Tuesday is Adventure Day

April 27, 2016


I will never glamourize the lifestyle of a full-time freelancer. I have a lot of freedom, but it’s still a job. I have multiple employers who give me multiple deadlines. I’m also my own boss, when it comes to this blog, Mindful Budgeting products, the podcast, etc. and all of that comes with even more deadlines. I do some amount of work almost every day – except on Tuesday. Tuesday is adventure day.

When I decided to move back to Victoria last summer, it was because I knew my family needed me here. I will admit, even though it was my decision, I was a little hesitant. I was sick of all the traffic in Greater Vancouver, the noise, and how big it was in general. But I also loved Port Moody and didn’t know if I was ready to move back to Vancouver Island permanently.

I had left Victoria in 2012 and, truthfully, wasn’t sure if I’d ever go back. I’d say things like, “I’ll go when I’m ready to settle down,” but there was no timeline. I certainly didn’t expect to be back three years later, in 2015. Fortunately, the move ended up helping more than just my family; it has helped me see Victoria and the island with a fresh set of eyes, and I have adventure day to thank for that.

Our first adventure day was in September. My friend Pascal and I would talk about the hikes we wanted to go on and places we wanted to check out. She almost always has Tuesday off, so I decided I’d move my freelance work around to take the day off too. In early September, the two of us + our friend Wendy drove out to China Beach and hiked a portion of the Juan de Fuca Trail.

It was pouring rain for most of the day but we didn’t mind. The trees kept portions of the trail dry, and the muddy sections just made things a little more interesting. Our goal had been to hike to Bear Beach and back, but the mud did slow us down a bit and my hip wasn’t feeling great, so we turned around at one point. Still, we hiked 12.5km total and loved every minute of it.

I wish I could say adventure day was born in September, but I worked a lot throughout the fall, so it didn’t really become a tradition until December. We spent an afternoon at Sombrio Beach, where the guys surfed while we walked to the waterfall and back, then got caught in two random hailstorms. (My 6-year-old niece was not a fan, but it was wild and made the driftwood look beautiful.)

In January, adventure day was moved to Saturday, so a big group of girls could go snowshoeing up at Mount Washington. We lucked out with almost clear blue skies and good snow conditions.

In February, Pascal’s family + Auntie Caitlin vacationed on Galiano Island. We left on Tuesday, of course, and spent four days hiking all the mountains and exploring some of the trails down to the beaches there. I treasured this trip, knowing my hip surgery was just a few weeks away and not knowing how soon I’d be able to travel/hike again after.

For that same reason, Pascal and I went on an adventure every Tuesday in February. The week after we got back from Galiano, we hiked up and along the Goldstream Trestles. (Note for locals: there is more than one, if you cross the first and walk another 2-3km. But if you have a fear of heights – I do not – the second one may be tougher for you to cross, as the wooden ties are further apart.)

The week before my surgery, we checked out the graffiti at the Deertrail Resort (construction project abandoned in the 80s) site at Sooke Potholes, then explored parts of East Sooke.

After that, we had to take a two-month hiatus while I recovered, started walking, hiking, etc. When I was ready to get outside again, we decided to turn adventure day into an overnight trip and took Pascal’s 3-year-old son camping at Sombrio Beach. Unfortunately, the wind had other plans for us, and we ended up going home with a broken tent… but it was definitely an adventure.

Last week, we hiked up Mount Tzouhalem and had dinner at the top.

And yesterday, we drove to Port Alberni to check out “hole in the wall” and Little Qualicum Falls. When we took her son to Qualicum Beach for lunch, he pointed to the water and yelled “vacation!”.

That’s exactly what these Tuesday adventures have become: mini vacations. It’s not always about completing a difficult hike or pushing our limits (though we have some of those things planned for later this summer, when I’m fully recovered). We just manage our schedules and tasks in a way that allows us to spend our days off outside, exploring all the places that make our province so special.

As of today, I’ve been “funemployed” for 10 months. Like I said before, I won’t glamourize the lifestyle. I still have to work, I have many bosses to report to and the income is irregular. But the greatest benefit, so far, has been having the freedom and flexibility to match my days off with Pascal’s, so we can spend our free time doing what makes us happiest.

When was the last time you did something that would make you happy? :)



  • Reply Kate @ Cashville Skyline April 27, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Your home is so dreamy, Cait! I need to get outside and enjoy Nashville more often. I take a walk every day around my neighborhood. And it always feels nice. But I think I need to unwind from the city more often — hiking, waterfalls, birds. I really like how you’ve turned your day off into mini vacations :)

    • Reply Elizabeth Fleming April 27, 2016 at 7:12 pm

      I think that everyone’s home is “dreamy” when someone looks at it with fresh eyes. I lived in Toronto (downtown) for many years and I would walk all over with my dog. I think stay-cations are a great thing and even I don’t take advantage of them enough. But I am in China now teaching in what people call a small city – a few million people! I love to get on my electric scooter and go all over the city. The long time residents think the city is boring but as a foreigner, I see it with fresh eyes and love it.

