Four cans of bear spray, check.
Running shoes, check.
Running vest and water bottles, check.
Wool socks, sports bra and undies, check.
Hammock, sleeping bag and tarp, check.
Sun screen, first aid kit, electrolytes, check.
Hat, watch, go-pro, check
Good book, journal, check
Food, snacks, camp stove, bowls, knife, spoon, check
Head lamp, charger, check
Everything is accounted for as I make my final selection and stuff it in a duffle. It's nearly time I tuck myself in for the night as well, after taking a moment to stretch and savour this feeling of being home. Not too often am I given the privilege of sleeping in my tiny house which was built with these very hands. If its just for one night in-between trips and work abroad, I will take it. My heart is always filled with nostalgia as I navigate the chapters and transitions along lines little road, using this place as base camp over the last several years. There is still a dream to set up roots and dig my hands into some garden projects. For now, the world has other opportunities in store and I am answering the call. Life as an active travel guide has shown me places around the world faster than I could have made possible on my own doing. Rotating with the seasons to follow the sun for the last three years has been nothing short of astonishing. From the people, places and cultural immersion my mind is focused on creating moments in the present and thinking 10 steps ahead. With this career, packing has become a way of life. Moving with the seasons, I learned to keep my necessities close by and remember that everything can be replaced. At the end of the day its what's inside that counts. As an environmental educator I used to carry all my belongings on my back. Together with my students we moved across landscapes as pristine as a painting, at the speed of a turtle. Down rivers, up and over mountains, no matter where we were going there were endless opportunities to celebrate independence, pitch our own tent and cook over a fire. The best part was that we looked out for one another. When the days were long and hard, we always took time to reflect and connect, no one was left behind. Nature has a way of revealing our most humanistic side. Over the years I developed a great comfort living in perpetual motion. Resting no more than a few nights in the same bed for months at a time. It is essential to become independent and self-assured while being nomadic as you can be certain the road holds many situations to navigate in order to get where you're going. With a curious mind always fascinated by the horizon, I wondered what could be found over the next hill. Following the path of expeditionary icons who proved you can achieve what you set out for and in some cases you could get much more than you bargained. Both endings made for a healthy dose of inspiration and necessary bedtime story. Maybe we all hold a glimmer of hope, a curiosity of lands unimaginable. Of sounds that draw our senses closer or flavours that surpass our previous knowing. A view to leave us breathless or touch to soothe the soul. Humanity has a heartbeat, and I hear it strongest when navigating outdoors. Trusting my feet and relying on my knowledge and strength. Turning plans into reality while walking these dreams to life. Each passing year I reflect on where I have come and what I have learned, and history has proven that it's imperative to my abilities and believe in my dreams no matter what the situation. After eighteen years, this promise I vowed to keep to my sister, as she sipped her last few breaths, is about to emerge. Crossing the Trans Canada Trail to create awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and live out my childhood dream I will start with stage 1, the run: 250 km across Vancouver Island in seven days. With the support of my dear friend Mark, my dad Robert and mom Rose who will be our support bike and truck moving our life from place to place, the pace will be quick and light. Followed by stage 2: paddle 120 km across the Salish Sea from Naniamo to Squamish with more amazing friends, Carla Cochran and Jaime Sharp. Lastly completing a bike packing trip from Vancouver to Princeton, BC to complete this summer season along the trail.
Nerves and elation all wrapped into this little home and body, keeping my eyelids awake. However uncertain the journey may be, I trust myself and am ready. I blow out the candle, snuggle under 5 layers of blankets and drift off to sleep.