Recently we sent a talented group of Canadian photographers and storytellers along with our team at Passion Passport on a trip to Quebec City, Montreal, and Halifax. The team toured these three unique places, learning about Canada’s creative cities and snapping some unforgettable images along the way. We got to bask in their beautiful photos, listen to their stories, and rediscover one of our country’s greatest cities. Passion Passport team member Rachel Heckerman told us her story about the journey:

I know that in a few years when I look back on my train experience through Canada, I will be convinced that I was gone for at least a month. It’s unfathomable to believe that the number of things I experienced on the trip from Halifax to Montreal all happened within a matter of four days. And yet they did.

Time can work in unusual ways when we travel. I’ve always been a big believer that stepping onto new soil and participating in new experiences has a strange ability to slow down time.  When everything is new, every detail heightens your senses and your awareness becomes acute and sharp. Pair that phenomenon with train travel, where you’re being propelled through ever-changing scenery, and the experience still has an interesting effect on you. Having the opportunity to step out of the hectic world, and into an untouchable time capsule on the train was an experience that seemed to warp time.

The morning I arrived in Halifax, I was introduced to 5 new strangers–––Naomi, Musemo, Dave, Ann-Stephanie, and Jeff. In terms of interests, we were about as different as you could get. But it didn’t take long for us to learn about our similarities. Time also works in strange ways when it comes to making friends as we travel. I have always learned more about travelers that I have known for four days than I have known about coworkers who I worked alongside for six months. It was no different with these creatives. We all cut to the most thought-provoking questions, the “why” of what we do. It’s this kind of conversation that I always find to be the most interesting, the kind that I live for.

For the next four days, we ran around Halifax, Quebec City, and Montreal together. We explored the seaside beauty of Peggy’s Cove, leaving no stone unturned as we roamed around the colorful homes that looked as though they belonged in Greenland. We spent 18 hours on The Ocean train, talking late into the night, enjoying meals together, and teaching each other about our unique, creative approaches to our work. In Quebec City, we rose early for the sunrise, holding on to the morning light as we traversed the cobblestone streets. And we had our final lunch together in Montreal, as we prepared to move on to different paths as we headed back home.

When I got off the train on our final day, I believe that I had gotten whiplash from everything that had just happened to me and everything that I had seen. It was hard to believe so much could happen that quickly. At the beginning of the trip, it was me and five strangers on a train. But, by the end, I left with five new friends.

Header image by @dezjeff