travel

Into the Mountains

I recently took a trip to the mountains in the heart of the rockies with a few awesome people. It was the perfect timing—right before exams were starting and not surprisingly, also when I was in much need of a mental and physical break from my daily routine. I’m sure you know how it goes; it’s the same story again and again: wake up, go to the gym, study, go to class, come home from class, cook dinner, Netflix and then an early bedtime because university seems to drain all of your energy regardless if you sleep 5 or 12 hours. Routine: it can slowly kill your zest for life while at the same time stealing all passion you thought you once had. 

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If I could use one word to describe my routine, it would be monotony. It’s not that I don’t venture or explore while I’m at school, but I begin to make excuses not to because school seems to always come first on my list of priorities.

“The human spirit live on creativity and dies in conformity and routine” – Vilaya Inaya Khan

IMG_9070Sometimes, I’m in such desperate need of an escape that I’ll burry myself in more work just to feel like I’m actually being productive and useful rather than just wasting my time doing the same things, day after day. What I do on a daily basis is not what I really want to be doing, it’s simply what I feel obligated to do. I want to be in the mountains, I want to be exploring and photographing my surroundings, I want to be in good company and I’d love to be experiencing new things every damn day of my life. But of course, it often seems like too much to ask, so I settle for what I have until I experience that sense of urgency again.

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When my roommate, Sarah, suggested that we take a trip to the mountains for the day, I simply brushed it off as an “Oh that would be nice”, kind of idea—without a car or a way of getting there, it wouldn’t be able to blossom into anything more than a fun idea.

But of course, life always has its ways of working out into both expected and unexpected outcomes. Before I knew it, there were five of us crammed into the car (courtesy of one of Sarah’s business friends), and we were off to Chester Lake (in the middle of nowhere I might add).

A Day in the Mountains

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I was slightly unprepared—alright, fine, I was totally —but we made it work. How was I suppose to know it was going to be dumping snow when the weather forecast called for sunshine? Picture me in my running shoes, cropped Lululemon tights, ankle socks, U of C sweatshirt, vest, toque and mittens (thank goodness for those mittens). The hike was roughly an hour and 15 minutes up to the lake—unless you’re smart and wear snowshoes—and only 45 minutes down.

The amount of times we were starred at for wearing running shoes was roughly equivalent to the number of times we fell knee deep in the snow.

And I hate to say it, but this is not an exaggeration! If we didn’t walk along the narrow path where the snowshoers had compacted the snow, we immediately fell in up to mid thigh, and let me tell you, this is not a pleasant experience when you’re wearing ankle socks (thankfully I had been given ski socks from a friend when the hike started, but Sarah wasn’t so lucky).

IMG_9061Despite being glared and/or laughed at a few times by the people we passed, we made it to the lake in decent time. The views were breathtaking—postcard perfect and sparkling in the smallest glimmer of sunshine that had pushed it’s way through the thick snow-saturated clouds.

Not only did I need to be there that day, but my body craved the escape. We were made to explore, not to be cooped up in a library, studying day in and day out. Our bodies were designed to walk, climb, jump, leap, and yes, even fall at times. Of course university is important, we would never advance as human beings without a quality education. But in saying this, that doesn’t mean that the way we learn today is necessarily the best or only way. I’d consider my trip to Chester Lake an education in itself. Not educational in the sense that I was falling asleep reading a textbook, but a learning experience about my passions and what I value most in life.
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