“Okay, this is going to sound kinda dark,” Lisa said, between shots of Fireball whisky. “But I could die tomorrow and be perfectly okay with it.”
The smile on her face was all the elaboration needed. The whole group was sitting around a large oak table, in an AirBnB in Whistler Village, nearing the end of our final tour of the summer. Each of us would be dropped off in Vancouver in two days, where we would sign our names on Brent’s interior and wave teary-eyed goodbyes to the beloved white bus.
“I think my purpose in life is to bring joy to myself and those around me,” Lisa said. "And I think that purpose has been fulfilled."
Throughout the whole summer, Lisa had brought friends together. She had forged strong relationships through remarkable experiences—white water rafting, zip-lining, bungee jumping, bathing in glacier cold lakes, wine-tasting, petting dogs, eating turkey sandwiches before impossible views. She had accomplished what she had set out to do: give good people a great time. But she had done more than that. Lisa had revealed to each of Brent’s passengers a way of life.
This way of life isn’t solely about adrenaline-pumping adventure, although it definitely doesn’t shy away from heights, speed, and getting dirty. Rather, it’s about homing in on the simple things that will linger in your memory months after the summer passes. Things like the whole group drinking out of a dog-hose in Whistler Village because none of the fancy restaurants would provide eight glasses of water. Things like replaying "Ocean Eyes,” (a million times) as the sun dips over the horizon and ignites dusty windows with a final glow. Things like talking to strangers in your campground about topics that, well, most people wouldn’t talk to strangers about. Things like playing volleyball in a parking lot under the baking sun, or pressing faces against windows after spotting an animal.
This way of life is about being silly, being brave, trusting your gut, and embracing whatever circumstances arrive. It's about opening your eyes to the joy that comes with facing uncertainty and surrendering to the freedoms of the road. It's about befriending waiters and waitresses, bartenders, fellow bus drivers, rafting instructors, anyone we meet along the way. But, maybe more than anything, it's about connecting with the people who chose to come along for the ride. The ones who trusted Lisa and her tour guides to take them to new heights.
Benji, Syd, Gala, Veda, Paddy, Woz, Kimmers, Remi, Bianca, Cindy, Pam, Olivia, Hailey, Maite, Michelle, Erin—all those brave souls that chose to jump aboard. It's about everyone who listened to their adventurous spirit and withstood the elements—the heat dome, the wildfires, the rumble strips (from my driving), the unpredictable adversities.
Lisa's way is about finding the next peak and keeping your eyes forward.
If you're reading this, and your name isn't listed above, Brent is calling your name.
Adventure awaits, my friends.
From the Forests, Mountains, and Lakes,