad to hear that. I think you’re search for meaning has sometimes left you yearning for something just out of your reach. Maybe your next steps will be grounded with the knowledge that the journey or search is the point in itself, not the potential knowledge or goal to be attained at the end. Carpe Diem!

    1. Always wise words from you Gromit, and I too am starting to realise that life is where you’re at, what you’re doing, where you’re doing it and who you’re with. Not what or where the activity you’re doing is going to take you. I hope that the drastic changes in your life are opening up new opportunities and avenues for growth. Enjoy this time when the PCT is still in front of you. The planning and dreaming of the trail is part of the enjoyment, which you can’t go back to once it’s done!! Happy travels and trails and thank you again for your thoughtful analysis and insights! 🙂

  8. Hi I have just discovered your website and am enjoying reading your well written blogs about your trips; your photographs are excellent.
    Canada is an amazing place to spend time; particularly if you are an outdoor enthusiast; there is so much to do and experience.
    It is not easy getting the work life balance right and well done having done so.
    All the very best in your future adventures
    Cheers
    Neville 🙂

    1. Hi Neville thanks so much for your kind words! It’s taken me a long time to find a work/life balance that incorporates activity and adventure alongside a simplified existence. There’s a lot of distractions and complications we need to shield ourselves from sometimes and that seems to take a lot of practise. BC Canada is an outdoor wonderland, I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to experience it. All the best to you too!

  9. I have been reading your blogs with much interest and like you I am trying to find my place in the world and a sense of purpose. What you have accomplished in your life so far is nothing short of remarkable e.g. the Pacific Crest Trail etc.; this has also been incredibly inspiring to so many people. You come across as a truly wonderful caring person who cares deeply about people and is at the same time is getting the most out of life; it doesn’t get any better than that. So just keep doing what you’re doing and with your positive attitude you will end up where you are meant to be.

    1. What a wonderfully inspiring comment to read! Thank you so much for taking the time to share these words. I believe the search for purpose is what keeps us alive and continues to motivate and push us to explore the world around us. Anytime you think you’ve got it figured out, life will deal you a new hand and land you with a new perspective. The joy I have found recently, and the happiness I experienced on the trail, is due to keeping life simple. It may not be the answer to everything, but it’s certainly working for me. Thank you again for brightening my day! 🙂

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