I took my envy in both hands – and my courage – I set off entirely on my own to visit Banff and Jasper National Parks, the Canadian Rockies. I was far from imagining what to expect. From beauties in galleys, from loneliness to the tourist crowd, overpriced accommodation to harsh nights. First time not planning anything, and it might be the last!
A year of dreaming of these landscapes that the whole world admires.
Weeks am I looking for the cheapest: renting a car or going on an organized tour? Hours of comparing, considering all options, sending messages to find fellow travelers. Finally, I rent a car in Banff and go on my own. I leave it to nature, to chance, to encounters, to my desires. I’m leaving without an itinerary, without a reservation, only a return date. Nine days to explore, get lost and find each other.
It could have gone well…
… If the weather had not been so erratic, between clouds, wind, rain, cold… It is mid-June, some lakes are still frozen, and the snow makes me wade, slide, even fall while hiking… Almost a year that I am in Canada, and I saw the summer five days, absolute despair begins to take birth in me. I can’t say enough about how the weather determines my mood. The colors and contrasts are so different when big black clouds fill the sky with gray. I swear to you that Lake Louise, without the turquoise water highlighted by the sun, is not so crazy…
… If my loneliness was not paradoxically opposed to coaches crowded with tourists, hikes in single file, swarming viewpoints of the 300 or so people around me. I am neither alone nor accompanied. The click-click of the burst photos starts to make me cringe. The selfie saddens me even more with every stop. Nature in all its splendor has become a pretext for the new Facebook photo. We take it from all angles, forgetting to admire and let ourselves be touched by the essentials since we think of the framing, his skin, his hair and am I not looking too fat there? I dreamed of calm, of listening to the birds, of singing in the forest… I had not planned to do a concert for the 30 people around.
… If the accommodation weren’t so expensive! I have never seen that! Youth hostels for $ 60. So yes, these are luxury hostels. It’s as beautiful as everything, but do they understand the principle of backpacking? Traveling on a budget! Not to mention that the homes are all stormed! You can’t show up unexpectedly, thinking you’ll find a room with the snap of your fingers, unless you’ve got $ 200 to spare. Tourist, I told you! Ciao spontaneity, adventure, chance! Otherwise, it’s camping. And again, first come, first served. I tested it. I gave up after spending a night in my car in the backseat. Each member was so stiff that I would wake up in the middle of the night to moan. For nine days, I was bored buying and carrying a tent, the mattress and the inflator… So instead of enjoying the landscapes with the flowers in the wind, I spent my day wondering how I would find a solution to sleep… I found myself in the most rustic inns in the country, without electricity or running water, shelters that you pay 30dol. An excellent experience for a few nights. If you like washing dishes in dirty water, not taking a shower after a day of trudging, being eaten by mosquitoes, especially when you pee-poo on the dry toilet who are disgusting and stinky, BUT have a breathtaking view of the mountains and the small river, share the campfire with real travelers at the roots. Magic and authenticity! For a long time during my travels, I closed my eyes. Now I can’t stand it…
Finally, if I had been accompanied, we would surely have laughed!
It is in those moments, of ultimate despair, when you do not know where you are going or how you are going to sleep when it is raining, that you do not enjoy as you would like, and that it costs you an arm in addition! That being at least two warms the heart. Because together we overcome the slack, the fears, the hardships, the hardships, we exceed our limits, and we take it more lightly. Sleeping in the forest together is immediately more reassuring. Beyond sharing the expenses, the hikes, and pleasures, being with someone can count on the energy, experience, knowledge, and brain of the other to find a solution together and support each other, whatever happens. When you’re alone, you have to get them well in your positive resources!
The difference is that with someone, everything around you takes on a different resonance.
The energy of the emotions that pass through us, caused by the adventures we live, the landscapes that amaze us, circulate from one to another. It echoes between our bodies and amplifies it over and over again. This is the magic of being several!