I’m a non-tourist, tourist. My job and my life have been cultivating it a while now and yet, somehow, the hardest place to be a tourist is the place you call home.
I’ve often tried to remind myself that to hold a camera does not immediately qualify you as a tourist and in an effort to be honest, I think it’s also a way of coaxing myself into carrying my beloved Nikon around the city from time to time. Meeting up with my eldest sister the other day in Vancouver the topic of me and cameras came up. The story that they all remember is of me sitting as a little kid, in a pew, at a family wedding with moms camera to snap a couple
shots of the bride as she walked by. Not long after the photos were developed, my parents saw reason I should have a camera of my own and it’s been a love affair ever since. Though the subjects vary, I always long to capture pieces of memories I know my brain cannot retain forever. Artifacts of what my eyes have come across, feelings I have felt or places I have explored.
So when Jérémie stated it was time to plan our next adventure together, despite all the great places in the world they might have been in or all the thrilling things we could do, out of all his suggestions the two I couldn’t get out of my head were Canada and kayaking. Maybe in this case it wasn’t that I wanted to take photos of it all but rather that I wanted to create an experience for him that captures the essence of why I love the oceans and the mountains and how they come together in one place, even if it may not always be my home. Somehow threading together the images in my head of a place I have grown up in to someone who had never before experienced it.
His request was that we make it a photographic endeavour. He hoped I could teach him to use his camera, as I do mine. All failed attempts at using a Canon (that I cannot for the life of me resolve in manual mode) aside, we had three cameras, many adventures and even more memories that really culminated my west coast love and life.
It was a true galavant, like a Parisian “flaneur,” as we moved from place to place on a whim seeing what seemed in the moment the most peaceful and enjoyable elements of this place.
We, the snap-happy tourists, made our way through Vancouver, Whistler, Squamish, Nanaimo (missed ferry means waiting till morning to make the trek west!), Tofino, Ucluelet and back to Vancouver!
-Jérémie somehow on day 2 was perfectly positioned for the ONLY bird we saw overhead around Sunset beach the afternoon of he pride parade and it pooped over the ledge of his glasses somehow avoiding all clothing, though his forehead and glasses were marked. (I’m sure this was a lowlight for him but it was funny and in cleaning his glasses there was a quick water fight at a fountain along the seawall that produced a very cute photo of him)
-White Water Rafting down the Elaho River in Squamish and staying in a little riverside cabin with Sunwolf
-Kayaking and whale watching through the Broken Group Islands of Pacific Rim National Park with Majestic Ocean Kayaking
-Soaking up the luscious coastal rainforest at Cathedral Grove
-Dirty Dancing at Stanley Park with Robyn and Ryan on Jérémie’s last night
-Sea Kelp turned into a fog horn/didgeridoo
-Feeling like a tourist in familiar places
-Irish Music at the pub on Granville after a very, very long walk
-realizing we’d missed all the best hikes that were marked on the worlds smallest signs while on the peak to peak at Whistler/Blackcomb and instead somehow not noticing that we went on the only path it told us NOT to walk on. In such, we probably didn’t enjoy this experience as much as we could have, but I’ve decided that Paradise Meadows up Mt. Washington is nicer, even though it doesn’t have the gondola ride.
-Missing two ferries, one in each direction
-Hitting up Pacific Rim just on time for the clouds to roll in, even if I did expect it.
-Not getting to see what appeared to be the nicest native art/craft shop in Ucluelet because it wasn’t open the entire time we were there
Whistler + Squamish:
Cathedral Grove + the drive to the Pacific Rim
Tofino + Ucluelet
Kayaking + Whale Watching in the Broken Group Islands of the Pacific Rim
*Some photos stolen from Jérémie thus photos of yours truly exist.