Occupying Myself with the Right Questions

Last night I stayed up and chatted about some of the happiest days/times/moments of my life.

The conversation was first sparked by someone asking “What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?”

I used to let this question play on my mind on a daily basis, I’d find myself chopping vegetables for dinner and asking myself, I’d find myself sitting on the lav, pondering… what was the worst thing I’d done that day, week, month, my life. These questions were a waste of time but I couldn’t escape them for many years. I wondered how I’d got to where I had – how my mental space had got so clouded and my heart so heavy.

I took a long time to transition from these questions and to adjust  from those low times in life in general. Those low periods of which I’m sure we all have the capacity to endure, no matter what hardships (or seemingly lack of) we face.

More recently I try to occupy myself with the right questions. What’s the best thing I’ve done today? What thing big/small can I aim to achieve? All these questions keep my mind open to the present and to the future.

It hasn’t been easy to get to this point. Where you wake up with  purpose. And that purpose doesn’t come from a search for something higher, something above and beyond yourself or even out of your reach. It’s not about getting that job, embarking on that relationship or carving out a solid path.

It comes from you, your core purpose is to wake up and just be your beautiful self, learn what you can from the day and find balance in whatever way you can. Everything else is just a bonus I suppose.

One of my happiest days I spent dressed as a bug running around a muddy field covered in face paint, beer and ketchup. I spent this mostly with strangers I’d met that day.

Another happy day I spent at Niagara Falls with travel companions I’d met two days before.

Another again, Anna, Holly and I spent the evening sipping cocktails on a long table in Paris. Speaking mostly pure nonsense with complete strangers.

My happiest days to come, who knows? I think a little family reunion in Seattle could definitely be up there. A date night in Victoria?

I’ll be content with some happy moments, I don’t need the whole day. Drinking sparkling juice in the shadow of The Chief sounds like a great start.

The Ever-loving Abigail

xx

 

 

 

 

Goodbye Squamish

It’ll be just over three months in Squamish when it’s time for me to leave in ten days.

I left the hostel last night, my first Canadian home and my first ‘Canadian’ (international) family. I’ve tried some new things, met some B E A U tiful people, for reals, special souls, and I’ve gained a lot of weight.

I thought it’d be a lot harder to leave, like ripping off a plaster. But moving to the campsite for ten days or so means I can transition a bit more slowly from my hostel life. I’ve been slowly saying goodbye to its residents over the last month or so, so it’s not my first rodeo.

There are a few people it’ll be a little harder to say goodbye to than others, but it’s alright. They’ll be around this part of the world for a while. A fair few have dreams of NZ too, just like me. Marcel, Raquel and Doug will all be heading that way, and Sam too eventually. Not anytime soon, but it’ll all be fun and games in the years to come.

For now though, it’ll be a chance to spread my wings and embark on a new adventure with ma kiwi boy. It’s been a bit of a scary prospect. Starting something with someone new. But I think I’m in the right head-space now.

I’ve learnt how to do me, so I suppose there might be room for someone else now. I’ll keep you posted ;).

To Victoria, Vancouver Island I go, 27th August. Watch this space.

 

The Ever-loving Abigail

                                                      x

 

 

 

The First Quarter

An update on the superhero that is Alessandro. Despite falling to the deck from 50ft (onto his back from a solid-ass rock). The Italian baby is alive and well.

So no serious goodbyes just yet. Just the family parting very soon. My Squamish family will soon be moving their separate ways and on to other things.

I’ll head over to camp at The Chief for a few weeks and then head on my merry way. Wherever that will be.

I’ve been in Canada for more than three months now. Still pretty sweet sailing

The Ever-loving Abigail

Alessandro Fell

I don’t really know what to do right now besides write. I’m sitting at the hostel twiddling my thumbs and feeling shitty.

Our poor Italian baby, Alessandro, has been airlifted to Vancouver hospital after falling about 50ft from his climb over at the Smoke Bluffs. His legs were moving apparently, and his head seems okay… But I can’t really say. I wasn’t his climbing partner, I wasn’t there and I don’t know what state he was in. The other volunteers, my friends have headed to the hospital, approximately 50 minutes down the highway 99.

