As we continue to navigate through our now normalized socially distanced lifestyle, it is time to break free from the tantalizing thoughts of what we cannot do, and instead embrace everything we can do.
2021 is about reclaiming our livelihood, and for the sake of our mental and physical wellbeing, we must empower our new realities with bold mindsets. The key to creating memorable, socially distanced days is not about where we go physically, it is about what we make of these moments emotionally.
Here are Seven Socially Distanced Outdoor Adventures for you to explore:
Explore a Park
Lace up your running shoes, pack your favourite snacks, and gear up for a day enriched with adventurous moments. British Columbia is abundant in beautiful parks to explore while indoor activities are temporarily exempt from our lives. Inspiration will devour you whole as you surround yourself in nature. A gravel path crunches beneath your feet as you take in the delicate blues of streams, lakes, or the ocean. Calming shades of greens earthy reds and browns will offer a peacefulness during these trying times. Notice the dew dripping from leaves and intricate patterns on the bark of trees. Emanate a sense of peace as you breathe in the fresh scent of pine, spruce, and fir trees.
Enjoy a walk, jog, picnic, or create a nature-based scavenger hunt in a park of your choice. See how many places you can visit this year by drafting a bucket list of all the province’s breathtaking parks. Explore the history of parks throughout British Columbia. One of my favourite explorations is North 40 Park Reserve in Boundary Bay, Delta. North 40 used to house the community for one of our Candian Air Forces. Roam the paved neighborhood, take in the history as you imagine this once bustling community that now sees nature start to reclaim cement paths and old playgrounds. Great for getting your dog out and off leash. Vancouver’s Stanley Park, Lighthouse Park, and Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park are also stunning history filled parks to visit.
Wander Through a Botanical Garden
Stop and smell the roses – literally. Stroll through a botanical wonderland and feel your senses experience a rush of serenity. Lose yourself in sweet-floral aromas of blooming plants. Peonies, honeysuckle, freesia, and jasmine will seduce your wellbeing into a mindful state of bliss. Run your fingers through the long, wispy green grasses. Admire the soft delicacy of flower petals. Grab a hamper, pack a lunch and surround yourself with natures never ending rainbow of reflections. Imagine it a personal mini pride and prejudice escape. While Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park is a vision of botanical beauty and among one of our favourites, there are many gardens throughout the lower mainland to explore.
There is something incredibly liberating about watching bodies of water free fall and flow gracefully into a new adventure. Embodying the twists and turns of new paths. After the rush of 2020, this sentiment resonates deeply as we begin a new year.
Dawn some waterproof attire and allow yourself a day to be as free as a waterfall. If you are feeling bold and brave, and if it is safe to do so, stand beneath the waterfall and embrace the icy water; allow it to reinvigorate your blood flow and activate your entire nervous system. A refreshing restart for 2021. A deliciously therapeutic and intimate moment.
Rent a Boat
Go sailing and experience the exhilarating thrill of crashing waves and the breeze kissing your face. Feel the strong push of the wind and the whoosh of moving water as you sail through Vancouver’s coastline and surrounding islands for a refreshing tour of nature’s beauty. Watch for eagles soaring through the skies, fish leaping and pirouetting across the water, and seals poking their heads up for a quick hello.
Nothing beats the great beauty of British Columbia’s blue green waters brushing the coastline and exposing some of the world’s most magnificent creatures.
Explore Burns Bog Conservatory
Both rich in history and intense beauty, Burns Bog is worth a visit. Known for “protecting the lungs of the lower mainland since 1988”, this conservation is “eight times bigger than Vancouver's Stanley Park” and is the home to many ecosystems. If you are interested in a day of educational exploration, prepare yourself for slippery boardwalks, the earthy scent of damp moss, swamps, marshes, and the brilliant hums of wildlife.
Visit an Animal Sanctuary
Experience a new level of empathy by visiting an animal sanctuary. Allow your inner child to laugh and play with the animals and open yourself to a sense of freedom. Spread your metaphorical wings and visit a bird sanctuary like Reifel Bird Sanctuary, or spend an afternoon with goats, chickens, cows, and a donkey at Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary.
Visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge
Live high and mighty as you tread across the Capilano Suspension Bridge with delicate and careful feet. Welcome the freedom that accompanies your journey on this old and swinging bridge. Embrace the sounds of the rushing river flowing beneath you. Absorb nature’s beauty and take in the tall, evergreen trees and glistening smooth boulders.
Pick up a pen, or open the note section of smartphone, and scribble down your 2021 bucket list. Create a path to make this list a reality. Share it with a friend and have them challenge you, hold you accountable. There is no use to keep your bucket list inside a bucket – there is no time like the present to make your dreams a reality. We are lucky to have so many opportunities for adventure at our doorstep. After spending an abundance of time inside, now is the time to get back in touch with our natural surroundings and explore our new realities. Now is the time to create bold memories.