Photos of My Favourite Adventures

I’ve had a pretty full life so far and it is continuously getting more and more adventurous as I get older and more confident.

Even when I have been self-doubting and fearful, I have pressed forward, traveled alone, moved to new places, and taken daily opportunities for adventures. I’ve always had this need to explore and experience – to LIVE and not just exist. Something as simple as dancing naked in the rain on New Years Eve (done it), or hiking in the dark, or attempting something new – these are prescriptions for a non- typical existence.

Here are just a sampling of exciting times in my life!

Tofino BC, 2001 – this is the first time I ever went surfing, though I’d wanted to since I was 12 (so it took me 10 years to do so).

Raglan, New Zealand, 2005 – that is not me surfing, but it was somewhere I wanted to visit ever since seeing it in Endless Summer.

North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, 2010 – Pipeline – a dream to see this crazy place in person. It sounded like thunder!

Port Moody, BC, 2008 – there was a sign saying there was a cougar spotted in the area, so I pretended to be the cougar.

Coral Bay, Western Australia, 2005 – this is where I went on a swim with whale sharks – still the coolest thing I’ve ever done.

Phuket, Thailand, 2013 – me and one of many beach dogs. Such a fantastic island. Solo trip.

Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2013 – part of my month-long solo trip last year.

Paris, France, 2011 – family trip with my Dad, Uncle, and his wife.

Gabriola Island, BC, 2007 – my dog Leya, and my friend Amy, on a jaunt through the woods.

Squamish, BC, 2008 – on the Chief mountain, with Leya – the first time I’d ever hiked up a mountain. My dog slept for 2 days after and I had a hard time walking for a week.

Lollapalooza, Vancouver, BC, 1993 – this was probably my pinnacle year. It defined who I’d become.

Whistler, BC, 1993 – I’d go here in summer with my mom. Went white-water rafting. Mostly checked out skater boys.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992 – the first time I ever caught a wave was here, on a boogie board. Hooked. Warmest water I’ve ever been in.

Mission, BC, 1990 –  me and my dad at a swimming hole – I was 12.

What are some of your favourite adventures?? Please share with me!

Being in the Void: Not Scary. It’s Exciting and Magical!

Me in Tofino, BC, 2003

There have been a couple of times in life when I have felt completely devoid of most everything, or have lost “everything.” I know I am not alone.

These times were terrifying at first. When this kind of thing happens, though, I tend not to go into a fear-state of mind. I go into a very open state, so I start to see possibilities.

One example is back in 2003. I was living with my mom, severely depressed, unemployed due to injury, and the guy I was dating told me he was seeing other people.  I had no close friends and was always yearning for other things – surfing, nature, love.

The guy disappeared – after a couple of weeks I realized he was never going to contact me, and instead of continuing to feel abandoned, I started to realize I was FREE – I had NO ties, at all, and was able to go and chase for something I’d always wanted.

And so I told my mother, ‘I want to move to Tofino.”

Tofino is a surfing town on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the main surfing spot in Canada. I had thought about moving there for years, but figured it was too small, too remote. I had lived  on the island before, but still hours away, convinced the size of the place would not mesh with me.

About a week later, my mom showed me an ad in the paper for a job in Tofino, with accommodation available. I contacted them immediately, and within the next two days I took a trip over to have an interview, and got the job. Two weeks later, I moved.

The next year of my life was completely different than it had been before, except for a couple of key things – I was still the same person, just in a different environment. The new place did not change who I was, and I had to learn new things and ways to adapt. I was different in many ways to the people who lived there, and despite my surf-love, had a hard time with many things –  peacefully living with many other people was the main challenge. There was a lot of excess – drugs, drinking, sex, partying – Tofino is a party town, a tourist destination, and a transient place for working travelers. In many ways my illusions were shattered, but I had a fantastic experience that I would not trade for anything.

I also learned to surf, which I had wanted to do since I was a kid.

Most importantly, I had tried something new, that I had always dreamed of. I took the opportunity of the void and filled it with everything I wanted.

Empty spaces in time are the best times to make wild choices – they are the universe giving you an excuse and a chance to expand yourself.

If you have no holds on you, you are free to do anything.

Sometimes the void is created for you, and sometimes you have to create it yourself. Either way, it is not the scary place we imagine. To grow sometimes we need to start with nothing.

I still idealize this little part of the world. It is magical.