      And being self-employed is good because it allows you to take a day off when the spirit called. Once it was a beautiful summer day in Toronto, so I took the day off (mid-week) and went to the Beaches with my dog and my friend’s dog (they were dog friends). It was a bit foggy and the mist was blowing across the sand. It was amazing.

      • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 6:56 am

        You’re right about every city being dreamy in its own way, Elizabeth! I will always love parts of Toronto, and the energy I get when I walk around Manhattan is like nothing I’ve experienced elsewhere. It’s all what you make of it!

  • Reply Elizabeth | Something Saturdays April 27, 2016 at 11:37 am

    I love this! My boyfriend and I have been going on adventures every Saturday for over 3.5 years (wow that’s a long time when I think about it!) and it really does make every weekend a mini vacation. We love travelling but both work 9-5 jobs so it’s the best of both worlds and has forced us to try something new or explore somewhere new every weekend. I hope you can manage to keep up your adventures because it’s so rewarding and fun :)

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 6:57 am

      Wow, that’s awesome, Elizabeth! I know my friend Carrie and her husband always take Sunday off to go to the lake, go hiking, go somewhere new, etc. It’s great you’ve been able to maintain that tradition :)

  • Reply kelly April 27, 2016 at 11:37 am

    I’m glad your happier and that’s so wonderful!
    I am also very happy that your surgery was successful and you are recovering GREAT!!
    I cant wait for your podcasts to start back up. I enjoy those just as much as your blog posts.
    Keep up the good work/information.

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 6:58 am

      Thanks, Kelly! :)

  • Reply Hugo Campos April 27, 2016 at 11:48 am

    You have a wonderful country Cait. I think the contact with nature clean our spirit. I send you good vibrations from Ecuador. Best regards.

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 6:59 am

      You are right about that, Hugo. If you asked me to go to the gym or do something outside, I will always say outside. :)

  • Reply Janice April 27, 2016 at 11:50 am

    I’ve hiked a lot of these very same spots and love them. You must be recovering really well – some of these hikes are not easy – even if they are extremely rewarding when you get to appreciate the view.

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 7:00 am

      The only hikes I’ve done since the surgery are Mt. Doug and Mt. Tzouhalem. Good ones to start off with! But not super challenging… soon, hopefully!

  • Reply ARBM April 27, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    I love the Tuesday Adventure Day thing! That’s great. I am very jealous of your flexibility. This is a great reminder of all the fun places that are around to hike and get outdoors. Right now all my outdoors time is being spent in my yard, gardening and doing some new projects… It’s not quite as adventurous, but it does make me happy!

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 7:01 am

      That’s the key, friend! :)

  • Reply amy April 27, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    I’m a Victoria native, although I live in Edmonton presently. This post made me so happy, looking at the pictures of home. I miss the ocean so much! I have also said I will move back to the coast, but my timeline is hazy… I stayed in Edmonton after grad school to capitalize on the higher wages to pay down my student loan. I will return to the coast one day, I just don’t know when! This post made me very happy :)

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 7:02 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Amy! I think I’ll do a round-up of the places we go every few months. :)

  • Reply Fervent Finance April 27, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Those are some awesome pictures! I definitely plan on doing more adventures once I move out of the city. I can’t wait!

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 7:02 am

      Excited for you!

  • Reply Tyler April 27, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Sounds like a great time Cait, my day off for a long time has been Thursday but about a month ago my work changed how they do things and I’ve been forced into working Thursdays again. This gives me more motivation to hustle and make more money on the side in order to give up the 9 to 5 sooner.

    That being said my wife and I are planning a few vacations this year including FinCon16 which will be my first conference ever. I’m really looking forward to it.

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 7:02 am

      Oh, awesome! I’m excited to meet you there, Tyler!

  • Reply Rue April 27, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    That sounds awesome! My own version of Adventure Tuesday is currently Monday mornings with two of my cousins. One of them switches between London and Vancouver so we’re just optimizing the time we have right now since everyone has different accounts. So far we’ve gone to the tulip gardens and made homemade ice-cream cones.
    I love the trip from Vancouver to Victoria – my friend from Toronto commented “everything is blue or green!” when she visited. It was nice to really appreciate how nice BC is – you become so used to it all!

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 7:05 am

      Aww, I love that! I’ve seen a bunch of pictures of the Abbotsford tulip festival shared on social media and it looks beautiful. I will say, I don’t really love the ferry anymore… but the scenery is like none other! :)

  • Reply Rochelle April 27, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    You posted this at the perfect time. I’ve been “funemployed” for almost 13 months, and for the first time since August (I think), I don’t have another project lined up. I finished one this morning and now… I don’t know. I have two clients I’m waiting for work from and a book and a short story to write, but I don’t know where my May income will come from.

