I have always been enthralled with the idea of a travelling adventure. All of my life I have loved to travel and explore new places.
In the early nineties, I bummed rides and hitchhiked my way across Canada.
Not long after, I accepted a job to teach English in South Korea. I spent the following two decades living and working in Asia. In addition to my time in Korea, I have lived and worked as a teacher in Tokyo, Dubai and Hong Kong.
I have backpacked and travelled extensively through Asia, Australia and Europe, embarking on adventures from the heights of the Himalayas to the depths of the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef.
In the summer of 2014, my family and I returned to my hometown of Peterborough, Ontario, where I began teaching at the local school board. I returned to plant roots where I was born, but my sense of adventure never waivered.
That first summer back in Peterborough, my brother booked a site on Bottle Lake in Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, a mere 35-minute drive north of my house. Although it was hardly a backcountry wilderness trip with the parking lot only a few hundred meters from the lake, I fell in love with the idea of camping next to the water on a site that is only accessible by canoe. The next site was over 500 meters away and no one was on it! We had a fantastic little beach oasis next to the mouth of a creek and the bass fishing was good. I knew I would be back for more trips like this!
Later that fall, my kids and I were invited on a weekend canoe trip to Cold Lake, another location in the Kawartha Highlands, with some old high school friends. Again, we had a fantastic time around the campfire in the Canadian Shield. This time I was hooked. By the following summer, I had my own canoe, started buying my own backcountry gear and was learning to go on adventures just a short drive north of my home.
Now I try to head out into the backcountry as much as time and duty will allow. Each year I go a little further away, for a little longer and take on a route that is just a little more challenging.
I love going with those who are close to me; my wife, my two daughters, old and new friends alike and my father often join me. However, if no one is willing or able to come along, I often venture out my own.
Each trip is a learning experience, and with each trip, I see and do a little more than the last. I have gained an amazing appreciation for this great land of ours and its connecting waterways. Each trip is another adventure that I can look back on, learn from and enjoy. I feel so lucky and, dare I say it, blessed that I live so close to an Eden that contains the majority of the world's supply of fresh water.
If this collection of trip reports can inspire an appreciation for the Canadian backcountry and contribute to understanding the need to protect it, then the time it takes to share my trips and write about them is well-spent.
Thank you for taking the time to join me on my backcountry journeys.