I do believe in “the little things.” The little things are what makes the journey after all. You might take a specific trip somewhere with a certain purpose, but the ride there and back and everything that led to this point or to the end of a journey are worth remembering. Sometimes they’re not as easy to remember after the big adventure but in the end they are part of the adventure as well. I keep a traveling journal with me on the road, not really to spread emotions and thoughts, but more for the little things. I like to have it around and write my day before going to bed every day. It helps me remember things for later or sometime let go of things.
The little things are sometime good and sometime bad but we should learn from all of them. Whether they are personal or shared adventures. A lonely walk on the beach in the morning to go get sea shell then find a starfish and see hundreds of seals ashore is one my little moments that made me happy and at peace in the morning (which is not a state I find myself into very often, especially in the morning), but then my boyfriend came to find me when he got up an hour later. That is also a little thing to remember. He somehow knew where I’d be and what I’d be doing. The night before we crafted ourselves some walking sticks and decorated them and carved them. Another shared little moment that is worth remembering and and makes the whole trip worth remembering.
The little things are hard to identify when they happen. More often than not you’ll see them pass by and remember them much later. Whether good or bad you’ll often end up thinking about them much later. Reflecting on them and trying to remember them is a exercise I like to do because these aren’t clouded by others judgment and your own expectations as much as the big memories. You probably went through less emotions during those small things and are able to be more objective about them. You’ll have lots of time to think while camping. At least I had. All the car travelling and the walking in the woods and on the beach and sometimes between trips, remembering the last or planning the next. Many things will come up while you have time to reflect on events or on yourself. Just writing about your day makes you remember things you forgot involuntarily but might want to keep in mind.
I think they are just as important as the big finale of a trip if there is any. Right now I am not travelling and it is easier to remember the good little things about being on the go and outside, but when I am camping then it gets harder to see the positive some times as we are looking for the next place to be or adventure to go on or for a thing to do. We are looking for the big thing. Of course you are never looking for the little things though…they just happen. Which is part of the magic. You just have to accept the little things but really most of the time they just pass by sometimes even unnoticed. They might mean nothing to you and a lot to another as well hence why they’re so hard to see. It might be something that wouldn’t influence your day but someone else’s. They make up most of your day after all. I try to be careful and to really enjoy everything I go through and learn from it but in the moment, some things just slip by and come back later. I like when that happens, when I remember a certain felling about a moment but really make out why and then get all the pieces together. Or sometime you get the opposite. You have this weird feeling and maybe a small thing happen that made your day off balance or threw you off but you don’t quite know why.
Little things are important for this. When you remember how little they are and how they affect your moods its easy to repeat them or avoid them. I like to talk about it as well because they’re what consume most of our time and they can create conflict or mean a lot for someone. I like to gather them in my mind and be able to relive them just like looking at a picture.
I’ll always remember my first skinny dipping. Or the second one because it was so painfully cold and an old couple stopped by. I’ll remember seeing this massive water dam so closely in California, and that little deer walking by our tent site. I’ll remember sitting on a bench in the middle of a puddle next to a flooded lake in Whistler and catching a fish there or walking through the water in the middle of a flooded Yosemite Valley. Or the first time we pitched our brand new tent in a park in the middle of Edmonton. And the time we got stuck in a closed National Park because our car overheated and when I got up to pee in the night I saw the most amazing night sky I’ve ever seen and the milky way for the first time.
As for the big things, well of course I like remembering them but it comes off more naturally. The big things are why the little ones happens. You put effort into them and you plan them and you want to remember them even before they happen. Most adventures are going towards something. So we bring cameras and phones or a sketchbook. We record and take pictures, we share them and talk about them around the fire with a bunch a friends or with family at Christmas parties. Rarely will the small things be mentioned there. They feel less important or exciting but really, sometimes the journey is a bigger part of the adventure then the top of the mountain itself.
Author: Noemie Girard
Author Bio:I am a 24 years old french Canadian who loves traveling and the little things in life. In Quebec every 18yo have dreamed to escape to British-Columbia at some point. Going out west is a quest that will bring you many things; amazing sights, meeting crazy amazing people, finding yourself maybe. You go work in a lodge for a season or go to Whistler for a winter, skiing and discovering that summer is just as amazing and never leave. Anyway so that’s pretty much what I did. At the not so ripe age of 21, after finishing pastry school and looking through too many pictures of mountains on Pinterest I decided to go. Three years later I am still in British-Columbia, exploring, meeting new people and going on adventures. So I work as a pastry cook in a big hotel downtown Victoria, on Vancouver Island and try to get outside as much as I can on my time off. I am still unsure if I am writing these for myself or for someone else to actually read but I thought it would be liberating and fun to recall on my adventures and what they have brought me. I want to reexplore these moments and be able to reflect on them in a different light. So here are a couple of stories, perhaps some tips and advice about going out and about based on my experiences and what they brought me.
Link to social media or website: Instagram @noemie.cookie