Tuesday, January 3, 2012

4 Months Later...

It's now been four months that we have been home. The trip really feels like a lifetime ago, and even though my life is almost 180 degrees from when we set out on our venture, coming home has been almost like slipping into those comfy old pair of jeans you had almost forgot about. Almost.

To be honest life is great. The transition back to school and work has been interesting but I think we have both finally gotten used to cooking with an oven, being able to have our own space and once again peeing indoors. I have officially finished my first semester of University, and I actually managed to do it with flying colours, much to my surprise. I guess having a little perspective on life really makes you value education and being provided an amazing avenue to learn new and interesting things. Geology is facsinating to me. Trying to understand how the earth is formed and what processes have undergone to create the mountains outside my doorstep that I love so much. Physics was a bigger challange, but with a live-in tutor and an incredibly smart father, I really had no option but to get perfect grades. I now drive the icy Alberta roads wondering whether my All-Terrain tires will overcome that maximum static friction point and start sliding with kinetic friction into the snowbanks. Luckily I don't have to be too worried this week as it is supposed to get up to a ridiculous 14 degrees!

Andrew is deep into winter, coaching young ski racers about both the importance of arcing a clean turn as well as being passionate about life and everything it has to offer. I took a couple of runs with the group at Lake Louise the other day and was stoked to see the amazing improvements in thier race skills, thier free skiing and the great individuals they are turning into. The race season starts soon and it will be cool to track thier progress through the rest of the year.

I still dream of the easy life of travelling. Miles of road passing by under the wheels and thinking of what wonders lie just around the next corner. Dicovering new landscapes and new cultures. Understanding more about myself with every obstacle and success that passes by. However, with the culmination of the trip of a lifetime, I have uncovered something even greater than all that. I have discovered, just as Proust so eloquently said

"The voyage of discovery consists not of seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes".

I have come to believe that with all of my heart as I reach out and seek to discover all that Western Canada has to offer. I have lived here for 22 years and not until September 2011 when we returned home did I truly underestand in what an incredible place I am lucky enough to live. I have been winter camping, making new friends, reconnecting with old friends, skiing new lines, touring up new mountains, dropping new cliffs, climbing new routes, learning how to impart my knowledge and experience of ski racing onto younger up-and-comers, and discovering the formations of the world. Although I still dream of the open road, I am not yet ready to drive it. There is too much to discover right under the tip of my nose.

Here are a few pictures of Christmas break. One of the best in recent memory. Lots of food, friends, family, shredding and laughter. A perfect end to a milestone year. Thanks to everyone who was involved in makining 2011 a year to remember!

Kumu hit an amazing milestone just before Christmas. 300000kms and still going strong.

My new friend Mary introduced me to winter camping on the shores of Lake Minnewanka. Luckily for me it didnt snow too much and we had an amazing time!

I managed to reconnect with some old Alberta Ski Team friends. It was really great to catch up doing something we all love to do! Ski friends are friends for life!

Chris's (my brother) backyard in Revelstoke, B.C. where we spent a great Christmas as a family. I loved the tropical pool scene draped with a blanket of snow.

Mom and I stoked about shredding the gnar!

My dad tearing up the slopes at Revy!

The whole family chair ride. Cant ask for a better Christmas!

Except adding Andrew to the mix made it perfect!

A perfect depiction of my Christmas break. Andrew killing it on a bluebird day in the powder of Revelstoke.