Norvan Falls & Cypress Falls

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Summer 2017 is the year to explore BC – go on hikes, and chasing waterfalls. I have lived in B.C long enough, but it is a pity that I didn’t get to explore these hidden gems long ago. I have a newfound love for waterfalls. I was so excited to get to these falls and to spend some time with nature.

Norvan falls, Cleveland dam and Cypress falls were on top of my list to visit for many reasons – they are well known hiking trails and they are close to home.  They are easily accessible via public transportation, which makes it even more appealing.

Norvan Falls is a spectacular waterfall hike located in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, in North Vancouver. There are two trails that takes you there: Cedars Mill Trail and Lynn Headwaters Trail. My friend and I decided to take the longer trail via Lynn headwaters, which is 16km round trip – approximately 5 hours trip. It was an amazing experience. Glad we took the longer trail – it was scenic and we experienced beautiful forest view. This trail is rocky, but the hike itself is not steep or too bumpy but it is a long walk. I remember asking other hikers for the distance and how far more to hike to get to our destination – which was Norvan falls (though there were signs indicating the distance in km, but we didn’t seem to notice it at first). It took us approximately 2.5 hrs. to get to our destination.

As soon as I reached to the waterfall – I took off my shoes and couldn’t wait to dip my toes into the icy river. It felt so good because I was extremely exhausted. It was a perfect spot to rest. And I was glad my friend liked the place as much I did because I sort of  made her to hike with me.

On the way, back we hiked the shorter trail via Cedars Mill Trail, which was a flat hike.

Cypress Falls – this is a short hike in West Vancouver. The trail is very close to the city, yet one gets to experience such a beautiful forest view. I was shocked to see a forest so near to the city.  I hiked this trail on my own, so I was more self aware and mindful of where I was headed. I saw few small waterfalls and the hike is relatively short compare to Norvan falls. I also enjoyed the great forest view as you pass through the woods, and I found the trails to be wider and bumpy. Also, trails are not marked and so it can get quite messy and difficult because you don’t know where you are going. It is easy to get lost, I suppose, so it’s better not to hike it alone. Though I liked the lush green forest and the fact that it was less crowded. It was also a perfect spot to meditate while enjoying a quiet and peaceful walk.

Cleveland dam is another great place to hike and to be in the presence of nature. Again this hike gets you to couple waterfalls, but you only get to see them from a distance, and it is a short hike. I noticed different trails, but they were all marked, so it was easy to follow through. And the hike was flat.

My overall experience, I loved them all.

What is your favorite hiking trail in B.C or outside B.C? Share in the comments below.

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Norvan Falls

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Norvan Falls

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Cypress Falls

 

 

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Cleveland Dam

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The Gift of Giving: Gratitude and Happiness

What is the connection between happiness and gratitude? Do we need to be grateful in order to be happy? We are all seeking the one thing, and yet we are also very different in our approach. I watched this TED talk on happiness and gratitude not very long ago, and it made me reflect – Is happiness born from gratitude? Can we start experiencing more happiness when we start appreciating little things in life? The next few paragraphs are my random thoughts, so bear with me.

As I have been told every moment is an opportunity, and that is the key to happiness. I have yet to discover things for myself, but the minute I started being thankful for little things in my life…feelings of joy started to flow into my life. We are not born with this mind-set ofcourse, but we can make it a habit. I also think there is a joy in gift of giving. The more you give out, you receive triple the amount back.

What we imagine, we become, and what we think, we create. Hence, I truly believe that our thoughts and our minds are powerful tool in shaping us into who we want to become. If I am in charge and in control of my thoughts then I am in control of my well-being. While people are aware of the importance of physical health (we look after our body, we go for our routine check, and we spend endless hours in the gym to be healthy), attitudes toward mental health are different. Why aren’t we as concerned? Why is physical health given more importance than mental health? I keep raising this question, and it is amazing to see that people are now acknowledging it as well.

I think it boils down to one thing: Change the way you think about things. We miss out on every little things in life, and beautiful moments pass by if we are not present in the moment. We show gratitude towards people, and appreciate sweet gestures when we start to make a mental notice of our surroundings. So take a moment to appreciate when someone does something good for you, next time. Never take things for granted! You may not show them in words (as not everyone can be expressive), but accept it in your heart, and be thankful.

And when you are happy and show love to the things you want, you don’t just attract them, but will have no room for fear, insecurity, resentment, envy, and doubt. If you fear that what you are aiming for is impossible then just believe in your vision, imagine it and enjoy the process. Don’t worry about the outcome, as everything will fall into place. Just BELIEVE it. ENVISION it. And dream big! Many people are confused, not because they don’t know what they want, but because they are fearful and may question their ability whether they can or cannot. And they may or may not overcome it.

I also read an interesting research on health and happiness. I think it is no surprise that when we are fully energised, we get a lot of things done. Hence the point of the research was that in order to increase our level of energy, we need to be getting enough sleep and exercise, as the two are the predictors of wellbeing.

Research also showed happier people are more interested in the problems of the world, and in the problems of the people. They are more often and willingly to offer help. If you are asking well then, what might bring you happiness? – It is different to each one of us, but novelty and challenge contribute to people’s happiness. What is challenging for you might not be challenging for someone else, so you have to know what is right for you.

Recently, as I have learned, outcome does not matter as much. Just enjoy the process. I hope some can relate to this post or hoping that you can take something positive out of it.

 

 

Travelling!

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I love travelling! Who doesn’t right? Well, I realized how much I enjoyed travelling when I did this fun Europe trip earlier this year. After I was done with my studies in the UK, I decided to travel around to see a bit of beautiful Europe before my trip back to Canada. There is something so unique and rewarding about solo travelling that I can’t find the right words to describe my experience, really. If I can summarize the whole experience in one word, it will be this: AMAZING!

Things to keep in mind before embarking on a journey of your own:

  • Plan ahead –  Do your research about the culture, custom, currency, weather and which neighbourhoods to avoid.
  • PACK LESS, LESS and LESS! 
  • Socialize as much as you can – It will not get lonely trust me. If you are keeping an open mind and interacting with other travellors, you will meet many interesting people.
  • Try staying with the locals – You will not only get a better sense of their culture and language, but might also get a tour of the city if you are lucky.  And more importantly, it is less costly to live with locals.

Here are the few shots from my Europe trip. Tell me about your experiences as a solo travellor, how was the experience like? Do you believe that travelling is good for our overall well-being?

Cathedrale Notre-Dame, Paris

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The beautiful Venice
This shot was taken from Rialto Bridge10926187_1541706256069195_3583660584183017769_n
Venice
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Rambla, Barcelona
Rambla is Barcelona’s famous street, always crowded with locals and tourists.
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La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

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