Oh, Mister Sun, Sun
“Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me”
Don’t we all remember this song from our childhood? What about the times when we would spend the whole day outside when it was nice? Take a stick and dig dirt to make a batch of mud cookies. So what is it with the sun and nature that has made us want to play with them so much ever since we were kids?
The David Suzuki Foundation and Cottage Country released this infographic that addresses the problem with not having enough sun and nature in our system (both our bodies and our city structures). Those who are in less contact with nature seem to develop more signs of stress, anxiety, a horrible immune system, and many more health problems. These symptoms develop in most adults today who most probably spent their childhood outdoors and most of their adult years indoors with their computers, laptops, iPads, iPod Touch, and many other gadgets. So what of the condition of the kids today?
Writer Elizabeth Kolbert recently got her article “Spoiled Rotten: Why do Kids rule the Roost?” published in the New Yorker. In this article, Kolbert addresses the problem why two thirds of parents think that their children are spoiled. One of the main points Kolbert discusses in her article, is that children nowadays have a life that is “too easy” to the point that they miss out on the struggle and the satisfaction of overcoming that struggle. She compares the parenting styles of a traditional tribe in the Amazon with a modern family in LA. In the traditional tribe, children are encouraged to face the wilderness and learn important skills for survival. The wilderness, or in this sense, nature, allows children to get in touch with the miracle that is life—life that does not depend on humans. Allowing children to play outdoors will not only make them appreciate nature more, but it will encourage them to have a healthier lifestyle of being outdoors.
Here are our Top 3 outdoor things that you can do around Vancouver for little to no cost!
1. The Grouse Grind
The classic Westcoast experience. This hike will not only reward you with a gorgeous view at the top, but it will give pure satisfaction for hiking up a mountain. Make sure you do warm up beforehand and stretch afterwards to avoid injuries and soreness! Doing the grind is also a cheaper way to enjoy the view and attraction up on the mountain—gondola tickets up and down will cost you $40, but if you do the grind, it’s only $10!
2. Boating at Deer Lake
Enclosed by the woods, this lake is a gorgeous site for those who need to cool off under the sun. This lake also has its own boat rental place, and the price is definitely affordable! You can rent either kayaks, rowboats, or even the romantic pedal boat. Check out their prices here. This park also has a nice flat area that is perfect for a picnic or a barbeque after (or during) your water adventures.
3. Biking along the sea wall at Stanley Park
Classic and it is everybody’s favourites! All you need is to grab a bike (and a helmet to be safe!) and go on the seawall. Breathe in the crisp salty air from the sea while you enjoy the view of North Vancouver and West Vancouver. You can also make rest stops along the way and dip your feet into the water. Don’t have a bike? You can rent one not even two blocks away from the park. A good tip for us: don’t decide on a rental place too quickly! Shop around and compare prices—students should check out if they provide a student discount!
The sun is out right now and asking us to come out and play. Let’s answer its call, and go outside.