Instagram meets real life.

Instagram. I remember the first time someone shared with me the concept of this newfangled cellular, social creation and I just couldn't wrap my brain around it. I wondered why/how anyone could ever share photos of the most private, intimate moments of their lives with the public. I do not consider myself to be overtly confident, photogenic or social so in all honesty it sounded utterly terrifying.  

Fast forward through a year of change, a rebirth into wanting to nurture creativity/seriously delve into hobbies, I now not only instagram but I blog as well. Who'd have thunk it? Not this guy. Ironic - as a large part of my heart loathes technology and the way it has drastically altered human experience. But, in an effort to side with optimism I'm going to say that everything has a place and time. I had no idea how much one  could gain through photographic reciprocity of experience with others. 

I could blabber about the joys of extending your social circle, relating to others, gaining support from strangers at hard times, challenging yourself and learning from others' work, but mostly this post is to simply share some photos from a day that was a culmination of all those things that have taken place for me via this app. 

I have built relationships with complete strangers that I have never seen in the flesh.  I have read their words, but never heard their voices. I (with the rest of the instagram world) have been privy to huge moments in their lives: holidays, meals, births, deaths, joy, sadness and everything in between; all shared through photos which offer a glimpse of the world through their eyes.

So, when I received the offer to meet up with a few of these immensely talented individuals (living within the boundaries of a drivable distance) to go on a hike through the forest, I knew I couldn't pass up the chance. No matter how awkward I thought it might be, no matter how absolutely terrifying the idea of so many strangers (from the internet, wait what?!) was, I knew I had to do it.

We (all 17 of us!) met and took a convoy of 6 vehicles to Golden Ears provincial park for a hike. It's a really awesome walk. I urge you (BC'ers) to check it out. Acres of verdant, mossy forests as far as the eye can see and a path that winds beside a river and terminates in a multi-tiered waterfall with a deep, emerald green pool nested at the top - with water so vibrant it slightly resembles a molten jolly rancher.

Everyone sitting down to share hot chocolate and snacks mid-hike was a really great moment.

Everyone sitting down to share hot chocolate and snacks mid-hike was a really great moment.

Everyone who took part was so incredibly kind. Snapping pictures, talking, walking, snacking as if we'd all met before. I guess we had... virtually. And on a vanity related note, they were all dressed impeccably for hiking. It was as if they'd stepped right off the feed of beautiful photos that courses through your phone all day long ;)

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On the way back from the waterfall it began to snow. It was frigid and blustery but it just made the day that much more exciting. A handful of us jumped out of our vehicles to run straight into white-cap-inducing wind blowing over Alouette Lake. What a rare opportunity to witness this amazing spot in this state. It was worth every frozen digit and limb that took eons to dethaw when we returned to the warmth of our cars.

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So what I am attempting to share in this post is that pushing your boundaries can result in really amazing experiences. Funnily enough many of us instagrammers - sharing our lives with the world, are actually quite private people. But getting out of you comfort zone, into your car and hitting the road to share amazing places with new people should not be missed out on. 

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If you would like to check out the amazing instagram feeds of any of the lovely people who joined us on the hike, here are their handles: