“There is no tragedy, only the inevitable. Everything has its reason for being; all you have to learn is how to distinguish what will pass and what will last.”
And so one day you wake up and it’s time to leave Canada after a surreal adventure that will have lasted 3 months. That’s the moment I should shed a tear but I just can’t. This country has given me too much joy for me to cry when it’s over, and there might be a reason to that.
My trip to Canada is not just an ordinary trip; it’s a symbol of achievement and perseverance despite life imperfections and struggles. This world was made to be traveled, near or far. Anything is possible to a willing heart – and life has just begun.
Another Xmas among expats, another Xmas among wrinkled shirts. One of those night when you end up passed out before dinner because you had to beat the shit out of that dude that challenged you at that international Punch-Pong tournament…
Next thing I know is that I’m super hung over and it’s time for me to leave Banff, and to leave my travel companion too… When you travel alone you must deploy two times more energy than when you’re two. Sounds like it’s time now to put my fate in the hands of chance and take risks again.
When it came down to the presentations in the van that picked me up towards Vancouver, I found it bizarre to tell about my trip using “I” and no longer “we”… I got so used to our good old story we’d be rehashing every other day – using my most impressive auto-pilot mode – that I got all confused when I had to adapt to the fact that I was hence forth back on the road by myself like that old lone wolf that I’ve always been. And man, what a ride! 18.000 km through the road, and through the road only. No bullshit flights whatsoever, I wanted to feel the distance and so did I.
“They didn’t know it was impossible so they did it.”
As always, if you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.
Just made it to one of the very last step of this amazing Canadian journey, staying at some guy that lives on the boat out in the water. We ended up fishing some crabs for munchies less than five minutes after I arrived… One love.
Though just to be clear let me remind you that we’re talking about a 1970 32 ft sail boat that is not in the best condition. For the record, it’d take us on average two and a half hour to turn the engine on. When you find out that the Captain has learned to sail only 3 months ago, learning by…watching Youtube tutorials…… puts you in the mood!
Anyways, we were soon to be joined on board another two pirates freshly recruited on CoushSurfing to sail away from the shore and celebrate New Year’s Eve out at sea..!
2 is company, 3 is party. And 4 is piracy.
We would refer to ourselves as The Headlamp People, High Class Bums or simply as Pirates. On such boat everything becomes a mission and you gotta go through so much effort to get anything done that it makes you reconsider what your priorities are.
The good old difference between what I need and what I want, remember? Much more fulfilling that any regular kind of lifestyle and quickly makes you forget your first world problems, guaranteed. Basic needs only; you quickly get back to what’s really essential.
“Throw me to the wolves and I’ll return leading the pack.”
Obviously no shower or bathroom on board, limited drinking water, not much that allows you to be connected with the rest of the world. But who would miss that? No internet access for instance. If you need it, you gotta wait till the day you anchor at a marina, get to a café and you rush whatever you have to do because you most certainly don’t wanna spend the day there. As a reward, you get some spare time to do real things such as chilling around the fireplace late at night, sail, listen to music… And here I’m not talking about listening to some music whilst doing something else – no – here it’s all about you sit down, play a track, shut your eyes and focus on the music. I swear to god I genuinely discovered the real meaning of several tracks that I’ve had on my playlists for years doing this. You know you’ve immersed yourself deeply enough when you notice an enormous difference between the land life and the sea life.
“Self employed with lots of time for the important things. I spend much of my life absorbing media from previous eras.”
In Vancouver at winter time when you ask about the temperature they talk about “minus” or “plus” something. Found out the reason for this is that the temperature never really goes under below 2 degrees, so if you say minus we understand that it’s the coldest it can ever get – ranging from -2° to -1°. For the record my body couldn’t follow such weather change after the -40° we’ve had in the Great North, got sick as soon as the temperature got back to positive and when the snow turned into rain.
And so the crew sailed offshore from Vancouver towards the islands – drunk like pirates – at the end of the world.. Generally speaking I found ridiculous the amount of things you could fit on a photo in British Columbia, where the Rockies meet the Pacific Ocean. Snowy mountains, sail boats, seaplanes, ski resorts, docks…. All at once on a picture. Getting high on life, chasing a simple one.
Later you just let the waves rock you to bed… Some times are just too good for you to put words on them, sometimes words fail. Life isn’t perfect; but there are lots of perfect moments in life.
“This is why I love big cities; you can find anything – from Chanel to Heroin.”
Time to sail to Seattle to start my road trip through the West Coast and get closer and closer to New Zealand. By the way, you wanna know something? Canada is an Australian sized New-Zealand. Big time compliment eh!
Now every time I catch myself drawing up a report of everything I’ve accomplished, everywhere I’ve been since the beginning of this North American journey, I just see a meaningful smile growing upon my face and – damn – that feels good.
Among a million other things, during those three first months on the road I have seen;
– A Halloween bong carving contest (using an actual pumpkin), winner gets a real big time bong.
– A drunken woman blowing her nose in my pal’s t-shirt in an Irish pub (they never exchanged a single word before)
– I seen folks smoking 9 meters of pure weed joints in 5 days
– I crossed Canada hitchhiking from East to West and then from South to the Great North up to Alaska at winter time.
– I seen a (clearly intoxicated) mid-forties Asian dude coming in a knife shop by 3 pm asking for a double blade sword… and an armor.
– The most badass trucker with a massive Shrek tattoo on his belly.
– A piss drunk British “chick” pissing over the girl that was sleeping right underneath her in the same bunk.
– Heated public benches in bus stops in Regina.
– A suicidal “big whale” in Quebec
– A hostel with its own movie theater indoors free for guests
– A ninja’s nightclub
But most importantly…… I have seen my long awaited Northern Lights… And I’ll never be grateful enough for having made this dream come true. Sounds like I’m all set to turn a page and write a new one.
“The best things in life are unseen. That’s why we close our eyes when we kiss, laugh and dream.”