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There’s a nervous excitement that settles into the bottom of a nomads belly before he or she begins scaling the open road. Familiarity promises to become a foreign concept, ‘home’ a word with questionable meaning, and maps resemble blueprints for moments of unimaginable joy. But that’s exactly why we do what we do: at LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute), we have an insatiable taste for adventure, and we’re fueled by the great potential of those that our path intersects with.


After a rocky start back in Ontario, Team 2 (West Coast, affectionately known as the ‘Best Coast’) finally hit the black top through Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and North Dakota until finally the Manitoba border greeted us with the warmth of a thousand embraces. Despite our fear of border guards, we weren’t held up for long and soon found ourselves spread out on the floor of our friend JP’s house in Winkler. We only slept for about four hours before it was time to head further West, but they were good ones!


From there we slipped through the border of Saskatchewan and made a few stops in Regina, Central Butte, Humboldt and Bruno before we found ourselves at the Student Leadership Conference in MeadowLake. As if we weren’t feeling fortunate enough to be amongst so many eager students, we were staying with a lady named Janice who fed us our weight in various food items EVERY DAY – and who also introduced us to her horse-sized dog, Ulken.




Ulken is an Irish Wolfhound, he stands 6’8″ and is a mere 3″ short of the record for world’s largest dog. We were all fascinated by his gentle nature – and yet we couldn’t help but feel slightly terrified at the very same time. Adam (Aberdeen‘s bassist) will never admit to this, but the second he stepped off the bus and laid eyes on Ulk, he giggled like a school girl and then peed his skinny jeans. Woops!


With heavy hearts we left Ulk and Janice in MeadowLake, but were excited to get to Lloydminster – a city divided in half by the Saskatchewan and Alberta border. Mandy Moore may have been the first to be claim the ‘two places at once’ feat in A Walk to Remember, but Team 2 makes it look good….right?




We had a great time exploring the city, and the fun followed us all the way to our time in Edmonton. The leaves around here are making summer’s end feel less like heartache and more like a piece of art. As we continue our journey across this beautiful country, we’re reminded of why we’re here and why it’s good: it’s in the places we’ve left and in the places we’ll go – hope is what we call it. And it’s in all of us to give.


Leah, a School of Leadership student traveling across Canada

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: September 27th, 2010