Memorable Roads - Michele Romanow

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Memorable Roads

Michele Romanow

Co-founder and president of Clearbanc, Dragon on Dragons’ Den

I always find that the week between Christmas and the New Year is the best week for reflection − to brainstorm and put your goals together for the year and really think about what it is that you want to get done. In December 2016, I decided to spend some time alone out at my family cottage in Invermere, B.C. It’s a three-hour drive from Calgary and I think it’s one of the most gorgeous drives in Canada.

I’ve done this drive many times since we've gone up to the family cottage often through the years. But this was my first time driving there alone. I had just come home from a family vacation and a massive, beautiful snowstorm was underway.. There were these big, fluffy snowflakes, but it wasn't blurry, so you could still see the scenery around you. It was the perfect snowy conditions for driving and it made for a really meditative experience driving through the middle of the winter.

You pass through six geological formations in the three-hour drive. Starting in Calgary, things are pretty flat. Then you go into the Badlands and start to get these rolling hills. Then, before you hit Banff you’re starting to see beautiful mountains and it's like you're entering a whole new world.

When you hit Highway 93, you go through these mountain passes with hairpin turns. You go up almost 5,000 feet then down 5,000 feet. And then you finally get to Invermere on the other side of the Valley and the Rocky Mountains.

But for the last hour and a half of the drive, there’s zero cell phone reception the entire time you’re in the pass. And I think there's something really magical about that nowadays. As much as we want to be connected, and I’m a technology entrepreneur at my core, there are too many notifications and devices in our life. To actually take a break from that gives your mind the opportunity to consolidate thoughts − and to think of new ways solve problems you've been mulling over for a while.

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