It was below zero and late at night in Cheakamus when we stood naked out in the forest. Arms stretched to the moon and inhaling the scent of cedar, I had accepted Paul’s ‘dare.’ Teeth chattering, I was also the first to buckle and scamper back into our cabin’s warmth.
Our prior discussion had been heated, had been hard. Two strong individuals at the outset of a journey – discovering new worlds as much as ourselves. Being confronted by challenges amplifies our weaknesses as much as our strengths and Canada’s extreme winter this year had frustrated our plans. With a myriad of options of what to do next Paul suggested we start with ourselves and answer the question: “Are we focusing too much on the destination instead of the journey?”
Defining the journey we wished for ourselves was a profoundly intimate discussion and a very special moment for me. Articulating what we value we realised many things. We value experiencing people over places and it’s those experiences that count, not simply reaching destinations pre-set in our minds.
So we decided to stay awhile and do some local exploring, then head back to Vancouver Island until Canada warms, before attempting to head north to Alaska. It has been wonderful to slow down and open up to what’s around us. Yesterday we enjoyed an afternoon picnic on the pebbly banks of the Cheakamus River, fly fishing and snacking on salmon, crackers & cheese and a bottle of British Colombia red. Today started with a fresh dusting of snow and after a breakfast of pancakes and bacon we explored the back roads. Riding ‘till the dirt road ended and I was just too wet and exhausted from falling too many times.
Journeys are a bit like making loving. If you’re too focused on the destination rather than the journey, you often stand in your own way of ‘getting there’ I think.