However, while having this amazing experience, I also was reminded why it is I live where and how I do. I want to be clear, what I write is not meant to be an insult to the city of Edmonton, as my opinions and experiences are my own, which could happen in any number of cities around the world.
From the moment I touched down at Edmonton International Airport, I spent most of my time being driven from point A to point B. From the shuttle to the hotel some 45 minutes away, to the shuttles and cabs to the Expo Centre and everything in between, I have not spent so much time on four wheels since I drove across Canada to move to Vancouver. Needless to say, I missed home, my family, but I also really missed my bike.
Last week I was reminded of the experiences you miss while sitting in a moving car. I felt in a constant state of disorientation, never really grasping which way was North, South, East or West. I also missed the personal experience that walking or riding in a city brings. Whether it's a leisurely trip along the water, or discovering a hidden neighbourhood, I have always found that riding my bike allows me to truly see all that a city has to offer. For example, growing up I spent a lot of time visiting Montreal and my extended family who live there. Sure, I knew downtown, and the neighbourhoods where my family lived, largely because when we were in the city, we walked or took transit nearly everywhere. However, two summer's ago, on a brief visit, the family and I rented some bikes and rode along the Lachine Canal and the St. Laurence river, and my experience was completely new and wonderful, something I would have never experienced if I stayed in a car all the time. Now I will make a special effort to repeat the trip whenever I get to visit Montreal.
I also became quite fatigued over the course of week. I kept wondering why, until a co-worker asked me if I usually spent a lot of time outdoors. I suddenly realized something I very much take for granted. Generally, I spend the majority of my days walking or riding my bike, so to spend almost of all my time indoors or in a motorized vehicle was depriving me of the fresh air, vitamin D, and exercise I am used to. So as a result, I was getting easily drained and tired.
|The view from inside our hotel, but I never had a chance |
to see it up close
One may think that this was actually due to the fact that I was up early every day and working hard, and not the lack of time outdoors. To that I say to that Monday morning, after returning home from Edmonton late the night before, I woke up around 7:30am, helped get the kids ready and walked my eldest to school then came home and spent 2 hours doing housework, then walked to the local market to do groceries, then back again to pick up my daughter from school, and still felt quite energized when we put the kids to bed at 8pm. Now if that doesn't sound like a busy day, I don't know what is. I do know that the sunshine, fresh air and exercise from just one day back in my routine had me back to my old chipper self in no time!
|My final view of Edmonton, from inside YEG waiting|
for my flight back to YVR