Africa is My Therapy
Nov01

Africa is My Therapy

When lost in life, I’ve often looked to travel to be my therapy. I did so on my East Coast roadtrip through the US recently, and it just didn’t seem to really work. Then, I decided that maybe I needed a bit of Africa. I was right. In particular, Lesotho has been the best therapy. From the second I rolled across the border from South Africa into Lesotho I knew I was going to love it. The ruggedness, the wild attitude, the fierce mountains; it’s just stunning. On my first day in the country, I pushed towards a place called Bokong Nature Reserve. The reserve is over this incredible mountain pass where you drive over 3200m above sea level and through some of the most spectacular scenery. Unfortunately for me, the reserve is closed – and seems to have been closed for a little while. I’m told that they are doing maintenance to the park infrastructure. It’s a shame, because the views from there are special. I would have loved to have been able to sit up there and shoot some images. Instead, I drove back an hour to one of the few guesthouses in this part of Lesotho. The following day was a bit of an adventure. When going back down the other side of the pass near Bokong, I smashed into a large rock and bent the rim of my wheel. In doing so, I got a flat tire. Thankfully, the only tourists I’d seen in all of Lesotho thus far happened to pass by. They lent a hand changing the tire, and I headed off to a bush mechanic to try to repair it. Thankfully, I found a great bush mechanic at a gas station in basically the middle of nowhere. He hammered the rim back somewhat into shape, and I carried on. Finally, I ended my day in Semonkong where I made a short hike out to a waterfall called Maletsunyane which may be Lesotho’s tourism calling card. It is stunning. I can’t wait to come back out and photograph it in coming days. Some Photos from the Hike I’ll show you Melatsunyane Falls on the next post since I have a dedicated post about them. But, for now, here are some more images from the hike out there and back. What’s Next I’ve got at least a full day here in Semonkong, and I plan on spending it with a mix of work, relaxation, and then a hike out to the waterfall again. Then, I’ve got a couple more days here in Lesotho to...

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Off to Europe
Oct08

Off to Europe

Since I started this job 7 years ago, I don’t think I’ve ever been so ready to jump in a plane and head off to work as I was when I left for this trip. This past month was really heavy. It was a tough emotional month. And, if felt like it just dragged on and on. I’m really thankful for this month, too, though. It’s been a bit eye-opening. I think it’s pulled me back to being the person I really am; and made me realize what I want moving forward. I’m really grateful for all the challenges of this past month because they brought me to a better place personally. But, it was definitely a slog. My trip to Europe was a bit of a roundabout because I had no idea what projects were going to happen, or where I needed to be. So, a while ago, I just booked a flight to Paris. It was cheap as chips. I paid 120usd from Toronto to Paris. Like, how does that even happen? Sketchy Landing On my quick layover in Iceland I was reminded of how wild it can be there. When we were landing, the wind was blowing so hard it nearly knocked the plane out of the air. It felt like we were drifting into the landing. Honestly, it was so sketchy I was sure the pilot was going to bail on landing and pull up. But, these pilots always amaze me. Despite us seemingly flying sideways, they managed to put the plane on the ground so smoothly we hardly felt the plane touch the tarmac. To give you an idea how windy it was, our plane was rocking so hard after we landed that you almost couldn’t safely stand up. It was so windy, they couldn’t use the air-bridge to link us to the airport. We had to walk off the plane and down the runway. The wind was so wild, that I saw a lady get knocked clean off her feet on the walk, and the same almost happened to me. Jet Lag! In general, I’m pretty good at avoiding jet lag. But, for whatever reason it hit me like a tonne of bricks on this trip. I landed in Paris at about noon, and fought to stay awake until about 10pm. It was a real battle. Then, after falling asleep, I woke up again at midnight and couldn’t get back to it. By 7am, when I was meant to be on the move to the airport again, I was ready to crawl back into bed. Just how jet lagged was I? In the...

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Blog Meets Vlog
Oct05

Blog Meets Vlog

A while ago I started vlogging on a daily basis. I actually kind of got addicted to it. And, as a result I kind of started neglecting this blog. Then, it kind of dawned on me, why can’t they be both? Why can’t I add the vlog to the blog? Why can’t this blog be updated as often as I vlog? Tell the same stories, include the same videos, and then have the added benefit of some words and photos to go along with it all. The reality is, not everyone wants to go over to my YouTube channel. And, not everyone wants to even watch the videos. And, I get that. But, while I’ve kind of kept the vlog and the blog separate over the past 6 months, I’ve decided to bring them together. Blog, I’d like to kindly introduce you to my vlog. The two of you will be hanging out from now on. How Will This Work? Essentially, every time I post a vlog, I’m also going to add a blog here. I think it will allow me to kind of talk about things that are beyond the videos, and also allow people to look at the photos that I sometimes present in the videos. It gives a bit more of a steady home to the content that I’m creating on a daily basis. And, hopefully it will work out. Hopefully, I can find the time to come up with some thoughts each episode. There are times, I think, that these blog articles will be 100 words. There are other times, they might be 10,000. I Need a Thought Outlet One of the negatives of vlogging all the time, rather than writing, is that I think I started to lack what I like to call a “thought outlet”. A thought outlet is a place where I can just spew what’s on my mind. And, I know you’re thinking: can’t you just keep a journal like a normal person? Well, no, I can’t. I mean, I suppose I could. But, I want to share my journey with people that are considering this lifestyle. I want my life to be an open journal. I want people to understand what goes on in the reality of this life, good and bad. About This Episode Today was crazy. I’m leaving for Europe tomorrow, and I have a whole lot on my plate considering I leave so soon. So, my day was jam-packed. A really cool thing happened a couple days ago, too. I was asked to join the Eddie Bauer team of contributors! I’m so excited and honoured that they...

