Fall in love with the outdoors Chalets à Rabais

Fall in love with the outdoors

I walk in the street near my house and it is young people playing ball that hold my attention. Because they seem to be having fun in the great outdoors, of course, but also because both teams are mostly made up of girls. The keeper is a goalie. This simple image takes me back to my childhood, when I was neither confident nor (yet) interested in playing ball or taking part in any other outdoor activity. Oh how I wish I was that goalie if the outdoors girl I became could turn back time.

An outdoor girl, I became one maybe 10 years ago when I decided – on a whim and for work – to go walking for 9 days and 200km along the French side of the road to Santiago. Adventurous and certainly a little naive, I bought myself a pair of espadrilles (which is how far I was going!) And flew to France without really having trained. And, beyond the knees screaming in pain on the descents during the second half of the trip, it was the surprise at the pleasure of being outside and passing myself that whispered to me that I had made the right decision. Because deep down – who would have believed it ?! – was hiding a girl who was going to be outdoors (especially when traveling, to the four corners of the world) one of his hobbyists.

“Daughter, what happened to you? »My mom often asks me, laughing. She who only knew of me the girl writer who was often locked in her room listening to music while scribbling and dreaming (of the sequence of things, of boys, of trips!) I would say that it happened to me the most beautiful thing that is mom: the realization that happiness is outside and when I’m on the move. That my happiness resides in the balance between my need for the bustle of the city and that of the calm of the long walks leading to the top of mountains, on the dunes of deserts or from one end of forests to demanding paths and strong in life lessons.

If I regret a little the years wasted not knowing how to appreciate everything around me – me the girl who grew up in the countryside -, I reassure myself by telling myself that I have recovered wonderfully well over the last decade .

Long hikes, I have done in Morocco in the Sahara Desert, in Newfoundland, in the Snowdonia National Park in Wales, on glaciers in Alaska and Iceland, on practically untouched lands of Greenland, Nunavut and Labrador, through multicolored Japanese forests, immersing yourself in the history of the Czech Republic and Germany, on the Inca trails of Peru, off Lake Titicaca and in the salt desert of Bolivia, on the smoking craters of Colorado and Nicaragua, at the foot of Mount Kenya, in the golden mountains of Rajasthan, in Vietnam as here, in Quebec, by challenging the national trail of Matawini or by making mine for several days the walking route in heart of Mégantic, this Quebec Mini Compostela crossing the superb Cantons-de-l’Est.

So now when I meet girls playing ball, like when I walk in the forest, I smile. Because I was lucky – even “late”, even living in my dream metropolis – to have fallen in love with all the possibilities that come with discovering this beautiful nature and these wide open spaces.

I wish you as much love lived with smiling faces gently caressed by the wind.

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