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The Active Holiday: 5 Great Activities for Adventurous Spirits

The Active Holiday: 5 Great Activities for Adventurous Spirits

The bells are jingling, cinnamon is sweet and pungent in the air, and our New Year’s resolution lists are over and done. Soon enough, winter will make us sleepy, and it’s only December! There’s so much to do, eat, smell and feel until the snowy season comes to an end, so do your best to stay awake. Yes, your favourite blanket is warm and inviting and somebody’s bought a new cocoa flavour that matches your reading plans perfectly, but there’s a whole wide world outside your paper snowflake windows that waits to be explored.

Go outside and start a snowball fight with your neighbours! It will remind you of simpler times, when the great white mountains were at the reach of your hand. Dust off the family sled and build a snow fort. Hopefully, that will only be the beginning of the great outdoor holiday adventure that you’ll be returning to for many Christmases to come.

What follows is not your everyday skiing vacation, but the one that would make even the worst of adrenaline junkies feel all cozy and snug on the inside.

1. Heli-Skiing

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    Okay, I lied a bit – your journey will indeed start with skiing, but it will be like nothing you’ve experienced before, I promise. Heli-skiing is the latest in winter wonderland trends for tireless daredevils and is double the fun, double the thrill and, of course, double the danger.

    Especially for those who despise overcrowded ski tracks and enjoy the ruthless isolation of backcountry skiing, heli-skiing promises one heck of a ride. Instead of wasting fresh snow while waiting in endless lift lines, you’ll be dropped off at the highest peak of the mountain and left there to find your way back down.

    If you’re in the neighbourhood, head straight to British Columbia and never look back. Canadians have mastered this art in terms of both experience and safety, and you’ll hardly find the same level of professionalism anywhere else. In case you have no other choice, be sure to check regulations before you go heli-skiing in the USA or Europe, since some countries offer only a single ride to the mountains and do not care about your survival techniques.

    2. Ice-Diving

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      While exploring the highest tops of the Lumberjack Country, grab the chance to dive underneath the surface as well. Ice-diving is another winter adventure activity that Canadians excel in, and it’s set to change your view on the world in the trippiest way possible.

      Then again, you can go a bit further than that and make ice-diving the end goal of your holiday escapade. Antarctica is where it all began, so why not take the opportunity and book the trip to the Great White Desert? A vacation cannot get more wintery than that, don’t you think?

      In Antarctica or somewhere else, don’t expect to go deeper than 30 feet; anything more would be extremely dangerous. While treading on the fine line between exhilaration and panic, look out for all the sea butterflies, hedgehogs, horsetails and other creatures with funny names that inhabit the abysmal coldness. And, in case you do get anxious underneath, don’t worry, since what awaits you on the surface is cute and cuddly like your warmest childhood dreams. That’s right, you’ll get to spend your Christmas with penguins!

      3. Kite-Skiing

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        Like heli-skiing and ice-diving, this insane winter sport is not an activity for everyone. In fact, kite-skiing is considered a combination of sailing, kite flying and skiing, and you’ll have to be quite experienced in at least one in order to master the technique.

        What’s interesting, however, is that kite-skiing comes incredibly cheap. What you need is suggested by the name – this activity requires nothing but kite equipment and regular downhill skis (also, you can use a snowboard if you prefer). It doesn’t even require a hill! In case vacationing is not an option, kite-skiing is something you can do in your windy backyard.

        The physics behind it are simple enough to grasp. The kite provides the pull, similarly to the mainsail on a sailboat. When you are going upwind, the kite becomes powerful enough to support the skier’s weight, which provides some brilliant opportunities for stunts. So, learn your physics, practise hard, and try not to break something you can’t do without.

        4. Off-Roading

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          When somebody proposes a walking vacation, most adrenaline junkies are quick to discard the idea as not death-defying enough. All of you who think hiking is any less adrenaline-packed than it actually is, I dare you to try! Once the fresh air fills out your lungs and your blisters start to rupture, you’ll sing an entirely different song.

          Unexpectedly, you’ll find that hiking requires an electrified spirit and a strategic approach, just like all the best sports do. Soon enough, you’ll get hooked and trails will become too narrow for your newly opened mind. Then, start off-roading for yet undiscovered excitement!

          It’s simply how we were made – wanderlust runs through our veins and itches our feet with every step we take, so why not make this holiday season all about those blood-pumping off-roading trails that the USA is so luckily endowed with? After all, it’s the only proper way of celebrating our nature-bound roots, our wonderfully nomadic traditions, and our utterly human instincts.

          5. Glacier Climbing

            If learning a new skill is one of your resolutions for the New Year and you’re eager to cross off another destination from your bucket list, then off to the glaciers! Whether you choose to climb to the alpine tops or simply to hike your way up, glacier climbing is one of the best Christmas gifts you can surprise your adventurous spirit with.

            Now, this winter activity is not for the faint-hearted. Prepare to spend a lot of freezing hours practicing the techniques before you even lift your feet off the ground and, most importantly, don’t be afraid to feel a bit frightened in the process. Book a course in spite of all that, and thank me later.

            You’ll find that Iceland is where the glacier climbing action is, though Alaska is considered equally fun. I don’t have to warn you that this activity doesn’t come cheap, but it’s certainly one of those things that we like to call “once in a lifetime”. It’ll be chilly and terrifying, but you’ll love every single minute of it.

            Don’t spend your holiday break in the bed! There’s plenty of time for being a proud no-lifer once the snowdrops begin sprouting, so treat yourself with a good old mason jar of pure, unadulterated adrenaline. Hopefully, it will wake you up and make you smell the routine.

            More by this author

            Vladimir Zivanovic

            CMO at MyCity-Web

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            Last Updated on July 8, 2020

            18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

            18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

            The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

            1. Understand Yourself Better

            Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

            Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

            2. Keep Track of Small Changes

            I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

            Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

            3. Become Aware of What Matters

            As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

            You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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            4. Boost Creativity

            The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

            When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

            You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

            5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

            A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

            Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

            6. Process Life Experiences

            When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

            Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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            7. Stress Relief

            In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

            Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

            8. Provide Direction

            Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

            One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

            9. Solve Problems

            Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

            Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

            When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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            10. Find Relief From Fighting

            Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

            Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

            11. Find Meaning in Life

            Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

            12. Allow Yourself to Focus

            Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

            13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

            When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

            14. Let the Past Go

            I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

            15. Allow Freedom

            Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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            16. Enhance Your Career

            Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

            Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

            17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

            All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

            18. Catalog Your Life for Others

            No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

            We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

            Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

            Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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