A Little Slice of Heaven

I just got back from a camping trip from a place that holds a very special spot in my heart. It’s one of those places where, when I close my eyes, I can see the landscape, smell the earth and the air and hear the wind blowing through the trees all around me.  For me, there is nothing quite like waking up in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by big beautiful evergreens, with the silence of nothingness and the calm of the water as the sun just starts to dust it’s rays on it.  

The loons were my alarm clock and I definitely did not hit snooze.  

We went on a backcountry camping trip to an area that has a lot of history for me.  My family used to have a cottage on one of the adjoining lakes to the lake that we camp on every year.  My childhood summers until I was 17 were spent here with family and friends and they are some of the best memories I have.  No tv’s, no cell phones, no computers not even a radio….vinyl records playing at night while we sat around playing cards.  Early mornings running down the dock and leaping off the end making sure not to splash my Oma who would be enjoying a coffee and a book overlooking the water….that is until us kids showed up.  Eating watermelon, laying on the deck and logging at least 6 hours of swimming in a day.  

It was heaven.  

Or so when I look back on it now, that I’m an adult, I see it as heaven.  It’s funny though, how when you are a kid sometimes you don’t appreciate the things that are right in front of you.  

Heck, even as adults we forget to turn our autopilot off and become aware of all the good that is surrounding us.  I remember fighting my parents on going to the cottage for the weekend because I just wanted to stay home and hangout with my friends.  It wasn’t until it was gone that I really started to realize just how lucky we were to have a place like this to go and spend our summers.  And now that I’m older…I crave this place!

So we go back, every year and camp and we’ve been able to share this special place with our friends.  There is little to no cell reception so phones are (except for the odd photo op) kept in our tents and we will actually talk to each other!  Can you believe it?! Haha.  Or, we’ll sit in silence, which is one of my favourite things to do first thing in the morning.  We eat, THE MOST, delicious food.  And when I say, delicious…I mean not your typical camping weiners and beans.  This year we enjoyed jacket sweet and regular potato’s (which just means loaded with incredible ingredients like avocado, black beans, sauteed mushrooms and onions, sour cream, cheese etc…a new term I learned this trip), greek veggie and pulled chicken wraps, falafel and fattoush pitas, crepes, egg fritatta’s and the list goes on….it’s ridiculous really.  Clearly food is pretty much the most important element to our camping trips, haha.  Camp fires were an all day event, floating is crucial to day time relaxation and this year myself and my sister in law rented paddle boards!  SO MUCH FUN.  

It was another trip to put in the books as a major success and I’m already excited to go back next year!

Nature has this way of cleansing you, I truly believe that.  Anytime I’m feeling overwhelmed, stressed or just like I need to get back in touch with what’s important to me, I go outside. Take a deep breath of fresh air, let out the doubt, fear and uncertainty that has crept in and breathe in appreciation and gratitude for what’s all around me.  Now, I’m not completely naive here, I know that there are times in life that it feels like you are surrounded in shit….just dark, negative, stinky shit….but I also know that it is a choice as to how you respond to it.  So, when you are feeling stuck and stinky…..get outside, leave your phone behind (or at least silence it!  I love a good photo as much as the next gal)….find a place where you can breathe in the air and listen to the sounds of the earth around you and breathe out, with conviction and force….the negativity that is weighing you down.  Make this a practice and you will have found a truly effective way of coming back to who you are and what’s important to you.

If you’ve never gone camping before I challenge you to add this to your bucket list!  You don’t have to go backcountry camping like we do.  (which means you have to canoe or walk into your site).  You can go to a campground where you drive in and park.  There will be more people around so it may not be as serene but if you are a little nervous about completely removing yourself from human contact for your first trip and you have kiddos this can be A LOT of fun for them and give them a chance to ride their bikes, meet new friends, play games, swim, roast marshmallows on a fire and socialize without screens in front of them!

I hope you have been having a great summer.  I can’t believe it’s almost September!  I’m ok with it, I love me some cozy socks, soup and apple crisp!

Lots of love,

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