As part of my self-directed Canadian Studies, I began a quest to visit every national park and national historic site managed by Parks Canada!
I’ve had mixed feedback when I’ve told people about my quest. Feedback ranged from excited to dismissive to interest and in between.
One of my relatives questioned my idea of “just visiting” a place, saying he thought I needed to do more. Which made me think of this quote:
“I realized that most people want you to stay exactly where you are in life — and if you explicitly talk about how you want more, they get really uncomfortable.” – Ramit Sethi
Maybe what my relative said got to me, because I started this website a few years ago, when I first decided to start my quest, but this is the first time I’m posting on it!
I was watching the movie Julie and Julia (in which Julie Powell makes all 524 recipes in Julia Childs’ cookbook “Mastering the art of French Cooking”) the other day. It inspired me to get back into this site.
Here’s a brief breakdown of how this quest came to be:
- An avid map-analyzer throughout childhood, I have always been interested in physical geography—planning out imaginary future trips I wanted to take. I set a goal for myself to visit every province and territory in Canada.
- The above goal seemed to easy, and not narrow enough. So, I changed my goal to spend at least 10 days in each province and territory, visiting the capital city at least once other during that time.
- When I read Chris Guillebeau’s book The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest that will Bring Purpose to your Life, I knew that I was still thinking too small with my quest.
But, what is a quest, anyway?
Chris Guillebeau has certain criteria in mind when it comes to quests:
- has a clear goal and a specific endpoint.
My goal is to experience every national park and national historic site in Canada.
- presents a clear challenge.
The challenge is that Canada is a huge, spread out country. Many of the national parks are remote, and/or only accessible for a few months of the year. It’s also expensive to travel within Canada.
- requires a sacrifice of some kind.
Because of the above-mentioned challenges, I will need to sacrifice spending time and money on other things in order to prioritize this quest.
- is often driven by a calling or sense of mission.
I feel called to experience and learn about Canada and its Peoples by Travelling around it
- requires a series of small steps and incremental progress toward the goal.
Each national historic site and national park takes me one step closer to completing my quest.
I’ve visited several national parks in Alberta and Canada, when I lived in Calgary, Alberta. And I’ll be re-visiting many of them again.
It feels good to finally write this post and get started documenting my journey! Thanks so much for joining me.