Travel Blog #2: August 2, 2019
Bamfield. Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
The path of making sense of ourselves and our intentions is a daunting journey that can promise to showcase your weaknesses and your strengths.
The memorable experiences of all the beautiful sights and sounds of Vancouver Island I encountered so far are still resonating in my mind and my imagination. The stunning mountain landscape in locations like the Strathcona/Comox Valley area, to the stunning coastlines in Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park, are just a few examples of the wondrous natural beauty waiting for discovery. I can still recall the first time I got to step on the soft sandy beaches alongside the west coast of the island. From there, I remember vividly breathing in the fresh air while hiking towards Bedwell lake in the interior of the Comox Valley mountains. These are just a few examples of what is out here to experience. With a lot more natural beauty to look for, the next trip lined up in located on the west end of the island called Bamfield.
When faced with the challenges of the unknown, fear, and alertness to perceived danger becomes the focal perspective. The struggle of differentiating whats fearful and whats is not a challenge on its own.
With a population of 178, the beautiful small town of Bamfield is located on the Barkley Sound on the west coast of the island north from the Pacific Rim Park Reserve. Named after the first government agent William Eddy Banfield, the location was origianlly inhabited by Huu-ay-aht of the Nuu-chah-nulth indigenous people. In 1902, the Bamfield Cable Station was built to connect to undersea telegraph cables called by some as The All Red Line as it was under the power of the British Empire. In 1968, the National Research Council purchased the property where the cable station resided and opened the Bamfield Marine Sciences Center in 1972. Bamfield is now presently known as the start or end of the West Coast Trail, camping, and sport fishing. The beautiful coastal landscapes that shift into lush, dense temperament rainforest was my first taste of the location. We got in late on Friday night from traveling through logging roads. When we arrived, we got our campsite set up, and slowly migrate with some well-deserved adult beverages to where the party was happening
In understanding the nature of our primal subconscious wiring, we have to take the time to look within ourselves. To gain perspective of the general-purpose mechanism we harbor within effects us throughout our journey.
The next morning presented itself in a dense fog all alongside the water. I did hear there’s usually a mist that hangs around the bay throughout the morning. That was fine by me since I spent most of my life in the fog on the East Coast of Canada. After having breakfast at our campsite, I thought it was time to take a walk towards different areas of Pachena Beach. The fog was slowly burning away, and the sun came in full form to shine light onto a new landscape to enjoy. My goal was to capture some coastal shots. Stone structures in the distance within the bay caught my eye right away. With the tide going down, I hiked along the shoreline. The abundance of marine life out here is fantastic. Grey whales, Humpback, and Killer whales pass through these areas while salmon, rockfish, and halibut make for good fishing. My visit intended to capture the widely spoken landscapes of Pachena Bay. With each step along the exposed surface, the low tide was providing me; I made my way further down towards my point of interest.
The process of comprehending the components integrated into our minds is a lifelong journey. A journey that'll create challenges and opportunities which will test and teach our conscious states in what we understand as personal growth.
The weather was perfect. The wind was low, the ocean was very calm, and the temperature was a friendly reminder of how spoiled we are in the summer season. At various points on my hike, I did get great shots of the coastal line with exceptional exposure. One of my biggest challenges is shooting in the middle of an afternoon where the sun is shining at its brightest, sometimes creating uneven exposures for my photos. The two features that caught my eye were a small rock island with trees and shrubs, and then a taller stone pillar with a large tree growing on the top. Examples like this show me the resilience of nature and how it can survive in various circumstances. I reached as far as I could go with my hike along the shoreline with the exposed level surface slowly disappearing and heading vertically towards the forest. I sat down on the ground to reflect on my experience throughout my day. The I have been on the island for two years, and being away from family and friends was harder than I ever thought it would be. My life has been moving steadily from location to location for the past ten years. Moving to Vancouver Island was a big step for me. I stayed with a dear friend until I could find my place, which eventually I did. Throughout that time, I started to slip into a state of depression. I did not know how to cope with the feelings I felt. I suppressed my emotions to the best of my ability and continued with my journey. While I am sitting here and writing this, I know I created a less than ideal decision towards my best interest.
The instinct we reserve towards fear is to either retreat or fight through it. Inspiring the energy and propelling the body to move forward is a feat which is governed by experience, a willingness to fail, and the courage and perseverance to see beyond the unknown horizon.
As I came back towards the present moment, I knew my day was done. I packed my gear, slung my camera bag on my back, and slowly made my way towards the campground. I kept thinking of the process I have gone through in the past year. From being in a depressive state, to slowly finding myself with goals to reach, friends to enjoy my company, and a wonderful woman to be my partner, lover, and best friend. As I dealt with the challenges of settling myself on the island, I did not think I would find any of the additions I have in my life now. My past experiences have always served as a point of reference to understand the unknown emotional landscape. I will admit I have acted poorly in some instances while interacting with individuals and situations I was not familiar. Slowly but surely, out of all those challenging experiences, I came out on the other end, attaining the opportunity to learn something new, and move forward. I know I still have a long way to go. I'm always looking forward to gaining new tools and knowledge that'll help me as I continue to progress throughout my journey.
