January 2016 has started without a hitch and without a moment of rest. If this is any indication of how the upcoming year is going to be, it is going to be a very fast, constantly shifting, and adventurous 2016.
I started the year off in Calgary, Alberta at my folks house. Nearly two weeks at “home” and I was starting to settle in, wondering if Calgary might just be a nice place to reside once again. It was nice to come home to cooked meals, to have free laundry without time restraints or others waiting for the machine, the ability to stay in bed for hours longer than normal knowing that I had little to no chores around the house to do, and the time with my family was an added bonus. I did very little while I was in Calgary. I visited a total of three friends, went to Higher Ground (a local coffee shop) with my brother a few times, frequented Chapters with my brother a couple of times, made various trips to Starbucks with my brother, and made a drive to Cochrane with my brother. If you have not caught on, most of my outings beyond my parents house was with my brother. Cochrane was probably the highlight of our many trips. The town grew larger than recognizable and both my brother and I were taken back by its rapid growth since our last drive through what once used to be a small town.
On New Years Day my brother and I both left Calgary for our respective homes. Our flights were about half an hour apart from each other giving us an extra hour and an half to hang out post security. It was the first time that we both left our parents home at the same time; I am sure it was not easy for our parents to go from a full to empty house within minutes. Both of us also left with lists of things to do this weekend. Neither of us were returning to our own homes to relax. I, immediately after dropping my suitcase off at the entrance of my apartment headed out to buy some basic household items and started packing and prepping for my partial move to Vancouver. Saturday morning was occupied by stuffing clothing in a suitcase, determining what books I should travel with, and debating between items of “need” and “want”. My time in Vancouver will be a quick four months and I envision various trips back to the Island so I did my ultimate best to pack simply. A good start to my desire to want to live a minimalist lifestyle, if I do say so myself. I made sure to squeeze in a workout Saturday afternoon before I connected with a friend and finished packing and loading the car. Saturday was gone before I knew it. I crawled into bed feeling pretty content and ready for the next chapter in my journey.
Less than forty-eight hours after arriving in Victoria I was waking up to cook a few meals to get me started in Vancouver, put away my Christmas tree, and finish packing the last few necessary items. By 11:00 today, Sunday, I was packed and ready to head out again. This time, my car held a suitcase of clothing, a laundry basket of bedding and towels, a box of shoes, an overstuffed backpack of books, a bag of workout supplies, a few other bags of random household items, and a bag of immediate work and school related materials. Not much in the grand scheme of things.
Arriving in Vancouver felt different this time. As I left the ferry I knew exactly where I was going and had little to no need for the GPS. The mountains are snow covered and stood out more than I have even seen. I was in awe by the beauty. Only if I had a passenger in the car, I would have asked them to take a picture of the scene as we stopped at a red light. As I continued I realized that Vancouver looked different because it was frost covered. It oddly had me feeling like I was either in Calgary or Toronto, big cities I have resided in and become accustom too even if I did not love living in either.
I arrived at my place of residence and after bringing in most of my stuff I decided to head out and tour around a little, mostly to get acquainted with my route to and from work. Along the way I found a couple grocery stores, located the closest Chapters, checked in on the hours of the public library, and ventured through an empty and mostly closed Douglas College campus. As I walked around campus my eye caught the glare of the Christmas lights across the street, so, like any good tourist, I ventured over to the shiny objects. Turns out there is a beautiful park across the street from campus. Individuals were running along the path, others were strolling in the cold with their young children, while a few others attempted to capture the frost covered trees surrounding the water (I have to still find out what body of water this is).
If anything, I have found a place that I can escape to every so often for a walk in replacement of Dallas Road, Victoria. I am not sure I will ever feel the same comfort as I do in Victoria but I think being on the Mainland, outside of Vancouver proper, will have its benefits.
I am determined to have an amazing 2016. As a friend texted me, “This will be our year!” It has started off quickly and with a lot of travel but it has also come with a sense of ease and calmness. I could not ask for more than continuous traveling in ease; there really is no better way to experience the world.