I started writing this post back on my birthday. It was fun to go through the photos I have kicking around from the summer, reflecting on some of the chill horizons I’ve seen and amazing people I’ve bumped into. There was plenty of grinding it out at workplaces this time around the sun. But I was lucky enough to have some really interesting experiences and see Earth from a super rad vantage point.
I had a bit of an imagery tragedy. It’s not that I didn’t take a number of totally awesome pictures and capture some really interesting moment-in-life shots from the Tofitian vie quotidienne. I had quite a few. But sadly, my computer and phone — containing almost all of my photography from the past year — were swallowed by the unforgiving Pacific Ocean.
This underlines one of the challenges of living in an urban-seeming area that’s actually extremely rural and not densely populated. It means you can’t just pop down to the Apple store to have your Macbook Pro looked at. And you can’t just drive a few hours out of town on a quick day trip either. Plus, without near-continuous access to WiFi I chose not to have a cloud backup of my photos, because that just wouldn’t have made sense out here.
So you’ve gotta attempt to line up your days off at the multiple service industry and radio/writing gigs you have in order to leave the place you probably want to be more than anywhere else and hustle with deft agility to stock up on new (used) technology.
But I have a few photos that survived. They’re some of my favourites too.
They remind me of giving impromptu surf lessons, my Long Beach Life and the fantastical numbers of tourists swarming the beach with predominantly the correct attitude (as far as what you might be able to expect from families, Europeans, the uninitiated). They remind me of watching the dawn emerge after some heartfelt conversations about lost loved ones and trying to find your place.
They remind me of days when I had to work but still managed to squeeze in a surf session (or at least a surf photography session). I’m reminded of the days I chose to turn right and head to Ucluelet to get a little out of the summer season rush and see some friends from my winter life. They make me wish I went surfing more, but remind me about days the waves weren’t exactly gigantic. I tell myself I probably didn’t miss much. I probably did though.
But mostly I feel gratitude for getting to take life in this way. I’m reminded about how an eight-hour shift full of running my ass off to serve customers with exquisite tastes in alcohol and food was so much easier after even just catching two or three absolutely terrible waves. It was almost as nourishing as snarfing down a quick sandwich from the gas station. Maybe more.