Less than a week after returning back to Victoria I started the education program to become a public school teacher and it has been great in some ways and challenging in others. My first feeling was that my classes had flipped me 180 degrees from a situation where I lived day by day at the whim of the weather, road and circumstances of my bike to a situation which was quite the opposite--one where planning, forethought and an active mind was best. Fortunately I did adapt in positive ways and one year later, I am in a position where I feel like I am much more well-adjusted.
In the winter when my hair had finally become long enough, I went to the Aveda Institute where my kind stylist, Jaime helped me chop my locks off and send them to make a wig. The transition from long hair to short was a big one, as was my move from downtown to a place on the outskirts of Langford, a suburb of Victoria.
While I had many ambitions to commute every day cycling, the rainy season proved to be challenging and I spent most of my winter doing other activities such as climbing and hiking. In January, I made a solid attempt to ride the 50k a day to my school and back, leaving at night and returning at night, but the cold rains and damp changes into gear at 7pm for the long cycle at home made things challenging to say the least. I remember several rides where my hands and feet were freezing at the end of it and I didn't know why I was putting myself through it.
In the Spring and Summer my attitudes towards cycling also gradually thawed so that by the time summer came along, I had committed to a solid month and a half of riding 40k a day along the Rail Trail that extends from Langford through to Downtown Victoria where I worked as an ESL teacher.
While I am enjoying school, I found working again during the summer to be refreshing because its much better for me to be on the ground helping the students every day than taking in all the theory; although I'm certain that the theory has helped me too. I'm really fortunate to be where I am and the situation that I'm enjoying. This program and the decision to return back to Canada has been kind to me.
I would love to continue to help out with Victoria Hospice which is a deserving cause to be sure while developing my career and moving forward in my life. Some of my friends are also starting to ask me what my next adventures are going to be.
For starters, I would like to complete the journey that I started, perhaps beginning in Montreal, taking the trails to Truro and then up to Newfoundland across to Labrador and Ottawa and back again to fill in any gaps I missed on my trip.
I've also seen news about a new trail which is opening in Europe which stretches the length of Europe from Portugal to Turkey.
For now; ironically, I'd like to finally get my driver's license so that I can better access all of the great trails and beaches in my area as well as maybe do a triathlon next summer. While these seem like small goals compared to what I accomplished on this blog, I look back to where I was at several years ago and feel that I've grown in positive ways; I hope that my dad would think so too.
I always try to live with my heart on my sleeve, live true to my values and help others in the best way I can. Somewhere if he's out there, I think that my dad would be looking down on me smiling (perhaps encouraging me to get my butt into gear and start my next adventure), and this thought alone really motivates me to continue to move forward in positive ways.
My plans for this blog are to keep it up and share it to others to help them on their own travels. I would love to reorganize the posts in a more presentable manner as well as add maps and videos to further help people who may be thinking about travelling across Canada. This has truly been an adventure, but certainly it won't be my last!
I will also be posting some future posts on my other university blog:
Some members of the Train Crew visit! Thanks Diego and Caitlin !!!
Senghyen (My friend who traveled from Halifax to Victoria) finally made it!
On a short cycle to Sooke!
Things are about to get crazy...
No more hair!
Thank you Jaime
A heart-felt letter to send with my hair.
Sending my hair
Visiting Vancouver with friends
Christmas-time in Vancouver
Spring is coming
Basking in the glow makes me so happy
Short trip to Gabriola Island at the end of Summer
Detour to Sooke Potholes
Gabriola-- Thank you father!
Crofton to Vesuvius Bay!
These sunsets and sunrises on the bike truly are a joy to behold.