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Trekking Through Alberta
Oct04

Trekking Through Alberta

This project in Alberta was full-on. The plan was to work 19 days, with a 3 day break in the middle of it. However, my best friend got married on those 3 days between. Well, only one of those days, but you know how weddings are: day 1 = rehersal, day 2 = wedding, and day 3 = trying to recover. Moreover, I was dealing with a lot of personal issues over that weekend. It wasn’t as relaxing as I had hoped it would be. So, by the time we got back to work on the Google Trekker project, I didn’t have much of a rest. The second half of the project was meant to be a nice mix of locations, though. We were spending some time in the mountains, and some time in the north of Alberta; both locations I was looking forward to. K-Country Kananaskis Country used to be the biggest hidden gem in Alberta. So many tourists jet straight out to the National Parks, leaving K-Country largely to locals and people in the know. Things have changed a bit, and the region is certainly more crowded. However, it’s still mostly quiet. And it’s still incredibly beautiful. We did some trekking in the area. Jeff did an epic 18km hike over 2 mountain passes with a vertical gain of over 800m. I did some shorter moves, including a beautiful 12km hike with a 500m gain to a place called Prairie View Lookout. From that peak, there were 360 views of the mountains, Barrier Lake, and the prairies. Of course, we did some shooting both in Canmore and in Kananaskis Country. Rain, and Northern Lights In a bit of a tease, Jeff and I pressed down the Icefields Parkway without stopping. It was strange for me to drive that road without pulling off to do some shooting in some of the locations along the way. That road never gets old. We were pushing north, however. We made our way all the way north to Grande Prairie, which is about as far north in Alberta as I’ve ever been. It rained a lot. But, we still managed to get some trekking done. And, we managed to catch an extremely beautiful sunset on the prairies and a wicked display of the Northern Lights. From Grande Prairie, we pushed on to Slave Lake. Again, we were met with a bit of rain. But, wow, Slave Lake is beautiful. I was really impressed with that area, and had no idea interesting it is visually. I would have loved to get some better weather up there to do some photography. We did, of...

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A Week in Saskatchewan
Sep21

A Week in Saskatchewan

Every Canadian has their ideas of what Saskatchewan is. We all have our own pre-developed views of what it looks like, and what it feels like. But, very few actually give it the time it deserves for you to move past the stereotypes and truly start figuring out what Saskatchewan is all about. I’ll be honest. I was one of those people who had not given the province a chance. I’d seen parts of it. I’d seen the prairies. And, the rumours are true: it’s very flat. But, thanks to a week-long photography trip with Tourism Saskatchewan and my buddy Jeff Bartlett, I got the chance to dig a bit deeper into the province most assume is just 99% covered in wheat, and the other 1% in grain elevators. Grasslands National Park East Block If I’m being quite honest with you, I’d never even heard of Grasslands National Park. Obviously, I didn’t know that there was also an east block to it. Jeff and I made the mistake in not doing our hard research, too. When we got near the park, we realized there was no restaurant, grocery store, or even fuel station in or near the park. We had to make a massive detour to find food, and stocked up for the 3 days we’d be in the park. After a night of pretty beautiful skies, we set out on a bit of an adventure in the park. We headed out on a hike into a place called The Valley of 1000 Devils. This part of the park is home to some beautiful wild badlands that are relatively untouched. It’s beautiful in there, and there’s even quick sand – yes, it’s a real thing. That night, we wild camped in the badlands. And, yes, it was wild. Just as the sun was about to set, we got hammered by one of those epic prairie storms. We were soaked, destroyed, and cold. But, we trooped through it, as the light following the storm was amazing enough to make you forget that all your clothes are so wet they weight 20 pounds. Grasslands National Park West Block After our couple nights in the east block, we headed over to the West Block of Grasslands National Park. This part of the park is older than the other, and the infrastructure is better. But, there still wasn’t showers, or a restaurant. So, we were out in the wild for a bit longer. For me, the highlight of this park was the prairie dogs. There were hundreds upon hundreds of them scattered all over the fields, popping up curiously and constantly. There are...

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