It has been a month since I left Canada and I am only just about grasping the magnitude of the adventure I've just had. I don't think I really explained what I was doing out there - the last time I blogged I was still putting the whole journey together.
So let me explain: my Pop-Up Adventure Play colleagues Morgan, Andy and I together drove across Canada in a tiny yellow car (see photo below) to meet 18 different hosts across the country. At each of these stops, on an official capacity, we led a workshop and/or pop-up adventure playgrounds which brought together long-term play advocates and those who were new to play.
On another more unofficial capacity, we met with play advocates to learn about their communities, about people's views on play, and to listen to genuine folks talk about their own work. It was big. Before I left home, my heart wasn't nearly as prepared to give as much as it did, but when I look back now, it was totally worth it. Maybe that's why I feel so tired at the moment.
It's all good though - I am back now with a regular routine and space for my own thoughts. I ran the numbers too - we drove over 10,000km (about 6000miles), which feels like madness when my longest British commute is 200 miles to London. Crazy.
Learning from the 2014 USA tour, I made sure we had time to rest. We all have to play in order that we can be the best version of ourselves, especially when we are on tour. Almost every day, we sleep in a different bed, and meet different people, and drive, drive, drive. It gets both monotonous and disorientating at the same time so whenever we can, we try and fit some fun. It wasn't much, but a day here and there made a difference. Kept us balanced. Solidified our friendships.
So for this blogpost I thought that I might show you photos from our trip, especially the ones which were taken when we were off duty. Here we go:
Just a road side stop in New Brunswick somewhere. So understated, so beautiful.
This is the World's Largest Axe. Andy and Morgan and there to help with the scale.
This is Toronto's CN tower after Andy and I went up for a short visit. Beautiful day!
One of the amazing moments on the tour - when Andy made friends with a butterfly!
Beautiful lake just... by the road in Ontario.
Love this photo and it's seussical quality.
Here's Morgan, hanging out in the prairies.
This is me with an Indian head. In Indian Head, SK.
The Rocky Mountains as seen from the Overlander Mountain Lodge. Beautiful.
This is the glorious moment when we saw our first moose, and we finally understood that moose were not creatures of myth. Jasper National Park.
The moment when we arrived at the West Coast of Canada. Oh my, what a journey.
This is one of the most beautiful images I have ever taken, and where my heart was at it's fullest. So much joy in Porteau Cove, BC.
Here's the last photo for now - me, Morgan and Andy. I love these peeps so much - they're not just my colleagues, they're my family.
I have really been quite taken by Canada. It offered beautiful and changing landscape and a feeling of possibility. I'd really love to go back and visit one day, just for me - my own play time! I can also feel a change in the air for play in this lovely country. People really get it, and are passionate to make a difference. Being physically able to travel the width of Canada really highlighted that. I feel incredibly blessed to have had this opportunity.
Thank you, Canada. My heart is full again, thanks to you. I will see you again soon.