It took some time away to make me fully aware of it but I've come to the realization that the place I call home is incredibly awesome. For world-class skiing, killer mountain biking and stunning scenery, I don't have to stray much further than my own backyard. Whistler, made famous for all of these things and more, is just a mere two and a half hour drive away (along a stretch of very scenic coastline I might add!) from my hometown.
In addition to the activities I just mentioned, there are countless walks and hikes to do in and around Whistler, a good 99% of which I have never taken the opportunity to explore - even though I've been to Whistler loads of times! While I was at home this summer, unemployed and waiting around for my British Work Visa to be processed, I decided it was high time to do something about that.
My dad, my sister and I decided our destination would be Garibaldi Lake, located roughly 20 km south of Whistler. The hike itself is 18 km round-trip and while it's definitely no walk in the park, it's not ridiculously strenuous either. It was one of those hikes where you're not rewarded with any kind of view until you get to the very end, which is always frustrating at the time but especially satisfying when you finish. It was a cloudy day which was a bit of a shame but I enjoyed it nonetheless: mountain views, placid water that at some angles looked electric blue and a day spent with two of my favourite people.
That's another thing I love about traveling: Not only can it give you a greater appreciation of where you're from, but it makes you want to take advantage of what's right in your own backyard.