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Audley specialist Rachel


Canada Country Specialist

My love of travel started from an early age with family holidays to incredible destinations such as South Africa and Peru. From exploring rugged mountains to tiny fishing villages, a passion for learning more about the world and the people within it was ignited, leading me to go on and study geography at university.

Fast forward a few years and I have now been fortunate enough to tick off several new countries from my travel list, and most recently, have spent five amazing years living in Whistler, in British Columbia. What began initially as an opportunity to spend a winter skiing in North America’s largest ski resort, soon developed into a love for everything the region can offer year-round. In the summer I could often be found hiking in the mountains, cycling the valley trail, or simply swimming in one of the many turquoise lakes.

During my time in Canada and since joining Audley as a Canada specialist, I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed exploring the country — from road-tripping across Vancouver Island and the Rocky Mountains, visiting the Eastern cities via train, through to cruising alongside the Inside Passage up to Alaska.

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Audley specialist Rachel

Start planning your trip to Canada with Rachel

Q&A with Rachel

Whistler, British Columbia

What’s your best piece of travel advice?

My top tip when travelling is simply to say ‘yes’ to new adventures. Canada is home to a whole host of fun outdoor activities and experiences, with one being zip-lining. I was recently persuaded to take part in the Sasquatch zip-line tour in Whistler, which is the fastest and longest zip-line in North America. With a fair bit of apprehension, I took the leap from Blackcomb Mountain, heading across the valley towards Whistler Mountain. It was such an exhilarating experience and one that also enabled me to get a new perspective on a place I’d been living in for a few years!

River drift at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge, Bella Coola, Northern British Columbia

What’s your most vivid travel moment?

On a recent visit to Bella Coola, Northern British Columbia, we embarked on a scenic drift down the Atnarko River with the aim of glimpsing wildlife in its natural habitat. As we meandered between snow-capped mountains and lush green forests, we were lucky to spot a grizzly bear further downstream. We quickly anchored our boat — ensuring to maintain a safe distance — watching as the bear wandered down from the bank into the rushing water. Using his extended claws, he began lunging at the array of salmon swimming upstream, until eventually selecting one to devour. I can remember vividly the sound of crunching that followed and how powerful the whole experience was, seeing a creature of such sheer size exude such gracefulness at the same time deep in the wilderness.

Rohr Lake

Which book, film or artwork captures Canada the most?

The recent BBC TV series ‘Race Across The World Canada’ captures excellently the vast and diverse landscape of Canada, showcased as the contestants endure a lengthy eight week trek from the west to east. Above all though, I feel that the programme highlights how hospitable and welcoming Canadians are as a nation. The acts of kindness shown throughout the series accurately resembles the experiences I had when first moving to British Columbia. Every interaction I experienced from setting up my sim card to buying groceries, was so genuine and caring, making the experience a lot less daunting and a whole lot more enjoyable.