I came to Banff in November 2013, knowing I would be spending two years there. Before I get to a place, I never look up any information about it. After all, expectations can only disappoint, and being clueless is, in a way, being on an adventure. I did know that it was in a national park within the Rocky Mountains, I did know that I was going to be a night receptionist at a hotel, and so my expectations were based on the following two basic elements: I wanted to go hiking every morning (weather permitting), and I wanted to use the nights to write travel books. That’s it!But when I arrived, things took a whole different turn. Banff was an actual town inside a national park, where people didn’t just come to hike and ski, but also to party. My job, to my astonishment, also involved keeping drunk adolescents under control. What’s more: Banff had the reputation of being the STD Capital of either Alberta or Canada.
One of the chapters in my book Baffling Banff is called ‘If you can’t laid in Banff, you can’t get laid anywhere.’ This was quoted from one of the young drunks I had to deal with. The little dipshit was right, though. It’s like Archibald, also in the book, says with a sigh, ‘The rates have dropped, mate’ – an indicator that the individualistic energy in town revolves around sex and alcohol during certain times of the year.
Banff is not really the STD Capital of Alberta (let alone Canada), but it does rank among the highest towns. And there’s plenty of potential: one-third of the town’s population consists of people in their 20s, and half of them are single. The simple remedy is to protect yourself, and take good care of yourself. In my book you’ll read about the many encounters I’ve had with certain people, and besides entertainment value, these anecdotes make for good warnings, too.
My dear wish for Banff is that hotels start hiring people who love the outdoors, older people, hospitality folks who love hiking and all that. That’s the only way this grand national park can earn some of its dignity back!
News In Brief…
The next travel project is going to be something entirely different. I’m going to walk the length of the United Kingdom from Bognor Regis in the south to Cape Wrath in the north. The book I’ll be writing about that walk will be in English. The route is based on “The Bryson Line” out of Bill Bryson’s The Road To Little Dribbling.
Although the book on the Netherlands is written in Dutch, the books about Australia and Vietnam are not! These will come out toward the end of April.
To sustain yourselves until then, there are two more books I wrote in English (see below). By purchasing your copy (either Kindle or printed, or check out your local Kobo e-book store) you are helping me a great deal with the funding of future projects! Thank you!