What is Success?

What is success… such a loaded question if you ask me. I had recently read an article talking about my generation (Millennials) starting to “set back” their career to enjoy life more.

I’ve talked about this topic with a few friends of mine as well, so what is the meaning of success? I guess in all reality there is not specific definition… well I mean if you look it up it’s something along the lines of:

1. The favourable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours; the accomplishment of one’s goals.

2. The attainment of wealth, position, honours, or the like.

But I mean inside of you, what do you feel success really is? To really sit down and think about it can really make you ponder some inquisitive things. Here in the Okanagan you can see it really holds different values for many people. I see individuals with “Alberta Money” who buy huge homes on the cliffs or on the water, they have big boats and lots of toys to go with them… yet they only use it two to three months of the year. Sadly that’s their image of success is work very, very hard for most of the year and then play a little (I’m sure they play hard but compared to their work I view it as little). Don’t get me wrong some of these individuals love this and it works for them, but I couldn’t imagine spending the majority of my life working for such little enjoyment/ fulfillment.

Is it money, "things"?

Is it money or “things”?

What do I see as success in my life? To start the less stress in life the better! But ultimately making a few really good friends, having a couple nice things… even then good company trumps material goods. I want to do things now when my body has the ability to recuperate after doing some crazy sport or trip or hike, I don’t want to wait until I retire before I start to enjoy my life. The experience I have are worth more than money can provide to me.

Is it being in the moment?

Is it being in the moment?

I read an argument about someone who’s an architect and that he’d spent a few years in school and another couple interning and is now in a job he enjoys working 40 hours a week, and will be able to enjoy himself before he retires because he worked hard. I applaud this person for his determination and enthusiasm but not everyone has the patience to do these things (Is financial security that really matters?). Does this make us lazy? Hardly, everyone has different ambitions and goals… and some of us just don’t have the mental capacity to break our backs for 8-10 years to finally start having fun and enjoying life… some of us want to live now because there may not be a tomorrow.

Moving to British Columbia I think was one of the best things I had decided to do, the people are such inspiration to grabbing life now and making the best of it!

Look from one generation to the next and see the contrast from Ethics to Fashion and Ideologies… they change constantly. I’d say every generation dating back hundreds of years think they had reached the best point in humanity, and that how they live is the way to be. Maybe each generation was right in their own respect but we are ever evolving intellectual creatures and will continue to change our values for many years to come.

Is it friends and special connections?

Could it be friends and special connections?

I originally wanted to talk about how I see success and what it means to me… but as I continued to write I just want to inspire others to stop for a minute and think about what success means to them. It might be a happy family, secure job, lots of money… or a life filled with amazing adventures with little to no money. There’s always something you can change in your life and never be afraid to do it… but it’s okay if you are, because change is strange 😛 but your happiness is more important.

Success can take time and determination; my slacklining is a great example, I have people tell me how amazing I am (I know I have much further to go)… It really is very humbling because I can still remember the first day, the second, and even the third; I would get up and fall, and fall, and fall again. All I wanted to do was just stand and walk! If you’re going to be scared, you’re better off being afraid doing something new than the same old thing!

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Is it doing something you love?

Success is what you make of it, if you’re not happy change something… it may not always about the best job or the most money, but to me success is what brings you the most joy in your life without the sacrifice of your smile.

Be happy in what you do

Be happy in what you do

If you’re interested in writing a guest article, don’t be shy and leave a comment or email me at Justinparkinson89@gmail.com

Journeys Continue

I was really split as to what to do once we got down from the mountain. There was a free vegan lunch at the park for the community and I really wanted to go; at the same time I had already skipped almost 2 days of a festival I had already paid for. I hung out at Cottonwood Falls mulling it over with great people around as usual and in the end I left before the free lunch.

The decision to leave felt right… most of my trip I went with what seemed right in the sense of I should do it and by letting go of my comfort zone in the process. I started off with the long walk to the orange bridge that was seemingly so far but only took my about 30 minutes to make it there. It’s amazing what determination can do for you… keep in mind there was still an overly large pack on my back.

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The Orange Bridge

I waited about 45 minutes to an hour before I was picked up but it all worked out as the guy drove me right to the ferry. I found some great sweaters at the dock that I’ve always wanted and I managed to strike up a deal with the women and got one for cheaper than I expected. Just before I took off I saw she had some wire wrapped crystals and I offered up some of my nice quartz I found up at the crystal caves for her generosity she offered me. I’d given more away hitchhiking despite having had less than before, but no matter what happened I seemed to be provided for; generosity is undervalued today and even just a smile can perpetuate wonderful things.

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This sweater

The ferry was nice to ride with mountains and water surrounding you, being the one of maybe two people who boarded on foot was kind of neat sensation too. I arrived on the other side of the water in Crawford Bay where there was two kids playing harmonica together… the skill and synergy they had, blew me away. I walked up to the little hut on the hill and picked up some yummy ice-cream after being in the hot sun for a while (first time I really paid for anything since my trip started). I was taking a moment to appreciate everything that had already happened and great experiences to be had, when someone began to strike up conversation with me about my Starbelly sign… next thing I knew I had a ride to the festival!

