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.
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.
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.
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.