Hello Readers, and thank you for being here!
Last week I travelled to Victoria, BC to attend the IMPACT Sustainable Travel and Tourism Conference. The conference fostered plenty of networking, stimulating conversation, and a bigger sense of urgency at just how dire the climate situation is. One of my goals this winter has been surrounding myself with like-minded people, and 250 of us joining forces certainly didn’t disappoint!
I want to include a quick story in this blog because I think it really speaks to the experience I had at this conference, particularly when it comes to reinforcing my mission to pursue sustainable tourism:
Back in 2013, when I had first moved to the Island, my then boyfriend took me to a place which I have written about in past blogs – Port Renfrew. I experienced, for the first time, the magnificent trees at Avatar Grove and the tidal pools at Botanical Beach. From that day forward, Port Renfrew has always been my ‘happy place’.
Some time after that initial visit, during my time as a grad student in tourism management, I remember talking to that same boyfriend about my idea for a tourism business. Having fallen in love with Avatar Grove, and knowing that I wanted to share the place with others, I came up with the idea for ‘zero impact tours’. Essentially, I would use a Tesla or other electric vehicle to offer a tour from Victoria to Port Renfrew to experience the natural wonders of the region, leaving behind no trace and taking only pictures and memories. (For more on Avatar Grove and why it is so special, check out my earlier blog – Old Growth Tree Tourism)
Fast forward to last week, when I had the opportunity to meet Kevin Belanger – the man who is now turning that dream I had from years ago into his own successful tour business – Tesla Tours. It was a remarkable experience to talk with someone who shares my same passion for sustainable transportation and tourism and who proved to me that I wasn’t crazy all those years ago, maybe just a little ahead of my time! I was inspired to work with Kevin and will be looking at ways to collaborate in the near future.
‘Moments that are sacred inspire us to change.’
As I sit here writing this blog, the weather outside is unseasonably warm. The hills are barely dusted in snow. Climate Change is happening right now, all around us. Last week was one of the warmest on record, at a time of year when we are supposed to be at our coldest. My dad is worried too that his bees will mistakenly think it is spring, starting the queen laying her eggs too early and leaving the developing bees vulnerable to an unexpected cold snap. Back in Victoria, the cherry trees are already blossoming – something I remember in March and April, not January. This past summer was the smokiest I have ever experienced, and forecasts predict this may be the new normal.
My eyes have always been open to this crisis, and after my time at the Impact conference, I realize the time to act is now. The time is now for me to shift into sustainability focused work, to put my passion and skills to work for the most deserving client I can think of – this beautiful, living planet we all call home.
See you on the front lines. I’ll be the girl in the white Tesla 😉