Archives for posts with tag: travel

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

Today marks the one year anniversary of Look to This Day. Exactly one year ago I realized that something was missing. I was happy, but I felt like I could be HAPPIER. The happiness project served as a year-long attempt to make myself happier and Look to This Day initially served as a way for me to document my progress. 365 days later, I can tell you with absolute certainty that I succeeded and I am happier than I ever could have imagined. Starting the project ignited a spark in me. An inextinguishable flame in my heart that pushed me to better myself. To paraphrase Clint Runge, not only did I try to think outside of the box, I reflected upon its contents, edges, corners, and flaps. I got a tattoo, camped in the desert, and learned Israeli krav maga; all parts of the list of 100 Things I Want To Do Before I Die. This year was full of romance, heartache, stress, anxiety, fulfillment, new friends, old friends, falling-outs, laughter, and smiles. Attempting to write and complete this list, learn more about myself, learn about the world around me, experience the seemingly frightful, and make the uncomfortable comfortable collectively taught me one important lesson.

We often view happiness as something simple. Something small. I’ve learned that it isn’t. Happiness is something everyone deserves and is worth having. But you can’t expect it to fall into your lap. You need to take it. Happiness is something that needs to be worked for. It’s something to fight for.

But this is hardly the end of my journey. Today simply served as a chance for me to self-reflect, evaluate how far I’ve come, and keep pushing forward. This being said, I now feel that it’s my responsibility to share what I’ve learned with the world. To continue sharing the lessons and wisdom that changed my life for the better. It’s a responsibility I’ve eagerly shouldered. At this very moment, Look to This Day has become a place where I hope others can find solace and inspiration. A starting point from which you can rebuild yourself from the ground up or a place to inspire those with the urge to do something with their lives. Very much I like did. For those of you thinking of starting a happiness project of your own, tell yourself that no matter what happens it will all be worth it. If you ask yourself “do I end up happy?”, I can tell you with absolute certainty that you will. And you will have quite the story to tell – the story of a wonderful year where you realized that you deserved more. A year full of self-reflection, adventure, love, loss, and happiness. A year – a new chapter – that will set the tone for the rest of your life.

– Daniel

A special thanks to…

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I absolutely am scared of the things I do. I’m not  a superhuman. I’m just like everybody else. And when I’m afraid, it’s before. It’s like the thought of doing something is what’s scaring me. That uncertainty. That questioning. Should I do this? What could happen? What could go wrong? And what’s really interesting is that sheer terror is up until you step off. The instant you step off, you’re no longer scared. You’re in that moment. There is no yesterday. There is no tomorrow. There’s only what’s happening right this second.” – Jeb Corliss (professional skydiver and BASE jumper)

 

Have you ever just leapt into and overcome fear?

– Daniel


I have another item on my list in my crosshairs – #67 “win a ‘man vs food’-style challenge”. I’ve always been a fan of the Travel Channel show Man vs Food and have always wondered if I could, to be quite literal, conquer Food. Aided by my friend Adam, someone who has already conquered a food challenge of his own, we plan to take on the “Cuckoo’s Nest” challenge at The Hungry Hollow Smokehouse and Grille in Georgetown, Ontario. The challenge is simple: the two of us have 60 minutes to complete a beast of a dish consisting of 3 burgers (consisting of a beef patty, bacon, and pulled pork) nestled in a humungous bed of pulled pork poutine. I’m confident that with proper training and preparation, we’ll be able to conquer this challenge and cross #67 off my list. Did I mention that I love BBQ?

Have you completed a food challenge before?

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Check out the Hungry Hollow Smokehouse and Grille menu HERE!

– Daniel


At the moment you are no longer an observing, reflecting being; you have ceased to be aware of yourself; you exist only in that quiet, steady thrill that is so unlike any excitement that you have ever known.” – May Sinclair

When travelling through the city, it’s easy to miss out on all of the wonderful visual experiences the world throws at us. For a race so connected, we miss out on so much. This short film by Neels Castillon really shows us that we have so much more to learn from the world around us. The unexpected is out there, we just need to give it a chance to catch up with our busy lives. When was the last time you simply stopped and took some time out of your day to try to discover something new amongst the familiar?

– Daniel

A bird ballet | Music Video from Neels CASTILLON on Vimeo.

*Note – I think the birds in the video are European starlings.


The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” –  Helen Keller

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This photo was taken in Wadi Rum, Jordan during a camping trip last summer. A similar photo sits in the shop of  Yussef Sawalha, a very dear friend of mine in Madaba, Jordan. Although this photo evokes fond memories from my camping trip, it brings about even stronger memories of my friendship with Yussef . Do you have photos that have a deep connection with your heart?

– Daniel


I actually completed this one back in early December, but I wasn’t able to get any photos until now. I got certified in Wilderness and Remote First Aid through a 3-day course with the Red Cross. I’m going to be taking another bushcraft course in March…CAN’T WAIT!

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Relaxing in a “hypo-wrap”. We learned how to treat hypothermia victims in situations when emergency response teams aren’t available.

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Phil from “School in the Woods” teaching me how to make fire with a bow drill! I was only able to make smoke, but I’ll keep practicing!

– Daniel

*Photo credits to Mike (a fellow archaeologist who works in the Arctic!)


As some of you may know, I’ve come back to visit Corning, NY with my family. We’re friends with a local historian and come down to visit his family and hike the gorges of the Finger Lakes.  My dad and I are also avid collectors. While I have a deep appreciation for knifes (historical and modern) and comic books,  he specializes in Art Nouveau glass. We have a really great time browsing stores and seeing the homes of fellow collectors. Antiquing itself can be an adventure! The thrill of walking into a cluttered shop (my favorite type) and unearthing something special from within a seemingly forgotten pile of bric-a-brac is quite something. It’s true that one must have an appreciation for the present; for what comes daily. Rediscovering the past really helps with this. What have I discovered? Today I picked up a very torn copy of a New York county newspaper announcing the death of Adolf Hitler! I was also given a Cattauragus 225 Quartermaster WWII combat knife as a gift! Holy crap eh?! But, as I’ve written on countless occasions, although the stability of routine can be good for our mental health, so is spontaneity. And this will take different forms depending on the individual. For me it’s what a loosely call “adventure”. But what does that really entail? It’s quite simple, all I want to do is step outside my comfort zone into the unknown. Do something different (maybe wild) and explore the world around me. Why? To find myself.

Update: photo!

Since learning how to longboard and moving downtown, the way I’ve start to see the world around me has changed. Instead of streetcars and the subway, longboarding and cycling have become my primary modes of transportation (aside from walking). I’ve lived in Toronto for my entire life so far. In doing so, one would think that the city would never feel foreign. However, travelling different (and now accessible) streets of my city on my bike or longboard has really shown me how much there really is to STILL see. Everyday has become an adventure now! New shops, interesting graffiti, previously unexplored restaurants, and who knows what else await me every day! Lesson of the day? Turn your commute into an adventure! Explore your city! Who knowns what you might find (just don’t get hurt).

– Daniel


“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