Spring Glory

Buds.  Blooms.  Blossoms. All things are possible.  Water.  Dirt.  Snow.  Sunshine, rain, snow. Spring.  “Primavera” in Italian.  Just the sound of it makes my heart sing.

Truth be told, it’s been too long since I’ve been in nature by myself.  I’ve been getting in the forest, locally, around town with friends, but this morning I was up in the mountains by myself.  Literally.  I did not see one person.  Me, the birds, the snow, and my heart wide open.  It’s when I get to commune.  It’s when the most inspiration flow in.  I feel hope, joy, free, and like anything can happen.  Because it can.

That’s how I feel every time we are in our van. That excited, familiar feeling inside me.  It’s quietly there.

I know we can dream up anything.  We get to make it up.  We are making it up.  We all get to make it up.  That’s what we are doing here.  We are creative beings and creating feels good.  It’s the natural flow.

In spring time, I’m reminded of that more than ever. Yesterday I was in the snow.  It was glorious.  Sunny.  Blue and white.  I got in the skate ski tracks to ride down.  I hardly ever do this.  I was going fast, really fast, actually.  It was shady and I was flying.  It was thrilling.  I was thinking so much of life feels like that, in the tracks, fast, thrilling.  Today was such a different experience.  Today was flowing — it wasn’t fast and thrilling — it was flowing and nourishing, moment to moment.  Both are important.

Life is so fast right now.  One friend said “I feel like my life is passing me by.”  This friend is a mindful, conscientious, connected person — and they have a van, live in nature, and are in nature all the time.  If she’s saying this, what about the rest of us?

What if it is a prescription to get in the big mountains, or the water, or whatever stokes and nourishes you — whatever fuels you?  It’s not a selfish act.  It’s helpful for you, your family, your community, your work, and the planet.  To be in the space of ease and joy and stoke because that’s what you are going to radiate — easy and joy and stoke.

I’m going to claim it – for you and for me.  Yes, it is THE prescription.   Please go do what stokes you, what connects you, what fuels you in nature.  In the water, dirt, snow… it’s all possible.

 

 

 

nichole e

dirt photo by Chris Schey

 

New year, new groove

For years, the week between Christmas and New Years felt like limbo.  Not much happened at work and the pace was slow and frustrating to me.  Now, I SAVOR that week.  It’s a unique week away from the usual pace.  We purge – a LOT, I gather the tax info and button up loose ends of the year.  Clean and current on all levels.  We play – a LOT, mostly in the snow, build fires, eat high vibe warm food.  Nourishment on every level.  The best.  We plan and dream, “calendar” as we call it.

Blocking chunks of time for what we want to create, where we want to go, what we want to be.  Planting seeds for what is to come.

I am so quietly and calmly stoked for 2018 and all it will bring. The blocks of time marked on the calendar usually have an idea around them – “pow trip,” “surf trip” or “bikes.”  Coast or mountains or beyond the van.  Sometimes it flows the way we thought, but not always.

Life is fluid and when the dates arrive, we go with what inspires us and where the weather conditions are intriguing.

Sometimes we come home early because the weather shifts, we ran out of mojo or we feel complete before the allotted days were over.  It feels like real time living in a calendar-ed (in my world this is a real word) world.  Planning chunks of time and seeing what unfold when the time is here.

The new groove for me personally in 2018 is to listen and reflect back what I hear. Ask for what I want.  Savor the moments.  Trust.  The number one thing for 2018 – laugh more.

In the van, in nature, with friends or at home, it’s going to be an incredible year – expansive, abundant, vibrant and joy-filled.

Wishing you all your new groove ideals for what is to come.

 

nichole e

Join us for mt. biking in the Alps…it’s so MAGICAL

img_4127Mountain biking in St. Moritz.  The Alps. The glaciers. The Engadin valley.  It is all majestic.

The riding can be flowy and fun or technical.  The views are always stunning.

This September is our first ever “Beyond the Van” Outside Van trip.  It’s for both men and women, will include St. Moritz and Livigno, Italy, and is limited to 9 participants.  It is 6 nights, September 2-8th.  Coordinated, guided and hosted by Amy at Elevon Solutions.

