Spontaneous road trip and adventure hike to Joffre Lakes

Two weeks ago Tanja and I jumped in the car for a spontaneous road trip to Joffre Lakes in Pemberton, BC. With the Summer months the wedding season is in full swing in Vancouver. We had been photographing weddings non stop since the beginning of June and the need for some “nature therapy” was high.

The 3-hour drive through British Columbia’s scenic landscapes was the best way to start our ‘recovery’ day. And because it was such a remote location we were guaranteed to have a more adventurous experience. Hiking just isn’t the same when around every corner you bump into someone taking a selfie. 😉

Hiking? Us? Absolutely, it’s our new favorite hobby. It started a few months ago. A good month into wedding season we both felt in need of finding a way to recover from the inevitable post-wedding physical soreness (the infamous ‘wedding hangover’ as wedding photographers love calling it). Crossfit works wonders, but we felt in need of more. Something to reset our minds. Like walking in nature. Back in Belgium, I used to hate walking with a vengeance. The nature didn’t feel like nature: too small, too unchallenging and too unrewarding.

Apparently living in Vancouver for (almost) four years changed me without me realizing it. At first I was reluctant to accept Tanja’s proposal of going on a hike. But once we were actually on the trail I felt like a kid in a vast unexplored playground. Tree trunks and rocks to climb over, the surprise of encountering animals I’ve never seen before and stunning scenery. Every bend of the trail is a new adventure.

Though the best part of it all, is how it recovers us. There’s something about being surrounded by nature that soothes the mind and brings it back to its natural state of wellbeing. In the first hour of a hike all I think of is putting one foot in front of the other. It’s all that exists for me. Tanja and I don’t say much during that time. We understand each other silently, so good that we even pause at the same times to look at the surrounding nature. And slowly, the stress melts away and makes space for conversation. So we talk about anything: business, life, our hopes and dreams. It’s also at those times that we have the best ideas.

The road trip and hike to Joffre Lakes were just for pleasure though. We needed it more than ever after working a double-header weekend (two weddings back-to-back). It’s a hike that had been lingering in the back of our minds for a while, but somehow we never seemed to get it done. The three-hour drive (one way) always seemed to get in the way. But not on that Monday morning. Our gut told us we were out of excuses, so we hopped in the car and just went for it. It was a fantastic experience because we walked almost to the campground at the bottom of the glacier that feeds the Upper Joffre Lake.

I never thought to admit it, but hiking in the gorgeous nature surrounding Vancouver has become our new favorite hobby. We love it even more when we can mix our hobby into our work such as with an adventure experience.


What about you? What kind of adventures do you love doing as a mental reset?