This is always a strange time of year for me; my birthday is next week which means that summer is almost over… But I could swear I only just arrived not 2 weeks ago! Never before have I so much agreed with the saying “time flies when you’re having fun.”
There’s something about this line of work that makes you forget about the passage of time.
I am, first and foremost, a historian, and I never in a million years thought that I would enjoy working in the tourism industry so much. When I started this job I struggled to see how the 2 areas may overlap, but now I see that they can mesh well together, just as long as you pitch the history the right way. A huge part of my job in the Visitor Center has involved developing the way I speak to different kinds of people – by this, I mean adjusting my pattern of speech whether I’m talking to an Aussie my own age vs. a couple from Louisiana in their 60s – and that has helped in the way that I talk about the local history. As a student, I’m taught the proper academic way of speaking, but this job has helped remind me that my personal voice can change the same story. And that has made all the difference.
Late July is a difficult time in Banff simply because there are so many people visiting the area at this time. Something I’ve learned working at the VC is that people do not expect this level of traffic, pedestrian and otherwise. I find this interesting, but maybe that is just because I have had a lifetime to become accustomed to this madness.
That reminds me; a while ago I talked about sharing alternate perspectives of life in Banff – perspectives not garnered by people raised in Banff. This week, I have a new one for you all, graciously provided by a good friend of mine I’ve know for a few years…
I arrived in Banff to live in the spring of 2012; I came here to get out of a bad relationship.
I worked at Safeway and generally just avoided people… but I lived in a hostel, which I honestly thought helped me be more open and social. It also influenced how I’ve been since then; I feel like I’m a lot more open about a lot of things, I can talk to a lot of different people easier. I’m more comfortable with myself on a social level.
I have left Banff since my initial arrival, but I came back because this is the only place I’ve felt happy with both myself and my situation. I might leave Banff again soon, but I don’t think it’ll be a permanent leave.
Dagan Ryan-Roe, July 12 2016. From Saskatchewan.
In true Banff fashion, I interrogated my friend (thus obtaining these answers) in our favourite haunt, Tommy’s Pub. Despite the casual nature of the interaction (taking into consideration I was frantically typing his responses on my cell phone), I have previously received formal training in conducting interviews through university. At last, I was able to apply my classroom education to a real-world scenario in order to influence my Co-op job experience.
Things like this never really register with me unless brought to my attention. With the most basic fact that July is almost over I was forced to accept the fact that I have already been working for 2 and a half months and in doing so reflect on all that I have learned therein.
When working jobs you enjoy it can be easy to forget that you’re here to learn new skills.
But how can you focus on work when it feels so much like play?!