This country is the trip of a lifetime. I spent six weeks in Canada. Six unforgettable, raw, genuine weeks with too many adventures, memories and (kind of) getting losts.
I was in the city of Vancouver for a month where I went to school in order to attend exam preparation for Cambridge Advanced English. We had school half-days, so the rest of the day was free for exploring, which I did plenty of. As one of the weekends was a long one, I had booked a four-day trip to the Rocky Mountains. The meeting time was at 7 a.m., so I set an alarm for 6:20 a.m. to leave the house on time. Only had I forgotten to also set an alarm to wake up to as well… Now I know that I can get dressed, brush my teeth and pack the rest of my bag in under 6 minutes. Consequently totally out of breath and with an empty stomach, I stood in the subway on my way to Vancouver City Centre to then find out that a part of the subway was closed so I had to use other methods of transportation with detours and ended up running through Downtown to the meeting place. Just a liiittle exhausted, my friend greeted me with a laugh. As chaotic as that trip may have started, it was more than worth it as I saw beautiful scenery and met wonderful people. So I guess I would hysterically run into a breakfast place at any time if I got the chance to go to the Rockies again.
Another time, a friend and I were headed to the cinema in the evening and a homeless man was walking towards us. He saw the man coming, yet I did not…so the man decided to just spontaneously scare me and Jesus Christ, I jumped. And I might have let out a little scream as well. But I did jump about three stories high, which led to the next twenty minutes of my friend just laughing at me – so if you are reading this right now, I can still hear you laughing and awkwardly clapping your hands. 🙂
And I guess where I actually did spend a lot of time in Van was the bus. The bus road trip through the Rocky Mountains, then to the many small places some people and I went to, such as Grouse Mountain (and having to wait for an hour for the bus at 11 p.m., congrats to us two) – but most importantly one adventure: We were in Victoria, Vancouver Island and apparently there was this really nice castle nearby. So we just hopped on a bus, drove for an hour (one-way) and ended up seeing such a beautiful old castle named Royal Roads. It was in fact the castle where the X-Men movies took place. So we wandered around and walked through the many gardens of Royal Roads. From the Japanese Garden to the Rose Garden and so on, until we exited…only to then realize, that our “exit” was the official entrance and we would actually have had to pay admission. And off we went to catch the bus back – oh my, how often did we actually run to the bus?
After spending four weeks in Vancouver, I eventually went to visit family friends (who I only got to know then) near Toronto. I spent a total of two weeks there. I had so much fun with the girl of the family, such as going to an Ed Sheeran concert in Toronto one day. He is amazing live, his pure voice and down-to-earth performance just gave me goosebumps.
But also the days I spent getting to know Toronto and even Ottowa, which was a really interesting trip – I was even able to set foot on Québec! – were filled with a lot of encounters and strangers who I had great conversations with.
One day, we also decided to drive to a quarry in the evening. As we already arrived pretty late, we got in for free and then swam around for a bit. Then, we climbed onto some rocks and jumped into the quarry from there. After a little of convincing, I said ‘You know what? Screw it!’ and jumped. And in that moment, the travel bug bit a little harder. I live for those moments: letting go and being free, following the route of travel, cherishing what happens on the way.
Canada – more specifically Vancouver – led to many amazing memories, a bunch of encounters which were followed by life-lessons, deep conversations, many thoughts and crazy decisions. Roads taken which were less traveled, maybe even roads taken which were not traveled before because getting lost is have the fun, right? 🙂
In this spirit, cheers to the Canadian days – meet me at Waterfront?