Sean Helmn
The Navigator

Photo by: Sean Helmn.

Going back to school is an ordeal for everyone, especially for people who like to re-charge in solitude. This season brings new roommates, early classes, studying in a busy library, and class discussions. Like many others you probably need to be alone to recharge, regroup, and process the change of season. Some attach a bad connotation to being alone, but the Theologian Paul Tillich disagrees beautifully by saying that “language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone, and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.”

In Nanaimo we are lucky to have so many amazing places to escape to where you can be alone and find peace. Our city boasts over 200 parks and I’m still discovering new ones every week. Some of my personal favourite escapes are the beaches in Lantzville, where you can drive down to the water and explore the beach or just sit and enjoy the ocean as you contemplate life.

Other parks where you can find a secret spot to enjoy are Neck Point Park or Pipers Lagoon, both off of Hammond Bay Rd. Buttertubs Marsh gives you a beautiful escape in the heart of the city and is a close walk from VIU. A little bit further out is Benson Creek Regional Park off of Biggs Rd where you can wind through many paths under the canopy of trees. Linley Valley Cottle Lake Park off of Rock City Road has amazing trails that wind around the small lake and up onto a ridge.

Finding solitude in busy seasons is nice to do but can also be really important to keep you on track. For me as an introvert I have to remind myself to take a minute for myself to keep my head spinning the right way. It makes me more productive with homework and studying and makes me a more pleasant person to be around. I am so excited to go out in the fall and explore Nanaimo’s parks and discover even more new ones.

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