I read somewhere: "Just like the world, you can't judge a book by its cover, nor from only reading one page".
I believe we can learn a lot through traveling. We can learn a lot about ourselves and a lot about humanity and human connections within our environment. Traveling has taught me my biggest life lesson.
Traveling has been a huge part of my life and I'm so grateful for every experience I received from it all. Traveling became a necessity for me the last 30 years or so. I was lucky to travel to places like Iceland, Patagonia, Argentina, Chile, Norway, Russia, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Greece, Indonesia, Mexico, Hawaii, USA, Canada, Central America and all over Europe. What a blessing!
It first started with travels my parents took me on, both my parents loved traveling, have worked on international jobs or took sabbatical years off work to travel while I was growing up as a young kid from Chicoutimi, Quebec.
Traveling is in my blood. I love it. I was always able to make myself feel at home while I was on the road, especially if the prize was to go snowboarding or surfing. Those two passions of mine have been the main purpose of most trips I took from the age of 14 and onwards.
Traveling has been a balance of both planning and in-the-moment experiences. Traveling a lot is great, as long as you can enjoy the present moment fully while being on that trip. As long as you can immerse yourself in the culture and rhythm of where you are.
My notion of traveling changed a little bit once I became gifted with two beautiful children which are now 10 and 15. At first, obviously, traveling with kids was a bit harder, took more effort, was less spontaneous, needed more planning according to my kids' schedule. We also loved that phase of their lives. We (my wife and I) were lucky to always be welcome to bring our kids with us at RD&D or Sales meetings, filming trips, demos, contests such as Natural Selection, Banked Slalom, North Face Masters as well as countless movie premieres.
The kids have been exposed socially to our world and community a lot. We did our best to live a balanced life for them where they could still go to school, have friends, partake in art, dance, sports activities outside of school as well as chasing powder, concrete parks and waves with my wife Megan and I.
It did become harder to travel away from them all while I continued pursuing my passion and dream job as a professional snowboarder. Both kids are pro travellers by now.
We have some traveling goals set up. We all agreed we want to go ride powder in Japan, hang out in Tokyo and stop in Hawaii on the way back to surf... A few things need to fall into place for this trip to happen but we are all in the dreaming stage for now.
I believe traveling has 3 stages: Dreaming, Planning and Living it.
1) Dreaming: That part is almost as fun as living it, to me anyways. That's the stage where you can conceptualize your dream trip, you pick the location, the things to do. You are dreaming of what your trip there could be like. You are planting a seed for the manifestation of your dream trip.
2) Planning: That one gets easier with practice. This stage could require patience, a computer or a phone and for sure some flexibility. That stage is crucial and has to be done. It's a lot less stressful when you have a few things lined up ahead of time. Trust me on that. Also, I'd say: "Take the insurance!" You never know when you'll need it and it really can make things much easier. One signature and boom, you can have a brand new rental car delivered to you so that you can keep on with your adventure, as one example.
3) Living it: That's the best part. You get to live your dream, your manifestation. Enjoy! Stay flexible because something won't go as planned, guaranteed! I would say it's important to be and stay in the moment with this phase. Who knows if you'll ever get the chance to go back to Tokyo, so your phone can wait :-) Be present with who you are traveling with, enjoy each other's company, enjoy the trip! Enjoy the cultural shock!
I am bringing up traveling because, for me, it makes me appreciate home so much. I appreciate "coming home" to a place where I have experienced a lot and where I store stuff of mine. I would say as much as I love traveling, I may love coming home even better.
I am very lucky to be able to call home both Squamish, BC and Dominical, Costa Rica. I've been based out of Dominical since early February 2020. Pre-Pandemic, pre-travel restrictions, pre-global crisis. But we also have been coming down here since 2003. I have definitely enjoyed the very small surf beach community vibe where a lot of people are here to simply disconnect or take a break from their usual everyday noises of living in bigger cities. The nature, the wild life, the ocean...
Honestly, as I am writing this, I'm experiencing an overwhelming feeling of happiness to be back here again, after an amazing summer visiting my wife's family in Colorado. It was much needed for all of us. We got to hang out with babies, aunties, uncles, grand-parents and friends.
It feels so good to be coming home right now!
I know I will feel the same when we go back to Canada next summer so that my kids can get back into the BC school system. I know I will feel the same then. I know it for sure.
Because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter where I "come home" to. It matters who I am with. My family is who matters. My family is home to me. Wherever I am in the world without them, when I miss home. I miss them.
