Travel does not always go as planned. You can spend days, weeks, months, even years planning your perfect getaway. Let me tell you something, sometimes no matter how much planning goes into your trip, things go wrong.
You know what? That is fine! That is normal! That is life!
Looking through travel magazines, or scrolling through your Instagram feed, you see so many pictures of these ~luxurious~ vacations. So many beautiful shots of picturesque mountains and vistas. These images are captured at just the right moment, when the clouds clear, the sun comes out, and the stars align to show everything that is right about your trip. You know what they skip every single time? That moment where the rain clouds came rolling in, or you got a flat tire, or even worse, you lost your luggage, and in that moment all of your planning was tossed to the wind. These are the parts we do not speak of. Well guys, I am here to speak about all of them.
A few years back we decided to take a spur of the moment trip to the Canadian Rockies, because hey, we’re young and you only live once right?! Let me start by saying this was insanely stressful from the start. This was the first time Jason and I had ever left the country and to make things even more exciting, we had only one month to plan everything. No biggie right?!
Fast forward to departure day. Aubrey is with her grandparents safe and sound, and Jason and I are at the airport literally 3 hours early. We made it through security in under 20 minutes, which was about 2 hours faster than I had planned for. Off to a great start right?! So now we wait, and wait, and wait. Before we knew it, our departure time had come and gone. Finally the announcement was made that our plane had landing gear issues and it was delayed 3 hours for repairs. Guys, this was the first think on the bright side moment of our trip and we had not even made it out of the airport! “At least they realized there were landing gear issues before you took off” my best friend reminded me. Those words ran through my head on repeat while we sat in that damn airport. And guess what?! 3 hours later they announce that the flight had been canceled! Thank God for the wonderful folks working with Delta that day. They got us on the next flight out to Calgary and our trip was still a go! After all of the delays, we finally made it to our hotel room in Banff at 2:00 am. guys my head hit that pillow so hard that night.
The next morning everything was right in the world. We got a nice hot shower, and hit the road to head to our first hike at Moraine Lake. For anyone who has ever looked into a trip to Alberta, I am sure you have seen this beautiful, blue glacial lake at least 100 times. We did a short hike after setting up our campsite and got back just before the sun went down. This was the perfect time to get some amazing pictures of the lake without the huge crowds. After a quick trip to the lovely pit toilets, we headed back to camp for a good night’s sleep before hiking Cascade Mountain the next day.
Here we go, Cascade Mountain Day! This beautiful beast is the backdrop to all pictures of downtown Banff, and will go down in my personal history as the only mountain that has ever defeated me. At the trailhead we go through our gear. Backpacks? Check. Water? Check. Camera? CAMERA? JASON WHERE IS THE CAMERA BAG?
~Flashback to the pit toilet trip the night before at Moraine lake.~
Guys, I left the camera in the damn pit toilet! I blame the altitude sickness for my fuzzy memory but either way, this was definitely not one of my proudest moments. I make a few quick calls to hotels, visitor centers, and the police station to see if anyone had turned it in. No luck. But hey! Think on the bright side right? We were in the Canadian Rockies!
We hit the trail determined to make the best of the day. This hike was absolutely beautiful! About 3 miles in I start to notice that I cannot catch my breath. Not in an “I am out of shape” kind of way, but in an “oh my god I am going to die” kind of way. Still, we continue on and after a while we hit the rock scramble. Let me be real with you when I say I was struggling hard. We had a hard turnaround time of 7:00 pm, but as we got closer to the top, I got dizzier, and dizzier and that 7:00 pm time was coming way sooner than I wanted. Finally I made the call to wait back while Jason made an attempt to summit without me. As soon as he was out of site, it happened. I threw up everywhere. I told you guys this wouldn’t be ~glamorous~. After what felt like forever, (about 15 minutes) I see that handsome man of mine making his way down from the peak above. Then, from the distance, I hear those 2 dreadful words, “oh shit”. Remember the whole Lindsey lost the camera thing? Well this “oh shit” was the sound of Jason dropping, and shattering the lens of our brand new Go-pro.
Canada: 3 Us: 0
Things were definitely rough up to this point, and we very easily could have let it ruin our entire trip. But we didn’t! Guy’s we were in the Canadian Rockies , this was a dream of ours and damned if we were going to let some material possessions ruin this experience. And you know what? It was one of the most incredible trips of my life! I saw my first Grizzly up close. I got to hike with a few mountain goats (my spirit animal) as I got over my elevation sickness. And the icing on the cake, I hiked the highest mountain of my life! I would go through all of this chaos over, and over again just to relive the feeling of summiting Mount Temple.
Did everything go wrong? Yes. Did we lose our car keys? Yes. Was our luggage lost on the way home? You bet ya! But would I trade these memories for anything in the world? Definitely not. If you take one thing from this, I want you to know that like anything in life, failure is just part of learning. Things will go wrong and that is OK! Do not stress about what is out of your control. And if it is in your control, you will learn from your mistakes and just get better and better at this whole travel thing!