Vancouver Part II

Days 4-5 (1/1-1/2/2016)

VCA4.jpg

My 4th day in Vancouver was actually my one lazy day. I felt too sick from the day before so I just stayed in and spent time recuperating. I think it was that day that I decided I would just appreciate California’s warm winters. I spent the day watching So Weird and listening to Alexz Johnson and researching things to do the next couple days.

Day 5 was spent almost entirely on Main Street. I started at Science World, pretty sure I was having even more fun than the kids in there… I failed at a whole bunch of puzzles and tried to build a tower out of blocks. I might not have been entirely successful, but I had a lot of fun and highly recommend anyone going to Vancouver to check it out!

When I finished up at the Science Center, I went along Main Street and visited several of the galleries. I only got through four galleries before it started getting dark again. Many of the galleries I did wanna check out were actually closed on Saturday, so I had a bit of a planning fail there… but I still saw a lot and had a great day overall.

 

Day 6-7 (1/3-1/4/2016)

VCA11.jpg

On my sixth day of exploring Vancouver, I went back to the west end! I explored the gay capital of the city. There were SO MANY RAINBOWS! I was in love with this part of town. I decided that day that I would just go without a map that day and let myself get as lost as I can get. Apparently by day 6 in Vancouver I became an actual Vancouverite because it wasn’t as disastrous as I kind of hoped it would be. I wandered off and saw a few cathedrals, explored all the shops and went through a couple more galleries (I really, really appreciate art. :p). By the time it was getting dark, I was looking for a Starbucks so I can connect to the internet and find out the best route back. I never found the Starbucks, but I did find a beach! I hung out at the beach for about an hour and appreciated the beauty before leaving for the bus. Instead of actually looking for a route back, I hopped on a random bus figuring it would take me to the Skytrain station, which I already had mastered at this point.

Day seven was another relax day. I did my laundry and packed up. I did go out, it was mainly just to lunch with a couple of friends that I met on day one (yes! My kidnappers…) I also stopped by a few stores to grab a few Canadian snacks to smuggle back home. Food in Canada is seriously like 1000x better than America. I also went to a Buddhist Temple in Richmond! It was so beautiful and peaceful. Such a perfect place to just sit and meditate.

 

Coming Home (1/5/2016)

VCA8.jpg

I had to be at the airport at 5 AM so naturally I didn’t get any sleep. I did try though! I have a major case of traveler insomnia, I literally just can’t sleep when I know I’m going somewhere the next morning. I wasn’t that worried about the flight though, or about a million things that could go wrong. I think secretly, I was hoping something would go wrong and I’d be stuck in Canada a little longer. I definitely was not scared about the flight, just super excited. My flight took off around 8:30 and I made it back to LA before noon. I spent the entire flight daydreaming about my next adventure.

All in all, there are a lot of things I wish I would have done differently, along with things I would have thought to research before arrival in Canada… but it was an incredible adventure and I can’t wait to continue my journey. A lot of mistakes were made and so many lessons were learned, but this is just the beginning.  

 

Advertisements

Vancouver Part I

First Flights & Arrival (12/28/2015)

447

My short yet somehow life changing journey started bright and early on December 28th. I woke up around 5:30 after maybe 3 hours of sleep, got dressed and finished packing my backpack and I was off to Canada! Well… almost. Less than five minutes after leaving the apartment, I realized I forgot my wallet and told my uncle, we went back and I ran back in to grab the wallet just to realize I also forgot to pack my PJ bottoms. Oops! After I grabbed that, I was off. Uncle Jim took me to the Van Nuys Flyaway station and I took the shuttle to LAX.

At the airport, TSA was a breeze. I don’t know if it was because it was so early, but the line was super short and it was quick and painless. I found my gate and waited about four hours. In that time, I was tense. Not really looking forward to the flight, I was scared and building the fear up in my head. When I finally was on the plane and waiting for takeoff, I was just sitting there and wondering what I got myself into. As soon as we took off, all the overwhelming fear was replaced with excitement. Being up so high above the clouds and seeing how small everything was, it felt like magic. The world suddenly felt even more limitless… I felt like I could go anywhere and see anything. Flying might actually be my new favorite method of travel. I went to Arizona and flew to Vancouver from there. I didn’t arrive in Vancouver until 11:22 PM and didn’t make it to the AIrbnb host’s house until after midnight. I made sure to let everyone know I was there and safe before catching up on sleep.

