There are many reasons people enjoy traveling. Seeing interesting places, trying new foods and experiencing different cultures being some of the big ones.
My recent trip to Bolivia was no different, with a range of experiences from eating foods many people might consider potential items for the television show Fear Factor rather than items for the local cuisine, to hanging out in Bolivian prisons speaking to detainees and a weekend trip to the high-altitude Lake Titicaca.
I learned so much about the Bolivian justice system, independent documentary projects, working as a journalist in a foreign language without adequate translation, and working under restrictive conditions for photography.
I still have a lot to process and a lot of editing to do in order to complete the project, but I feel as though the most important thing I learned was about myself.
While I have traveled to many places and experienced a broad range of cultures and cuisines, I have also always tried to get the most out of my travel time by making time to do the things which inspire me. Usually this involves some aspect of physicality; hiking in Australia, biking through Portugal, hiking in Nepal, cycling the Pacific Coast of the United States and surfing in Nicaragua.
This time, as a working vacation where I had little free time and no one to do these activities with, I realized how important having a fun outlet can be for me and my work, and for this reason I was something I have not experienced many times in my life – homesick.
For some people, Fort St. James might be where they live because their family is here and they grew up here and it is as simple as that.
For me, the reason the Fort is such a great place to live is the lifestyle.
Living less than 15 minutes from a fun ski hill is ideal, and being in a community which is built on the shores of an incredibly beautiful lake (even if most businesses have their backs to it and don’t take advantage of what is in front of them) is even better.
Since I have been back, I have enjoyed some great turns at the ski hill, made better by the small, friendly atmosphere of a community hill, a cross-country ski right from my back door, and plenty of visiting with great people.
In short, for those who are wondering, my trip to Bolivia was a great experience, and it has made being home all the better.