Celebrating Life

I usually plan a road trip getaway for my birthday, discovering a new place with new faces. Although I am not the type of girl that craves attention on this occasion, but I do believe it is important to highlight the moment. For me, a simple adventure somewhere in nature with people I love is really all I need.

My day of birth is a special one in my life. Not because it is a time to celebrate, but it is to commemorate the day where I came out of my mother’s belly and breathed air for the first time. Life will always be the most special gift I could ever receive. To be thankful for such an event, I think it is necessary to take a moment to appreciate it.

Since my birthday falls right after the busy holiday season, it isn’t always easy to organize a trip away with friends. So this year, I decided to stay home, and instead embrace what is around me.

The morning of my birthday, we headed to the backcountry. The trailer park where I reside has a private access to the beautiful backcountry of Brandywine. So after breakfast, we strapped our boards on the snowmobile and sledded to the incredible Chocolate Bowl.

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It was a blue bird day, no wind, and the weather was warm as the spring. Sledding in Whistler backcountry is always a treat. The terrain is so immense and pristine, so untrammeled and untouched.

I got dropped off at the highest peaks and, my board then strapped to my feet, I chose my lines, descending and sliding, surfing and carving on fresh champagne powder.

I looked up the sky. A bird flew from above, and disappeared in the infinite distance.

I was alone in the winterness, immersing into a quintessential wilderness.

I felt alive. I felt free.

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When we returned, I prepared a Cesear bar in the snow at the trailer park. I had friends coming over when the sun went down, and we gathered around the bonfire, warming up on a cold winter night of January.

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I never ask for presents on any occasions. Yet, I received many bottles of bubbles, cheeses, pepperonis, books, and loafs of homemade cheese bread. My friend even made an ice cream cake, knowing my dislikeness for regular spongy cake. To see all my favourite people around me, spoiling me with thoughtful gestures and gifts, I couldn’t be more happy.

After eating ice cream cake we packed the sleds once more and headed to a cabin in the backcountry for the night. Nestled in the middle of the wilderness, we popped all the bottles of champagne and celebrated the night away in a winter wonderland.

I could have not asked for a better celebration of life. Thanks to my dear friends, the wilderness and our endless craving for adventure.

Cheers to life!

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Family Day Somewhere in the Mountains Far Away

We all left home years ago. Some with a backpack on their shoulders aboard a bus or a plane or in a car packed with all the belongings a teenager could have. We were young and innocent. We were hungry for wild adventures and unique experiences. We were searching for flexibility and freedom. We left a home, we left a family, we left all we knew to enter a journey into the unknown.

Years went by and stories we made. Experiences we created with friends that tagged all along. We built a family, far away from home. This is home now. And we are family.

Today is Family Day in British Columbia. The town is grey and the clouds are low. It doesn’t really matter how is the weather outside, as long as we are all together. After a warm breakfast and fresh mimosas, we pack our backpacks with some refreshments and hit the slopes. 

As we slowly ascend on the chairlift, we find ourselves in the middle of a cold mist. We can barely see the chair in front of us. We are lost in the sky, floating across the frosty veil.

It is when we reach an elevation of approximately 1,800m that we exit the last layer of clouds and reach the blue sky. We leave behind a sea of clouds where only mountain peaks are visible to our eyes. The sky is blue, the sun is bright. 

We go further up and hit the glacier where we settle up our afternoon camp on a dune of snow. We pop the bubbles, crack a cold one and cheer to a good life. The scenery is absolutely stunning. I look at my friends, I admire the mountains. There is no where else I’d rather be.

Whether your family is affiliated by blood or simply affinities, they are the people that shaped you and rode along with you. They accept you for who you are, they never judge. Treat them with respect and care. Protect the relationships. Give and forgive. Receive and remember. They are the people that will always be there for you.

Wrap Up 2012

Comes the end of 2012 and looking back at the days that became weeks, weeks that became months, months that made the year.

As time flies like in the blink of an eye, my goal is to always keep the calendar full and accomplished so each year is a unique chapter with its own flavor, its own story.

It is time to rememorate the highlights of the year passed and cheer one more time for a great life!

Dear 2012:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to live, work and play in the Cayman Islands.

Thank you for challenging me in obtaining my Advanced Open Water Certificate and the change to dive every mornings.

Thank you for making me taste the life of the rich and famous drinking Moët & Chandon aboard luxurious yachts, every Sunday Fundays.

Thank you for the great occasion to light up a cigar in Cuba and sipped many Mojitos while meeting up with my mother for a weekend in Old Havana.

Thank you for this entertaining road trip in Puerto Rico, from East to West Coast, from historic San Juan to surf town of Rincon, to magnificent inland caves and waterfalls.

Thank you for this nice visit at a friend’s in St-Thomas and all this pampering at the Marriott.

Thank you for the amusing exploration of the island of St-John aboard our roofless Jeep.

Thank you for this return home to Whistler and all those weekend on the lake and wild camping.


Thank you for this latin adventure through Central America, starting in Belize diving the Great Blue Hole with a dozen Black Tip sharks.

Thank you for giving me the chance to explore the Maya temples of Tikal in Guatemala.

Thank you for making me fall in love with El Salvador: it’s sun, it’s surf, it’s sea. I might go back and never come back 😉

Thank you for this attempt to surf in the waves of Nicaragua‘s Pacific Coast.

Thank you for this unique home that I love returning to. My 7th heaven, my soft pillow, my paradise in a snowglobe.

What did I learn through this passed year?

Well, I learnt that even if you jump feet first into the new and the unknown, even if you are scared and unsure, at the end you’ll be doing just fine. By simply keeping your head up high with a positive attitude and an enthusiastic approach, you can achieve anything! Take risks, be scared, get out of your comfort zone and go explore the globe! It’s a brilliant and colorful world out there!

I learnt that sometimes to need to let go, sometimes you need to hold on. It’s finding what’s best for you. Never give up on your dreams. Never give up on yourself.  You can do anything. The only thing stopping you is yourself.

I learnt the importance of being surrounded by people that makes you happy, keeps you positive, inspire you. People that are mentally and physically active. People that smile everyday.

Wherever you are, it doesn’t matter what you do. But it is how you do it. Make a list, and make sure you check it. Restore your dreams, plan your projects and accomplish your goals, one at a time. It doesn’t matter how much you do, but as long as you do it. Remember that the only things that you regret are the risks you didn’t take. You only have one life. And it is yours to achieve.

So I thank you 2012 for all the discoveries of places, for the memorable adventures and for the encounters of amazing and inspiring people.

Farewell 2012 and welcome 2013!

Have a great year fellow footlooses!