#1 Royal Roads University - 20-22
I met good friends, started to date, got my first adult job, hosted progressive dinners, kayaking tours, Mt Washington trips, and a masquerade ball.
Few people could get as much out of a University year as I did, even fewer as a student-turned-employee.
#2 European Adventure Age - 22
Nathan and I spent a day snowshoeing around Mt Washington and determined we needed to see the world together. In the end, we bought a Eurail pass and spent two months going to over 20 countries. It alone had memories enough to fill my 20s.
The best part might have been the opportunity to blog about it and save all those memories, thanks to a friend i met at RRU!
#3 Urbantastic - 22-23
Speaking of RRU, after travelling Europe and spending the summer volunteering at summer camp, I joined forces with fellow RRU graduate Heath Johns at set out to start a company. It’s first idea was events baed, then we hit on microvolunteering, ultimately crashing into a quiet abyss.
Thankfully, all was not lost, as we did get national attention (and that of Union Gospel Mission, my soon-to-be employer, then cornerstone client).
#5 Fatherhood - 23-29
I think I’ll have some more memories listed here, but it’s worth its own to describe the journey of becoming ‘Papa’. I’ve been learning on the fly, and I appreciate the opportunity that I’ve been given to take care of Matthew and Ellie more and more each day.
#6 Frontier Consulting 24 - 27
It started because I wanted to go back to the Island but didn’t want to leave my job. Frontier started as a desk in my basement suite where I worked Saturday mornings. Over time I added clients (thanks to Don Manning), and the scope of my work started to include others (like Blythe, Derek, Luke, Heath, and Emily). Once Matthew was born I needed an office, and that’s when it all started to get real.
Special thanks to Blythe, Derek, Emily, Don, Luke, Mario, Voislav and Heath for being a core part of my life those years.
#7 Fronter Marketing Co 27 - 29
Things started to change when Zach and Anna joined. My contract with UGM shifted to include more people, and then Sarah and Simone were stuffed into the tiny office at Fernwood (the third office Frontier rented in that block).
When Frontier hit nine bodies, it was time for a decision. Do we stay small, and become an elite fundraising consulting team, or do we go medium and become the best charity fundraising company in Canada?
I’m so glad the shift was made. Now we have Nick, Henry, Amy, Mariam, Sophie, and SarahK added to our ranks.
#8 Hawaii Honeymoon - 26
It took us a couple years, but Jaime and I finally got away from Ellie and made a trip on our own. There were ups and downs, highlighted by a scooter ride around Oahu, lowlighted by a night’s stay in a hostel, but overall it was a wonderful memory.
#9 Back to back to back Jacks (Softball) - 29
There’s nothing like hitting a homerun. I have good memories of it from other years, but this one particularly stood out. It was a fall game, and my first at bat the bases were loaded. HR. Second at bat, bases loaded. HR. Third at bat, two on. HR. Amazing day.
#10 Dodgeball tournies - 28
One hot summer day my rowdy group of dodgeballers played in a one-day summer tournament and it was epic. We were a Disney team; losing right away then working our way to the top of the amateur circuit, ultimately losing to one of the bad-guy teams.
Later on Valentine’s Day we played a tourney and won against the reigning team in our league. It was glorious.
#11 Weddings. - 23, 25, 26, 27
I had my wedding, surrounded by friends and family at a park in Kitsilano in March 2009. I remember the day well and was most impacted by a speech my long-time friend Nathan gave.
Later I had the opportunity to speak at his wedding, then Eric’s, then Dan’s. It’s been a joy to participate in such milestone days for those guys. They will be some of the best experiences of my 20s.
#12 Super Bowl tragedy, tragedy then victory - 22,26, 29
I’m a Patriots fan from when Tom Brady first walked on the field. I witnessed glory in my late teens only to see the NY Giants squash dream after dream.
Then the showdown of showdowns happened, and in the final moment Malcolm Butler made the play of the year. Those final moments will live forever.
#13 Celebrating $1 Million revenue - 28
In late April of 2014, Frontier passed $1 Million revenue. In the month following we had a lunch party as a group to celebrate, featuring fake $100 bills and champagne. It was a wonderful celebration and a fun milestone.