They are "home"!
Home, to me, is also a place where I choose to be. I choose to be challenged, to have big goals within what nature is providing. Somewhere I can check in with myself, from time to time. Somewhere I can scare myself even. Get humbled.
I chose Squamish for its proximity to: World class mountains with an abundant coastal snowpack for snowboarding, a huge piece of granite that provides world class rock-climbing; and amazingly carved and engineered mountain biking trails that makes Squamish the Canadian mecca.
I chose Dominical, CR for its consistency in terms of waves as well as its hallow, powerful and challenging beach break. I find surfing quite exhilarating and humbling at times. It keeps me on my game, especially when it gets bigger. This is fun for me.
I also chose Costa Rica and Squamish both for the nature, the forest, the animals, the ecosystems ... the magic and the sacred land it is surrounded by. The energy from the ancestral tribes, the vibration of all nature.
Did I choose it or did it choose me?
But, again, to wrap it all up, I'd say: "Coming home means, to me, to come back to my family, have fun together and appreciate each other, share stories and then, start the dreaming process again, for the next adventure.
Let's just hope this virus gets under control soon so that we can all resume being free to travel stress free. Something we may all have been taking for granted for all these years.
" HOME IS EVERYWHERE I'M WITH YOU "
Quote: Edward Sharp and the magnetic Zeros
Then, "coming home" can also have a bit of a spiritual meaning.
Maybe you were lost in a negative thought pattern for a little while and then the universe sends you little reminders to stay true to yourself, it reminds you that you can do this.
5 days after coming home to the beach of Dominical. After 5 sweet, amazing days of surfing, I sprained my ankle badly. I won't even say badly because it's going to be fine. I just now need to sit still, let my body heal, get back to practice. Practicing sitting still, breathing, meditating instead of doing what my body and mind is wired to do : playing hard, surfing, skateboarding, running around with my kids.
It's much harder for me to sit still and find the patience to heal then it is to surf for 8 hours a day in a pounding beach break.
I need to heal, I still need healing. That's the message I received from the Universe I'm guessing.
Thoughts-Emotions-Actions-Words. All is connected. It's an intention, a vibration.
My injury is also a reminder of all of this. Six months ago, I would have reacted a lot differently, I have done some work with myself. I have worked at letting go of the control, letting go of the outcome and seeing the positive side instead.
For example, I have plenty of work on my computer that I can do sitting down. I need some time to read, educate myself, keep learning.
I feel very grateful to be part of a group of humans whose primary goal is to spread happiness, positivity and help our communities be more healthy and provide them with CBD product options versus any type of opioids or other drugs.
So now, I am forced to be doing some true R&D for CBDayz. I am lucky to have products I know will help me recover faster. It has helped me a lot in the past. I always apply a CBD topical on my ankle to help with bruising and swelling and facilitate healing.
I have also have been taking a full dropper of CBDayz 3000mg every day. I am also meditating on my healing with this mantra " My ankle is perfectly healthy and functioning well, my ankle is perfectly healthy and functioning well ..." Essentially hacking my brain to change its belief that I am injured. It does help a lot.
I am also doing physiotherapy with magnetic and ultra sound therapy. I am using elastic bands and balancing techniques to strengthen my ankle for a full recovery. My goal is to be back at 150 %.
This feels like "coming home " too.
Instead of getting mad, fearing that I am missing out, vibing low; instead of all that, I am able to be happy being here, with my family, working on passionate projects. I have love. I have food. I have a roof and that is enough.
Though, I am still human and I have had and will continue having those moments of incertitude, doubt, fear... Am I going to be able to skate, ride, surf again as strong as I want to? I hear everyone's personal ankle injury stories and I just have to remind myself: These are not my stories, I know my power as a human, I know I can heal. I know I can switch my frequency from low to high, at any moment. I know everything is a choice.
I just have to remember: The only limitations humans have are the ones we put on ourselves. We are magical beings. So it's happening, I have healed before and I have all the tools to heal again this time around.
Additionally, I am so grateful for this generous offer I received over the internet. I am getting hooked up with an amazing ankle brace made specifically to surf with.
So this is one of the signs that all will be good and I will heal if my intention is to heal. There are no limits to what we can do. It's all about the intentions and feeling that intention as if it was already happening. Maybe because it is already happening!
So, it's time to for me to deepen my practice, get my thoughts/intentions straight and keep on believing, keep on healing, keep on loving! keep on getting after it!
Most pictures by @tifotos and @phootstepfilms