I’ve been fairly absent from this space for the last couple of months and miss it dearly, so for those of you that are still here and reading this- thank you! Although I have tried my best to keep up with posts from the blogs I follow, I do long for a more consistent connection with this community. My life has been quite busy since the fall, with unexpected and challenging changes as well as personal pursuits. I have many ideas and drafts percolating for future writing topics and hope to re-solidify a balanced routine in the new year that supports my creative side. But in an effort to post one quick hello to you all, I would like to share 10 highlights of my year. Going through difficult times can often blind me to the beauty and joy in life, but reflecting on some of the wonderful memories I have created fills me with gratitude; I hope to carry this state of mind with me into 2023.
1) January 2022: Seeing the sunset of the year in downtown Victoria, BC
I was driving home from work this day when I noticed that the sunset was quickly transforming into something otherworldly. I had to pull over so that I could take it in properly and it only got more awe-inspiring from there. This may have been the most spectacular and vivid display of afterglow I have ever seen, anywhere in the world.
2) February 2022: The start of cherry blossom season
Every year on Vancouver Island, I anticipate the arrival of cherry blossom season. The experience of this is new to me since moving to Victoria, as my previous city did not have a comparable spectacle. The beauty of these blossoms filling the streets truly makes me feel as though I am living in a fairytale- they provide such a whimsical atmosphere. The plum and cherry blossom trees in Victoria begin to flower as early as February and it is a completely magical sign of spring.
3) March 2022: Tofino/Ucluelet road trip
My brother flew from Ontario to Vancouver Island to visit me in March, and along with my friend and roommate we embarked on a road trip across the island to one of Canada’s most westerly towns, Tofino. Facing the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, this area of the west coast is rugged, wild and soulful. Showing my brother this part of the island was so special and I will never forget hiking the Wild Pacific Trail with him in nearby Ucluelet.
4) May 2022: My parents and sister visiting me in Victoria for the first time
I was lucky enough to have several visitors out west in 2022- welcome reunions after the isolating years of the pandemic. My parents and one of my sisters ventured to the coast and I was able to show them around my beautiful home. We took beach and forest walks, visited one of Canada’s National Historic sites- the Butchart Gardens, went whale-watching and simply enjoyed cozy family time.
5) July 2022: Kayaking trip with Spirit of the West Adventures
If you have read this post, then you already know how much this particular adventure meant to me and how nourishing it was for my spirit. I will definitely be planning a sequel to this trip with Spirit of the West in summer 2023. The wilderness setting, wildlife sightings and incredible company made this kayaking trip easily one of my top memories of the year.
6) Summer 2022: Taking a writing course + reviving my blog
I started dreaming up the idea for this blog several years ago, after taking a travel writing course through my local college. Initially, I was posting only travel content and felt called to pursue this path, but somewhere along the way I lost my motivation and my direction became unclear. I longed to write about a variety of topics, but wasn’t sure how to incorporate the vastness of my creative expression. As a result, my blog sat dormant for a long time which caused guilt and sadness (discussed further in this post). I was inspired to sign up for a writing course this summer which re-lit my creative spark; it was during these course lessons that I slowly started posting on my site again (beginning with this post about awe) and allowing myself a bit more freedom with subject matter.
7) October 2022: A special visitor for my birthday weekend
My final visitor of the year, also from Ontario, was my longest friend of almost 20 years. We went for hikes, watched sunsets (and even spotted whales off the coast on one occasion), explored downtown, reminisced, watched movies, laughed and simply enjoyed being reunited. There is so much inherent joy and comfort in seeing an old friend after a long separation and picking up right where you left off.
8) October 2022: Sombrio Beach road trip
Late October was a difficult time for me, with some unexpected changes disrupting my work/life balance, established routine, as well as time and space for my writing. Right before the anticipated chaos, I managed to get away for a memorable day trip with a friend of mine to take in the start of storm season along the beaches of the west coast. It was such a rejuvenating and energizing day, and reminded me of so many reasons why I chose Vancouver Island as my home. You can see more photos from the adventure in this post.
9) December 2022: Beginning my yoga teacher training journey in Tofino, BC
I have a draft post in progress to discuss this journey in more detail, but I was elated to begin this deep dive into the world of yoga, a practice that I cherish which has supported me through some of the most difficult times of my life. I have been intrigued but daunted by yoga teacher training for a few years now, and eventually decided to go for it with the goal of deepening my own personal practice. I travelled to Tofino for the first module of the training in early December and was immediately captivated, as always, by the beauty of this west coast community.
10) December 2022: Enjoying the magic of the holidays on Vancouver Island
I decided to stay close to home for the holidays this year and not travel back to Ontario, where the rest of my family resides. As we experienced some anomalous snow storms on the island leading up to Christmas, I was quite happy to have avoided the holiday travel chaos and stress! Victoria puts on quite a show at this time of year, with multiple light displays and cozy traditions. I took in as many festive sights as I could and felt the glow of the season permeating my spirits. Winter on the island is an enchanting time, indeed.
Please share a highlight of your year with me below- I would love to know one of your favourite memories of 2022!
Wishing everyone a warm and meaningful end to the year.