Updated: Sep 24, 2018
Nature does not belong to us, we belong to it. Nature is not a place to visit, it is home.
It feels pretty amazing that at the age of 23, I can say I have experienced what it truly means to be happy. People seem to search for happiness forever these days, always leaping from one milestone to the next. To an extent, that is how I lived during my first years of adult hood, always looking at the future and not being most thankful for what was happening in the moment. I simply shifted my focus to living in the moment, and I found that when I did the things I loved the most, they became more rewarding and memorable. Many of my days are rewarded with the thought I am sure we all have experienced, the one where you say to yourself, "gee, when I woke up this morning, I could not have even imagined that I would have done or seen this today".
What makes me happy the most is being outdoors and anything nature related. It has been a part of me from when I was a young boy. I consider myself so lucky to have seen some really beautiful places here in Canada, and also even more so that I have been able to experience nature so up close and personal. There is just something about staring out to a lake with water still as glass, or hearing a pack of wolves' howl in the middle of the night, or sleeping in a tent while torrential rains pound on the canvas and lightning lights up the darkness that just makes me feel so alive. I have realized how in nature everything is connected, from the weather and seasons to the wildlife. Nowadays, we humans have disconnected ourselves from nature. For many, the outdoors is a place of discomfort, and I agree with that in a lot cases. As much as I think my experiences camping in thunderstorms were really cool and witnessing firsthand how fierce nature can get, it does not mean it was necessarily pleasurable in the moment. Ultimately it is your reaction and what you take out of the situation that will alter your happiness. Some of our most memorable moments and best experiences in life come from the times we get pushed out of our comfort zone, and although difficult to do, it is something I work on everyday, to try something new, take risks, and go explore the unknown.
There’s a recent quote I read that goes like this - “When we get closer to nature—be it untouched wilderness or a backyard tree—we do our over-stressed brains a favor”. I really could not agree with this more. This is why I do what I do, which is go on adventures, share my adventures and love for nature through photography and art. Scientific studies have proven the positive effects nature has to us. It makes sense since that is what is natural and it is in-bedded in our DNA. In today's world, we are in general attracted towards artificial things, from junk foods, to being glued to our television and phone screens. I believe a healthy balance can be had, but the reality is, our lives are being consumed more and more by the artificial things in life versus the natural things. Rebooting our systems with a dose of nature is something I personally can say works, and is needed to have good physical and mental health.
Personally, I have gotten into a routine of going on at least two adventures or more a week. It is what makes me happy, and I feel my best during those times. It sometimes surprises me what being out in the fresh air does to me, as I had times where I just felt really tired and unmotivated to do anything, but once I hit the trail it seems to just blissfully go away. It is really a wonder what being outside can do to you.
With that being said, I feel that I have been called to spread my love of nature with people. Art and photography have been strong passions of mine for quite sometime now, and I do not just want to keep it to myself. I want to share it with everyone and hope to inspire people to at least think about nature, and better yet, bring it into their lives. It doesn't matter whether you live in a big city or out in the country, nature is all around us and can be experienced in so many amazing ways. Just like the quote at the top of this entry states, we belong to nature and it is our home. So lets enjoy it, care for it, and share it with each other.