MY EXPERIENCE OF SPENDING A MONTH IN THE “MIDDLE OF NOWHERE”
I’m re-inventing myself very often, even against my will so many times. The adventure of life is so full of every possibility and for me, taking the risk of exploring everything I can in life, leads to all emotions. Love, heartbreak, fear, bliss, creativity and inspiration.
This is the well from which all my writing emerges. Surrender to how the flow of life leads me is in fact my spiritual practice. And for these last few months I have been from Sardinia, Italy to Yukon, Whistler, around Canada and Europe. Jumping into unknown waters, for me, never discovered places, trying new crazy and exiting things. Meeting people I’m probably never going to see again, but they sure did leave a nice memory in my heart… I went nowhere without coming back with a pocket full of great memories and lessons learnt. The best education life can give you.
Learning more about commitment and devotion, friendships and relationships between people, than I thought I already knew.
And from this white water rapid life I have chosen I have found myself writing in the middle of the night as the sun blazes at 3am. Weird, but I’ve always been the most productive in the middle of the night and when I see the first sunrise signs, I’m way too excited to go to sleep. I’d always go outside and enjoy as the light becomes brighter and the last stars disappear from the sky.
My first couple months of the 2016-17 winter season, in Whistler were pretty intense. It was pretty much riding all day, partying all night. Trying to squeeze in some hours of work on the down days so I could afford the whole thing. But I somehow managed to do so, here I am, still alive. The energy that you get from that place is beyond amazing. Meeting so many random people every day, from all over the world. Pretty much, with the same mindset, driven by the same crazy things. Like the need for skiing or riding, getting better every day, slamming flats in the park all the time and surfing through the powder days.
All of a sudden, I got a work opportunity in Yukon, to help at the Heliski hut in Atlin. I remember talking to my friend a couple days later. I asked him if he’d be down to go work up north with me for a month. Neither one of us, is from Canada, but we haven’t actually left BC since we got here, so it was an interesting opportunity
We left late February.
There’s something about spending time in remote places. I’m pretty sure it’s just easier for everyone to take a breathe and relax, for the first time in a while, after living in the upbeat place like Whistler, in my case. Do you ever look back, a month or maybe even a year and you say to yourself; Dude, my mindset changed so much. I think I’m seeing things in so many different perspectives that I did a year ago, for example. But how does it happen and why? I’m pretty sure there’s no actual formula or a process to completely change your mind. Things like that happen, associated with different events in life maybe, or (in my case), visiting different places.
Spending so much time up North, in Atlin was one of those mindset-changers in my life.
I feel like the biggest impact were the mountains and the feeling of living in isolation, surrounded by endless majestic exterior. It makes you think how small you actually are on this planet. Made me realize that we’re just these little human beings, getting lost on our way around the world. And that was one of the things that kind of pumped up the idea of keep exploring the world, or explore it even more.
> In Atlin, there was no such a thing like a coffee shop or something that I could go and get food, enjoy the meal and maybe get some work done. And things like a general store for example, were open just a couple hours per day, but it totally depended on the owner… It’s a town of couple hundred people, in the middle of nowhere, 3 hours away from Whitehorse a.k.a. the nearest ‘civilization’. So I’d say it was pretty hard to get food. I learned pretty fast that I can forget about trying to satisfy my 3 am munchie midnight cravings. And it did good ot me. Trust me.
But luckily on Fridays, the local bakery was open and I was usually off work that day.
There was a snow blizzard outside so I’d get dressed like a polar bear, put my snowboard boots on and headed out. I got some homemade brownies, a pumpkin cheesecake tea and had a lovely chat with the cute lady running the bakery. One thing I loved about this small town is, that people here are like one huge family, everyone knows each other and they look out after one another, if you ever need help with anything they’re more than happy to do anything for you…
We had lots of fun, did so many different things and tried some crazy stuff I wouldn’t imagine myself doing before.
I learned a lot, that’s for sure, met different people, locals and passing travellers. We shared our stories and they shared their stories from different places. We toed behind the snowmobile and enjoyed the powder from the lake, took tours with heli and saw amazing mountains. I haven’t seen anything alike in my life! We visited hot springs near Whitehorse, took pictures in snow blizzards and listened to the gold miner’s stories about working up North, in the evening. We could go on for days, without having a proper meal but we didn’t care much!
Then it was work and work and work every day, making clients happy and fed. Freezing my fingers off every day at -30 degrees, while holding a camera and trying to do a proper focus in the snow storm. Then lots of anger and frustration, because the it was too cold for a drone to fly, another day it was too windy, then someone forgot the sd card or the spare battery, it was always something! Even if we wanted to go party at night, we were too tired because of the work or staying up late, editing, the day before.
But it was all worth it.
It was an amazing experience and I made a lot of memories that I’ll cherish in my heart for ever. It did feel kind of weird, going back to Whistler and live in a big crowd again, after all that peace and remoteness.
Pretty funny, isn’t it that you never know what could happen! Things can change in a second. I figured, that is way better, to plan as less as possible and let yourself be surprised with different situations and how the turn out!
Oh, I remember one casual Monday, that was one of those days!
Me and the crew, including my little brother that was visiting for the week and my new friend from England decided to go and try to find hot springs! A quick half an hour drive from Atlin, and we were close. Unfortunately, we missed the turn to the hot springs spot and try to make a turn in a very snowy road. And at some point, we drove into the ditch and got stuck. A beautiful situation, what can you do! We started to dig and move and dig and turn and push and dig again, try to push more but no luck.
Ha! No signal or houses, or signs of people living, miles around! Me and Harriet, walked to the hot spring spot and found a very cute chalet. But there was nobody there. Funny, how people here would just leave all their things, and cars and snowmobiles and leave for couple days. Anyways, we headed back to the car and found out that (luckily), we brought a satellite phone with us. Tried to call once, twice, three times… No luck! Pushed again, we dug we spanned…. I think at the end we kind of gave up and went with the situation. I thought to myself ‘what if we have to spend a night here’? Like we had nothing, no sleeping bags, or warmer jackets.
Then out of nowhere, like two angels from the sky, a car of locals came. It was trickier than I thought but they toed us out and we were saved!
Later on, when day rolled into the night and it got darker, we decided to go out! I spend a whole month here, so basically saying that I had just one favourite night is not enough! But, for sure at least one of the best happened on that exact Monday night. It all started with Josie and the girls in Rec Center (bar downtown) and ended in the Discovery bar at 1 am dancing on the “Was the son of a preacher man”. Continued with the casual sneak into the outside hut tub and enjoying the mountain view, sparkling in moonshine and the sky full of stars.
In our last days here, Lukas and me took a mini road trip.
The drive was super nice, full of huge lakes with interesting names like Snafu, Tagish or Marsh… We drove couple hours North, stopped at the cute little town called Carcross and continued driving more north and ended up in Whitehorse. We spent a couple hours there, weather was ugly and snowy and cold. Not ideal. Later on, we took a little spa break and visited Takini hot springs (a half an hour drive from the city centre).
> At the end, what I learnt the most (or I’m still learning) is letting go. Unforgtunately, one of the down sides of wanting to travel and be all wanderlusty all the time, is that, meeting all those great people that you meet, also saying goodbye to them. I spend days or weeks, sometime even months with certain people, made really good friends but at the end, you always have to be the one who walks away, because of the need for a fresh new adventure or new country that still has to be visited.
But it’s part of life. Life of a gyspy traveler.