Canada. “I believe this has been the best long-haul flight I’ve ever had”, I can hear myself saying after arriving in Vancouver. Three different movies that have moved me to tears and made me laugh, plus a great conversation with my seat neighbour from Vancouver have really made the nine hour flight from London to Vancouver seem like nothing. Overcoming the jet lag from nine hours time difference with my home country Austria, however, is a different story. Yet still: Just the air travel from Europe to the far-flung Pacific Coast, flying via Greenland as well as Northern Canada, is a journey truly worthwhile. “We are about to leave”, I chatter with my mum and friends on the phone, before saying goodbye to using my Austrian cell phone for calls for the next 10 weeks.
That’s 10 weeks in Canada. From West to East, following the sweet scent of the “Indian Summer”. Politically incorrect, as I hear and strive to find a better term. Adventure is calling …
… as my heart fills with joy and emotion from having arrived here. Creative Travel. Wine tours. Food festivals. Travel with the locals. Just about everything I like and “Creativelena” shares, can be found in Canada. I always felt I just had to take more time to come here, not just two or three weeks. So I “packed up my digital workspace”, prepared for a longer period of leave and braced myself for lots more open adventures. I think I chose well. “Indian Summer”, or late summer / early fall, is a truly special (travel) time in the year after all. Check this out.
You see, Vancouver offers all of this and more. The water city is a paradise for friends of sailing, provides excellent fish for (Sushi) gourmets, and is home to numerous “First-Nation” people and their stories: Aboriginal Canada is calling …
… including my very first cultural experiences along the West Pacific Coast: Over at the University Campus of UBC University of British Columbia, you can check out the area’s impressive human history at the MOA Museum of Anthropology. I am impressed by the campus here, featuring a totem pole right at the centre relating the history of the Musqueam people on whose lands the campus and faculties are built today. In addition to all of it, my dear friend Shareen, who I’ve met several years ago travelling in Iceland, is working at the University of British Columbia – and happily takes me down to one of her favourite beaches in Vancouver. Wreck Beach, as it is called, is a true tip only shared by the locals (Shareen & her colleagues), and you have to know how to find it. “Out of our 50.000 students, I don’t think many ever make it down here”, Shareen smiles, pointing towards some sort of secret passage, an opening in the tree line right by her workplace, the “International House” at the UBC Campus. As if that wasn’t enough, all of our lunchtime swimming is being closely watched by a passing harbour seal. Quite an experience, I must say, having a wild animal be so curious and come right within 10 – 20 meters of us!
And on the weekend? “Let’s go to Whistler!” – Whistler? Well yeah! Whistler Highway too is especially pretty to drive on. After all, scenic beauty is right what British Columbia is all about.
On the way, Shareen takes up another friend of hers, Julia who is a soon to be exchange student with Shareen’s UBC University of British Columbia. I just love talking to both of them, listening in on where else Julia has already been in Canada – and how Shareen plans to train for her bike race to Whistler taking place on 10 September … 111 kilometres and some 1.700 metres of difference in altitude, now how you train for that I don’t quite know!
My dear: As much as I like being active myself, I do prefer our road trip to Whistler this time … Let me tell you where to stop on the way as you are heading north, as it’s more about the journey than the destination really.
Haven’t had enough yet? Check out my travel photography from Vancouver, Whistler & around here:
I have also produced a travel video that highlights some of my travel adventures in Western Canada, all the way from Vancouver to the vast open plains east of the Rocky Mountains. A fascinating, funky take on what has truly been a life-changing journey. Enjoy with sound & smile 🙂
Disclaimer: Thank you Tourism Vancouver for assisting me in planning my stay and providing me with a Vancouver Experience Pass. All opinions are my own.