    Thank you for the reminder that it doesn’t necessarily matter. With two kids under 2 and limited daycare, I haven’t been brave enough in our adventures for our days off. But maybe I should be. After all, I have at least a week (probably) before I’ll have to do any paid work again, and that’s more than enough time to clean my poor neglected house. :)

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 7:08 am

      I’ve also gone through a few weeks of not having much work, Rochelle, but I try to remember more is always around the corner. Whenever I feel like the next month’s budget could be tight, a client seems to have more work or a new one sends me an email. It’ll work out! Try to enjoy the bit of freedom, while you have it. :)

      • Reply Rochelle April 29, 2016 at 11:51 am

        Literally 20 minutes after I commented I got an email from a new client for more work. It really is amazing the way it all works out. I haven’t received the actual work yet, though, so I’m giving my house a deep clean and spending some time with my husband. :)

  • Reply Marie-Josée April 27, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful Tuesday mini-vacations with us. I am so happy you are enjoying your
    beautiful region and have a friend to share such great adventures. Beautiful pictures!

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 7:08 am

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed them :)

  • Reply Mackenzie April 27, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    I really liked this post Cait and your pictures are awesome! I have to tell you, I really love your posts Cait and know that the changes you have made in your life and how truly happy you are, are really inspiring to me :) Your posts have helped me focus on what is important in life, and I also want to see more of what life has to offer.

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 7:11 am

      Aww, that made me smile, Mackenzie! I have definitely found a lot of peace and happiness, over the years… but this past year, especially. Appreciate you noticing, and am glad it’s rubbing off. :)

  • Reply Maggie @ Northern Expenditure April 27, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Amazing pictures, Cait! And I love how good you’ve gotten at scheduling work around your life and not your life around your work! Maybe you’re worse off than it looks, but it seems like you’ve really managed the balance well! Congrats!

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 7:13 am

      That is exactly what I do, Maggie! There are obviously deadlines that take priority, but I feel like I have the “schedule work around your life” part down pat, these days. :)

  • Reply Nick April 27, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Looks like ya’ll had an absolute blast! I’m looking forward to the day when I can join the funemployed, hopefully sooner rather than later.

    Congrats Cait on all your hard work paying off!

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 7:13 am

      Thanks, Nick!

  • Reply Kate April 28, 2016 at 12:37 am

    What fabulous places you’ve seen – you photos definitely show off how beautiful Victoria (and it’s surroundings) are! Love the idea of Adventure Tuesday – you’ve inspired me to block off a day to do the same :)

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 7:13 am

      Amazing! Have fun, Kate!

  • Reply Lindsay @ The Notorious D.E.B.T. April 28, 2016 at 3:58 am

    Can I live where you live? Seriously. I grew up in the woods of northern Michigan, and now I live in Colorado. It’s nice, but it’s kind of a desert, and there’s very little water or trees. It’s weird how little things like that can get to you. There are foresty mountain places in Colorado, of course, but it’s difficult for me to get to them as I have a day job during the week, I freelance nights and weekends, and even if I took the time off to go somewhere I couldn’t get there because me and my husband share a vehicle, and he needs it on weekends. I used to LOVE hiking, but I’ve only gone on about 3 hikes in two years. :(

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 7:16 am

      Sounds like it’s something you want to work towards / prioritize, Lindsay! We go hiking after work (summer = late sunsets), even if we only have a couple hours to spare. I don’t go every night, of course, but even once/week is great. Could you move things around to do the same?

  • Reply Tenley April 28, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Gorgeous! You’ve inspired me — next nice day I’m going to head out to the trails along the Wissahickon (if you ever make it to Philadelphia, that’s one of the great “wild-ish” spots in Fairmount Park, the biggest urban park in the Northeast) and get some fresh air!

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 7:17 am

      Oh my gosh, I just looked up pics and it looks beautiful! Darn, I was in Philly last May too… totally missed that. Get out there for both of us, Tenley! :)

  • Reply Isabelle April 28, 2016 at 7:13 am

    Hmm…. I have to think. This is sad, no?
    I have 2 small kids, work full time at the moment, care for the house, etc. So my “leisure” time is very limited. I don’t even know what makes me Happy with a big H. I think it’s more in the small moments, like laying in bed with my husband and 2 kids just cuddling and them playing silly.
    I am definitely not an outdoorsy person, so hikes are not my thing. But…. Well, I’ll have to figure this out, hey!

    • Reply Cait Flanders April 28, 2016 at 7:20 am

      Definitely think about it, Isabelle! The small moments count, but if you could only do ONE thing on a day off, what would it be?

