This post is long overdue, but life got busy. We’ve both tried to write this several times, but something has always got in the way. Usually it’s been good things – catching up with friends we haven’t seen in months, or making another finishing touch to our house. But it’s still prevented us summarising our thoughts on completing our great Canadian adventure. And that is the essence of what was so incredible about our summer. There was very little to get in the way.
Being home is great. There’s nothing quite like sleeping in your own bed, in your own home, surrounded by your own familiar possessions. We’ve loved seeing family and friends, hearing about summer activities and adventures and meeting the many new additions. We’ve enjoyed paddling our kayaks on the sea, running in the hills, surfing and mountain biking. We’ve taught on courses, and found our feet again at work; enjoyed Christmas and are looking forward to the new year. Before all of this we even managed to squeeze in a few days visit to Newfoundland – perfectly timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Mike’s gran’s birth in St John’s. We might just move there one day…
But we miss our own adventure. We miss our boat Bertha, who has a new home in BC and will await the coming of spring. We miss the sound of the birds, carried on the morning mists across the water and the sound of the river or the gentle lap of waves on the lake shore. We miss the grumpy beavers slapping their tails in disgust as we glide past and the satisfaction of long days on the water before cooking dinner on an open fire and collapsing into the tent. Ultimately, we miss the beautiful simplicity of a life spent outdoors in pursuit of a single goal. 2 mugs, 2 plates, 2 bowls; dip, dip and swing. And now, life feels very busy.
“How was it? Was it amazing? What was the worst day? What was the best day?” These are the most common questions we have faced since returning home. But how do you summarise a trip like this? It’s something we’ve been trying to do since arriving in Montreal, and we’re not yet sure we’ve managed it. Many people have said that the trip, and the blog, seemed to end very suddenly. We feel the same, despite the five month build up. The weather forced us to put in some long days towards the end, so we raced towards Montreal rather than enjoy and absorb the last few days.
Mike will tell you that when we finished I was reluctant to have a shower because I knew that was the first step away from the trip and towards ‘normalcy’ – and I didn’t want normalcy! I wasn’t ready for it! We joked we could get back in the boat and paddle straight back to Alberta, only we weren’t completely joking. Nothing in Montreal felt quite right – not the nice hotel or the loud restaurants. Having no aim and nothing to do was agony.
The wonder of human adaptability is that within a couple of weeks of starting we had normalised paddling every day, cooking over a fire and sleeping in a tent. And the tragedy is that it is just as easy to go back to living in a house and using every pan in the cupboard.
But another wonder of humans is their ability to show such kindness, compassion, empathy and enthusiasm for the exploits and adventures of complete strangers. So we’d like to once again thank everyone who followed our blog, housed us, fed us, sent us a message or simply waved at us from the shore. We hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and we wish you a very happy and healthy 2018.
Happy New Year!!!