Travel Diaries: VANCOUVER, a trip back home.

Strathcona ParkVancouver is where I grew up.  Going back there reminded me of the person that I used to be and made me reflect on who I would like to become.  Not that the person who I used to be, who I am now, and who I would like to become are all completely different.   However, it made me realize that I would like to be more ambitious and outdoorsy, like I used to be.   Visiting the place where you grew up is a great opportunity to rediscover yourself.  I hope you can get some ideas of what to do or think about next time you go back home after reading about my experiences.

While growing up in Vancouver I went on many adventures; kayaking, canoeing, sailing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, rock-climbing, spelunking, and horse-back riding, just to name a few.  It was fun, it kept me fit, and I enjoyed the beautiful outdoors whether I was in the mountains, forest, or ocean.  Once I moved to Montreal, I transformed into a city girl.  My exercise now consisted of going to the gym, dancing salsa at various bars and clubs, and walking up to my classes in the Education Building.  The closest thing to beautiful outdoors was now Mont Royal, and compared to the mountains in Vancouver it looks like a little hill.  When I went back to Vancouver I went on a few hikes around Sasamat Lake and Pitt River, and I also biked to and around Stanley Park.  It made me realize how much I miss the picturesque views.  It also reminded me that going on outdoorsy adventures is inspiring to me and is an effective way of relieving stress.  I made a goal to be more outdoorsy, so when I came back to Montreal I did an 11 km hike up Mont Orford.  Then I took a nap on the beach because the workout was pretty intense.  The views were spectacular.  I am glad that going to Vancouver reminded me of how I like nature and I am excited to incorporate it back into my life.

On my trip back home I also got to visit some old friends, co-workers, and teachers.   Talking to one of my teachers who I have not seen for three years and telling her about where I am at now in my life and where I am heading made me realize that I have actually accomplished a lot.  It also reminded me of how driven I used to be.  I think I have become more complacent with my path in life over the past couple years.  I used to have such grand dreams for myself.  Going back made me realize that I can still make those dreams a reality.  Such a push could not have come at any better time either.  As I am heading to grad school in September, I am going to focus on networking and gaining the necessary skills to successfully transition into a rewarding career.  Nonetheless, I think I have become wiser over the past couple years.  I used to want to be successful, now I want to leave a positive mark on the world and help people.  As the Dalai Lama said,

The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kind.”

In Vancouver I was reminded of the benefits of the outdoors and that I can still accomplish a lot in my life.  Next time you visit your home town, go back to the places you used to enjoy and reconnect with some of the people you have not spoken to in a while.

Vancouver was my first trip of the summer.  Read my upcoming blog entries and find out what other lessons I have learned from going to Spain, Ottawa, and Cuba!

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