Seeing a grizzly bear on my five minute walk to work was always a possibility, climbing up an 8,000ft mountain and running down it to get to work on time, and waking up to snow in July, were all common events while I was living in Lake Louise.
Less than a 1000 people live in Lake Louise and I was one on those lucky people. Lake Louise is in a national park and to live there you have to be employed by one of the few businesses working within the park. As an employee everyone takes the “Brewster bus”, one of the few ways to take a break from your life in this globe, far from civilization (about 2 hours). Filled with towering mountains caped in snow, a breath taking bright blue lake spotted with vibrant red canoes, and grizzly bears that populate the lush forested area that blankets the mountains.
I journeyed down the windy road to civilization 3 times, in the 3 months, that I had lived in Lake Louise. The last time was when I left to come back on Ontario. I waved goodbye to two of my friends Dominique and Vicki, and all my amazing adventures in the Rocky Mountains. Tears were flooding my eyes. I still think about this crazy chapter of my life everyday.
I worked as a Hostess in the Lakeview restaurant. One of the five restaurants in the Chateau Lake Louise. The most magical hotel that was embedded in the mountains. A hotel where kings and queens have stayed, and where you have to greet people by “Sir and Madame”, where people spend a thousand dollars or more to spend a night, and where each table had a terrarium that cost a couple hundred dollars. I often felt out of place. Unlike the other hostesses I did not like wearing dresses, nor did I like wine. You could often see me looking for the bellman’s dog, Marcus that wanders around the hotel, and trying to hide the Terrariums I broke by accident. I worked long 12 hour days guiding guests to their seats, looking out to the 2nd most photographed place in Canada. I heard amazing stories daily from people who had travelled from Hawaii, Australia, and all over the world just to see Lake Louise.
The isolation and long days got to me, but I lived for the days off. Where me and the amazing friends went on endless adventures. 60km bike rides, hiking through canyons, splurging on $100 fondue dinners, Waking up at 3 am to watch sunrise from a mountain top, celebrating my 21st birthday taking shots on top of a mountain surrounded by clouds, canoeing Lake Louise at sunrise with my dad, and always coming home to my amazing friends who lived in Brewster.
The decision to try, will be the best decision of your life. It all starts by taking one step at a time. At the time I accepted the job, I didn’t know how I would move across the country, or say goodbye to my friends, family and boyfriend for three months, or work for a big fancy hotel, but that was the best part. Stepping out of my comfort zone, embracing challenges, by myself, to dig deeper to my roots and discover the world and my capabilities.