Blog.

Learning to Celebrate.

This week is a throwback all the way to my birthday. Oddly enough, I’m not a fan of birthdays or celebrations in general. Now to justify my obscure feelings when it comes to naturally enjoyed human events, I have to say I’ve just never learned how to properly celebrate. Not only celebrate but feel joy from celebrating something momentous. Occasionally there are moments in life where I feel a child-like joy and then am reminded or someone else has the honour of pointing out how ‘weird’ or ‘odd’ it is to be content and joyful due to said thing. I’ve grown used to this friendly ridicule, although, I think there is still a subconscious insecurity when it comes to expressing joy and happiness around people. As most faults in my personally that I’m aware of, I am working on this and hope to continue growing to the point where I can fully embrace the joy that can be felt from the celebration of good things. Until then I am so thankful to have people in my life like Paul and especially my wonderful wife, Celine, who show me what it looks like to have a good time in life!

I should mention that Paul fell through the ice in the middle of February. This was after an hour drive and probably only being there for 20 minutes. Fortunately he was ok but we had to drive back and crank the heat in the vehicle so his extremities wouldn’t shatter off is frozen body.

Yamnuska Mountain Sunrise.

The ethereal feeling of sunrise can only be equated to the eternal feeling of loving relationships.

I know you may be anticipating some photos from my Ireland and United Kingdom trip, however I’m still editing them and have many images from before that I still need to share. Enjoy!

Cotton Candy Eye Candy

I haven’t had much time to write lately due to some video projects that have been taking a lot of my time but I thought I’d share just a few images from the end of last year. They were all taken around Canmore, one of my favourite places to visit. Thank you for your continued encouragement during this slow time of photography. I really hope that as things warm up I’ll be able to make more time to get out and photograph the environments I love. Out of curiosity, which photo below is your favourite?

First Camping Trip of 2018: Jasper.

     Below are a few photos from our camping trip in Jasper National Park. We spent three nights at Pocahontas campground and went on a few hikes around the area. Our last morning there we  tried out a 10km summit called Sulphur ridge and for the ease of the hike, the views were stunning! I would have loved to camp up there if it was permitted but just getting to look out over the mountains and forest was gratifying enough. Sometimes I think I enjoy the forests more than the mountains, which would make sense since they provided us clean air. I hope you enjoy the photos and have a great week!

2018: The Year of Living Well!

     I'm sure you're thinking a more intriguing title should have been 'The Year of Adventure!' And of course I wish that was something I could promise or had plans for but at this moment there really isn't much on the calendar when it comes to adventures of grandeur. This being said, it's pretty much inevitable that I'll go on some sort of trip to somewhere new and exciting. Since I first started traveling in highschool my life has been filled with relatively regular excursions. I feel beyond privileged to have already been exposed to such a vast variety of cultures, and bucket list worthy experiences. From traveling overseas for 9 months, bungee jumping, a multitude of hikes in gorgeous locations, camping in the Tibetan Autonomous region, white water rafting, snowboarding in the Caucasus, and many more thrills have all provided me with a unique perspective on what it means to live. Some people have an unquenchable thirst for adrenaline, others yearn for more knowledge, and then there are those who crave irreplaceable relationships. There's so much value in each pursuit and people go their entire lives seeking fulfillment through various means but what does it mean to live a well lived life? I'm not only referring to a morally good, or an exciting, or productive life but merely a life that was spent well and responsibly. This lone, deeply perplexing question is one that I think has been on my mind for a long time and only recently have I been pondering it in such a stripped down form.

(side note, I figured this post can be a little longer because I took a long break from writing and have a lot of thoughts building up. Now lets hope I make sense)

     Most people would think that this question could be answered in a variety of ways depending on ones geographical region, religious experience, financial situation, race, gender, etc., but if we are all human should there not be an objective answer for what it would look like to live well during our finite time on Earth? This is where I feel some internal conflict because I want to say there is, objectively, a correct way to progress through life that transcends our personal experiences. Although from what I've observed in so many unique cultures and what society is pushing towards, I don't know if I can stand firm on such a claim without inescapable pushback. It's easy to look at certain actions and concur that it was a good choice. For example, being environmentally responsible, doing helpful things for others, opposing injustice, or even just positively contributing to your community. But I'm unsure if it's possible to rate or scale life achievements in a way that would show what living well could optimally appear as. If there's a farmer in rural China who has an intimate understanding of their crops, the land, their community, and contributes unsparingly to others in need, in what way would we compare that to someone living in a North American city who buys ethically or locally made goods, feeds the poor, helps the elderly, and volunteers inexhaustibly?  

     Even for myself I've worked through various aspirations, all the way from wanting to be a professional soccer player, to a high level commercial photographer in marketing, to now possibly a farmer  or something environmentally related. Each time I'm going down one of these paths I have to ask how can I use that career or choice to positively impact the world around me. I know that sounds like a stereotypical millennial sentiment but I genuinely think that's one of the greatest convictions our generation has to offer the planet. It poses the question of how can we make choices that result in living well so that others can also live well? It forces us to make conscious decisions that intentionally influence our communities directly or even indirectly. Now going back to the question of what does it mean to live a well lived life: wouldn't the logical conclusion be to live in a way that is moving towards restoring Shalom on Earth?

     Thanks so much for checking out the first post of 2018 (especially the McLean's haha). I've included photos from my favourite adventure last year where Celine and I road tripped to Kamloops and our truck broke down literally the furthest spot from home. Lastly, if you have any comments or thoughts I'd love to hear them!