**I’ve been waiting to press “publish” on this post for 4 days now! We’re having trouble getting the video of the trip Mikey made uploaded but I’ll just have to post it in a separate post – hope you enjoy this recap of our time away last week without the video component! It’ll be up, live, in my next post. :)**
Edited to add: Here’s the video now that it’s live! 😀
Emotions running through my heart. Memories already flooding my mind. The smell of the sea still so fresh. How do you come off a trip like this to “real life” again? By processing it, appreciating it for what it was and integrating the lessons learned and wisdom taken from others’ stories into your life in the little ways. So…let the (online) processing begin!
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that my husband Mike and I run outdoor adventure trips with young adult cancer survivors (we are a non-profit of two, and the background to our story can be found here). This was our busiest trip of the summer with 3 trips (a kayaking, rafting and sailing trip) and all of a sudden it was time for me to head out to Vancouver Island to join MIkey (where he’d been the week before helping with another camp and getting ready for ours) for this final expedition of 2012. I boarded an early morning flight (thanks for the ride, Nicole!) and was off, ready and excited for what the week ahead would hold.
Every trip is different as each group is unique – the set of circumstances they’ve all lived, the experiences we all bring to the table, the amount the group gels (or doesn’t), the setting…it all contributes to the week of adventuring in God’s Creation together and I love how that moulds the feel of each trip. We can’t anticipate how things will go and in fact learn often that we need to throw our own plans out the window and go with the flow as the group grows together. So how would I describe this group and this expedition?
Vibrant & full of overcoming fear. The people clicked, the weather was gorgeous, the scenery so vibrant and the hearts very full of life as we began to open up to one another and get to know each other. And on the overcoming fear note, so many people did things they didn’t think they could do, from cliff jumping to being hauled up to the top of the mast to swimming in the ocean to simply getting on a plane to come across the water to meet a group of strangers! That takes courage, and I loved seeing people go for it, overcome their language barriers, culture barriers, insecurities and fears and blossom – truly grow – on this trip!
Here are a few glimpses into the beauty of the scenery and people of the trip out in the stunning island of the Discovery Passage off Vancouver Island:
Sometimes pictures tell a better story than words can, and they sure speak to the fun we had, the beauty we were in and the amazing opportunity we all had to get out and enjoy a week together. What pictures don’t show are the meaningful moments and conversations around the campfire, the inside jokes that happen on the boats and the possible life change that can take place. I say possible because it’s easy to commit to things on the trip (“I want to live better this way…” or, “I want to leave behind this negative habit in my life…”) but not always make them a reality in our lives. Hopefully, with all that was shared and all that was learned and experienced, we can all return home and make the changes necessary to improve our lives and grow from our time together.
Our good friend Julie was the chef for the week, planning the meals, getting the food and cooking it up every morning, noon and night for us! Mikey’s sister, Catherine, doubled as the sous chef and the nurse and did an amazing job taking care of us as well. There were themed meals and accents to accompany them and so many fun moments shared because of good food eaten together. From fun treats like Peanut M & Ms and banana boats to great meals like breakfast burritos with avocado and creamy chicken broccoli casseroles to healthy additions like almond butter, chia seeds and fresh salads with spinach and walnuts, the food was incredible.
I could write more…but I think I’ll leave it at that. Another incredible trip and an amazing end to the summer for us and Survive & Thrive Expeditions. Thanks so much to those who prayed us through the summer, encouraged us through written words, gave of their time to serve for those weeks with us and to the survivors and supporters who were brave enough to come, to open up and share and to make these trips worthwhile.
Until next summer!
Live well & be well, friends,
Bonnie (and Mikey)