I love you so much… let me lay awake at night thinking of all the ways you could die.

Google taught me blogging would be a substantial time investment. From my 4 days of experience, this is already true.

It’s a quiet 4:42 A.M in Muskoka, Ontario. With a head cold and a sever lack of sleep over this past Halloween weekend, I should be in a medicine induced coma. But here I am, revising my first blog post because the ‘what ifs‘ are robbing me of a good thing, as they commonly do.

There is little room in adventure for diffidence.  Self-doubt is the very thing that creeps into your brain, creating unfounded fears and has the power to quickly run rampant and keep you from doing anything incredible with your life.

Stop the negative self-talk.

Deepak Chopra, although I generally regard his prolific works as verbal diarrhea, occasionally writes some hard-hitting soul fuel. One thing that I had taken from The Path to Love, is the following quote:

“The next time someone tells you you’re beautiful, believe them.” 

It’s harder than it seems.  And it extends beyond physical praise.
You’re a hard worker.
You’re funny.
You’re kind.
You’re patient.
You’re a good parent.
You’re adventurous.
You handled that assignment with ease.
You are enough.

In the back of our minds, we often shut down these compliments with negative self talk. Over time, constantly re-directing a compliment or mentally listing off all the things that make us think we’re not that one compliment,  will lead to the belief that we can’t possibly be that person that deserves that compliment. We don’t just do this with commendations, we also do it with our own, often brilliant, ideas.

Our brains have the tendency to take self preservation to a destructive level. We second guess ourselves and avoid risks, challenges, uncertainty and trying new things because… what if something goes wrong?  And suddenly something turns into a dozen things until you’ve talked yourself out of that beautiful 40km autumn backpacking adventure because you watched The Revenant last night and every bear within a billion mile radius is obviously going to smell your fear and hunt down your entire family and brutally maul them to death.  As a hilarious meme on FaceBook timeline once perfectly articulated, “I love you so much… let me lay awake at night and think of all the ways you could die”. This is a real thing. We do this real thing way too often in our every day lives.

Stop the negative self-talk.

I [too] struggle with accepting The Journey in life (you all know the quote, please don’t make me get more cliche than I already am here); The best things take dedication, practice and time. I typically want to be an expert at everything NOW. My very level-headed boyfriend can get incredibly frustrated by this. I always need something to do something else, immediately. However, he also praises this intricate part of me, reminding me that if I wasn’t so wonderfully impulsive, we wouldn’t have a house, we wouldn’t travel, we wouldn’t treat ourselves to unnecessary heaping piles of pad thai or that tapestry that ties the whole goddamn room together, we would be stuck. Fear would keep the bills, the cooking, the cleaning, the every-day nuances and all the ‘what ifs’ in the foreground of our lives.

I’ve barely got my feet out of Canada and I’m already writing a blog about backpacking.
Am I inexperienced? Yes.
Do I know anything about blogging? No.
Is my blog going to be as good as so-and-so’s backpacking blog? Probably not any time soon.

Stop the negative self-talk.

I’m starting this blog as a personal recording of the ‘what ifs’ I’ve conquered through adventure. Particularly my love for hiking/ backpacking. It has become my meditation. Waking up at 4 a.m, sometimes in below freezing temperatures, sometimes in a valley, or by a glacier, sometimes on a mountain or in the woods by a misty lake, with a bunch of people from all around the globe (or sometimes alone), just to…walk. It’s a humble intoxication that should be documented. So Imma do it.

From treks, conversations and lessons learned, I’ll tell you where I’ve been, how I’ve gotten there, what I’ve done and how I did it. Advice on hostels, gear, routes, the culture, the cuisine (especially vegan), I hope to inspire you to put a pack on your back and -go-. Because as Jack Kerouac once wrote:

“In the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”

P.s. I did that beautiful 40km autumn hike, and I just barely saw a chipmunk.

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Salkantay trek, Peru, May 2016

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