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From bears to business – How a wild encounter can strengthen resolve

From bears to business – How a wild encounter can strengthen resolve

A black bear.
A black bear in Whistler, Canada. This creature brought with it a life lesson.

At every turn, there exists a lesson. When least expected, determination to succeed in life and therefore business can be reinforced.

Canada, a country with spectacular scenery and diverse habitats, proved the location for a recent lightbulb moment of tenacity.

A month to remember

Before embarking on our dream trip, I knew my batteries were drained and time away was much needed.

Returning to work fully recharged and refreshed means I’m raring to go!

The beauty of Canada is matched by the creatures that call this amazing country home.

It was Saturday 19 August.

Upon arrival in Toronto and an initial meet with our tour guide, it soon became known that we would love to see one of the most majestic animals on our planet. Could he ‘organise’ a wild encounter given there’s no diary I know of that can book a viewing?

Eyeing an opportunity

Paul could see the excitement ramp up when he mentioned there was a good chance of seeing a bear. So, with eyes peeled and binoculars at the ready, the journey began.

Now, Canada is a pretty big country…and that’s putting it mildly! Though with a few provinces and cities to visit, spirits were high at the prospect of a grizzly encounter.

An energy-sapping coach trip in the first few days was broken up with a picturesque picnic next to woodland, overlooking the gorgeous Lake Louise. We settled down for lunch.

Digesting our sandwich meant a stroll before returning to the coach. The bellow of ‘BEAR!’ mid-stroll brought excitement and trepidation in equal measure. Nobody wants to disturb a bear and come between parents and cubs!

A couple of close shaves

Close shave number one turned out to be a grizzly bear, though no sighting by yours truly. Paul and two fellow holidaymakers saw the magnificence of a bear passing the picnic table we had been at just five minutes previous!

Next up in the great bear hunt was Whistler. Having spoken to others who had visited this resort instilled confidence that this would be the place our dreams became reality. Those who had been to the iconic skiing village days before our arrival informed that bears had been spotted around the golf course and its paths.

Armed with nothing other than excitement, my wife and I stepped into the relative unknown and embarked on a 5k walk at dusk around the course. The attention-grabbing ‘Bears in the area’ signs meant we remained on guard.

With each attentive stride, our chances of a sighting were diminishing. The day of our departure was looming large, as close shave number two was limited to a picture of bear signage.

Expect the unexpected

Then arrives Wednesday 30 August.

The hotel room phone wakes us up. “Craig, it’s Paul. There’s a bear outside the hotel! Can you get to reception to meet me?”

Not needing a second invite, we quickly got dressed and headed downstairs.

The photograph you see here is the real McCoy; a circa 350lbs black bear!

Why am I telling you this? Well, other than the pure adrenalin that continues to run through me, there’s a moral to this story.

Be it bears or business, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. 

#BusinessLesson #MakingMemories #Nature

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