Archives for the month of: September, 2012

“Not until we are lost do we begin to find ourselves” – Henry David Thoreau

*Photo taken on a Samsung Galaxy S3

– Daniel


A good friend and I have recently sought to instill more spontaneity in our lives. Although we are both satisfied and happy with the turns our lives have taken, our goal has been to break the tedious repetition that can commonly come out of routine. The plan? Once a month, we plan on leaving the noise and crowds of the city to try something new. To push ourselves beyond our perceived capabilities. To “get lost” and find ourselves (not in a literal sense). This month’s adventure? Hiking from Rattlesnake Point to Crawford Lake and back! After the main hike, exploring side trails, the lake and a reconstructed Iroquoian village, we ended up traveling approximately 20km. Although tired, I can’t help but feel incredibly happy with the results!

– Daniel

I seem to have succeeded in adding a bit of spontaneity to my life.  I bought a very colourful sweater! I know it sounds trivial, but breaking out of my established fashion norm was quite difficult for me.  In fact, it served to be a mental exercise in self confidence. And it worked! But back to the point…I’m going for a hike! It’s been a while, and I’m long overdue for an outdoor adventure. I’ll be going for a 14 km hike from Rattlesnake Point to Crawford Lake (and back) with a good friend of mine. I love being outdoors and appreciate the sense of peace it instills in me.  It will be a fantastic and refreshing break in the week. I can’t wait! I’ll post pictures Thursday night!

– Daniel

Well said. Happiness isn’t just given to us. You have to fight for it. You have to search for it…within yourself. Cheesiness aside, happiness is out there. Go get it!

Ambitious mind. Dissatisfied heart? I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time now.  I have come to learn that I am undoubtedly passionate about archaeology, travel, and teaching. They provide me with the feeling that, excuse my wording, I’m living for something. But lately, like many experience with their chosen careers, all jobs, no matter how initially engaging, become work. They become something that I feel isn’t “mine” anymore and it becomes difficult to keep these persistently fun and meaningful. I can’t help but sometimes feel that I should be doing something something more with my life.  Like I said before, novelty has become very important to me. By trying new things, most recently cycling to work and school, I am attempting to add multiple sources of happiness to my life; metaphorically “filling up my emotional bank account” (shout out to WoodysGamerTag).

Here’s to discovering new passions and sources of happiness,

– Daniel



Thanks to Carson, a former student of mine, I now have a photo of me completing #39 on my list of “100 Things I Want to do Before I Die”! It was probably one of the most difficult climbs I have ever done, the majority of my friends who wanted to help me complete this goal didn’t make it all the way up (sad face). But in the end, I did it! That’s me in the middle with the blue shirt…

– Daniel

I just moved to a new apartment literally 5 minutes fron Kensington Market. I am unbelievably happy to have moved out (again). Although returning home to save money for my first trip to Jordan eased my financial burden, living with my family has grown to be one of my greatest sources of anxiety. It’s not that I don’t get along with them, it’s simply that my family does not understand my expectations of life and lifestyle. Anyways, on my way to my favorite army surplus store is in Kensington (AAA Army Surplus) to pick up a canteen for my GO bag, I stopped to try something I had never eaten before. Raw oysters. Since reading Anthony Bourdain’s life-changing experience with them in No Reservations, I had to give them a try. And boy they were fantastic!

– Daniel

One of my personal interests is learning survival skills and emergency preparation. There are a number of emergency bags, also known as GO (Get Out) bags, in our house and I have also constructed a new one for my new apartment. Acquiring new skills within the realm of survival and preparedness comes as a great source of happiness for me. However, more often than I’d like, it is often a part of me that receives the most ridicule. Now don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t care less. External sources of negativity will never sway me from such an important source of happiness. Needless to say, it bothers me because this isn’t all about ME. Creek Stewart of Willow Haven Outdoor  fully captures the essence of self-sufficiency and skill acquisition.

“That’s right.  Whether you realize it or not, someone looks up to you.  Someone depends on you and will seek your help in a time of crisis.  Someone needs you.  It may be your wife, your children, your parents, your friend or your siblings.  You are someone’s super hero.  You may be the only one in your circle of influence who takes the initiative to learn some basic life saving survival skills.  If the time ever comes when you are tested, don’t fail them.  Learning survival skills isn’t just about you.  It’s about using those skills to help other people when the time comes.  Don’t wait until it’s too late.  Act now.  You have an obligation to protect and provide for those who need you.”

Indeed, real disasters happen to people all over the world at any given time. For instance, take Hurricane Katrina. One of the most destructive and deadly hurricanes of recent memory, it killed 1833 people and left hundreds of thousands as refuges. Without proper preparation, many felt the economic and environmental effects of this natural disaster. Furthermore, violence and looting became widespread in New orleans. After graduating from high school, I started carrying a number of tools with me that would serve to get me through a survival situation. Expect the unexpected – this is something I learned at a very young age. From a small Victorinox Swiss Army knife on my keys, to a Gerber 400 multitool in my bag, my preference in everyday carry (EDC) gear slowly evolved as I learned new survival skills and studied general preparedness. Annual lengthly trips to Jordan have been a major help. At the moment, I carry a Gerber Evo Jr (half serrated) folding knife, wear a 55 paracord bracelet, and carry a multitool on my keys.  I plan on replacing my knife with a Sypderco Delica 4 FFG plain edge. In addition to a folding knife and paracord, Epipens are easily the most important component of my EDC. For as long as I can remember, I have lived with a life threatening tree-nut allergy. It isn’t something I’m particularly fond of, but it’s who I am and I feel that I more than manage. I know many allergy sufferers who’ve lived their lives in fear of that “death bite”. They live their lives sheltered from the wonders of the culinary world around them. As you may have noticed from my previous posts (under Food4Smiles), I LOVE food. However, when I travel, every meal is a risk. Am I willing to take that? Thus far, despite a scary hospital visit this year, YES. I’m not being stupid, but rather, I’m attempting to live my life to it’s fullest. Being prepared and self-sufficient acts as a pretty good first response to the unexpected.

My point is, preparedness and self-sufficiency brings my life stability. Furthermore, having EDC items on me provides a certain degree of reassurance that lowers my overall anxiety level. It allows me to get the most out of myself! It allows me to make my dreams reality.

– these ramblings are brought to you by Daniel