#14 Goodbye Grandma - 28
Death isn’t positive, but celebrating life is. My grandma was a big influence in my life, and I absolutely loved seeing all the people in her life gather in one place. She was well loved.
#15 Family Thanksgiving in Alberta - 26
Somewhat related to the above, Thanksgiving is around the same time as my Grandma’s birthday. We did a good job gathering as a family for Thanksgiving, especially so when it was my Grandma’s 80th birthday.
#16 Parksville trips - 25-29
Parksville holds a special place in my, and my kids’, hearts. Our first family trip went horribly (terrible weather, and small space with baby), but since then it’s been one great experience after another. I highly recommend it as a family destination.
#17 Mount Washington Family Trip - 27
It was a birthday trip and the mountain was too warm for skiing. Nonetheless Ellie and little Matthew loved it. Ellie and I made an igloo and a snowman, and we loved the chalet so much. We practically had the mountain to ourselves!
#18 Christina Lake Trips - 24
My best trip to Christina Lake was with a big bunch of camp staffers after the summer ended, but that was when I was 19. The second trip was an epic disappointment (the town is really run down since I was a kid) but it will always be special every time I visit my hometown as a kid.
#19 Canucks games - 22-24
The highlight experience was lower bowl tickets to see the Canucks and the Flames play, but I still remember going to a game in the upper bowl and taking in hockey in Vancouver for the first time. Bonus points to seeing the Flames in Calgary when I was 20 (thanks Uncle Doug!).
#20 Derek and Ben do TO (and other business trips) - 28
Business trips are some of my favourite things. I have memories of steakhouses and float planes, hotels and airbnbs. One that really sticks out to me was flying to Toronto with my friend and colleague Derek.
That trip set in motion so many things I can’t believe it, and I enjoyed his company and the thrill of going about TO so much.
#21 Spring Training in Phoenix - 29
This was a bucket list item for me. I got to see the Cubs play the Giants with a good friend, then watch the Rockies and Diamondbacks play with a new friend. I got to see Old Scottsdale. Hot sun, baseball, warm water. Turns out Phoenix area also has great coffee shops and good food.
Special thanks to Patrick for helping me get home (and bonus points for a great stay in Seattle during an earlier trips a few years back).
#22 2010 Olympics. - 24
I had the great luck of living in Vancouver during the Olympics. I remember watching the torch go by with Ellie and Jaime. I enjoyed turing the villages with Eric and Nathan. I didn’t go to any events but went to a Gold medal party and watched Sidney Crosby score the winning goal. It was electric.
#23 Trip to Whistler - 24
I’m not great at planning personal events, or dates for that matter, but this one I nailed. We went on a surprise train ride from North Vancouver to Whistler and back. 10/10 day.
#24 Canadians Baseball Volunteering (and ball games) - 23
I don’t have my licence to drive big vans and taxis anymore, but while I did, I used it to volunteer in the best way possible (for me) - driving pro baseball players to and from their homestay and the baseball diamond. Free games, wandering inside the clubhouse. It was amazing.
#25 Birthday parties, Christmas’, and Easters - 23 - 29
I’ll always remember one Easter where we got Ellie to go upstairs and I thumped around the ground floor leaving eggs all over and a basket at the back door.
#26 Las Vegas - 29
While what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, I can say the trip was absolutely worth it and full of wonderful memories.
#27 Water parks - 25 - 29
Oak Bay has a great waterpark for kids of all ages, and Langford has an even better one. It’s easy taking kids to the park (I used my big bike to take them there most days) and it’s so easy to watch them there. In the future I look forward to going to the REAL waterparks with them.
#28 Blue Jays first postseason since 1993 - 29
I left my eight year old self in Toronto that fateful day that Jose Bautista launched a home run into the left field seats of Rogers Centre. Real Sports Bar, friends, strangers. It will be etched in my sports memories as the tops for some time I think.
#29 Portland - 27
Sitting down in a brewery in Vancouver I fell in love with the white utility stools they had. Zach told me they were in Portland, and so we went. The trip included hip hotel, hipper coffee, and country cooked dinner. It also included a mad dash on the ferry with stools in our arms. The best of road trips.
There's lots that I'm forgetting, but that's why I want to spend more of my 30s reflecting on memories like this.