The Mountainous Word – "Change"

When I found out that Jen and Alannah were the new owners of The Campsite Blog, I cannot begin to express how excited I was for them!  Knowing both of these beautifully adventurous and zesty women, their passion for the outdoors and for sharing it with the world, I knew it was a perfect match and direction for them both! I have a good  inkling that anyone who finds themselves on this fantastic site tends to surround themselves with like minded, goal oriented and adventurous peeps. These two women have no problem grabbing the bull by the horns and have a ton of fun in the process. So that being said, I am also very excited that they asked me to share a few paragraphs with you and here I am with my inaugural guest post from an #InnerJourney perspective.

The sun sets pretty early in Scotland over the winter months. 3pm ish in December beautiful trail in the Pentlands
The sun sets pretty early in Scotland over the winter months. 3pm ish in December beautiful trail in the Pentlands

I feel that I can relate to the new owners of The Campsite Blog these days. In knowing these two, I can only imagine that their visions for this site have sky-rocketed through the stratosphere and how excited they must be to tackle all this newness. I could also bet there is that all to human and natural feeling of vulnerability and even more likely the “Holy S*&%! We have a kick ass blog we are now responsible for ….now what!?” feeling! Am I right Ladies!?

It’s probably almost akin to becoming a parent for the first time – maybe? The grand responsibility to continue bringing all the loyal readers information they love, along with sticking to the same good core values this site stands for. There is probably the nudge for changes too. To personalize it. And then the desire to build new relationships, while getting to know existing ones. And of course searching for the confidence to create enticing and exciting content while bringing forth their personalities. How they express themselves in blog posts will probably be very different to Meagan’s and I am sure the pressure is lurking. However, I think this change is exciting for both parties.

Change” is a loaded word. Change puts you in funny places both emotionally and physically. It stirs feelings of excitement, nervousness, exposure and fear that all collide at the same time. BOOM! Four months ago at twenty-nine years of age, I uprooted from my “natural habitat” in Banff National Park, left all my solid friends and job, sold all my belongings, and I mean – ALL MY BELONGINGS – including 3 pairs of skis, (I get a wave of sadness when I think about that), a vast collection of hiking poles accompanied by well journeyed hiking boots, camping gear and all the helpful extras I have collected over the years…..and I jumped off a cliff without much of a parachute since I sold it too!

This is him! The husband!
This is him! The husband!

I packed what was materialistically left of my life into a hockey bag (so Canadian, eh!?), a small suitcase and crossed the ocean to Edinburgh, Scotland. The move was not so simple as to just leave the mountains or to change my ways in search of something better. It was because Edinburgh is where I truly needed to be – with my new husband. Stuff is just stuff. It can always be replaced…and heck, the thought of starting fresh with new everything sounded refreshing in a cleansing way. (I do still have those “freak out moments” thinking about “stuff” and having to start from scratch.) Upon leaving for this “next chapter” in my new life, my friends saw me off with a bon voyage wave, saying:

“Girl, you are going to have the army wives and Scots all in love with your shining personality in no time at all.”

Perhaps I took those words “no time at all” a little too literal. As I started rooting down in my new home, I absolutely and immediately expected to make the same depth of friendships I had secured over nine years in Banff. Because, why not? I am Theresa!

Just wandering around someones sheep field in my Steve Maddens, a stick and leather gloves! You cant keep me inside :-)
Just wandering around someones sheep field in my Steve Maddens, a stick and leather gloves! You cant keep me inside 🙂

The transition hasn’t been the easiest nor has it been horribly hard. I think what happens as we all grow a little older and set in our ways, is that we become a bit more closed off or perhaps just not as open for the possibility of more NEWNESS. It’s a personal observation and I now realize I will require a different approach and maybe a bit of bending on my part to seek out new friends and solid experiences to supplement my soul here in Edinburgh.

It takes time.  We all started somewhere. I’m looking at this transition in my life now as a bit like climbing a mountain – summiting a new personal peak.

