The Mecca, Pt. 1

This has been something I dreamed about for years. I dreamed of crossing entire continents entirely by hitch hiking. It’s always been in the back of my mind creeping in during days of boredom while going about my day to day life. Such vast stretches cover this entire planet just waiting to be explored. You never know when you will get the chance to see them so when I had the chance I took it. To be honest with you, I was so nervous I almost dropped the idea entirely before I had even left and numerous times on the way. This was daunting. Never before in my life have I been entirely alone left completely to my own devices. It really showed me a lot about myself and I would do it again in an instant.

After the big move was over I knew I absolutely had to return to Vancouver island. I left with haste and met friends along the way. One of which being Amy. Long time best friend from way back in middle school. Her and I always find some awesome stuff to do, new places to explore and sights to see. I always try and make special efforts to see her on my way through the lower mainland. Her Cat is pretty okay too, even if he’s a bit of a jerk.

Ferries. Beautiful day to sail, excellent conditions and next to no plan. Just how things should be on a beautiful summer day in the Georgia straight. Spent some time topside with a few others traveling to the island. I’m always amazed with how welcoming other travelers are when you’re on transit. Backpacks are the universal sign of a new friend to be made. Countless times sitting and waiting a small group of other backpackers joined together not knowing one another for more than an instant. Food was shared, stories told, advice given and each one of us walked away friends. This was new to me, I learned a lot from it. The Kiwi’s, Mira (And the Magic School bus), The homeless and many other unnamed unknown people. I can’t remember the names but their faces and lessons will stick with me forever.

Annaleesa. I haven’t seen her for four years. Five years prior she picked me up in Nanaimo and gave me a place to live, food in my mouth and all the resources to start my life 3 weeks out of high school. I have given her countless thanks and I’ll never forget the help she has given me over the years. We’ve been great friends since we met in Grade 7. She lives in a tiny fishing and logging town on Vancouver island now. 300 people, no Cell service and a vast array of natural beauties. This was needed. Hikes, Caving, Coffees, late nights and productive days.

If you didn’t know there’s a series of caves located just outside of Gold River, its worth checking out and getting her out of her comfort zone really paid off. The more you work as a team the more of these caves you can explore. No spelunking gear is needed. Expect bugs and lots of them. There’s a very specific species of cricket that breeds in one of these caves and they’re everywhere.

Corbin. This dude is Crazy. I’m talking seriously nuts. From Mountain biking trails you wouldn’t want to walk, working triple 12 hour shifts, driving JDM legends, shattering bones on the BMX and all around shenanigans. We have gotten into so much trouble through the years and I’d do it all again. One of my closest friends since High school.

Enough of that. We know how this all turned out.

I mentioned Tofino didn’t I?

Beautiful, great to look at but too many tourists. If you like to spend money and make plans by all means, go right ahead and visit. She left a bad taste in my mouth this time around. Mind you my own fault. I came unprepared. But that’s learning right? So I spent an entire 24 hours there. Hiked, Drank coffee, Read, Made friends, Explored every nook and cranny, Watched a softball Tournament, Slept behind a dumpster, Drank more Coffee, Hitched out. The Three Spaniards gave me a ride out. I wasn’t enjoying Tofino at all. As I sad, my fault. We stopped at a little lake along the way and I was quizzed by a barrage of questions about the Canadian wilderness, flora and fauna. I’m pretty sure in the half hour we explored that beach I emptied every corner of outdoor knowledge I had into these three. I grew up in this, this is all normal to know and it was hard to wrap my head around the fact they had no idea about so many things that are on a day to day have to know basis for the average Canadian.

I started to think about the interactions I had with the three of them and Ali earlier in the summer, how so many people I know look down on people who aren’t from here. How they label them as “Stupid, Ignorant, Dumb, Green to life” or worse, solely because they haven’t experienced what we do every day. They aren’t from here, they aren’t Canadian. But you know what? They already made that leap to come here. They’re already further ahead of you. They’re already traveling and exploring and opening their hearts, heads and eyes to this wonderful world around us. Each and every person you meet every day has such a vast amount of knowledge and experience in them. Just because you can’t see this doesn’t make it okay to think less of them. It’s going to make me think less of you. I’m thankful early on I opened my heart and my soul to those from other places, to people I had never thought I would meet, to a point of view I never knew existed. Thanks for picking me up and letting me in to your corner of the world.

I stopped in to see my friend Scott in Victoria as well, recent mentions of course, So here’s a few shots from our adventures together. Can’t wait to hang out again my Friend.

Home time. I had to take a one month hiatus from traveling after filling my boots with Vancouver island. My parents went on a Vacation of their own and asked me to watch the acreage. My Mom needed surgery as well. Tough times but we pulled through. I made sure to keep busy on a vast array of projects, visits from old friends and adventures with new ones. Here’s a few shots from the Hiatus.