I don’t have a Canadian cell, so I can’t call them. I can just wait on facebook and hope that someone has the sense to update me on how our poor bubba is.

The risks with being an adventurer, from pushing yourself to the limits, is that these things happen. I’m surrounded by vulnerable travellers. Traveller’s for whom a steady hike doesn’t quite give them the thrills they’re after.

This reality check isn’t just reminding me of how much those around me are putting themselves in difficult situations on a daily basis. But it’s reminding me of how much of a family we are. My heart’s pounding in my chest and I just wish I could be there with him, with them all. I feel maternal for this boy, as though, while his Mama n Papa are back in Italy, we have some sort of responsibility for him. To be with him and to look after him.

These aren’t fleeting feelings of travel companionship. I love my friends I’ve made here these past few months and I’d do anything to protect my new family.

We’re all wanderers, joined so strongly by an invisible connection. Most of us have families and aren’t short of loved ones, but for some reason, we’ve all ended up across the world to be here at this time together. Away from what we knew, we’re learning and seeing new things every day.

I feel like I should just keep on writing until I hear some news… I don’t know what else to pass the time. Alessandro surfed for the first time yesterday and now he lays in a hospital bed. This afternoon we laughed together and spoke of his plans to head to London for a few days next week.

I shall go and be with my family now.

The Ever-Loving Abigail

 

Sorry It’s Been so Long… I’ve Been Having a Canada Moment or Two

Gaaaaad, it’s been ages. I’m sorry pals. I’ve been busy becoming a bloody Canadian I reckon. But not really, but sorta.

In the last month I’ve seen my first bear, I’ve swam in a whole bunch o lakes and I’ve been camping. I’ve also starting adding maple syrup to my coffee at work and saying sorry a little more than I’d like.

I’m not sure where to start but there’s a real quick summary.

I suppose I’ll start with the bears. I waited a whole two and a half months before seeing one. I was sitting on a chair lift heading up Blackcomb in Whistler. We were off up for another one of  our fam (familiar) tours, free trips for those of us in hospitality so we can experience cool shit and tell all our guests about it. Since starting at the hostel I’ve done a whole bunch of these: I’ve been on a free guided hike, a rafting trip, BBQ in the Squamish Valley and most recently, the longest zipline in North America

The sun was shining and our legs were dangling, three bears were grazing beneath us. Shiny coats and big wet looking noses – basically adorable giant dogs waiting for me to come say hello. Needless to say I did not. I headed up to do the zip, a zip that has been recorded to go in excess of 100km/hour (or 62mph). I really felt the speed, my face flapped about in the wind as I span around looking at some of the greatest mountain views I’ve ever seen.

That was a good few weeks ago now, a great trip with the group up to Whistler. I don’t think I’ll be heading back too much though, it’s basically like Disneyworld (but not super cool), it seems like a movie set. All built up at once pretty much, all matching in style and totally surreal feeling. As though the Stepford Wives might live there or something…. if they were in to a bit of boarding or something.

Since this time I’ve also done a mini-hike up the Tunnel Bluffs.

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I stopped in a fire pit for a nap while the other two girls went up to the top. I was pretty content with this little spot just here over Lion’s Bay.

I think it was that same day we went camping at Cat Lake, I’m not entirely sure. That’s the thing about having fun. I’m really losing track. I jumped in the lake under the stars, they were sooooo much better at the lake than in town. Silly light pollution in town ruins the stars but out at the lake they were B E A Utiful. The lake was warm, we played on logs, swam around and then I dried myself by the heat of the fire. We adopted a long haired stranger from Calgary and he sang to us until the early hours.

Even more recently has been CANADA DAY – THE BIG 150. I dressed up in ma dungers (gingham overalls), put my hair in bunches tied with ribbon and bloody belted O Canada, just O Canada though, I don’t know the rest of the anthem.

We day drank, I cut out maple leaves for hostel decorations, played pin the tail on the beaver and ended the night with fireworks, bit o burlesque and a hella lot of cheesy dancin’.

To summarise: Bears, hikes, lakes, camping, maple leaves and dancing.Canadadaydreams.jpg

O Canada. I’m always going to celebrate Canada Day.

 

The Ever-loving Abigail