At UBC there is an exchange club that organises various events and trips for all international exchange students at the university. One of these trips was a trip to the Sunshine Coast one weekend towards the end of September. The name of the place is slightly deceiving and I assume is only named such so as to attract people to it. It is still within British Columbia and gets just the same about of rainfall as everywhere else. Nevertheless, the trip sounded like fun, and something that I would never be able to organise myself – so I booked on, despite knowing no other people who were going.
The idea of the trip was a sort of summer camp. They advised you to bring hiking boots, a swimming costume and a sleeping bag. I had a swimsuit, trainers and a blanket. Not wanting to spend any more money, I decided that that would have to do. We met at the harbour in the pouring rain on Friday and took a 2-hour boat ride across to our home for the weekend.
Saturday dawned, bright and still raining. The activities that were planned for us were hiking and kayaking/canoeing. Both pretty weather dependent. Luckily, the rain stopped just after breakfast and we all got our swimming costumes on and hopped down to the canoes. It was initially a bit precarious but turned out to be seriously fun. We soon became warm from the rowing despite the chilly air and it wasn’t long before we were brave enough for a swim. On return to camp, hot showers were extremely welcome and the warmth slowly returned to all of our toes.
The afternoon’s activity was a game of ‘Capture the Flag’ and we expended all of our newly refreshed energy running around the nearby forest with blue and red paint splashed across our rosy faces. The rest of the weekend brought more kayaking and hiking as well as great bonfire chats. I think my favourite part of the weekend was when a couple of us decided to jump off the pier after everyone else had gone inside. The water was so icy cold that when you got out you felt suddenly warm as blood rushed back to your extremities. It was a huge adrenaline rush and we did it several times before a bell rang calling us for lunch.
Being outdoors all day is truly refreshing and it brings a sort of pleasure so reminiscent of childhood that it makes you forget your day-to-day life of lectures and labs and study. It is a shame that our society is inherently an indoors based one and that the children of today spend more and more time locked indoors facing screens. This experience was truly one to remember and I am glad that I am continuing to make such amazing memories in the Canadian outdoors.