I’ve been reflecting a lot on my aversion to the ugly towns of Northern BC. My hopes of rugged weatherboarding and quaint fishing communities were not quite met.
Prince Rupert, sorry, but besides the thin strip along the bay that lasts all of about 200 ft, is super hideous and run down. And the provincial parks… left me wanting. But I am just being SUPER shallow? I mean what do I bloody expect, I’ve been travelling across a country where real people live in real poverty, like most other places in the world. Imagine visiting Harlow and thinking god Essex is hideous or Milton Keynes and thinking Buckinghamshire is shitty. (There are great aspects to both these places, pls don’t shoot me, your towns are great).
But whilst I can accept that not everything and everywhere is gonna meet my standards of pretty… I’m allowed to not want to stay there right? Y’know, indefinitely? Not for me.
Romanticism, in the traditional sense of the word, is described by google as:
A movement in the arts and literature that originated in the late 18th century, emphasizing inspiration, subjectivity, and the primacy of the individual.
That’s not really the easiest concept to understand. I like how Rosalind Buckton-Tucker describes Romanticism and it’s link to travel (she talks specifically about travel writing). She writes about it in her piece Romanticism and the Philosophy of Travel published in International Journal of Arts and Sciences.
When I read about peoples travels, or not even read… when I just look at Insta posts or Facebook images… lots of the romantic themes crop up: aestheticism and a sense of awe and wonder is massive. Obviously, romanticism being from the 18th Century, it’s outdated as a movement, there aren’t many people proclaiming themselves romantics anymore. But I can’t help but feel many of our aspirations towards travel are built upon these romantic ideals.
Maybe I’m lacking the gumption, to expect less and absorb more?
I chose Canada… The Great White North of all places. Of course I came here due to some sort of affinity with nature and desire for awe n wonder. I’ve had my fair share for now. I’ve spent months looking to the mountains, lakes and waterfalls.
According to Colin Wilson in Introduction to the New Existentialism, Romanticism began as a tremendous surge of optimism about the stature of humankind. Its aim — like that of science — was to raise us above the muddled feelings and impulses of his everyday humanity.
This certainly seems like a more pleasant way of looking at it. Through creating a dialogue with nature we may learn more about ourselves and our place…
Circling back, I couldn’t achieve a dialogue with nature in a place like Prince Rupert, Terrace or Prince George, as nestled as you are in the mountains, the grey man-made structures are overbearing and fog my poor little mind. In Squamish, as unattractive as I found downtown, it wasn’t overbearing, it wasn’t pushing down heavily on my chest.
Is it cliché that this is all so bloody reflective? Maybe I’m spending too much time in my own head.
Someone lend me a helping hand and help me figure out where it’s all going?
The mountains aren’t calling me any longer. Something else is.
The Ever-loving Abigail