A few years ago, I was feeling really lost about where I wanted to be in terms of life itself and my literal residence as well. I was tired of my hometown yet afraid of cities, unsure of where I truly belonged. So I moved to the mountains and found peace in spending a few years working and adventuring. I met some of the loveliest, calmest, strangest people, and I learned the pros and cons of a life in a tourist town. Most of all, I learned what nature meant to me and what it can mean to all of us.
As someone who always enjoyed nature but wasn’t necessarily in tune with it, I learned what a walk in a forest seeing wild animals can do for the spirit, or watching the sun lower behind the mountains lighting them up like a spotlight. Nature is an escape that isn’t built on anything superficial but simply appreciating what the earth is truly made of.
My walks to and from work always involved staring at the mountains and discovering what shape they took that day. They always seem to look different, no matter the season. Each day in the mountains is kind of unpredictable whether it be the weather, the air or the sights seen.
There’s something very moving about appreciating nature and mountains in particular. These mountains have been here for thousands of years, a million eyes and footprints have crossed them, making them apart of so many lives, including animals alike.
Living in the Rockies (Jasper, Alberta was where I lived), you see animals up close and personal. This can be a fascinating, terrifying and liberating thing. Deer always interested me but in my hometown, they ran away at any sight/smell or sound of a human, but in these towns, some animals are so used to people that they don’t feel frightened. This can be a problematic thing especially when humans get to close to them to take selfies or to touch them. My best advice is to take a look but keep moving.
Getting to see how animals and humans can interact on one land was inspiring and seeing elk cross the street right in front of me was so incredible, their antlers, their babies and their overall giant yet beautiful build was overwhelming. One time I watched a giant grizzly bear cross the road with two of her little cubs, I remember the sun was starting to go down and she hopped up on the curb, the wind and the sunlight hitting her fur in such a stunning way. I was overwhelmed by her and still am to this day.
Living in the mountains for a year and a half taught me about the beauty and diversity of species, how nature can be truly healing, how swimming in lakes can fix a bad day, and how some moments outside can fill you up completely. While living in Jasper, I tried a yoga program for 12 weeks every morning, I climbed a mountain, I went on a million drives, I saw a moose, I rode a bike to work and swam in ice-cold glacier-fed lakes. I definitely recommend everyone to at least visit a mountain town, and discover what it brings out in you.