Paddling Canadian water with new Canadian friends

In a different world, I find a home.

Adesh Acharya
10 min readMay 5, 2024


Image by Adesh Acharya.

I get anxiety before I step out of home, even when I go to the convenience store across the street for milk or my in-laws for a weekend retreat. I have been this way all my life and I blame my schools for it like I do for every other wrong in my life.

Sunday morning I felt no anxiety although it was a day to paddle a Canadian river with people I never met. I had paddled once and my wife never. I anticipated anxiety from the moment I opened my eyes at five. Any minute it could be here, I waited. Checked email, got ready, drank coffee but no…nothing. I felt calm as a calm lake, relaxed as a dry day. I waited but no…nothing. I wasn’t anxious about the trip at all since April 14th, the day Canadian outdoor educator and author Bob Henderson invited my wife and me to his group’s annual one-day paddle to the Minesing Wetlands.

Anxiety aside, my wife and I needed to walk twenty minutes to Beth and Robin’s place to meet them and everybody else (including Bob) for the first time. It felt like a sweet dream that I was paddling with Bob just a few weeks after I reached out to him impressed and inspired by this philosophical travel stories where he weaves his travel experience with wisdom. What made the dream sweeter was that I didn’t have to worry about a…