      • Reply Isabelle April 30, 2016 at 7:44 pm

        Take a danse class where we dance barefooted!
        First thing that popped in my head…
        I love dancing.

  • Reply Shelly April 28, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Beautiful pictures Cait! Thanks for sharing them with me. ;) I am planning on more family outings this summer around our beautiful area. Also, I just signed up for the David Suzuki 30×30 Nature Challenge for may. I’m hoping to get lots of new pictures over the next few months for my…..blog(soon to be available to the world!!!).

  • Reply Francesca - From Pennies to Pounds April 29, 2016 at 1:38 am

    Hi, I’ve just stumbled upon your blog :-) loving the posts and those photos are amazing, you are so lucky to live in an area with so much natural beauty x

  • Reply Jennifer April 29, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    This sounds like a dream Cait! I love how you incorporate regular adventure into your life – it makes such a difference doesn’t it! I’ll be heading back to my 9-5 in June (for a few months at least) but this is a great reminder to always make time to get outdoors. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Reply Sarah Noelle @ The Yachtless April 30, 2016 at 4:43 am

    You know, I just remembered that my grandmother grew up near Vancouver someplace. She passed away when I was a teenager, but she wrote a memoir about her life, and I just checked it and it says her family had a homestead in Mill Bay. Which looks like it’s in roughly the same neck of the woods as you — so these photos give me a little bit of a sense of the landscape where she grew up. :) Thanks for sharing them!

  • Reply giulia May 1, 2016 at 2:39 am

    GReat photos and I am sure you had great time with your friends, this is a good habit…some years ago I started the good habit to have at least once real date with friends is so nice talks and laughs in person and not only via whatsup!!!

  • Reply Irene May 1, 2016 at 3:04 am

    Looks like you’ve had some fabulous adventures, Cait! I also love hiking and if your travels ever take you to Scotland, there are plenty of trails I can recommend, from a few hours to a full week long.

    I love the word “funemployed”. I’ve been that for the past six years and am still thrilled by the wonderful sense of freedom it gives. I don’t have a regular day of the week set for adventures, as my work pattern is irregular and with only a few hours of work a day, I’m rarely in the position to turn it down ( that said, I get plenty of time for little spontaneous adventures to fit around my work). What I do take time off for is travel which is my greatest passion. I took 17 days in February to travel around Morocco and am heading off to Prague next Tuesday for a week of sightseeing and watching a historic combat tournament called the Battle of the Nations (history being my other passion). I don’t think I could ever set out and go travelling full-time – I’d feel vulnerable living off savings without a regular, if small, income and there would be too many other things I’d miss – so I feel privileged to have the freedom to go on these shorter trips several times a year. And the funny thing is, I had more money and paid annual leave when I was working 9-5 but never seemed to have either money or time to travel. :)

  • Reply Millennial Boss May 1, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Beautiful pictures! Glad you set aside a day for adventure and the outdoors. I just moved from Colorado which was a great place to live for the outdoors lifestyle. I hope my new city is just as conducive to that!

  • Reply Daisy May 2, 2016 at 4:38 am

    Your photos help me imagine how each of your Tuesdays are like, Cait! Your story is reminding me that when I really want something in my life, it’s all about pushing through the reluctant feelings and just starting. If I really want it, I’ll make time for it.

    Thanks for that nudge and have a good Tuesday this week! Off to share this great post on Twitter. :)

  • Reply Our Next Life May 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I LOVE that you’re prioritizing getting out and having adventures. I definitely know you have a REAL job with REAL deadlines as a freelancer, but I’m envious of the flexibility you (at least sometimes) have to get outside! That’s probably my single biggest frustration with work these days, and my second biggest motivator to quit soon — I feel like I’m missing out on the outdoors right outside our house. If I just had my job and worked from home all the time, it would be easier to build in flexibility, but it’s all the travel that has me away from home a ton that kills me. (Written from a hotel room in San Francisco — yay, asphalt!) But it’s sounding like my travel may start diminishing a little soon — can’t wait! Or at least can’t wait to replace it with travel of my own choosing! :-)

  • Reply Leanne May 3, 2016 at 6:14 am

    10 months?! I can’t believe how quickly that has gone. So happy it’s all working out for you – I really want to go hiking with you sometime too!! x

  • Reply Sarah @ Couple of Sense May 8, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    I think it’s awesome that you have a regular adventure day! Sometimes I feel like I get so caught up on the weekends that I don’t “feel” like I have the time to do things that give me joy. I’m trying to have more balance in my life to do the things I really want to do. Very inspiring and love all of the pictures.

  • Reply Shellie May 21, 2016 at 5:34 am

    Your post was very inspirational. The entire read, my mind was thinking of ways I could incorporate an adventure day in my life! Thank you!

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