There is no harm in inquiring towards personal interests you want to pursue. There are realistic aspects that can play its course in the rationalization of bringing a dream to life. What you decide to do to follow through with your goals will rely solely on you. The first step must come from your imagination, conscious being, and physical actions towards the existential realm we all reside.
Without realizing what was happening, I noticed my route towards the campground looks different. The tide was coming in, meaning I was going to have trouble following the same path I originally came. The beach slimmed down, getting to a point where my next option was to go vertical. While scoping hiking possibilities, the logical choice seemed to go through the thick bush and find the West Coast Trail. I recalled the trail not being far from the shoreline, so with cautious footing and careful scaling alongside a rock slope; I made my way towards the forest. One of several challenges I had was with my camera bag. Not only is the weight noticeable in circumstances like this, components like my tripod and straps kept getting caught into everything hanging around me. I knew I had to be very careful with what I was grabbing on. I had to watch my footing and how I was shifting my weight as I made my way towards the level ground. The thought of falling and getting hurt, or worse, occasionally coursed through my head. I knew no one from my group knew where I was, and with no cell phone reception, I had no means of communication to anyone to the outside world. I was on my own, relying on my intuition and judgment to get through this. Anxiety attacks have been a part of my life in the past seven months, and I was very conscious of trying to stay focus and on top of my emotions. I knew I was allowed to be afraid, but I couldn’t let my anxiety submit me to a standstill. With each movement, progression was in effect. The grade of the ground started too level out, to the point where I could fully stand up and examine my surroundings. The forest is rich with an abundance of different species of life. The beauty of these ecosystems is mesmerizing but also challenging to walk through. My objective was to find the West Coast Trail, which I knew if I powered through I would find it. Utilizing every opportunity of surface I could find, my eyes finally saw the bush thin out, which led me towards the trail. When I placed my feet onto the legendary path, I put my hands on my knees and took in several breaths. I knew I was safe. I gathered my thoughts, turned towards the path, and made my way towards the beach.
The finite amount of time we have on this plane of existence is shorter than we realize. As much as it seems time is on our side, time is the very currency we waste the most. Cherish the moments you get to encounter, the good and the bad. One day, when the light of consciousness starts to fade, the fear we submitted ourselves in periods of change will not matter as much as you once thought.
With various obstacles like ladders and platforms to help you hike along the West Coast Trail, the thought of finally setting foot on the well-known trail never crossed my mind. All I could think about was how pro-founding scared I was from what happened moments ago. I've experienced various triggers while growing an incredible relationship. As emotionally challenging as those triggers were, it didn't compare to the fear I experienced that day. With the last ladder of the trail coming off from my feet and hands, I headed towards a quiet spot on the beach. I had to sit down and relax. As I kneeled into the soft sand, I slowly started to tear up. I realized how risky my lack of preplanning put me into. I never have the intention of putting myself into harm’s way. The thought of my family, friends, and my girlfriend finding out I could have gone missing shook me to the core. I let the tears fall as I sat down on a rock on the beach. It’s incredible the release you can get from crying. The stereotype of men not crying never made sense to me, and it wasn’t how I was raised. With each calm breath going through my lungs, I eventually gathered my thoughts, stood up, and made my way towards the campground. I was rattled to see everyone, and with the opportunity to open up to my girlfriend and explain what had happened, the rest of my day was low key. The next day I was in the comfort of loving people who had one intention: to relax, have fun, and be within the embrace of nature.
We are beautiful creatures that live on a small blue dot in the vast universe. The likelihood of the existence of our state of consciousness is so little. It’s almost a miracle we exist within our forms at all. The gift of life is a gift worth experiencing. Fear, among many other emotions, is a part of many experiences we will encounter. Do the very best you can in living out the best story you can create. Trust in yourself that the decisions you make throughout your life will all be worth it in the end.
Like everyone, we all deal with our challenges. The severity of those challenges varies from individual to individual. I know I’m very fortunate to be in the position I’m in a while encountering aspects of myself that need work. The love and support I have from everyone around me offers me the ability to look deep inside of myself and learn essential parts of who I am. One of our minds primary objectives is to survive. Every individual that surround us will be conditioned to perceive the world differently. We will interact with the spaces we occupy differently. That’s ok. There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to trying to make sense of ourselves. One of the main actions we should take is having the ability to learn from our experiences and apply that knowledge for our ongoing journey. We will continually grow as the individual we will become. It’ll take a great deal of time and effort in applying small, incremental changes to each of our consciousness. As long as you keep moving forward, no how little the steps, you are doing good for your overall state of being. As I admire the beauty that is Pachena Bay, I couldn’t help but think of the lesson I learned out here. My path to future personal growth has a lot to offer to me, and I’m looking forward to it. Nature has always been an incredible platform to provide me the ability to step outside of my comfort space and learn something new. As we leave the campground to head back home, I will always remember this place for several reasons. The immense beauty of the location. The rich historical stories. And an important lesson for myself I will carry on throughout my journey.