This post is in partnership with Cariboo Chilcotin Coast. All opinions expressed are my own.
The first time I visited Canada I was four years old.
I was the flower girl in my uncle's wedding. My family and I had made the drive up to Butchart Gardens from Southern California — it felt like forever. I remember the flowers, and being scared to walk down the aisle. Years later, I was back on Canadian soil with my family while on a trip to see Niagara Falls. Years later, it was an Alaskan cruise. Still years after that, it was an anniversary trip to Vancouver with Nick.
Each time I've visited our northern neighbor I have fallen in love with Canada more and more.
It's ironic that while living in such a mountainous region I often find myself drawn to similar places all over the world. It's no secret I love calling Lake Tahoe home, but what I love even more is discovering similar mountain cultures all over the world. Whether it's ski resorts in Montana or the Swiss Alps, mountain folk just speak a language all our own. We're rugged. We take risks. We deeply appreciate beauty — so much so, we want to be surrounded by it constantly. While I'm fortunate that my career lends itself to unique travel opportunities, very rarely do I travel solo.
It's time to rectify that. This summer, I can't wait to dip into a land without limits: British Columbia's stunning Cariboo Chilcotin Coast. Bald eagles and tranquil mornings spent with a mug of black coffee await. Memories await.
The region of British Columbia known as Cariboo Chilcotin Coast spans 100,000 square kilometers, from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Cariboo Mountain foothills in the east. It’s vast: a land of woods and waterbeds; craggy peaks and rolling ranges. Mountains are complemented by oceans; oceans are complemented by wide-open spaces. Here, there's plenty of room to feel like the only human on the planet.
Which is exactly what I'm after.
The first time I took a solo trip to a foreign country also happens to be the last time I've done so, a fact that makes my heart ache a little even while typing this. Last time it was (literally) getting lost in jungles outside Puerto Vallarta, but this time, I'm after mountain-scapes. I'm not sure yet if the focus will be plein air painting (something I haven't done since college), working on my writing, or simply bringing a journal and camera. Whatever the medium, you can bet I will bring my backpacking gear for at least one overnight mission.
This is self-care to the wildest degree. Because the best way to explore Cariboo Chilcotin Coast is by getting outside.
The Coast, home to the Great Bear Rainforest, will definitely be on the agenda. I am obsessed with orca whales and hope to spot some — always a majestic sight to spot killer whales in the wild! While journeying to the rugged Chilcotin, the goal will be glacier lakes, horseback riding and just getting lost in the epicness. Cariboo country will involve hiking and exploring old pioneer settlements. I'm looking forward to getting to know the history of the area better.
All of my trips to Canada have been memorable and special in their own right, and I know this will be no different. I can't wait to explore the wild, rugged region of Cariboo Chilcotin Coast — and simultaneously discover the wild, rugged regions inside of me.
All photos in this post courtesy Cariboo Chilcotin Coast.