My girlfriend Jessica's birthday is just around the corner, so I wanted to do something special for her this year. After a bit of thinking, I decided that there is no better way to celebrate a birthday than to fly around Southern Saskatchewan!
During my cross-Canada Instagram challenge, I was followed by Instagramer flyingmachines_, a pilot here in Regina. Once I saw what he did for a living, I asked him about it. After switching some dates around, we picked the perfect day: Saturday, November 7th, 2015, me and my girlfriend's 58th month together. After dropping hints the days leading up to it, I eventually told Jess what I had planned. She was excited, but also very nervous. Neither of us had ever been in a small airplane before!
On Saturday we met our pilot, Jamie Fitzel, for the first time. It was here that I first learned about his incredible flying documentary "Journey to Yellowstone" he made this past July. His story is incredible, and although I only skimmed the 5 part series, you can tell he has a definite love for flying! I highly recommend you checking it out!
The plane he took on his 1,300 nautical mile journey across unrelenting terrain was a Cessna 172... which happened to be the exact plane Jessica and I were taking that day!
The plan was to fly west from Regina to Pense, then circle my girlfriend's farm, head north to the Lumsden and the Qu'Appelle Valley, and then fly back to Regina for few laps. The total flight took about 57 minutes, but it was well worth it!
A big thanks to Jamie for making this possible!
And an early Happy Birthday to my sweetheart Jessica. I love you.
Happy Birthday Jessica!
Don't forget to pin it!
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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Long before I started my blog, many, many years ago, I visited Innsbruck, Austria. I was on a Contiki trip through Europe and visited a plethora of locations such as Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, Lucerne and Innsbruck, just to name a few. It was an incredible experience and one that I think was a transformative moment in my life.
Off the record (or, on the record now, I guess), of all the places I visited, the only one I didn't like was Innsbruck. I couldn't get into it. We visited it in late March, so the weather wasn't the best. The trees didn't have any leaves on them, the grass was brown, and everything had a post-winter grey look to it. After visiting Munich and spending the night in St. Goar, my mind wasn't thinking about Innsbruck at all. Instead, I was more excited to go to Venice the next day, and the Vatican the day after that. My time in Innsbruck was uneventful, and all I wanted was to get back on the road.
That was in 2011, and now it's 2018. Has my opinion on Innsbruck changed? I would say yes. I'm more mature now and if I went back, I would better appreciate what I was seeing. As I've gotten older, I've been less impressed by the massive buildings and more enthralled by the history that created them.
When I started my blog, I wanted a place to tell stories. I wanted a place where I could keep memories and show them off for people later. My earliest entries on my blog are from 2011 (published in 2014), right after my trip to Europe. They're messy, they lack detail, and they are full of inaccuracies. Not the mention the wretched photography.
So, there's only been a slight improvement since then. Hahahahaha.
Four years later, my blog has become my hobby, my joy, my escape and my work. I spend hours writing content for my blog. I spend hours editing pictures, researching details, and adjusting content for SEO (search engine optimization). It's a full-time gig, and just the other day I published my 200th article. After 200 times of doing something, you'd think the articles would get easier, but they really don't. Each one is unique unto itself, and each one is a special time in my life that I shared with my readers.
Ever since visiting the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg last summer, I've wanted to include more about First Nations culture on my blog. Being of European descent, I often feel I am culturally blind to First Nations culture, and I noticed a severe lack of it in my writing. In fact, I feel in past articles a lot of my focus has been on European history in the New World, with only a side note regarding First Nations history. Now, I am trying for there to be more equal representation in my blog.
To finish off my #BucketlistAB series, I thought this article would be the perfect place to flip the tables, and instead focus on First Nations culture, with a European side note. Sometimes it is impossible to talk about one without the other, but I tried to focus more on the First Nations people and their story in this article. Please let me know what you think in the comments below.