Going Home… for a Vacation

In the past I have tried to steer clear of articles written about my life plans for a number of reasons. For one, Machu Picchu usually yields a higher google search percentage that does the name Brendan van Son (for now anyways… look out world wonders).

Actually the truth is that I try to stick closer to the realm of travel writer than to travel blogger (don’t get angry at me for saying this), but travel writing is a type of descriptive art. Travel blogging, to me, can seem to be a little bit more related to the “look at where I am Mom” aspect of travel, which is great for some people, and I love reading those posts to, but that’s just not my style (although I think that this will be considered a travel bloggers post). Another reason that I’ve tried to stay away from that type of writing is because I find that as soon as I start writing about how I feel on the road I begin to notice self-indulgence in my writing, and I’d like to stay away from that as best I can.

I’ve tried to keep Brendan’s Adventures to be about travel and, yes, sometimes that means including me in the stories, but I’ve tried to maintain the story or the destination as the focal point of the writing. However, I think that my regular readers (my mom will be proud, if not surprised, to find out that I have some) will at times enjoy a quick update on my life, so here it goes, as self indulgent as it may be.

I’m going home… for a vacation.

Going Home, Rocky, Canada
Pops in the backyard of my childhood home chasing a deer away

The concept still makes me giggle a little bit on the inside. I’ve been on the road for thirteen months straight now, without setting foot on my native Canadian soil. I haven’t had a poutine, a buffalo burger, or waffles with proper maple syrup in the entire thirteen months away and my mouth is watering just writing these words. And, as Pamela of Spunky Girl Monologues loves reminding me, I haven’t set foot inside the greasy confines of Peter’s Drive in to knock back a thick milkshake in a while either.

It’s quite hysterical actually, how I’m feeling. I remember the sensation of heading out on a big vacation or trip and planning everything I need to do: go to the bank, buy gifts to give away, make a packing list and, most importantly, plan the places you are going to visit. I am doing all those things right now for my trip home. I have even built an itinerary already, and just like a vacation to some foreign country it feels like I don’t have enough time to see everything, or everyone, I’d like to.

People keep asking me how I feel about going home after over a year away, and to be honest I don’t know how to answer them.  But I think, above all, what I’m feeling is fear.  I’ve been raving about Canada since the moment I left its stone mountains and iron flat prairies at the end of July 2009, what happens if it’s not all that I remember?  What happens if the Canadian Rockies aren’t as amazing as I remember? What if Victoria is no longer my favourite city in the world?  And most importantly, what if the milkshakes

Peyto Lake in Banff National Park

at Peter’s Drive-In on Highway 1 aren’t as mouth-watering as I remember?  It seems that there is a lot of pressure riding on my trip to Canada, and I am hoping Canada lives up to my expectations.

So, to my dearest friends and family, I expect to see you with open arms waiting for me when I touch down in Calgary off United Airlines flight 8212 coming from San Fransisco via Lima at 2:43pm on August 31st (I know I shouldn’t be giving out that info, but my mom wont be too surprised to find out my readers haven’t yet become stalkers… I hope).  And to my dearest Canada, please, I beg of you, give to me all that you have to offer.  Please, please don’t let me down.

Tentative trip itinerary:


  • Spend time between Rocky Mountain House, Calgary, Banff and Canmore to see friends an family
  • Some of my favourite sites that I will stop in at guarenteed: Grassy Lakes, Canmore; Drumheller; Moraine Lake; Peyto Lake; Athabasca Glacier.


  • West Coast Road Trip
  • Kelowna, BC (the Okanagan), Vancouver (one of the few cities in the world I could actually think of planting roots), Victoria (still my favourite city in the world), Kamloops (one of my favourite sites is nearby Helmken Falls), Jasper (one of the best spots in Alberta to spot bears), and Edmonton (as a Calgarian I hate Edmonton, but they have a big mall).