Almost a year ago, I was just about to start my life over. After a big break up and a whole lot of thinking, I decided it was best for me at the time to take this life moment to run away for an undeterminated period of time and at the same time be reunited with my family and friends I grew up with. I had no idea what was waiting for me nor did I know that this was going to be a life changing experience. One I force myself into, only because the voice inside of me was telling me to do so. So it had to be.
I freed myself from all I could not pack in my car, finished up my photography contracts, said my goodbye to all my friends and did my last wedding on the Island as a second shooter for the amazing Nina Lilly-Ann Sinclair. This wedding was just the day before the big adventure begins. A lot of emotions and mixed feelings were going through me as we were shooting this mid-Islands beautiful misty and rainy wedding surrounded by foggy mountains and magical lakes in Strathcona Provincial Park. I remember later that night picking up a cup for coffee at the wedding reception, one among about 50 other ones that were placed up side down on a small table. It’s was at that very moment that I knew I was making the right choice. I had picked the good luck ceramic vintage china tea cup. The only one in the lot.
The wedding was over. I was about to leave behind me the last 15 years of my life and experiences, past love, friends and people I had met along the way. I had to fit all the road trip essentiels and other more or less important things I had accumulated over all these years in my medium size vehicle and drive across the immensity of our Canadian country, all the way back to my roots.
My good friend from Quebec who also happens to be a photographer had taken this opportunity to enriched her portfolio and pursue her photography project “People in my lens”, which she had recently started, and most importantly to be my moral support during this hard time and drive with me 5253 km of tears, anger, joy, serenity and laughter, all the way to Quebec.
I greeted her downtown Victoria the day before we left. In a few hours I showed her around this place I was going to miss with all my heart and soul as well as my favourite beach: French Beach. We had a not so good night of sleep followed by a hectic morning trying to cramp everything further down the bottom of my car to make room for a couple extra nit and gnats in this already more that loaded vehicle. We finally managed after a few trials and errors and after leaving a couple of extra things behind such as my printer and winter jackets. Not too mention that I had previously thought of taking my cat with me in the car. Call me crazy cat lady if you want! This idea rapidly went down the drain.
Departure day was rainy and sad. But I had my supportive and amazing friend Maryse, a new and exiting entire life in front of me, if I gave it some time, and an amazing project to look forward to. Things were going to be ok. Whoever knows me also knows that I like projects and to challenge myself. And what a better time to start a project than at the start of a new journey. I have been vegetarian/vegan for almost 15 years now and although I don’t express myself too much with this matter, maybe by the fear of being judge, I had the strong desire of sharing my believes and achieve a personal project that little did I know was going to be published in Versus Magazine. This project was about doing a “vegan" road trip across the country, first to sensibilise myself to the world that surrounds us and that we live in day to day and also to inspire others to maybe do the same. Nature, environnement, animals and the way human is destroying the planet and its living creatures really touches me and I can never really get to fully express myself in this debate. This challenge was allowing me through my passion and creativity to show the world to people as I see it and as I think it really is but also to realize that it’s possible to make this world a better place in almost any conditions, that we Canadian are free as human and it’s up to us to decide of the values that we believe will better this place for us and the next generations to come. And how to put our egos aside, respect and live in harmony with all the beautiful living things that surround us. Pause a moment and stop thinking of what we need but rather look around us and come to the realization of what our planet needs instead.
While in the prairies we visited this colony that I kept anonymous in respect for its people. In this day and age it's very mesmerizing and at the same time difficult to understand the way these people live. In a way they are ahead of our individualist society by the fact that they share everything and help each other to assure that everyone always have their basic needs filled. On the other hand they do not really know anything outside of their colony and the idea of two girls crossing the country by themselves is just way out of their world, even absurd to them. We ask one of the young lady if she had ever dreamed or wished to go on a trip somewhere and her answer was to maybe go to another colony and maybe meet a husband there. When we brought up Mexico she knew about it but would have never thought of travelling there as it's just not something they do. Seeing how this colony lives made me come to the sudden realization of how lucky I was to be born in a society where we can be so free. How it's easy to take our freedom for granted and how it can have very negative repercussions on so many different aspects of or lives, our society, our planet. We can make our own choices and are very free to do so, so why not think our every day decisions through and make smarter choices, since we can.
The ladies of the house planning their lunch.
Knowing exactly what your life will be like.
The daily bread. It was so tasty until I found out it was made with animal fat. :(
Where work never stops.
Entering the slaughterhouse.
The slaughterhouse. Yes I made it there and felt the pain with all my weeping soul and heart. It was a strange guided tour from by the oldest lady of the group who had spent her entire life there. This was a bit their pride believe it or not. Brand new with all the cutting edge modern tools. I had to go with it. Those people had invited us in their home which they where so proud of. It was like an inner combat. Unpleasant to say he least.
Right place right day! If only it was in Paris!
Cold sunny morning in St-Boniface, Manitoba
Taking some time to greet with our host from the night before and get some work done while having some breakfast.
Hot tea and square.
Almost time to hit the road again.
Croissant de lune.
Road trip exhausted.
It's my car but today I would prefer to be the co-driver.
Never give up because Terry Fox never did.
Dream are made if people only try. I believe in miracles. I have to...Because somewhere the hurt must stop.
Les grands lacs
Breathtaking scenery at "The Old Lady Bay". Reminding me of the Pacific Ocean.
Hundreds of kilometres of scenic lake side driving to enrich our day.
When camping falls through, you are on a budget and all you have is your camping dinner you bought earlier on, well you just make it work!
It worked perfectly!
Some days are just made for letting go and having fun.
...and hugging giant moose!
Oh dear Quebec. You where so far away but we made it!
Thank you Anne-Sophie for this short and intense first but not last visit and great breakfast! And Maryse needless to say you are the ultimate all time best road trip partner and one exceptional friend!
Did it really?