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We fought our way through the Ice Fields, bloody and beaten, but we emerged victorious atop our mechanical steed. In the distance sat another tiny town in the shadow of a mountain, and here, at long last, was our final destination in Canada. Banff.

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Like Jasper, Banff dripped of personality and had all the familiar symptoms of a place I could spend some real time in. After a bit of driving in circles, we found our room for the evening. This large home turned hostel, would house us for the evening. The place was beautiful, as was the girl behind the counter.

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Find the deer that was stalking us.

We got situated in our new home before I wandered downstairs to get some local information about the happenings in town.

I had to see what this place was about, what it had to offer! The town seemed like a beautiful mix of Pisac, Peru and Queenstown, New Zealand. A walkable size, full of hostels and young people, with music playing out in the streets and the delicious smell of food lingered in the thin mountain air.

My companion decided to sit this one out, so I packed a small bag, grabbed my camera and out into the world I walked.

Once again, I found myself alone in an unfamiliar country (Entry: Severance). That feeling, that unmistakable rush of being absolutely alone on all sides. Where the world is open to you and anything is possible. I felt heightened, empowered, motivated and unstoppable. If walking down a foreign street puts me in a ravenous mood for mischief, it’s a good thing I don’t have a lot of power or money, because I think I’d go absolutely mad with.

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The temperature started to drop, and the breeze had acquired a biting cold to its whip, but there was too much to see to turn back. Down the streets I strolled. Into buildings. Into conversations. Chatted with a few skateboarders and met a lovely young lady outside one of the many hostels on the strip. We spoke about everything and nothing as we watched a truck unload keg after keg into the building. Each time a new barrel rolled inside, it was welcome with loud cheers from the patrons (This happened about 10 times).

I continued my stroll until I felt like I had saturated my experience with enough Banff to put the ever present “Will you regret not doing this?” question to rest. Sure there was still plenty to do, but I was at peace with calling it a night.

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I didn’t get back to the house until the sun had long fled the sky. “Sleep when I’m dead” is usually the anthem! (Even if it usually backfires).

We pushed for the border in the morning. The story of Canada was coming to a close.

Explore Banff

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