Let the Cross Country Run Begin:
Travel Blog #4: My starting point from my hometown in Nova Scotia, Canada
I’ve always wondered what went through some individuals heads when they decided to drop everything that there doing in their lives and pack a bag and take off a direction away from home. It’s a decision I envy. Having the reasoning to think that leaving a potentially comfortable lifestyle to venture into the unknown seems like an intimidating decision to make, but also exciting and fulfilling. For the last four months I was contemplating on that very decision. I really started to wonder if making that decision was a feasible choice for me. I didn’t have the intention of taking off from society and backpack in different continents, but I wanted to get away from what was becoming a state of life that I didn’t want anymore. With a little bit of time and planing, I made that very decision. I left my job and handed the keys to the house that I’d been living in for the last three years, and stored all my personal possessions away, and early in the morning in the beginning of June I drove east from Edmonton, Alberta towards a five day trip to my hometown of Clare, Nova Scotia.
Canada is a very big place when you’re not familiar with it. I always flew across the country which would take anywhere from four to six hours. Doing that same trip on the ground was slightly different. My trip consisted of crossing through the prairies of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, then through the vast forests and big lakes of Ontario towards the city of Ottawa. After that I went towards Montreal in Quebec, heading north gazing at the Saint Lawrence River, and finally getting to familiar territory when I started seeing the Bay Of Fundy by Saint John in New Brunswick.
I come from a french community called Clare which is located 54 km south of Digby. The area is inhabited by francophones. The history of the Acadians in this region and in several other regions in the Maritimes is very alive and celebrated every year. In 2004 Clare had hosted the World Acadian Congress. People from all over came to celebrate this special event for the families that have relations with fellow families here for the last 400 plus years. Everyone is so kind and humble and willing to help in any means they can. As good as Edmonton has served me, when you live in a fast pace environment for the last several years you tend to forget these quality traits in people.
I love being here. It’s where I was born and raised. I moved when I was in my early twenties to try to get a fresh start on life. There’s only so much that a young man can do in a small community like this, the choices of careers are a limited. Being away from home I tried to make time to come back at least once a year. It’s not hard to get caught up in your own personal life when your away from home. You get focused on yourself and tend to lose touch of the life you once had. And life continues on the other side of the playing field. The friends you grew up with continue on their journey and it can become a challenge when you come back. That’s an aspect of life that you slowly grow to accept.
Clare is a fishing community. Lobster fishing being the one of the biggest industries out here, there’s no shortage of dining on great sea food. There’s many coast lines that you can walk and dig for clams when the tide is low. Only a few lighthouses are left that and still functional. There’s tourist attractions to go like Smuggler’s Cove Provincial Park which got its name from rum runners smuggling alcohol when there was a prohibition in the 1920s. The catholic churches are immense structures, especially the Saint Bernard and the Saint Mary’s Church, the last mentioned structure standing at 185 feet tall which is made completely out of wood. The Bangor Sawmill is one of the last remaining water powered sawmills around, now exhibited to the general public. Clare has been a tourist attraction for as long as I can remember, so its almost fitting that every time that I come back, I feel like one myself.
Being out here for the last month has given me a chance to recharge my internal battery. Being in a great community like this has given me a chance to breathe and to properly give my head some space to roam. I come here with the intention of being with my family, but also getting the chance to reset my mindset to what truly matters. It’s the little things that you realize when your in a close community like this. Having that comfort of knowing that you can go anywhere and people knowing you by your first name. Neighbours that invite you to have lunch and talk about anything for hours on end. There’s no rush here, there’s no sense of urgency when it comes to having to get something done. A break like this is mandatory at least once a year.
I’m getting ready to head out soon, and as much as it pains me to have to leave such a great place, I know that there’s many other locations in this beautiful country that I have to explore that’ll have something to offer for me with my photography, and for myself. Let the journey begin.
-Thank you for taking the time to read this piece. If your interested into checking into more of what I do, please check out my photography work here. Also check out my video of my hometown of Clare, Nova Scotia here. Take care.