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  • marykayliston

Kyla–Achieving dreams at the age of 19

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

We joined daughter, Jae, and husband, Jeff, with some friends in Banff, Alberta recently for a redux of their plans for a wedding and honeymoon that was delayed from 2020 because of Covid. We were so excited to go to Banff, visit Lake Louise and some other area lakes then head to Vancouver on the Canada VIA rail, which included an overnight trip on the train. We had already paid for the entire trip and couldn’t get a refund. So, we just had to be patient until we could make the trip with the group.

On our first day in Banff we had a private tour with Discover Banff. We loved it as it had nearly 20 seats and there were only 9 of us – plenty of room to spread out and see the sights.

Our driver was a young lady who gave us the history of Banff, showed us several mountains and lakes. We marveled at her vast knowledge. Then we found out she was only 19. Yes, NINETEEN!

I asked her to tell us her story.

She had only been in the Banff area for 6 months. She was raised in a small town around Toronto – 3517 kilometers or almost 2200 miles away. As a kid she spent time in the woods, camping, hiking and climbing with her dad. After high school she told her dad she wanted to move West to enjoy outdoor activities. He told her she needed to find a job out there. Immediately she started job searching and did find a position in Banff, Alberta. She moved into a hostel with other kids her age and started living her dreams.

It seemed so easy – but her new job required her to know the history of the area, the highlights and places where tourists wanted to visit. Kyla said after work every day she studied for hours. She didn’t know anyone in Banff when she moved there. It was some of the most intense studying of her life. Finally, she was able to provide tourists with what they wanted and needed in this beautiful part of the world. She also added a personal touch by showing us what mountains she had summited, and which ones were on her bucked list in the next months. In order! This young lady provided us a lesson in goal setting.

She will eventually move to SE Asia with a relative and ski the slopes and climb the mountains before eventually heading to Japan to snowboard the mountains there. I just love ANYONE who sets goals and does what is necessary to achieve those goals! What also impresses me about Kyla is her dedication to her job. The day after she gave us our tour, we took the Gondola ride in Banff. There was Kyla working on the Gondola. No surprise to any of us!

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