How I am Preparing for the Trip of a Lifetime

Next week,  I will be going to Canada. CANADA. To say I am a little excited is an understatement.
Anyone who knows me will know how much I love orcas and have always been desperate to see them in the wild. In only a few short days (5, to be precise!) I will be seeing killer whales in the wild and ticking the number one thing off my bucket list. I feel all emosh just thinking about it.

Vancouver, baby.

As if the orcinus orcas aren’t enough we fly in to Vancouver and will also be road tripping to the National Parks, Banff and Jasper, climbing some mountains and sleeping under the stars and I can’t bloody WAIT!

 I thought I’d share a few little pre-trip thoughts so I can look back and remember what I did in preparation of this soon to be amazing trip.

1. Whale O’Clock
Ever since seeing orcas painted on the wall of the swimming pool in my local leisure centre, I have been fascinated by these amazing creatures. They are a magnificent, intelligent, powerful apex predator with an emotional capacity and sense of empathy we are only just beginning to appreciate.


Seeing orcas in the wild where they belong always seemed like a pipe dream until I woke up one morning last September and said ‘bugger it- let’s go and do this!’. I can’t wait for the moment when the very first black dorsal fin appears out of the water and to hear that first exhale and the ‘shoosh’ of water that follows- argh! As I said, I really do like whales a lot.
I’ve instructed the boyf. that he is on camera duty as I know I will be a blubbering mess before I even step on the boat- he’s a lucky lad. We are apparently also going at a great time to see humpback whales so I just cannot wait to ugly cry tears of absolute joy.
We are hoping to do a few whale watching sessions while we are out there and I already can’t wait to plan our next trip to other amazing places in the world to see orcas in the wild: a whale obsession is a reasonable enough excuse to book some holidays to Norway and New Zealand consecutively, right? Answers on a postcard, please.

Jasper National Park, wowzers!

2. Pants preparation
I am a serious worrier, particularly when it comes to packing. We are going away for three weeks and I already have list upon list of what I need to remember to bring. How many cans of Deet should I pack? Will SPF 30 be enough? Do I really need waterproof trousers? How many pants are too many pants?! Do I pack twenty one pairs, plus spares? Do I even own twenty one pairs of knickers?! One of life’s greatest dilemmas.

Beautiful Banff.

Of course I will undoubtedly end up bringing an excessive amount of underwear for any woman and also half the contents of my wardrobe so I am prepared for every scenario. I think this is incredibly sensible given that Banff National Park can be 26 degrees one day and snowing the next. I intend to follow Scar from The Lion King’s mantra to a tee and be prepared.

3. Swotting up
The Pacific Northwest has always been a part of the world that interests me; the wildlife, the beautiful scenery, a chance encounter with Jacob Black or even more excitingly coming face to face with Bigfoot. If NK thinks I won’t be doing some wood knocks à la BoBo and Matt Moneymaker from Finding Bigfoot he is sorely mistaken. (If you haven’t watched this programme you really should- it is science at its best which as to be seen to be believed… )
I am also really fascinated with First Nation history and the mysticism that surrounds such a beautiful part of the world. Vancouver and its surrounds are steeped in cultural and historical significance; from the totem poles of Stanley Park to the monolith of Chief Katawan that overlooks Squamish and beyond, I just can’t wait to get there and soak up as much information as I can.

4. Spontaneity
Being a full-time worrier means I am occasionally less inclined to do things on a whim. This entire trip was booked on said whim and I love the idea of how much freedom we will have when we get there. Of course, I’ve got a list as long as my arm of all the things I want to do and see in Vancouver but after that the world is our oyster. If there’s something we want to do or see that day, we can just jump in our car and do it. That’s really exciting. I know this trip will fly by because there will be so much to do and see but I know a huge thrill for me will be just living in the moment; going on that hike, watching that sunset, staying in that cute B&B, eating my weight in pancakes and maple syrup and just generally living it up, Canadian style. If I don’t come back saying ‘eh’ at the end of every sentence I will be disappointed. Eh.

5. Food, Glorious Food
Tim Hortons and maple syrup on everything. COME AT ME!

Bears. Eek.

6. Beavers, Moose and Bears, Oh My!
Of course it is not only whales that we may be encountering as Canada has a whole host of critters that I really hope we will get to see on this incredible trip.
All the research I’ve done indicates that you never know who or what you’ll stumble across on a National Park trail so I am just excited (also slightly terrified) to potentially see such amazing wildlife in person. Of course, I hope any bear encounters turn out to be more life affirming and less Leo in The Revenant. What a story to tell regardless; unless, of course, it is the latter in which case please tell my dog I love her.

I feel so fortunate to be going on this trip with my best buddy in the world and share the adventure of a lifetime together. Prepare yourselves for a ridiculous amount of Canada spam here on on my return.

CANADA, here we come!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *