Most of us go through our days on autopilot, not really living, but merely existing. We have so much outwardly, but feel so empty and lost on the inside. We allow our minds to keep us up late at night, mulling over things that don’t really matter in the end, such as bills, money, what others think of us, etc.
Somehow we have come to believe that if it's not far and foreign, then it has little value.
Yet adventuring in your own backyard is one of the most overlooked and cheapest ways of having more travel in your life, and can happen far more frequently then dropping everything and flying halfway around the globe. It's not about looking forward to a single trip that eats all your vacation time and travel budget, but about learning how to make the most of those 48 hour weekends we get, every single week.
This is #CSHutTrip
Life Lesson #1: We’re all in this together.
If you ever feel like you’re the only one, you’re not. In this case, I thought I was the only one who was nervous about meeting 50 new people and venturing into the unknown. But when I got talking to other people I realized I was not alone. We were all in the same boat. Everyone was going through their own internal thoughts: some were nervous about having no reception, some were feeling shy and some were worried they wouldn’t fit in. One thing we probably all had in common that morning was that we thought we were the only ones. But that was far from the truth. I think this applies to most things in life. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together and you are NEVER alone.
Grabbing my seat on a bus heading off into the unknown, surrounded by 49 strangers who immediately offered me snacks such as homemade cookies, fresh apples, candy, introducing themselves and taking guesses at where we were heading next. I was told as a child to never get into cars with strangers - especially ones who had snacks - but something told me going against that advice at that moment was absolutely the best decision to make. I was absolutely right.
On May 14, I got on a bus with 49 strangers and headed into the unknown. Literally - we had no idea where we were going. But we were stoked. Then, as we passed through Hope heading farther away from the city than I’ve been in awhile, I watched the bars of my phone dive down into oblivion. No service, it said...
I'm humbled. I'm grateful. I'm happy.. but most of all I'm crazy emotional about this past weekend.
We've always talked about doing a mystery weekend with Chasing Sunrise - so when MEC and BC Parks came to us and said they wanted us to run an event, we knew that this was our chance to test out the water and see how people reacted.
I don't even know where to begin with this post. It happened about three weeks ago, at the end of April. Just days before I was about to hit the road on a road trip down south to California. I received an email in my mailbox from Chasing Sunrise. They were hosting a contest. 50 strangers would be selected and taken on an all expenses paid weekend getaway. The catch? You won't know where you're going or what you'll be doing, only that where it is, there is no cell service. You will only be told what to pack. Would you be willing to throw away the comforts of your daily life and throw yourself into the unknown?
When I first stumbled upon Chasing Sunrise, all I could think was “these are my people” - a community that understands that with each sunrise, we are given a choice: we can either stay in bed waiting for life to come to us or we can get up and get after it, chasing what we want. The latter is about wanting more out of life. More memories. More adventures. More mind-blowing experiences.
Written By: District Local | Vancouver
The unknown called, and we answered.
This weekend, we went offline and #IntoTheUnknown with Chasing Sunrise and MEC Outdoor Nation. 50 strangers were taken on a secret, all-expenses paid trip into the wild – no further details were provided until arrival. Our correspondent, a dear friend and one of the lucky chosen 50, shares his experience:
The adventure begins.
2:45 a.m. wake up calls are early, even by our standards. But when it’s Chasing Sunrise setting the alarm, you don’t press snooze. So off we went to meet the group at 6 a.m to get the weekend started, destination unknown.
A few hours later, we pulled into Manning Park, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this season. It was BC Parks that turned to Chasing Sunrise and an assemblage of outstanding local sponsors to help make this adult summer camp happen – and this group was more than happy to jump in.
Welcome to Chase Camp.
Having found our tentmates in Chase Camp, we spent the afternoon getting to know each other over chilly lake swims, some intense pickup Ultimate Frisbee, California kickball, and leisurely bocce. Conversations and friendships flowed easily. None of us had met until we boarded the bus that morning. Our new friends were from all walks of life, and the stories and inspiration quicklyflowed: a biologist, an ultramarathoner, and a videographer; a guy who’d been a nanny in Malaysia, and an expert in dugout canoes from Duncan, via Indonesia; an adventurer off to Colombia, and an Australian living out of a van.
Forget tin can cooking and hotdogs. Our weekend’s Paleo menu, courtesy of Whole Foods and some hardworking chefs from Fuel Your Fire (a Paleo meal home delivery service), included Italian sausages,bbq porkchops, butternut squash, fresh fruits and salads. Early mountain climbs necessitate caffeine, and local Saltspring Coffee helped keep us warm and awake. Plant-based nutritious treats from Vegawere packed away to take along for what lay ahead.
After an evening of campfire s’mores and awesome guitar – summer camp styles – we grabbed a couple hours of shuteye before the weekend’s only certainty: a 4 am hike up somewhere high to catch the Sunday morning sunrise.
And so, eight kilometres later we arrived at Cascade Lookout, where we found the team from Fuel Your Fire preparing eggs, bacon, and hash browns at the top of the mountain. We happily refueled with hot breakfast and soaked in our surroundings – the lookout offered spectacular views of the entire valley, and we watched the inky blue sky gradually brighten to spectacular pinks as the sun came through the clouds.
Chasing Sunrise promises “more experiences, more adventures, and more mind-blowing memories“. And this weekend delivered. From beautiful scenery to budding friendships, we were left inspired and energized for the week ahead. Our sense of adventure is renewed; you’ll find us on a 5 a.m.mountaintop somewhere soon. Because, as Chasing Sunrise reminds us, you were born to do more than pay bills and die.
About Manning Park:
Located between Hope and Princeton, BC and less than 5km from the US border, E.C. Manning Park has a large variety of walking and hiking trails which range anywhere from a 15-minute walk to a 5 or 6 day hike. Lightning Lake is often used for non-motorized watersports, such as canoeing, kayaking, andfishing. Rentals are available at the lake for canoes, rowboats, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. The park will host their 75th Anniversary Party this summer on Canada’s Parks Day (July 16).
Credit goes to:
Thanks again Chasing Sunrise and these awesome sponsors for making this adventure awesome: