Category Archives: YouTube Series

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No Passport Needed

It all started just over a year ago, my roommate Stu and I were watching Hockey Day in Canada; an annual quadruple header, hosted by Canada’s own Ron Maclean and Don Cherry. Somewhere amidst the 13 hour broadcast we saw a feature on the World Pond Hockey Championships; hosted every year in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. 100 teams from around the world, gathered to play the greatest game on Earth, outdoors on the lake. It sounded like heaven, we signed up on the spot.

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Fellow teammate Colin and I flew in a week early to spend time in Montreal, Quebec City, and Fredericton; before meeting the other three. It was the middle of February and the Eastern part of the nation was in full winter mode–real Canadian winter. As a west-coaster born and raised, I had never experienced these defining elements of the country first hand. Out West snow comes once or twice a year if you’re lucky, hockey is played solely on indoor rinks, and few of us even own a real winter jacket (something I learned the hard way).

I stepped out of the Trudeau airport in Montreal in nothing but a hoodie and a waterproof shell and I knew I was in trouble. That night the city would take 20cm of snowfall in gusty -18 weather and yet nobody missed a beat. This was a common trend; that the weather couldn’t and wouldn’t stop you.

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Quebec City

Locals in Montreal, Quebec and Fredericton were often taken aback when they learned that we were vacationing in their city from Vancouver at this time of year. We experienced record snowfalls in both Montreal and Fredericton and yet I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t think the word “vacation” needs to be associated with palm trees and sunny beaches. The literal definition is the act of leaving something one previously occupied.

This leads me to the origin of this trip: a reunion of good friends, leaving their respective occupations and hometowns to somewhere completely new and different, all while staying in our own beautiful country. For short, we called it the #GreatCanadianBoysTrip.

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With our gracious host/East Coast mom, Pauline Porter

Canadians are known to be very well travelled globally and yet the diversity of our own country often gets neglected. This trip started with a hockey dream, but ended up with so much more. The adversity of cold weather need not always be viewed as a burden. As we quickly learned, the lessened time spent outdoors leads to excellent pubs & cafes with  incredible comfort food and live music. There is an over-arching sense of camaraderie in cold places, as everybody shares the experience.

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World Pond Hockey Championships

The tournament itself was utter bliss. Words can’t describe that feeling of walking out onto a frozen lake that has been cleared to make 20 hockey rinks for over 500 players who all share the love of this great game. The snow would fall in intermittent spurts throughout the day and the blistering cold at night was no match for the sweating bodies that cut across the ice until the floodlights went out. For some, it was a chance to display years of outdoor hockey prowess on a world stage; for us, it was a chance to just play hockey outdoors–and to our heart’s content. For all, it was the greatest gathering of hockey, camaraderie, and all things Canadian that we will ever experience…until next year, of course.

Sharpen your skates, gather four of your best friends, travel 5,000km and leave your passport at home.

Now that’s a vacation.

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Team WestCoast Cheddar, 2017

 

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2015 Year in Review & Goals of 2016

2015 was an excellent year, although odd years pose the challenge of no Olympic Games to watch, it still gave way to an excellent viewership of sports including a Calgary Flames playoff berth, my introduction to MLB via BlueJays bandwagon fever (Joey Bats!) and the Rugby World Cup.

Beyond sports, I was privileged enough to move back to Victoria, the city where I have spent the majority of my twenties and one that I always hoped to return to. It did not disappoint, although I will admit things are much different now that I’m not a student and city actually does extend beyond Gordon Head and Monty’s.

I compiled a video of my GoPro footage taken throughout the year; primarily sporting events and stags, cheers to all those who made it so god damn memorable!

 

2015 Goal Re-cap

Last year I really sought out to quantify my goals; in past experiences I hated the feeling of completing a year without a measurable target and feeling unsure of whether that goal was hit or not. The three main ones of 2015 were:

300 Workouts

It was a tad lofty, I fell short at 196, but still decently proud of this one. As a result of tracking it every day, it was easily my most consistent year of working out and the gains reflected accordingly.

Read 10 Books

Despite reading 25 books in 2014, 2015 was very disappointing year for books, only managing to read 9. I did not prioritize my time and often found myself watching TV shows as a result (less engagement and commitment).

That being said, here are my Top 3:

  1. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
  2. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  3. Abundance by Peter Diamandis
Drink 12 Times

Definitely got the most criticism on this one, but in the end it was definitely the one I am the most proud of. I defined “drinking” as having more than 2 drinks and after all was said and done, finished the year off with 18 nights of drinking. It made the nights mean that much more and allowed me to really focus on health and fitness on the weekends. That being said, December was considered a “free” month, because the holidays are my time of the year to let loose!

 

2016 Goals – Please Hold Me Accountable!

QUANTIFIABLE GOALS

250 Workouts

Despite only garnering 196 in 2015, I did have a few breaks in the year, which I plan to avoid. Additionally, not every gym session is clanging and banging; going to include a lot of mobility workouts to work on imbalances and prevent injuries.

Read 15 Books

Only reading 9 books in 2015 really shook me up, but I have only myself to blame; getting caught up in work and not making time to read. I have now cancelled my Netflix subscription and gratefully welcome any and all book recommendations! (Non-fiction, please)

300 Days of Meditation

2015 was the first year that I took meditation seriously and I can honestly vouch for its impact on everyday life. It’s not an overnight change, nor is it even noticeable (like a gym session); it’s only when you stop that you realize how effective it really is. With the money I am saving by cancelling Netflix, I have now subscribed to the Headspace app for the year.

6 Podcasts (Bi-Monthly)

2015 was the first year of my podcast channel and I cannot thank all those who took the time to listen, those who provided much needed criticism, and of course those six who were brave enough to be interviewed by an amateur! I am going to keep it at the bi-monthly pace and hope to improve my own interview skills this year with the new round of guests.

12 Nights of Drinking

Last year it was 18, this year I’ll be gunning for that 12 number again (December as always is a free month), as the amount I can personally gain when partying and binge drinking is reduced is well worth it. Already off to a good start with Dry January!

LIFESTYLE GOALS

  • Visit ONE new Country
  • Visit ALL of the Gulf Islands
  • Subscribe to a local produce service (Good Food Box)
  • Consume as much local & organic food as possible (~75%)
  • Monitor all expenses on a spreadsheet, put XX in savings
  • Throw a BIG fundraiser

 

 

 

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Episode 4: Nicaragua

The last instalment of 2014 is also the first episode shot outside of Canada. Episode 4 is set in the tropical wonderland of Nicaragua, Central America. A two-week spontaneous trip included travel throughout Granada, Ometepe, San Juan Del Sur, and Popoyo. This country was truly amazing, some of the most beautiful beaches and a completely refreshing outlook on life.

 

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Episode 3: Summer in Beautiful BC

Simply put, the place I call home is my favourite place in the world. British Columbia is a marvel to behold year round, especially coming to fruition in the summer. This year, I strapped on my GoPro for the majority of the adventures, in an effort to remember the good times and share them with the world.

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Episode 2: The Yukon

I finally made it up to the Yukon earlier this month to experience the coveted Northern Canadian Summer. I tried to document as much as I could, but frankly, one cannot capture the sublime, quintessential beauty of such a place. I sincerely urge everyone to put this destination near the top of their list. Cheers to the ladies & gents, the Yukon Gold, and the Land of the Midnight Sun!