A Summer in The Great Outdoors

What a glorious, freedom-filled, gluttonous summer it has been.

Kayaking at Oastler Lake Provincial Park

I went camping more times this summer than ever before. I drank copious amounts of wine. I ate all of Cheoff Geoff‘s scrumptious creations. I took at lot of time to think about what I value most. I spent quality time with friends and family. I gained weight. I got happy.

At this moment I am sitting in my lakeside campsite after a two hour kayak and a swim. The morning dew is drying off my tent. My hammock is flapping in the wind. This is my happy place. I have been ‘here’ so many times in past few months, and for that I am endlessly grateful.

Here is where I recognize my enormous privilege in being able to exude such happiness and gratitude in the middle of a global pandemic and a time of social unrest where many are suffering physically, mentally, financially, and in ways I cannot possibly fathom.

Sunset in Algonquin Park

Over the past six months, I myself, have suffered anxiety attacks and struggled enormously with my mental health, which in turn impacted me physically. My partner and I both lost our jobs. I was (and still am) tortured by being half a country away from my entire family with no comprehension of when I’ll be able to hug them again.

But I choose to focus on the positive and be thankful for, not abusive with, my privilege.

In our time off together, my partner and I started a YouTube channel and brand, Cheoff Geoff. This project has been filled with laughs and many delicious meals. I was able to immediately find new work in an economy basically destroyed by the pandemic. This opportunity gives me the space and resources to do the things that bring me joy. One of those things is being in nature.

Water, trees, wind, fire, even rain calm me. I am at peace here.

For some time I thought it was wanderlust that was drawing me to run into woods and jump in the lake, since I was unable to jump on a plane. Now I think the country girl in me may be calling me home. Maybe it’s both.

Awenda Provincial Park

BWG recommends:

  • Algonquin Park
  • Awenda Provincial Park
  • Balsam Lake Provincial Park
  • Oastler Lake Provincial Park
  • Sleeping Giant Provincial Park


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