Right at the start of this year, I got an email with the subject line, ‘INVITATION: iTrekHere CANADA 2018.’ Just seeing the subject line made my heart skip a beat and I opened it hoping my eyes weren’t deceiving me. To my joy, the email delivered what the subject line promised, a spot on TrekAmerica‘s annual iTrekHere trip and a chance to visit Canada. Of course, I wrote back and said yes right away. I then immediately began the countdown to June 9, when my southern hemisphere feet would touch down in Canada and kick off one heck of an adventure!
The trip came around really quickly and I had an incredible time exploring Canada on ‘The Mountie‘ tour, meeting the other creators on the trip and our two amazing tour leaders, Heather and Will. If you want to catch up on the detail of what we got up to, you can read my weekly diary posts, ‘The Week That Was,’ here and here. But today, I want to share with you a few of my favourite photos from the trip. So many good memories! It was hard to choose my favourites but these ones take the cake – let me know which ones you love and if you’ve ever visited Canada before!
A huge thank you to TrekAmerica for inviting me, I had an amazing time! I’ll have some videos from the trip coming soon and, of course, a few more written guides to help anyone thinking of doing the same trip through Canada.
Alright, let’s kick this blog post off with this absolute RIPPER of a photo! In the foreground, you have our epic tour leaders Heather and Will and, in the background, a few of us! On this particular day, we were at the British Columbia border and Heather and Will had decided to wear matching outfits, leading them to look like twins. The trip videographer, Greg, grabbed my camera and started hyping them up, getting them to pose like a 90’s hip-hop duo and the resulting photograph really sums up the entire vibe of our trip! EPIC!
Somewhere along the trip, Heather had the brilliant idea to tie her Canadian flag to a stick and, as you can see, it absolutely MAKES a photograph! We took it everywhere with us, including on our three-hour hike on the incredible Athabasca Glacier. The sky was bright blue, the sun shining overhead and the wind blowing like crazy. I was wearing fingerless gloves and ended up with wind burnt fingers from trying to use my camera but it was well worth it. I also ended up with a bright red, horribly burnt nose (ONLY my nose) because I didn’t put sunscreen on. Still worth it!
One thing I really didn’t expect from the trip was to fall back in love with photography. I guess over the past year or so I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed it and felt, at times, like I had to take photos rather than taking them because I wanted to capture something. We visited so many special places, the photography opportunities were endless and I found myself naturally spotting things I wanted to photograph and really enjoying the process again. In Jasper National Park the pattern on these leaves caught my eye and I had to get a photo of them. This is the kind of photo I love to take, close-up shots of lovely little details, especially on flowers or trees.
The first day of our trip kicked off in Banff and we headed up Tunnel Mountain to take in the views of Banff and Mount Rundle. The walk up was harder than I anticipated and I honestly thought about turning back more than a few times but the views from the top were well worth it. In fact, they were so good, I didn’t want to leave. The photo on the right was the first proper photo of the trip for me and it perfectly captures just how happy I was to be there and have the opportunity to be part of the trip, exploring Canada.
We found ourselves in Wells Gray for a few days and one warm, sunny afternoon I spotted three very lovely horses at our campsite. This lad was pushing his head through the gate, trying to get his teeth on the juicy, fresh grass on the other side. I put down my book and walked over, ripping some grass out to feed him. He was pretty cheeky and would’ve much preferred I grabbed more grass and petted him less. Either way, he was happy to pose for a few photos in exchange for food. SAME.
Of course, no trip to Banff is complete without a visit to Lake Louise! On a particularly cold and windy day, we headed down to Lake Louise to take some photos and let it all soak in. Some of the group opted to go for a walk around the water’s edge while I decided to hang out with Instagram stars @ZoeLondonDJ and @LeanneLimWalker. Together with team photographer, Kaye Ford, they taught me a couple of things about lookin cute for photos, which is how these two came about!
After Lake Louise (or was it before?) we headed to Emerald Lake and climbed into canoes for a quick paddle around the lake. Heather popped on a teddy bear costume head, strapped on her Canadian flag and took off for a hilariously perfect photo. I went with something a little more traditional and got this shot. I had to paddle for so long because I did a lap for the videographer, then a lap for VickyFlipFlop and another lap for ZoeLondonDj! Seriously, my upper body was in agony but it was an awesome workout for all thos TimBits I’d been scoffing down.
Is there nothing the Canadian flag can’t do? It makes everything look cooler! We were, surprise, surprise, at the Alberta border when we jumped out for some photos. I happened to get these two epic shots of me going FULL Canada!
At Abraham Lake I did a short hike with our tour leader, Will. We talked about home a lot, we’re both from Australia, while following the path down to the beach. Once we got down to the water’s edge I had to feel the water and, you guessed it, it was freezing! So, we found the perfect rock and sat for a while just soaking it all in while chatting about our families. Will was gracious enough to be a stand-in model for me to get this shot and he also had a go at using my camera to get a few photos of me too. I think I’ve got him hooked on photography!
These two shots are from two very different places! The photo on the left was taken at the Miette Hot Springs, about an hour from Jasper. We all opted for the old-school, vintage swimsuits and got a few photos. The photo on the right is taken at Helmken Falls, probably my favourite waterfall I saw on the trip. It reminded me very much of Iceland and the stunning waterfalls there!
Alright! Last but not least, here are two photos of me very casually reading a book haha! In all seriousness, I really was reading this book here, taking some time out for a quiet, introvert moment in the afternoon sun. It was delicious!
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.