A road trip in Canada brought this Malaysian closer to nature

A road trip in Canada brought this Malaysian closer to nature

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My long overdue road trip adventure in Canada with college friends finally became a reality this year. Despite my busy work schedule and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, I decided to seize the opportunity and embark on this adventure with my friends, Siva and Mathi.

Siva, who had many relatives in Canada, had always extended an invitation to us, and this year, we accepted.

In May, we flew from Malaysia to Britain, where I caught up with some other classmates before our flight to Canada. After landing at Calgary International Airport in the Canadian state of Alberta, we encountered a hiccup when my check-in baggage went missing. It was eventually located in the lost and found section.

Siva’s relative, a local, helped us secure a rental car – an SUV. We had to adjust to the left-hand driving, which was unfamiliar to us. With Mathi behind the wheel, Siva as the navigator, and me as the general coordinator, our road trip began.

Our first drive through the Calgary countryside was a bit clumsy, but the scenic views and prehistorical stories of the area mesmerised us. We woke up very early the next morning due to jet lag, and headed to Banff.

The roads were clear, and the sight of wild animals like elk, mountain goats and foxes, as well as horses added to the charm of the place, and made the drive more interesting.

When we arrived in Banff, a resort town in Alberta, we were greeted by the majestic peaks of Mount Rundle and Mount Cascade, which dominated the skyline.

In the evening, we took a walk downtown for dinner, but on the way back to our hotel, we lost track of where we were going because it was dark and the streets all looked pretty similar. Eventually, after an exhausting time trying to search for the right way again, we found our hotel, drained of all energy.

The next day, we drove to Revelstoke in British Columbia, passing through breathtaking landscapes featuring lakes and snow-covered mountains. During our two-day stay there, we visited the wolf dog sanctuary, gaining insight into these unique animals, and marvelled at the beauty of Lake Louise.

We then went to Kelowna, a city surrounded by picturesque views and renowned for its vineyards. After a refreshing dip in a heated outdoor pool, we encountered a problem with our accommodation due to a discrepancy between our online booking and the reception details. Fortunately, Siva’s relative arranged a stay for us at another place called the Sandman Hotel.

However, our exhaustion was further compounded when Siva realised he had misplaced his passport. After a frantic search, we discovered it on my bed, much to our relief.

Our next destination was Vancouver, where we enjoyed the hospitality of Siva’s friend, a chef. Indulging in the finest steaks and dishes prepared by the chef was undoubtedly a highlight of our trip.

We explored Whistler, a famous ski resort town, where we saw people skiing during the summer season.

One of Mathi’s childhood friends joined us as we ventured into Victoria Island by ferry. We explored the town, enjoying the warm weather, drinks, and bites for lunch. On the ferry back, we were fortunate to witness two orcas playing in the water – an incredible sight for us indeed.

Our last destination was Toronto, where we embarked on a two-hour drive to Niagara Falls, which is actually situated on the border of Canada and the United States. Due to heavy traffic on the motorways, we arrived in the late afternoon, just in time to see the awe-inspiring beauty of the falls illuminated by vibrant lights.

With a mix of excitement and sadness, we concluded our epic road trip and made our way back to Malaysia. Reflecting on the unforgettable experiences, the mishaps, and the laughter we shared, we realised that our trip had been more than just a journey – it was a testament to our long, enduring friendship.

As we parted ways at the airport, promising to plan for our next adventure, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the memories we had created together. The road trip had taught us to appreciate the beauty of nature, embrace the unexpected, and cherish the bonds of our friendship that had grown stronger through the years.

The views expressed are entirely the reader’s own.