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I paid my camping fee… even though I could have easily snuck in without a car. I made camp in the back of the field for some nice peace and quiet, got ready for a jammin’ evening and off I went. Once inside the gates it was such a cozy small festival, very family oriented which made it feel so peaceful and lovely. I began to peruse the vendors and found some really neat things, unfortunately I had a pretty tight budget but did manage to get some great scores. I had been looking for a waist pouch (many pockets not a fanny pack :P) for a while but could never find any masculine ones that I liked… and fit me, but I found one that works just perfect! What an amazing start to a festival season! I later found a ring that snagged my interest… and I’ve maybe worn one or two other rings ever so it’s a big deal :P. The evening music and later on into the night was fantastic. I got to meet many great people unfortunately I didn’t get much info from anyone there but it was fun and those memories are now locked away :).

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Sunday night I headed in a little bit early so I could get a bright start in the morning hitching back to Nelson. Unfortunately there was a group of younger kids/ adults that were blaring their “obnoxious” music and towards the back of the large field… it was a huge field but the music went all the way. I was getting very angry and just wanted to sleep, and normally I can sleep through anything. At one point I was about to yell out at them to turn off their music very aggressively  but instead I decided to go and ask politely. One of the guys walked over and apologized right away and turned it down… from there I pretty much passed out when I got back to my tent. What did I learn here? You don’t have to choose the aggressive or rude route to solve things even if you think it’s the only way such people will react; The outcome turned out peacefully and how I would have liked it dealt with if I were in their situation. That night I went to bed with a peaceful mind and a sense of accomplishment.

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***All photo’s are in raw form as I had to reformat my computer and didn’t re-install my editing software, enjoy the originals 😉 

Unfortunately this writing has taken longer than I expected and I will be back with more fun stories from my Adventures! What’s next? To Nelson then to Nakusp Hot Springs…

“Be grateful, and never be afraid to ask for help… The Universe is working in your favour.”

In Time

First off yes I made it back from Hitchhiking, it’s  been such a crazy adventure one after another even after I arrived back home. I’m going to attempt to post up as many stories in this post as I can especially since that’s the reason I’ve procrastinated so much in the first place. There’s been so many things to write about… now there’s just even more… so hang on and join me and I may dedicate a post to photo’s another day as well.Hitchhiking 2014-2

My Hitchhiking began nice and early and I figured I would catch the bus from Vernon to Kelowna since it’s pretty cheap, when I arrived at the bus station I checked the times and I would have had to wait three to four hours which I wasn’t willing to wait. I headed off towards Kelowna and walked for about two hours before I stopped to stick my thumb out. There was an RV at one point that stopped about 500 meters away from me, just as I got about 20 meters away they took off… not sure if they were being rude or just trying to sort something out. I made it just outside of Kelowna around 3:30 pm and I was super lucky that my friend was in Kelowna… Big shout out to Maria W. for being awesome and picking me up then driving me a good distance. After Maria left I noticed I had dropped my water bottle so I was kind of stranded without water luckily I had hydrated a lot during my trip. I was blessed to be picked up by a great guy heading to just outside of Nelson which was my destination, he was nice enough to even drive me into town and show me where some stuff was before dropping me off at CottonWood Park/ Falls (‘Where all the Hippies hang out’).Hitchhiking 2014-4Hitchhiking 2014-3

Getting into Nelson around nine PM meant it was already dark out and I wasn’t very sure as to where I was going to sleep for the night… I had an idea but wasn’t sure. I started talking to some people in the park and ran into a group of people from Quebec who were nice enough to invite me back to their camp (Thanks Julie, Chris, Cedric, Lucas and Sam). The initial plan was to arrive in Nelson then head to StarBelly Jam but the Friday started with going to a food bank getting some free breakfast followed by hanging out at the Falls most of the day getting to know people. Listening to the Quebecers at first I couldn’t really understand them… it had been quite a while since I had spoken french and the speed at which they spoke didn’t really help either. We all ended up getting along so well that we stuck together for a few more days.Hitchhiking 2014-1

Hitchhiking 2014-9 Hitchhiking 2014-10On the Saturday we decided to go try to find the “Crystal Cave” near Nelson. Later in the afternoon we took off… but we weren’t entirely sure where we were going, just a general direction. I had purchased a road map before my travels to mark key point of my trip and it somewhat aided us in finding our route to the mountain base. We started to climb with our heavy bags (at this point I had really realised how way too heavy my pack was… lesson learned!) it had been an hour and a half and the sun was started to go down so we decided to make a travel pack and ditch the bags. I tied off some ribbon 50 feet from our packs hiding spot so we could find them again. Our hike went on for another 2 hour or so when we finally decided to make camp near a creek on top of the mountain. That night we laid out our tarps and blankets with our tents gathered around and got to really know each other… and where I started understanding their french easily and even begin to speak it fairly fluently.Hitchhiking 2014-6Hitchhiking 2014-7Hitchhiking 2014-5

The following morning we decided we were going to find the caves but most people we had received directions from were hear-say as the other’s had never made it before either.  After another few hours of searching we descended the mountain and just before going back to town Sam and I decided to ascend the mountain to give it another go and use my walkie talkies to communicate with the other if we found it. Off we went and after climbing and following a river we made it to the caves. The others were radioed and we all spent the day there exploring stories of things left in a treasure memory box. We ate lunch by a large water fall and collected some nice crystals :). Most of us ended up taking a nap or two! It was a rather blissful and exciting day before I headed off to Starbelly the following day. After making it back down the mountain with all of our stuff, we headed to the beach where some of us bathed after having been a few days in the bush, while others went and got food supplies.Hitchhiking 2014-11 Hitchhiking 2014-12Hitchhiking 2014-13

The next chapter of my story began that afternoon when I headed off to Starbelly Jam!

Thanks for reading everyone more to come soon!

No one needs anybody to feel like someone; but when you find that somebody you’ll feel like you can love everybody.