I have a confession. Well, three actually. I hesitate to admit these things for I risk alienating some of my readers (and I’m convinced there are only 6 of you to begin with), but it’s time to be brave, so here goes…
Confession #1: I am not really a mountain person. Despite a silly article I recently read that declared introverts (that’s me) prefer mountains over the beach, I must admit, I crave water water water in any form (I’m a Cancer, which is a Water sign). And though I can honestly say I appreciate the mountains with their dense forests, abundant wildlife, dramatic peaks and receding glaciers, they don’t speak to my soul the way bodies of water do. Despite the solitude, and breathtaking views, they’re just not my thing.
Now, I love hiking and mountains provide the perfect environment for packing on a sack (or in our case, 40 pounds of baby) and lugging it up hills, through wildflower-dotted meadows, and over rocks. I truly love that my legs can get me from A to B and find completing a good, long hike incredibly satisfying. But when I look at a hiking guide for a particular area, I choose the hike based on which ones can take me to some form of water, be it a waterfall, lake, river, etc. (Well, and here in Canada, I also factor in which trails have the least bear traffic.) But yeah, the mountains are a vehicle, or a home, if you will, for hidden water and fresh air in my lungs.
This confession is more loaded than it may initially appear. You see, Raj (that’s my hubs – he’s a Capricorn, which is an Earth sign), IS a mountain person! We drive around a bend, and his soul sighs at the sight of each soaring peak with a hint of icy glacier skimming the top. He “oohs” and “aahs” with every picture perfect Sound of Music scene we encounter. And I completely know how he feels; it’s exactly how I feel on every beach vacation. I can sit by the water all day long and never feel bored by the crashing waves in front of me. To me, they are somehow all different. To me, the sounds of the waves, the warmth of the sun on my shoulders, the breeze tickling my cheeks, and steady movement of the sun across the sky, are muses singing to my soul and filling me with peace. Yet Raj is twiddling his thumbs after 3 minutes of searching the surf for a glimpse of a dolphin fin. So, after 10 years since our glorious wedding day, the single greatest threat to our marriage is we can’t agree on whether to take our holidays at the beach or the mountains!
Confession #2: I’m homesick. When we traveled around the world for 4 months is 2009, I got terribly homesick around the 2-month mark too. If you’ve ever felt the dull ache of missing home, you may understand it’s a difficult feeling to describe. It does not mean I want to go home. It isn’t related to missing particular things about being home either (Raj keeps asking what exactly I miss and is mystified that I have no answer). It also has nothing to do with how much fun I’m having and how much I’m looking forward to our plans ahead (albeit very loose plans). Instead, it’s sort of like that nagging feeling when you know you’ve forgotten something but can’t remember what it is and your mind keeps searching and combing over things… Or maybe it’s similar to when you have a tiny irritation in your mouth that your tongue involuntarily and incessantly investigates? In any case, my mind just keeps drifting to home… to friends… to the familiar.
Confession #3: I am ambivalent about going off-grid. Part of me wants to completely unplug – you know, ditch the blog, no emails, no Facebook, no phone, no news of home or the world – just me and my family, in the present, surrounded by nature. But then my practical side cries out – you know, the one that’s been programmed into me by my upbringing in a first world country and by parents who love me and my family and want to know we are safe, and perhaps because I’m somewhat superstitious and believe in Murphy’s Law… in any case, I am filled with anxiety about the prospect of going dark for more than a few days.
All these confession ramblings actually have a point. For all of these reasons, we’ve decided to start heading west to Canada’s coast. Even Raj has had his fill of mountains, mountains and more mountains (seriously, since we reached Colorado, we’ve been traveling North along the incredible Rocky Mountains, so Raj’s soul-tank is full). We are currently in Jasper National Park, and had to choose between heading northwest into a vast world that would take us farther off-grid and close to Alaska, or southwest to Vancouver. We’ve compromised on heading almost due west to a Marine town called Bella Bella. This route will require us to backtrack a couple days once we get there because there are so few roads on the coast. We hope to get lucky and secure a ferry crossing down to Vancouver Island, but last we checked they were booked up until late September. We found a guest ranch that accepts RVs along the way, so we will stop there and if it’s as great as it sounds, we may stay a while and see if we can get the kids (and even Chai) to love horses like we do! Whatever we find, we expect our connection to the world to be spotty for a bit longer, but we’ll eventually keep you posted!