Camping at Jacques-Cartier National park

It’s been a while since I published a new article, and I am trying to wrap my head around why.

I guess one of the main reasons is because a lot has been shifting in my life lately, and I needed time to adjust and focus on myself before pushing towards my business, which is okay and even a good thing!

For the ones who have been following me on social media, know that about two months ago, I got one of the greatest gifts of all, the companionship of a service dog to help me through my mental health diseases.

The word disease to me is kind of gross and negative, but I decided to use that form to talk about mental health because any form of mental illness is a disease and I find the word sticks to peoples minds and hopefully can change the mindset of people behind mental health and break the stigma around it.

Someone who is living with a cancerous disease is the same thing as someone living with the disease of depression or other forms. So it’s time to normalize mental health.

That being said, Alo (which means spiritual guide in Iroquois) came into my life when I thought I was ending mine. Truth be told, it was a very difficult couple of years and the moment Alo walked into my life, was the moment I actually saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I am still in the dark mysterious tunnel, but I can officially see that little sparkling light at the end that is giving me hope that I will survive this infuriating disease.

Since then, I have taken time to adjust to the changes in my life, and working closely with Alo to build a solid partnership and being part of my service dog organization to help me feel better, re integrate myself in social environments and to push myself to build confidence to pursue my passion of photography and other great projects.

Last Friday was the first time I went camping with Alo. We rented a Huttopia tent at Parc National Jacques-Cartier (SEPAQ) for a weekend adventure. I am usually always alone during outdoor adventures and this was a time where I could flip the page of loneliness and be able to have a partner be with me during my adventures. It was pouring rain, but that did not stop us from enjoying the amazing trails that the park has to offer. Located only about 15 minutes from Quebec city, Jacques-Cartier is probably one of my favorite parks because of the beauty, the fauna and the history.

We got there in the early afternoon during a torrential downpour, and went off hiking through a beautiful 4km trail to move a little after a long drive. To my surprise, Alo was a real champ, not caring at all about the rain and stood by my side while I would take multiple photography breaks.

I am usually the type of person that goes out when the weather is at it’s worse, I just love rain, and gloomy dark days because there’s so much sass in nature during those times. I feel as if everyone hides away, as I venture out looking for the fog, rain and nature textures that come out during darker days. I guess it’s also a form of therapy to help me document my feelings through my camera as well.

Once we finished our hike, we were downright soaked. Thank god for my water proof MEC pants. (Like one of the best outdoor gear I have)

We went back to our Glamping tent where we were thanked for a dry roof. It was cold, going down to a 0 degrees and very humid environment, I was very appreciated of my -12 sleeping bag that gave me warmth throughout the night.

Alo was very thankful as well with his own sleeping bag, laying on it passing out only after 5 minutes of arriving at our site. Quick warm dinner, and found myself in bed cuddled next to my partner with a tea in one hand and a book in the other, listening to the hard core rain falling over head.

Before I knew it, I magically woke up the next morning having passed out by the calmness of my surroundings. Unlike some people, I always get gifted with the best sleep when I am out camping. There’s something just so soothing about being in the middle of the woods with no cell service and only the sounds of nature around you.

We got up, drove around looking for some wildlife, but this time no luck. We got back to camp, enjoyed a good breakfast before packing up our things and heading out to the city for Alo’s training with the service dog organization.

I wanted to share with you all my little road trip, because I want to inspire you to go out even tho the weather isin’t always at it’s best. It’s crazy how rainy days can take a toll on someones mental mind, but it can also help create peace and calmness when you surrender.

Alex,

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