Vacation: Getting My Bearings


Being in the interior, here in Wine Country, feels like my summer living in the Yukon. Hills abound. And dust.

I found myself in the North, though. A version of myself. A version that complicated She Who Lived Before. I’m hoping this little trip does the same for me now, but this time decomplicates me.

It’s so easy to come away from ourselves, lose our way. After difficult challenges and hard-fought battles, it can be invaluable to find the time and space in which you can reorient yourself.

I’ve not been out of Vancouver-proper for a couple years now, and not for any length of time in about six years. Recompsing yourself while physically remaining in the same place can be an infinitely tough challenge. I’ve been doing well at it, but I had reached my concrete-jungle threshold some time ago. I’m as much nature girl as I am urban terror and when I fail to reconnect there, it can mean a changing of self.

When I left for the Yukon, I was 21. When I came back, I was 22, a little broken, and a lot of broke. But living in the heart of the savage north is a wild experience for anyone, and while I’m alays glad I returned home, I’ll never stop missing that place. So, being here and being reminded of it all, and at this point when I’m trying to lay down the mental foundation of what I hope will be the year ahead of me, it’s a poignant, profound, and pretty awesome bit of timing.

I can’t really tell you where I’m at yet. Cognitively, I’m that weary just-awoken person stagging like a moron at 4am to flick on the wall light. I got it, I’m on it, but I’m gonna need me a little time to get it right.

I wish these things came with user manuals. The “How Not to Fuck Up Your Epiphany” Handbook or something. I’m sure they’d recommend me a little peyote or something out in this desert-like secret mountain hideaway, but I think 7-11’s out. Such is life.

My older relatives are cramping my style, mostly because I can’t get them to run me around, but also because it’s important to me to spend a lot of time in their company this week. The lack of a vehicle for getting around is also a bit unfortunate, but it is what it is.

Despite all this, I will find what I lack inside. Perhaps my inability to easily get to where I want to go will keep me more sedate and grounded, more restful and mindful. These are things I need, too.

I’m hatching plans — cycling journeys, just a couple. A couple might be all I can handle. We’ll see. It doesn’t matter, ultimately. I’m not abandoning my goal of doing the Kettle Valley Railway and all the epic cycling I wanted to do; I’m just realizing it’s not in my Summer of ’09 cards. So what? Am I dying Labour Day Weekend? That, too, isn’t in my plans. So, I’ll wing this shit. There’s always next year. In the meantime, there’s some great stuff to do that won’t kick my ass and leave me hurting. Which, correct me if I’m wrong, may actually be the point of vacationing.

But somewhere in the last 24 hours, I’ve stpped feeling so conflicted about all the things I anted to do that I may not be able to do, and realized the only thing I need to do this week is just Be. I need to enjoy this land, myself, and my vision. That’s all.

Needless to say, some of my pressure has fallen away. Now, I suspect a glass of wine awaits to chase this rye. I’m going on a grape hunt (but I’m not afraid).

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