I recently got my first booking through my agent since signing with her a year and a half ago. I’ve gotten a few callbacks before, and I’ve been booking roles that haven’t been through my agent, but this was the first proper booking, so that was exciting. On top of that, it was in Edmonton.
In case you don’t know, Edmonton is a city three hours north of Calgary. The drive isn’t terrible, but it can be boring, and I already knew this from my drive up and down for the callback. This time, between having an early call time and expecting to work a twelve hour day before having to be on the highway another three hours after that, I decided it would be safer to drive up the evening before and stay overnight. Thus, I booked my first Airbnb. I also booked it the same day I drove up because I’d been waiting to see what my call time would be before deciding, so it was a bit last minute.
Since I was spending money on what had now become an overnight trip, I figured I ought to meet up with some Edmontonian friends while I was there, so I put out the word. Upon arriving in Edmonton, I went to dinner with one friend, and after filming the next day, I had dinner with a couple more before driving back. And for the drive, I bought my first ever audiobook, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson.
I typically prefer to absorb my books visually, but when you need your eyes on the road for two trips of three hours, I’ve learned having a playlist of the same songs you’ve already heard a hundred times over isn’t going to cut it. This book, while not bad, almost didn’t cut it either. There were some good little stories in it, but in between the stories there was a lot of droning on about the lessons from those stories. When you’ve had five hours of sleep and were up super early and have been working twelve hours and it’s late at night after a full day and you’re in your heated car on a rainy night on the highway for three hours, a calm voice droning about life lessons—however well-worded—can be the wrong thing to have playing.
Luckily, I’ve gotten a lot of experience with highway driving this summer, and I’m prepared for it. More importantly, I’m prepared not to drive if I feel myself drifting, and I have a blanket in the car if I ever need to pull over at a truck stop and take a nap, which I’ve done on multiple occasions and at various times of day. I find even fifteen minutes can be enough to keep me alert several more hours. I dunno, something about highway driving is very calm and peaceful in all the wrong ways. Safety first!
Due to only really visiting for work, I didn’t do anything touristy, nor did I really take pictures (although if you followed me on Instagram @byivy you may have seen a bit of my trip in my stories), so I don’t have much to show for the trip. But I have to say, even with all of that, I loved being on set again, and I really loved the solo travelling. I miss it sometimes, and still dream of once again running away to Paris for a weekend or casually chilling in London. At the same time though, I feel a bit like I’ve been there, done that. I loved Europe and living in England, and I definitely want to go back, but I’ve set my sights on other places, and for the time being I think I may be content to figure out my way in Calgary, which is enough of a challenge right now even having grown up here.
Of course, if Calgary turns out not to be enough again, I’ll move on. Simple.
Featured photo: A picture I took in Edmonton the last time I stayed in the city overnight; August 2013, a month before leaving for the UK for the first time.