The title of this post is a question I’ve been asked a lot lately…and yes, I do still have a day job. I’ve been fortunate enough lately to be able to take some vacation time off and do quite a bit of traveling with more to come. I thought I’d post an update on some of the things I’ve been getting up to.
A few weeks ago, my pal Rebecca asked if I could fill in for her on a tour of Vancouver Island as she was unable to attend do to some last minute passport & visa issues related to her then upcoming trip to Africa.
So before I knew it, I was on a plane to the Comox Valley for a 5 day media tour of Vancouver Island. I’ve lived in the Vancouver area for 25 years and never made it further than Duncan so it was all new to me. Probably an ideal way to explore it anyways.
The media tour was jam packed with outdoor activities and culinary experiences. It was called the Snow to Surf tour and it included snowshoeing on Mt. Washington, caving in Horne Lake, surfing in Ucluelet and a zodiac boat tour in the Pacific Rim National Park.
I had a chance to really see some fantastic sights in my own province…it really made me think about all the trips I do outside the province and what I’m missing in my own backyard.
As soon as I got back from Vancouver Island, I literally had a few hours to do some laundry, sleep in my own bed for one night and then jump back on a plane and head to Whitehorse to cover Hockey Day in Canada. I had a chance to experience the Yukon for one day during the 2010 Winter Olympics as part of a media tour they had setup and when I found out Whitehorse was hosting the Hockey Day event, jumped at the chance to go back. Thanks to Travel Yukon, I got that chance.
So from surfing in Ucluelet one day to standing in the middle of town in Whitehorse the next.
Rebecca & her husband John were also supposed to go (and were unable to make the media trip during the Olympics), with Rebecca covering the event for Scotiabank, one of the event’s sponsors. Unfortunately, due to a last minute family emergency, they had to stay home so I offered to pick up the slack to help them out since I was already going. I was able to post a few things on a daily basis on Rebecca’s site (Gearing up, Gala Banquet and the big day) and tweet a lot of photos during the events over four days in Whitehorse.
I shot hundreds of photos during the event and got to meet and talk with so many hockey legends, frenzied fans and excited kids.
The night I arrived in Whitehorse, I was given a ticket to the Stolen from a Hockey Card show at the Yukon Arts Centre. I really had no idea what to expect and it was a very special event that I’m still thinking about weeks later.
The format was a short film festival with live musical performances by Sarah Harmer, Kim Barlow, Buck 65, Geoff Berner, Dave Bidini, CR Avery, Mathias Kom and John K Samson in between the films – all with a hockey flavor. There was also some fun intros, stories and banter from various hockey celebs.
The highlight was definitely the music with six different acts performing new works, specifically written for or about hockey. I got introduced to a number of performers that I was unaware of and was happy to find out the one of my favorites from the evening is from East Vancouver, CR Avery who I got to chat with later on during the weekend:
CBC Radio 2
will be is streaming the concert on their Concerts on Demand site very soon now. If you’re a fan of hockey or great Canadian music, you’ll want to have a listen. They even used (with permission) a number of my photos from the event.
The true highlight of the trip though, had to be the flight home. Not because I was tired from all the travelling, but because I was fortunate enough to be seated on the plane home beside an icon in Vancouver broadcasting, Jim Robson:
Jim was such a treat to talk to and shared some great hockey stories with me on the way home.
It truly was a great way to end a fantastic, hockey lovers weekend away in Whitehorse.
So what’s next?
As regular readers of this site will know, I’ll be heading to Austin, Texas soon to attend the 2011 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference in mid-March. I’m not speaking this year (my panel wasn’t accepted) but it’s shaping up to be a fantastic event.
This year however, there is a little twist to my trip: I’m driving from Vancouver to Austin. Chevy is sponsoring 10 teams from around North America to drive to Austin from their home cities, while competing in challenges along the way against the other teams. We don’t even know the route we’ll be driving yet, as it’s a closely guarded secret. I’ve got a rockstar team assembled to help me with the driving and the challenges. We’ve named ourselves The Eh Team and plan on documenting our adventures along the way. You can follow along on our website that we’re just getting set up – expect a lot to happen on there once we’re on the road beginning March 7th. We’re going to be online in the vehicle as well so will be updating as we drive (and have 3G service).
UPDATE: You can read about the roadtrip here.