What you guys might not know about me is that I’m kind of a bit of a new-age hippie. I have maybe 30 crystals scattered around our house (totally love channeling Spencer’s “I know they’re not working, that’s why I have hundreds on me right now” vibes as much as possible), I smudge our place on the regular, etc. My friends all think I’m pretty weird but I’ve always been that way—I actually think it’s kind of an extension of my education background in motivational social psychology and trying anything and everything to see how it improves life.
As you guys also might or might not know, in a similar vein I’m also a total podcast junkie (remember this post?). I feel like between the new age-y books I’ve been reading lately (A Return to Love, super woo-wooey but also my fave) and the podcasts I’ve been listening to, the concept of staying present has been front and centre lately. I meditate all the time (see this guide here!), I’m always kind of working on myself and I’m really aware of stress management and all that but staying present is really, really hard for me. Does anyone else experience this? I logically understand the concept of being present and mindful but despite all of my efforts, even if I’m not stressed out or sad or experiencing any negative emotions really, I’m always thinking of either the future or replaying the past—it’s hard to put the concept into actual practice for me.
The only time being present really seems to come easy to me is to be in nature (or travelling). Something about not being surrounded by four walls helps my mind feel at ease, and when I’m really stressed out or worried about something, I’ve learned to just throw on my shoes and get outside for a walk. We’re really lucky here in Vancouver that it’s not only easy to get outside, but that you can pretty quickly find yourself right by the ocean, in the mountains or in a park.
So long story short…I thought I’d share my top 5 places to find a moment of peace, connection and mindfulness here in Vancouver! There are countless places obviously but these are the ones that are very personal to me (and of course, one of them is pictured here!).
Obviously the beach itself is super busy, but keep walking around the bend away from Cornwall (aka the main beach) and you’ll find this secluded, quiet oasis. I love walking here and setting up my blanket for a little read.
Right near me here in Fairview, this is where I come to read a book and relax in the shade, with views of the ocean all around and tons of green space.
Lynn Canyon Park
This one should come as no surprise to any of you who’ve read To Vogue or Bust for awhile! I grew up in Lynn Valley right next to the canyon so this place feels pretty much like home to me. Being surrounded by these massive, centuries-old evergreens always helps put things in perspective somehow.
My favourite beach in the whole city! Even when it’s busy, I always feel like it has a sense of calm here—it’s also in my opinion the most beautiful beach in the city, the water is the cleanest and I love getting to experience the whole park by biking here.
Altamont Beach Park
A bit harder to find but if you keep going west past Dundarave a bit, you’ll find this tiny secluded beach. My siblings and I have been going here for years and having our family time here. It’s such a beautiful little gem on the North Shore—just pack water shoes in case the tide’s further out and the rocks hurt your feet!
Needless to say, I’m having a bit of a week for some reason (and we’re two days in—hoping for a turnaround soon!) so am taking my own advice and headed to the North Shore and its mountains today to catch up with the family and see my bro. He just gradded so I can’t wait to hang out and congratulate our wee scholar in person!
Hope you guys are all having an amazing week!