Permanence isn’t an idea I’m comfortable with.
My biggest fear is boredom or feeling “stuck”. It outweighs my fear of the unknown. Growing up, I somehow conditioned my prepubescent mind to believe that becoming too emotionally attached to any one place was a recipe for disaster, perhaps because so much in my life has been temporary. My parents uprooted their lives and careers in the Philippine islands to settle in the Great North, leaving our extended family behind. Within Canada, we moved from city to city, from the prairies to the mountains, our friends becoming only distant memories who receive the occasional “Happy [Insert Holiday Here]! It’s been so long! How have you been?” phone calls. There are countless times I wish I had forged the relationships that, to me, only existed in movies – you know, the “childhood besties” types of friendships where two people have known one another since existing as mere zygotes and consistently making appearances in photos from every milestone in each other’s lives. But that’s a luxury I wasn’t able to have and as a result, I rejected the idea of staying in one place for far too long, fuelling an unquenchable thirst for novelty and the desire to travel to faraway lands. I got pretty good at picking up and leaving without a moment’s notice, especially after my Semester at Sea.
Hiking Rawson Lake and Sarrail Ridge in Kananaskis Country, Alberta reminded me that settling in one place isn’t as terrifying as it is at first glance. I think that any vagabond, nomad, and wanderer can tell you that no matter how many times or how long you’ve explored an area, there will always be something new to discover, and Alberta is no exception. You can never say “I’ve seen it all!” I’ve lived in Alberta for eight years now, and every time I’m out and about in the Canadian Rockies, I’m humbled by a surprisingly challenging hike and awestruck by a breath-taking view that reminds me of my cosmic insignificance.
While nothing will ever stop me from searching for the strange and unfamiliar, I’m learning to appreciate where I’m currently living more and more. My wish for you is that you find wonder wherever you’re living in the world, no matter how “ordinary” and “mundane” it may seem.
Thanks for reading my thoughts and enjoy the photos!
*All photos by Francis Ymbang. Follow Francis on Instagram!
P.S. – If you’re looking for photos from other great hikes, check out my blog post on Johnston Canyon!