Travel Photo Challenge 10/10 West Coast Trail,BC

I was nominated by Liberate Wings to post one travel photo a day for the next 10 days. This was the final photo in this series, but due to a high volume of readers showing interest in this oldie but goodies, I might have to toss in a post now and then!

West Coast Trail, BC circa 2006.

This photo I hold very dear because it marked a point in my life where I finally embraced who I always was.

In my teenaged and you adult days I always struggled to be more “feminine,” and fit in by hanging out at the mall or at the arcade.  I never really talked about air cadets with my school friends and I never really expressed my passion for swimming, climbing, survival and hobbies like seeing and knitting.  It wasn’t because I avoided it, it’s just that it never came up and everyone else around me talked about movies, games, fashion and music.

It was when I finished high school and I had to support myself, that made me prioritize what really made me happy.

I made new friends, from working in aquatics and began to travel the country visiting old cadet friends.

Going on the West Coast trail when I was 20, was the first back country I did with civilian friends. I learned about camping luxuries like stoves, lightweight tents and packs and gators. I remember thinking about how I was going to pack all my food in a steel frames ruck sack, when my boyfriend at the time gave me one of his multi day packs.

I also remember him showing me how to use his stove and at the last minute I decided not to take it because I felt more comfortable just cooking over the fire.

It was like teaching a caveman modern day camping technology! I smile to think that I still really haven’t come that far. I guess I’m a hopelessly old fashioned.

Anyways, when I look at this photo I think that this was the year I started smiling real smiles with full teeth and a happy heart.  Imagine, I know it’s difficult, but for many years if you were to look at my photos from grade 1 to grade 12… I never smiled with my eyes or teeth.

So thank you

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