A look at the week that was and a little insight into the #bloglife, sharing things I just can’t share anywhere else!
Highlights of the week
It has been a HECK of a week and I’ve got so much to catch you up on! I’m currently sitting in the Jasper library enjoying my first proper access to my laptop, power and wifi since the trip started. It’s a delicious little bit of work time and the perfect opportunity to share all the awesome things that have happened since I got to Canada.
I left Brisbane on Saturday morning and set off on a 14-hour direct flight to Vancouver. It was my first time flying with AirCanada and I gotta say, it was as good as you could possibly hope for when it comes to 14 hours in economy haha! The plane is nice and spacious, the seats are comfortable, they’ve got some good movies and a few spots you can stand and stretch pretty easily. I was also impressed with the food – some of the best vegetarian food I’ve had in economy!
I arrived in Vancouver feeling very rough as I hadn’t slept at all. My flight time was a bit funny, I boarded at around 10:40am Brisbane time and arrived at around 1am Brisbane time so it wasn’t quite the right time for sleeping. After a few hours layover, I boarded my final flight to Calgary and caught the shuttle from the airport to the hotel. By the time I arrived, I was absolutely exhausted and went straight up to the room, got into bed and crashed out. At some point, our tour leader from TrekAmerica, Heather, called me and let me know we were meeting at 8:30pm for dinner. I went back to sleep and woke up just before we had to meet.
The 10-day trip is a media or press trip with TrekAmerica and all the other people on the tour are bloggers, Instagrammers or YouTubers! We’re doing a tour called ‘The Mountie!’ It’s good having a group of creatives to travel with because you’re all in the same boat, you know. There’s no real awkward, ‘ice-breaker’ moments needed as everyone just jumps in and starts chatting about their platform – it’s easy. After dinner at a local pub, we went back to the hotel and I got straight back into bed for more sleep.
Surprisingly, I woke up feeling really refreshed and somehow managed to avoid being too jet-lagged! Maybe sleep deprivation is the trick?! We packed our suitcases into the TrekAmerica van and set off for Banff, our first proper day on the tour. Now, look, when I was packing for this trip I had a very different idea of what the Canadian summer would be like. I was picturing warm weather, sunshine, shorts and t-shirt weather! Turns out, it can still be very cold in Summer, especially if you’re used to a warm climate like I am. I was very thankful I’d changed my mind at the last moment when I was packing and thrown in loads of jeans, layers, thermals, beanies, jumpers and weatherproof coats!
I had to put on loads of extra layers to rug up before we set off on our first hike, a trip up Tunnel Mountain with amazing views of Mount Rundle (Matt’s favourite mountain, which you might remember as his tattoo of choice in our Tattoo Roulette video). After some time exploring Banff, we headed to the campground to get set up then went to dinner at a restaurant in town. It was a great first day but I was 100% ready for bed and a great night’s sleep… which is the opposite of how my night unfolded.
At about 12:30pm I woke up absolutely freezing! I was so cold I thought I was going to vomit but I was too scared to crawl out of the tent to vomit in case I attracted a bear haha so, I began doing some deep breathing to calm myself down. You see, my silly Queensland mind had severely underestimated the Canadian summer (again) and packed the entirely wrong kind of sleeping bag! I put on as many clothes as I could, layered my super thick ski-style jackets on top of my body and tried to warm up my hands and feet. In my mind, I kept thinking about the ‘127 hours’ dude haha I kept saying to myself, “If that dude can cut his own arm off with a penknife and hike out of that canyon, you can make it through one cold night,’ hahaha! The next day I went and bought a VERY warm sleeping bag in Banff and everything has been fine since! Lesson learned.
We had another day exploring Banff and the surrounding areas, including Emerald Lake and Lake Louise, then set off for Jasper National Park. We had a huge day, waking up at 4:30am, packing up our gear at 5am and hitting the road by 5:30am. Our guides, Heather and Will, took us to an incredible viewpoint along the Icefields Parkway before we headed to Abraham Lake. While everyone else did a helicopter ride I did a short hike with tour leader Will along the lake, taking in some amazing views of the mountains and river. Afterwards, we climbed back in the van and set off for a hike on the Athabasca Glacier. We drove to the campsite in Jasper, set up our tents then headed out for dinner, getting back to the campsite around 11pm. It was a HUGE day and an awesome one too!
I haven’t had too much access to wifi so things have been a bit patchy for me with sharing photos on Instagram and blog posts here. But, like I said, I’m at the library in Jasper for a good few hours today so I’m hoping to get things sorted and up to date today. I need to charge ALL my batteries, get things downloaded, reply to loads of emails and comments and just get back on top of everything.
The trip really has been amazing so far and I’m feeling like I’m getting back into photography. I guess it’s easy when you’re somewhere as beautiful as Canada! After the TrekAmerica trip wraps up, Matt and I will be backtracking to most of the places I’m visiting now so I’m taking notes on where I want to go back to, things I’ve missed and really want to do etc. It’ll be so nice to have more time to experience each place, it’s all so beautiful I really don’t want to have to leave each day!
Well, I better get stuck into the other things I need to do before we leave here. Be sure to keep an eye out on Instagram for new photos and Insta-story videos!
Have a great weekend, I’ll talk to you next week with more updates. P xx
Watch the brand new video up on our YouTube channel this week!
Phoebe is a travel writer and photographer with a love for storytelling and making people laugh. Matt is a videographer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and big adventures. Together we inspire big adventures through our guides, videos, vlogs and photographs. Find out more about us here.