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I went with Amy this past summer.  It had been 20 years since I was last in Zurich.  The airport was calm, quiet, clean. I got on the tram and was greeted with sounds from nature – birds, water, cow’s mooing, cow bells.  The sign in the tram was of mountains and beauty and said “Get Natural.”  I knew my soul would be nourished.

I was heading towards animg_4117 all-girl mountain bike trip with Amy.  She is a fantastic coach and guide and has been there many times.  Shane, another host for our trip, has designed and build many of the trails we were riding.  They both love it there and have it beyond dialed.

Once to St. Moritz, I am greeted by the lake and the mountains.  I breathe deep.  I go for a walk and head to the spa to ‘take in the waters’ before connecting with the group – who has been riding all day.  (Quick side note for the spa:  it is brand new, enormous, state-of-the-art, beautiful – and part of our hotel package.)  We meet for epic dinner and photos from the day with big smiles and stoke.   The days fly by.. there are lots of options of what to ride and who to ride with.  The sky is blue and the views are vast – everywhere.  The riding is sooo fun – or so hard, depending on what group you choose to ride with.

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One day, from town, we take a train to the glacier, ride for a bit and get this view…and an espresso if you’re inspired.

Then ride through a small village,where we reload with pure mountain water flowing from a town fountain, have Italian style lunch (my heart is singing), grab a gelato and hop on the train to the next single track to a pristine glacier lake.  We strip some layers and jump in before heading back to the hotel.  Magic beyond.

img_4109At one point, I moved train cars and went to grab my pack.  One of our guides said, “don’t worry, this is Switzerland.”  Everything is safe, clean, on time and pristine.  Refreshing. Rejuvenating.  At some point during the trip, each participant took turns challenging their skills, shedding a few tears, drinking in the mountains and feeling stoked.

img_4119This is not to say that is how it will unfold for our trip in September.  What I know for sure is the crew that has already begun to gather are amazing people to be with.  We will ride. Eat. Savor. Laugh. Breathe. Be stoked. img_4161

The meals are made with love from locally sourced ingredients.  We’ll be 45 minutes from the Italian boarder – with riding options from Switz to Italy.  The trails vary from rugged single track through fields and mountain sides to gravity-assisted flow trials. If this is calling your name, please email me, nichole@outsidevan.com, or Amy directly at amy@elevonsolutions.com.  More photos and stoke here.  There are cows everywhere.  The cowbells are calling…. say yes.

 

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New and Good

It was years ago now that we were in Majorca, Spain.  We arrived late.  Everything was dark and the streets were quiet.  We ate, showered, slept and woke up to sunshine.  The streets were bustling and in a matter of a few blocks we came upon a Desigual store, my favorite brand at the time.

All over the display window were the words “new and good.”  It’s become a mantra ever since.

Granted, there is something to be said for what’s true and consistent in our lives.  Our relationships, values, qualities we can count on and be loyal to.  Yet, there is BIG joy in the new and good.  New is fresh and inspiring.  So much so, that we seek it out, claim it and celebrate it.

What is going to be new and good for you in 2017?

 

img_1959This time of year invites us to come in, be quiet, cozy, calm – just from the sheer hours of darkness.  With the winter solstice just behind us, and now the coming of more light, the question is:

what do we want to bring more of into our life?

Being outside, in nature, can help clarify priorities.  This is one of the main reasons I love being in our van.  Access to nature.  To what is real.

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I’m dreaming up new dreams for my health, connections, soul, travel, creating value in the world, financial, ways of giving and receiving (to me they are two sides of the same coin).  How about you?

I love this idea of ‘upstream medicine’ or ‘upstream thinking.’   It goes deeper than the symptom, deeper than the surface thought or reaction.  What is at the core?  I’ve been applying this to my desires for the year.

I’ve long ago moved from what I want to ‘give up’ for the new year to what I want ‘to create and be.’  Way more liberating.  Way more fun.

For example, instead of saying I want to give up chocolate, what if I choose to drink 10 glasses of water a day?  This will help me eat less, feel lighter in my handstands, stronger on my skate skis and all over better in my skin.  This is what I’m signed up for.  Upstream thinking my desires.

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One of the best ways to feel stoke for ourselves is to stoke others.

I am cheering you on, claiming for you that you live your biggest desires, this year.  That your life is inspiring – to you.

Here’s to new and good in 2017.

 

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