Wednesday, 31 December 2014

life in 2014

2014 has been the hardest year of my life.

There have been broken hearts, broken promises, broken dreams, missed chances, missed opportunities, mistakes, and misteps. There have been deep wounds and many realizations that have come far too late. There have been unmeasurable losses and unmeasurable joys.

There are days when I want to crawl under a boulder and forget about everything. Nothing this year has been easy. I have ached with growing pains and the muscles of my soul have been stretched beyond what I ever could have anticipated. I have been tried and tested again and again and I keep going because hiding is not an option this time. I am learning. The hurt that I am enduring will mold me into a better and stronger person. A woman of blossom and fire and rock and water.

I know that this year has given as much as it has taken away. Just as there are days when I want to disappear, there are days when I am overwhelmed with bliss and gratitude at just how fortunate I am to be living this life. And there are more days spent in pure happiness than in sadness. My joy, my strength, my truth, is a seed that has finally nosed its way from the soil and in my cracked shell I am buzzing with excitement and springing forward. I am lucky and I am alive. I am building my life and myself.

This year has been hard but I have so much gratitude both for my blessings and for the things that have hurt me. It is in this spirit that I want to say goodbye to 2014 and welcome in this new year.

In 2014, I got my first place— a beautiful little suite that sheltered me for six, turbulent months. There I started to learn to cook. I had my first art show for photography and my loved ones came to support me, including the one who was most precious to me at the time. I made spontaneous decisions and chased my heart and it took me to new regions of my country. When summer came, I left my Vancouver home with all its memories for a fresh start. I found myself living in the land of the Sun near a great lake and dusty peaks. I got to live with my best friend, which was such an amazing and positive experience. I started the longest journey of my life and already it has taken me to the most breathtaking corners of the Earth and introduced me to truly remarkable individuals who are now my family. I have traveled more than 30,000 kilometers and checked a few countries off my list with more to come in the new year. I learned to ride a scooter, snorkeled for the first time, held baby sea turtles, explored famous cities, and claimed a little bit of the world for my own. Life is magnificent. The possibilities are endless. There is no reason to settle— ever.

I didn't photograph every month— I only really started photographing consistently once I started travelling— but here are some of my pictures from this year.


An old friend took me flying in a little plane and I got to see my home from the sky. A couple weeks later, I went to see my amazing Camp Bliss sister, Chrissie White in Seattle. I stayed in her beautiful home with her friends and sister for a weekend full of adventures, tomfoolery, and photography.


I had my four year anniversary with my boyfriend at the time. We split up a few weeks later and I moved out for good. I spent a lot of time in Kelowna with my best friend.


My broken heart and I ran off with a musician to a place where the sun never sets. I have seen so little of the country that I call home and this was the first time that I got to experience the prairies and the Northwest Territories. I spent more time in Kelowna and started to seriously think about moving there later in the summer.


I chopped all my hair off and no one could recognize me so I started taking self portraits again. I attended creativeLIVE Photo Week for the second time and was able to reunite with old friends and connect with new ones. It was a crazy and inspiring week. (I also turned 22)


I left. There was nothing for me in Canada and I needed a true escape to give myself the chance to rebuild my life. I crossed the Atlantic for the first time and flew to the UK, explored London and Scotland, and then left for Southeast Asia with Bella Kotak for the second year in a row. Reality hit me hard in Malaysia. Indonesia soothed me. I saw wild orangutans, danced in the jungle rain, and swam with Manta Rays.


The most amazing thing happened in November. Dream Retreat. It is a month for which no words can give justice. I made a new family that blessed me with so much love and laughter and I know that they will always be with me. Returning to Ubud was like coming home after the hardest year, but by the end of the month, I knew it was time to move on in more ways than one.


I came back to England and fell in love with Brighton where I made the most incredible friends. Bella showed me around Oxford and I realized how at home I feel in this little country. I can imagine myself here. I went back to Brighton and then back to London. I welcomed the New Year in a bustling downtown pub with a bunch of people from Couchsurfing and didn't get home until 7:30AM. The year ended with a bang.