It's 2013, I've just gained my Canadian Permanent residency, which I've been working towards for 2 years, and now I'm not sure what I want to do with my life.
I attended workshops on guided meditation, life coaching, worked at the community greenhouse, spoke to friends, and took long walks in the mountains, often with these same friends.
I can pinpoint the moment when GuideMe was born; I was hiking in the larches above Moraine Lake with my longtime bestie and adventure buddy, Courtney. We were talking about life and purpose, and what we wanted to do with ours. I realized that I wanted to use my knowledge of event planning and building itineraries, and use it to work with guides who take people hiking and climbing in the Canadian Rockies.
Many years of hard work, and considerably more thinking and asking advice, and GuideMe was incorporated in May 2016.
I am a firm believer in a work - life balance, and I knew I needed funds to support myself as I built this idea and this company, so I did it slowly over many months whilst working full time for Brewster, now d.b.a Pursuit Banff Jasper collection. Without the support of friends, family and my boss and colleagues at Pursuit there is no way I would be where I am today.
And where is that?
Well, just under 3 years in and I have grown the business enough to finally stop working 100+ hour weeks, and am taking time visiting friends in Australia to concentrate on running the company full time.
So what does that business look like?
GuideMe is a platform to connect guests with guides. Ultimately it will take into account preferences, abilities and group types to match them with the ideal guide and hike. Some guides LOVE to hike with children, others pride themselves on introducing newbies to the backcountry, and some are happiest pushing people to reach peaks and summits beyond their wildest dreams.
I want guides to work to their fullest potential, and guests get the best experience possible on their visit to the mountains. If you tell me what you want, I'll do my darnedest to get it for you. If you're not sure what you want, one of my other gifts is to help you figure that out.
My blogs will be a combination of informative blogs on the hikes and activities in and around Banff, updates to the business and how each step is progressing, and anecdotes and stories from life in the Rockies. Hopefully you will find some of this useful when you're planning your trip, and if you have any questions at all I would love to hear from you!
This place is alive, and it will bring you to life. All you need to do is get off the pavements, into the mountains and see what it has to offer!