by Mallory Brennan
Over the past few months, I have spent a significant amount of time online. This summer I was involved in the creation and implementation of a virtual summer camp for 2SLGBTQ+ teens (for more information visit www.rainbowcamp.ca!) and this fall I started a new program at university which is being held entirely online. In between that, I’ve had virtual choir practices, book clubs, birthday parties, workshops, etc. So lots of time spent online and when I realized that my university had a fall reading week, I jumped on the opportunity to escape the virtual world for a few days!
I spent three days backpacking along the Bruce Trail near Tobermory the week after (Canadian) Thanksgiving. I’ve done this trail several times in different seasons and there’s something special about being there in the fall. The leaves are changing colours and the scenery is stunning. There are significantly less people, especially once you leave the areas near the car parks. It is cold at night but during the day it warms up enough that I was hiking in shorts each day.
There’s also something special about camping solo. I’ve done quite a few trips by myself including several of New Zealand’s Great Walks. It can be refreshing to spend time by yourself, especially when you disconnect totally from all technology. On this trip, the only piece of technology I brought was my e-reader which had both school reading and fiction on it!
I recognize that being able to escape for three days comes from a place of tremendous privilege. I can disconnect and not answer my phone/email for a few days. I own all the right lightweight camping gear. I have the experience to be comfortable camping by myself. I can financially afford to book campsites and pay for parking in a National Park (which is very affordable but still). I have a car so I can drive myself to the trail.
So this year for Thanksgiving, I am grateful for all of this privilege and for the chance to escape and spend three days disconnecting and resetting from technology. It was just what I needed before returning the digital world.
Mallory is human, currently doing graduate study in Community Music. She loves traveling and spending time outdoors and prefers not to wear shoes when possible