Reading through past blog posts about mountain climbing, skiing and back country trips to Skoki certainly brings on a wave of home sickness, yet I also feel this wave of inspiration and exciting new challenges awaiting me.  I have to think about how I had grown into my life in Banff over those past nine years. Friends, connections and equipment was an accumulation over a long period of time… nothing was really as “instant” as it now appears to be.

Strolling through the beautiful Scottish terrain near Rosslyn Chaple
Strolling through the beautiful Scottish terrain near Rosslyn Chapel

Envision This:

We are all at the bottom of a mountain looking up. Getting up there and standing on the summit is the goal. There you stand, bewildered with this internal worry of self doubt, “Am I going to be able to keep up? Can I do this?” Everyone’s journey, experience, strengths and weakness are always going to be different along with their approach, their goals and the tools they use to get to their “summit.”

Some would rather switchback their way up the trail, following a clear cut path while others may prefer to head straight up that rock wall, carabiners and rope in tow. Others may create a scramble – mix it up. Each route is different, yet each has the same end result of the summit and an experience that we can all relate to. Once you have taken those first steps and legs are warmed up, suddenly you are in the game, experiencing, building confidence and grace, working towards your goal. As you are moving your two feet and a heartbeat, look at you! There you are, conversing with the people beside you. Kumbiya! Bonds are being formed. You are comfortable and a little more adventurous and then…. open.

looking for otters enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon
looking for others enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon

At the end of the day there is a campfire and everyone around it has this base of commonality regardless of their chosen path to the summit. New friends feel like old friends. It has just takes gentle time to warm up the engine sometimes. It doesn’t matter what our individual level, experience, distance traveled or gear used is. We can choose to be each other’s cheerleaders and unearth other’s strengths and strum each other’s confidence strings. I think it is fair to say we have all been at the bottom looking up wondering if we should even dare to take those first steps towards the journey of change that lays ahead.

I certainly feel that I’m at the base. I don’t know the terrain, the people here have a slightly different yet adaptable lifestyle, and they have different tools, for instance Wellies instead of supercharged hiking boots, but down to the point of all this:

I am just looking for those campfire connections and I am going to approach this new terrain with new tools and a new life partner. I am excited to hike and explore The Highlands, camp and mountain bike all around this amazing country. NEW just takes a bit of warming up to. We all grow from it, re-adjust our spines to bend as we did when we were twenty-one and travelling countries without worry or care. Now I just gotta build a new base of hiking boots, trekking poles, camping gear and possibly skis…..!

I’ve noticed being a Canadian from the Rockies that the Scots instantly want to share with you all their “secret back country turns!” I think next winter could certainly contain a Scottish ski adventure…. with a few Euro ski trips squeezed in! I am open for friends on this end of the pond….so if anyone is reading this in the UK….instant friends? Connect? Is that too forward?

Thanks for the opportunity to share a sliver of what’s been on my mind these days. It felt like I was sitting around the campfire with old friends. I have no doubt that Jen and Alannah’s new change will be an amazing journey as well. I am excited to watch The Campsite Blog continue to grow and encourage outdoor, healthy, stylish living!

Your Canadian Exploring  the UK,

Theresa Malan
View of Edinburgh from the Pentlands
Twitter @therezamalan
Instagram @therezamalan
P.S I have jumped off a cliff….I’ll leave that story for another post with another metaphor 😉

0 Responses

  1. The Campsite Blog

    I love it, Thereza! And we miss you here in Banff. Thanks for all your glowing remarks about The Campsite and its amazing new owners. You have really inspired me as I get ready to embrace some new changes in my life, too! I appreciate your honesty, and how you have embraced your new life in Scotland! Happy exploring!

  2. alannahgamblinjensen

    Reblogged this on THE CAMPSITE | Inner Journeys. Outdoor World..

  3. therezamalan

    @meghanjward Thanks so much for those words! the honesty part means a lot! I hope all your changes are wonderful too! Missing Banff but excited for this new life too! (P.S I was listening to a CBC podcast and Paul happened to be a guest on the show! It was so cool to stumble across that listen in the middle of Edinburgh miles away!) all the best!