Day One (12/29/2015)

VCA2.jpg

The first day was definitely the most exciting! It started normally as I thought it would… I went to go get money exchanged, went for breakfast at Tim Horton’s because I was curious to see if it was as good as everyone says. (it was!) I then caught the skytrain and bus to the west end, where I would stop at La Belle Patate for my first real poutine for lunch! (I was actually so excited about poutine I ate a total of 6 throughout the trip. Oop.) That was the mark of the real adventure. After I finished the poutine, I took some time to study the map before moving on, but as I was getting ready to go, a couple friendly locals. They asked where I was from and offered tips on where to go and what to see while I was in Vancouver, then they proceeded to kidnap me and show me around the beautiful city. (Yes, I made friends with these kidnappers of mine… no, it is not the first time I made friends with my kidnappers. Makes for interesting stories though!) They showed me around downtown, Stanley Park, and Granville Island. They dropped me off on Granville Island where I saw a street performer from England and went through a few galleries and took photos of the scenery. Eventually it started getting dark so I stopped at a Starbucks so I could connect to the internet and find the best bus route back to the place I was staying. I finally decided to face the cold again and get on the bus. About 6 stops later, I realized I was on the wrong bus going the opposite way, then I realized I forgot my camera at the Starbucks. I immediately got off the bus and walked back to the Starbucks as quickly as I could, took me about 40 minutes, and my camera was not in the seat I was sitting in… but to my insane luck, someone had turned it into the barista so I got it back! Thank goodness Canadians are so nice. I got my camera and caught the correct bus and made my way back to the house I was staying at. I would have normally been back by around 8, but my phone died and I am a very directionally challenged traveler… I was lost in the correct neighborhood for about four hours. (Don’t judge! It was a very confusing neighborhood! :p )

 

Day Two (12/30/2015)

VCA3.jpg

Compared to the first day of exploring, the second was tame. I was going to go explore downtown and west end, but I took the wrong bus and ended up in Chinatown instead. I spent several hours there going through shops, I found a couple galleries. I also came across the International Centre which is like a shopping mall that celebrates all cultures, that was insanely cool! Before I knew it, it was dark again. (Vancouver’s days are way too short!) Getting back to my lodging was easy this time.

Day Three (12/31/2015)

VCA5.jpg

New Year’s Eve! I was actually not feeling well at all this day… I had a bad cough/sore throat/runny nose. While I loved Canada, my body decided it did not. Despite the illness, I had a good day. I took the bus/skytrain to downtown where I explored Georgia Street and felt like I was in New York City! I also saw one of the locations one of my favorite shows growing up was shot at, so cool! I only spent about an hour or two there before jumping on the bus to go to Stanley Park. I walked the seawall for a bit, I saw the harbor with all the yachts, then went to see the Totem Poles before getting lost yet again before getting to the aquarium. (which is actually another filming location of the same show I mentioned earlier… it’s really awesome to see places you’ve been on your favorite show.) I hung around the aquarium until it started to get dark, and I wanted to stay out until midnight to see the fireworks but at that point I was just too sick, so I decided to go back early.

Stay tuned for part II that will include days 4-7 + coming home!

2016

2015 was a very interesting year for me. It was a year of growing into myself and realizing what I really want in life while taking steps to make all those things possible. It was also a year of learning that not everyone is going to be 100% behind me all the time and that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try to pursue the things I want to do with life.

Last year (especially the tail end) was full of firsts for me. I got my first passport, booked my first flight, visited another state for the first time, also another country! (More about my Canada adventure to come soon!) I saw my first meteor shower, got my first few freelance gigs. I actually flew on a plane (3x) and I loved every moment! First time staying with a local when going abroad. And a lot more that I can’t think of at this moment…

My hope for 2016 is that it is even bigger with more adventures. Now that I’ve had a true taste of travel, I never want to stop. I want to keep on going and experiencing everything life has to offer. Some of my goals for 2016, travel and professional, include…

  1. Travel more. Within the states and internationally as well. Add at least two other countries on my visited list.
  2. Buy my first DSLR camera and at least make a little progress to building my career as a professional photographer.
  3. Learn basic graphic design.
  4. Be more productive all around.
  5. Volunteer. Around home and abroad.