my plans and hopes for our big life change

We are moving west for several reasons. One is a lifestyle change. I've adjusted to living in the sprawling suburbs, and while we were living in a (rental) house, it was nice. But for the last 2-1/2 years we've been living in an apartment. A nice apartment, and a large one, but what's the point of the suburbs if you don't have a backyard?

Soon we will have a big yard, a deck -- and the ocean very nearby! I want to spend more time outside. We're not super outdoorsy, but I love to walk and hike, and I would like to kayak now and again. We're about to have a huge wilderness area in our backyard. I want to experience it as much as I can.

I have two goals.

In 2019, I will take a break from activism and focus on improving my fitness level. Although I've never been thin, I was in good aerobic condition and had good muscle tone -- until I started grad school in 2009. First school plus two jobs, then becoming a local union president, made physical exercise sporadic at best. My fibromyalgia demands I get adequate rest. Something always got pushed off the schedule, and it was almost always exercise. Now it's almost 10 years later, and I don't like how it feels.

Another change I want to try involves travel -- how often, where to, and why.

There are few things I love as much as travel. It feels more like a need, an addiction, than a pastime. But these days, some of my hunger to see new places has abated. I just want to travel -- anywhere. There are still dozens of places I'd love to see, but I notice that any travel, to anywhere, feeds the need. A big, special trip -- like Egypt last year, or Peru in 2006 -- slakes the thirst for a long time. But a short trip to a place I know well also quiets the bug, just for a shorter time.

Since we moved to Canada in 2005, all our family has been long-distance. This has sometimes caused conflict between wanting to visit people, and wanting to travel someplace new. Moving to Vancouver Island, we'll be closer to some family and farther from others, but everyone will still be long-distance.

So here's what I'm thinking. I'd like to try traveling primarily to see friends and family, plus local exploring, and see how that feels. That alone includes Vermont, Boston (Fenway Park), New York, New Jersey, California (both SoCal and the Bay Area), and Oregon. It could also include Florida, Maryland, Texas, and Alaska, if we wanted. And the GTA! We would see family and friends, and get some travel in at the same time.

I wonder, could we do this for, say, five years? Would it satisfy my wanderlust?


Jay Farquharson said...

In the spring, everybody from Costco to Home Depot has inexpensive stubby rotomoulded open plastic kayaks for cheap.

They are great for paddling calm water and small chop or class 1 rapids, with out tipping or rolling over. Some of the bigger models have room for 1 adult and two medium sized dogs.

The key to being comfortable year round, is a wetsuit with booties, gloves and hood, ( late fall, winter, early spring), a shortie wet suit for the rest of the time, and a good quality paddling lifejacket.

Regular lifejackets are too long in length to be comfortable sitting for long and the arm holes are too small for full mobility and they chafe.

Once you find the brands and models of gear you like, you can often find them used on Kajijji from people who tried it and didn't like it, or moved on to more advanced gear.

A lot of night schools and clubs run introduction courses, and supply the gear. They will teach you the basics, but I have found it best to try a new activity to see if I actually like it, rather than not liking it because I am a clumsy novice.

To go out further to sea, or multi day trips along the coast, you will need a sea kayak, which is a whole other level of skill and equiptment, and a lot less room for puppies. Some canoes can do the trip, with more room for puppies and gear, but only fair weather.

For the trips east and south, you will have to add in the time to Vancouver or Seattle to the trip, and with a spare bedroom or two available, you might find that some of the people you want to visit, would rather visit you,

Once you start sending out photo's and stories about "bushing around" what is to be your backyard.

But, as you have proven, if you want to do it, you can.

laura k said...

Thanks Jay. You are quite the advice giver.

I have kayaked a couple of times and liked it a lot. I don't think we'll be buying any gear any time soon. We would go to a place that rents.

Jay Farquharson said...

I love the water, I want everybody else to want to love the water too.

It's one of the best things in Canada.

Amy said...

I hope you will blog regularly about this new adventure. Much of my traveling is vicarious---reading about other places through the eyes of others. Not as good as the real thing, but much less expensive!

laura k said...

I will definitely write about it, just ad I did when we first moved to Canada.

I never read about other people's travel. It just irritates my wanderlust. I make exceptions for certain great memoirs, but sparingly.

Amy said...

I find reading about other people's travels helps me figure out where I want to go. And it fills the gap in a very limited way for places I know I will never visit.

laura k said...

That is certainly what it's meant to do.

impudent strumpet said...

Now it's almost 10 years later,


laura k said...

Now it's almost 10 years later,


I know!!!