Nina Spencer

Projects that are “bigger than a breadbox”, or, “How much shopping is too much shopping?”

On Friday, October 29, 2010, I went shopping for more hiking clothing. I've discovered a new passion and activity that I intend to embrace all the rest of my days, so I'm fine with the big initial outlay of funds for appropriate gear and clothing but, boy, I seem to need, "one more thing, one more thing", quite a lot lately! And on and on it goes. The first time I went shopping for hiking wear was back in July. At that time, bless his heart, a dear friend of mine--who did this same climb a couple of years back-volunteered to come with me. It's always great fun spending copious amounts of other people's money; don't you agree?

The first time I shopped, we visited the classic Mountain Equipment Co-op shop in downtown Toronto. This time, to spread it around a bit, I guess, I met Michael at Atmosphere/Coast Mountain Sports shop, also in downtown Toronto. Back in July, just to get me started-boots, poles, knapsack, camelbak, glasses, a couple of pairs of socks, etc. -- I spent $800. Last Friday, at Atmosphere, another $600 disappeared in a flash on two pair of hiking pants, gloves, a hat and some other things...and this, on top of the $1100 my husband kindly sprang for me, back on Labour Day, for much of my base layers, jackets and outer clothing gear required. Then there was the Global Rescue insurance, the cancellation insurance, baggage insurance...my goodness how it all added up!

Funny thing about life and about travel, and about work, too, I suppose: we often think projects are a simple, "cut and dried" matter, only to find out afterwards-- when we're "up to our eyeballs and waaaay committed--that, "This is soooooo much bigger than a 'breadbox'!". Not that I'm complaining. Honest. it's just an insight and a learning for me. Once again I'm reminded that big projects in personal life, as in work life, are hardly ever as they present at the start. We all so often "sign on" before we really know exactly what we're getting into. And maybe that's a good thing. I just bet many of us would never do the daring, exciting, different, challenging and career-moving-forth "things", if we clearly knew what we were really "signing on" for before we jumped.