There are certainly more comfortable ways of traveling across Canada than on a motorcycle. Most people were pointing this out (including my parents) when along with three of my friends I decided to ride my motorcycle to BC and back. We knew it was going to be difficult, at times uncomfortable, not to mention costly. So, why did we do it? I suppose we were looking for an adventure, for a challenge, and for the opportunity to see the beauty of our vast country close up. So, we left on Canada Day, July 1st, on what we called “Cross-Canada Epic Motorcycle Pilgrimage”: 4 motorcycles, 4 priests, 2 weeks, and 10,000km.
Our pilgrimage began with amazing weather, and no rain until we reached Alberta. Once in Alberta, we were given 4 straight days of rain and cold temperatures. Thankfully we had good rain gear and energy to burn. Once in Victoria the sun came back and we enjoyed a beautiful day free from riding. Then, after one day of rest we started our trip back through the United States. There was no more rain, but we did get a few days of real heat, upwards of 36C. All in all, we arrived back home exactly 14 days after our start date.
What’s the take away from this epic pilgrimage? My takeaway is captured in the word “gratitude”. I am grateful for my friends who were willing to spend time with me and share this adventure with me. Friendship is a sacred gift, and one that I have taken for granted at times. To be a friend and to have a friend is a true blessing. I am also grateful for the privilege of sharing this great country of Canada. To have roads that can be travelled to places that can be appreciated is a gift for a motorcycle enthusiast like me. I am also grateful for the beauty that exists all around me in the people I met, the people who prepared a room for me to sleep in at the motels, the people who prepared the food I ate along the way, the people who asked where we are from and who encouraged us with a smile and a wave. And lastly, I am grateful for the gift of my faith. During this trip I listened (once again) to some of my favourite spiritual classics: “Interior Castle” by Teresa of Avila and “City of God” by St. Augustine. Whenever I immerse myself in the richness of our spiritual tradition I come away refreshed and renewed in my love for the gift of faith.
Now I’m back, and I am very happy to be back to continue my “epic pilgrimage of life” with all of you. I am grateful!
Fr. Wojtek Kuzma