COPING UP WITH THE PANDEMIC THROUGH CYCLING

I woke up early this morning only to realize that it has only been four months since the lockdown happened. To me, it seems like it has been several years. Ever since it happened, I just wake up each day with uncertainty, with anxiousness and lots of what-ifs. As a person who loves to travel, this pandemic has basically impacted me mentally. And also the fact that we never know when we will be able to travel again just basically adds up to the worries that we already have. 

Before the pandemic, I have actually tried to save some amount for my future travels. Sadly, I needed to cancel some trips because of the restrictions. But as a person who always tries to look on the bright side of things, I decided to spare some of the amounts I saved to get a bicycle. ‘Well, if I can’t fly, might as-well ride a bike instead!’ , I told myself. Also, the fact that I am based in Vancouver and Vancouver is a great city for biking is just one of the major reasons to own a bike.

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It has been two months since I got my ‘First-Ever Bicycle!’. Growing up, I never had my own. I remember when I was a kid,  I always go to my friend’s house to borrow his bike. So imagine the excitement I had when the Bicycle Store contacted me that my bike was ready for pick-up! 

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After getting my bike, I decided to break it in and cycled around Stanley Park. It was my first bike ride in almost 2 years, the last one I had was when I was in Berlin in Germany last 2018, so I had a bit of a challenge, especially when the track goes uphill. Though challenging, the view at the top made it worth it and eventually I just forgot all  the struggle and basically felt proud of myself which is basically a fulfilling feeling. 

Each day after getting my bike, It has started to become like an inspiration to me to wake up and go to work each day as I just look forward to riding it every after work, which I never felt ever since the pandemic happened. And each time after every cycling session, I just feel better physically and emotionally that  it makes me look forward to the next session.

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Sometimes, I get invited by other cyclists to bike with them, allowing me to discover places in Vancouver that I haven’t been yet, and most of these places have a view to die for. My favorite so far is the beach near the University of British Columbia’s Mall street, it’s just the perfect place to watch the sunset while you get warm in a bonfire while having a platter of cheese, meat, and fruits. 

Being able to go to these places, especially through cycling, and during this pandemic has definitely fed my wanderlust spirit a hundred times more than before it all happened. And for the first time, I started to have the same feeling of appreciation towards local travels to that of international travels. 

Riding my bike not only keeps me mentally and physically fit, which is basically the state we need to be in during this whole pandemic but it has also allowed me to connect with new people who share the same interests as me. Though this whole pandemic has affected the world badly, biking or cycling has helped me cope up with the whole thing, it has allowed me to experience the feeling of being extremely free, particularly when the wind hits you as you go against it. It’s just one of the silver- linings that I cannot overlook. 

Riding my bike not only keeps me mentally and physically fit but it also gives me the feeling of being extremely free, especially when the wind hits you as you go against it. 

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Pitt Meadows, The best Day-Trip from Vancouver

Aside from being a gorgeous city, Vancouver is also a gateway to tons of stunning gems in British Columbia. One of the gems which I recently visited is the city of Pitt Meadows. Pitt Meadows is located just an hour’s drive away from Downtown Vancouver. And I can pretty much say that it is one of the best day trips to do when you are visiting Vancouver. 

READ ALSO: EXPLORING ALBERTA, THE ULTIMATE CANADIAN ROAD-TRIP

I never heard of Pitt Meadows before. I only found out about it through my friend Jeff who is also my photography mentee who’s workplace happens to be based in Pitt Meadows. Often times, during his free time, he goes to Pitt Lake -one of Pitt Meadow’s major attraction to practice and apply what we have discussed from our prior photography session.

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Here is a little fact about Pitt Lake according to Wikipedia:

Pitt Lake is the second-largest lake in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. About 53.5 square kilometres in area, it is about 25 km long and about 4.5 km wide at its widest. It is one of the world’s relatively few tidal lakes, and among the largest. In Pitt Lake, there is on average a three foot tide range; thus Pitt Lake is separated from sea level and tidal waters during most hours of each day during the 15 foot tide cycle of the Pitt River and Strait of Georgia estuary immediately downstream. The lake’s southern tip is 20 km upstream from The Pitt River confluence with the Fraser River and is 40 km east of DowntownVancouver.

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So one weekend, we decided to have our photography lesson at Pitt lake in Pitt Meadows. We did some portrait sessions, with ourselves as models taking turns being each other’s muse haha. 

READ ALSO: EXPLORING CANADA, THE BEST COUNTRY

Then we took some landscape photos from different areas of the lake. Of all the photos we took that day in Pitt Lake, ninety-nine percent of it is pretty much incredible! The lighting, the scene, and the vibe is just on point! You basically cannot take any bad photos here. 

Here are some more photos to convince you to add Pitt Lake in your bucket list when visiting British Columbia or should I say Canada. 

The best days to go to Pitt Lake is basically during the weekdays where you can have the whole place all for yourself. During the weekends, it’s just a bit crowded. 

Thanks for reading! Happy travels! 

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Exploring Alberta, The Ultimate Canadian Road-Trip

Banff and Jasper National Parks have always been two of Canada’s major highlights. A trip to Canada wouldn’t be complete without having been able to visit at least one of these two. Fortunately for me, I was able to visit both! Well, thanks to my friend for enthusiastically showing me the beauty of her country!

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We started our journey from Edmonton and then we made our way to Canmore passing through Red Deer and Calgary in Alberta. We spent the night in Canmore at a friend’s place. Canmore is a small but very gorgeous town, it looks as if it’s a magical Christmas village that came straight out of a fairytale.

Read Also: Exploring Canada, The Best Country In The World

The next morning, we headed off to Banff. Banff is just an hour’s drive away from Canmore. In Banff, we went to see the famous Louise Lake, though partially frozen cause it still was spring during that time, it still looked incredibly marvelous! So imagine more when it’s completely taw, showing that magnificent sparkling turquoise-colored water! Anyway, that’s just one more reason for me to visit it again, but next time it will be in the summer months for sure.

We also did a little side trip to Cline River Heliport just outside the boundary of the two national parks for the ‘ 6 Glacier Helicopter Tour’. Here we Dived deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, lifted off and soared 9000 ft (2900m) over Cline Pass. A helicopter tour that was jam-packed with amazing sights. Highly recommended if you wanna see the beauty of the Canadian Rockies from above.

After our quick helicopter-tour, we headed to Jasper. The same as Banff, Jasper is also a breathtaking place. And if you’re an animal lover, then you’ll surely love the elks, deers, caribous, coyotes, and other animals which roam around the town. We also visited Athabasca Falls, a magnificent wonder in Jasper. A paradise for landscape and nature photographers.

After Jasper, we headed back to Edmonton with a quick stopover at Edson for some authentic A&W Burger and rootbeer, I know! So Canadian! haha. Yeah, It was a quick one but it has surely blown my mind away with the beauty and abundance of wildlife in Alberta or Canada in general. Canada takes care of its nature and resources, I wish every country should follow.

In my entire photography career, I think I took the best nature and landscape photos in these places. There’s just lots of things to see and do in these national parks, and I barely scratched the surface of it. So I guess that’s one major reason for me and my baby(my camera) to visit again haha.

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