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? :)