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Finding The Great Outdoors In Ottawa!
I hope all of you are having a fantastic summer!
This summer has been different than most for me, because I am working more than full-time hours between my two jobs, and volunteering on top of that! I am truly so fortunate to have all of these opportunities and am really enjoying the work that I am doing, but it is a bit of a change in how I usually spend my summers.
Being a big outdoorsy person, summertime for me usually means hikes, canoe trips and time spent in tents. Unfortunately, my big annual canoe trip for the summer was cancelled and I started to find myself at a bit of a loss for ways to really enjoy my summer while still being in the city. I started getting “city fever” and did not know what to do. Fortunately, it was right around this time that I was able to take advantage of the Canada Day long weekend and head to a family cottage. I spent three days there eating good food, boating on the lake and having a few good laughs with my loved ones. I kept telling them how happy I was and how much I appreciated the time I was spending there. It was like I could feel my batteries recharging! Being there really reminded me how important it is for me to spend time outdoors—something that can easily be forgotten after a long workweek and a season of TV shows in my DVD player.
Coming back to Ottawa from that little weekend away made me really think about how I can make sure that I don’t get “city fever” again this summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love the city of Ottawa and all of the really cool stuff you can do here, but for someone like me it can be a bit of an adjustment during the summer. So if you’re an outdoors lover too, and you’re in the city this summer, here’s some tips I have for staying outdoorsy even in the city!
Have a picnic beside the River or Canal
The Canal is over 7 km long. There are lots of beautiful picnics spots along it, and many of them are not very busy. Sometimes a good sandwich (my favourite: goat cheese, spinach and avocado), a book, and the sounds of the River in the background can either lead you to some of that sought-after peace and quiet in the city, or in my case usually a little shut-eye!
Rent a boat along the Canal
There are many places along the Canal where you can rent kayaks, canoes and even paddle boats. If you get a friend to tag along it can be relatively cheap, and a great way to see the city from a new vantage point for an afternoon. I once surprised my roommate by setting up a day of Kayaking for her birthday, and we had so much fun!
Look for local outdoors clubs in your area
If you find yourself without a car it can often be a little difficult to get to some really good hiking trails or spelunking caves, like the ones that can be found in Gatineau. By joining an outdoors club not only can you meet new people in your area, but they often organize carpool trips to these places, so lacking a set of wheels will not limit you to certain areas of the city.
Attend a music festival
In Ottawa we have quite a few really great festivals over the summer. Currently, we are hosting Bluesfest. For me, this combines two things I love: being outdoors and listening to great music! These music festivals are also great for a student budget because you can see multiple shows and performers for around the price of a normal concert ticket.
I hope some of these ideas helped my fellow outdoors fanatics, and that the rest of the summer brings you many great outdoor adventures!
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