This is British Columbia

Picture this: a tent pitched on a deserted beach on the West Coast of Canada. An evening spent around a beach fire, driftwood crackling, watching as the sky is painted like a canvas with the most brilliant colours you have ever seen. The sunset progresses, each phase a little richer than the last, then fades to black - but only to make room for thousands of twinkling stars. The perpetual crash and retreat of the Pacific Ocean soothes you to sleep. In the morning, the sun breaking through the fog casts a mystical glow on the beach and illuminates a pod of humpback whales passing by offshore as you cook your breakfast over a rickety camp stove.
 
This is one of my most memorable experiences living out there. This is British Columbia.

Gulf Islands National Park, BC

Gulf Islands National Park, BC

The magic, however, is not confined to the coast and the draw of the ocean. Each nook and cranny of our diverse province has something incredible to offer to those who not only look, but see. To those who choose depth over distance and explore beyond the usual. To those who wander through the extensive mountain ranges, the rolling grasslands, and the towering old growth forests. To those who paddle the hidden lakes and amongst the scattered islands, sending ripples across the water.
 
These ripples are not the only ones created.
 
A shift will occur inside of you when you explore British Columbia’s great outdoors. A ripple will run through your body, reminding you to take everything in and cherish these landscapes. Our province’s beauty has developed a culture of connectivity in our people - an appreciation for the natural world and its systems at a level I have yet to experience elsewhere. An understanding that although we call British Columbia “home,” we are only visitors, and must be mindful during our explorations of the natural wonders our province encompasses.

Strathcona Provincial Park, BC

Strathcona Provincial Park, BC

While I have lived and travelled extensively across Canada, and fully appreciate the breathtaking East Coast, the endless boreal forest of the Arctic, the spectacle that is the Alberta Rockies, the rolling plains of the prairies, and everything in between, there is still something about British Columbia. The air feels a little different here, filling your lungs with peace and gratitude – filling you with a sense of completeness. You can see it in the smile that spreads across a stranger’s face as you pass each other on a long hike through the woods, in the helping hand pulling you up to solid ground after a challenging climb, on the calloused feet worn from days spent adventuring. The air is different here. The magic of exploring the outdoors is different here.

Strathcona Provincial Park, BC

Strathcona Provincial Park, BC

Now, picture this: there you are - on top of a mountain overlooking plunging river valleys, hiking through the lush coastal rainforest, watching the waves of the Pacific crash into the shore with a thunderous roar, wandering through the rolling grasslands of the interior while the wind blows, canoeing remote lakes as birds fill the silence with their songs - living your life out there, where the wild things are.
 
Pause.
 
This is British Columbia. See it for what it is. Its natural beauty. Its great outdoors. The endless adventures to be had. Explore it. Appreciate it. Preserve it. Let it shake your soul awake, and know that before you lies a land of magic you are privileged to experience. The captivating coast, the mystical forests, the riveting mountains, the mesmerizing grasslands - we truly have it all.
 
Take it all in.
 
This is British Columbia - the best place on Earth.

Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, BC

Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, BC