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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Lone Cone Hostel & Campground: The gateway to exploring Tofino the native way.

Tofino. I came here because somebody whispered its name. Twice. Even three times, I can’t remember. “Go to Tofino”, is what I’d hear unanimously, moving across from Vancouver to Salt Spring Island. “You might as well go all the way west.” – “Oh you can’t miss Vancouver Island on your trip. And especially Tofino … Oh my God!” – “Tofino, it’s … It’s such a gorgeous place. Beautiful and rich, well-known for its aboriginal art, roots & heritage.”

 

Tofino, then. Have YOU ever heard of it?! I am going somewhere on a far-away-from-home trip, following nothing but, and only, local people’s advice this time. It is something we should all do – and much more often, really.

You can only win from opportunities like these, and being open to what’s around you. So I’ve made it to Salt Spring Island in the Southern Gulf Islands of Greater Vancouver. Beautiful spot and here is why you should really go there (not just to Vancouver). To leave out its large sister island, Vancouver Island, would be like travelling to Vienna and not going into the Austrian Alps: It’s okay of course, but you are going to miss out on a big part of what the entire area, geographically, historically and culturally, is all about.

Tofino, then, is like finding the needle in a hay stick of gorgeousness …

Tofino, then, is like finding the needle in a hay stick of gorgeousness: Beautiful Pacific Ocean sunsets, pure nature & peace …

 

… plus wonderfully welcoming, local people to share it with.

… plus wonderfully welcoming people to share it with.

 

For the first time in a long time, I have managed to do “nothing”. As in, sleeping in, waking up to coffee conversations, lazing by the beach, writing for the sheer fun of it, sharing my life and stories.

As in: Enjoying life at Lone Cone Hostel & Campground.

Now since when does all of that account for “doing nothing”, you may wonder? Lone Cone Hostel & Campground, a 10 minutes boat ride across the sheltered inlet from Tofino, has a way of pulling you into “doing nothing”. Waking up late, taking a good hour for morning coffee, going for a little (or long) walk, renting out a kayak, or simply enjoying the sunshine as well as the incredible natural surroundings. We live in such a hurried world. Out here, it’s like deflating the air mattress of modern-day, urban civilisation for that extra bit of getting touchy-feely with nature, and back to being in touch with your immediate surroundings.

This is the difference I perceive this place to be, as I write up these lines, sitting on a wooden table, coffee cup by my side, the afternoon sun warming my back and listening to the gently rolling sea waves coming in.

To arrive here ...

To arrive here …

 

... most of us travellers first go through this ...

… most of us travellers first go through this …

 

... making our way on the Tofino bus, cars or flying in (yes! There's even a small airfield located near tiny little Tofino).

… making our way on the Tofino bus, cars or flying in (yes! There’s even a small airfield located near Tofino).

 

Once you reach Tofino, the view across the inlet is stunning, to say the least ...

Once you reach Tofino, the view across the inlet (with Lone Cone Mountain at the horizon) is stunning, to say the least …

 

... the local tribe people of the Ahousaht tribe, on whose lands Lone Cone Hostel & Campground is built and managed by, providing this regular boat transfer ...

… the local people of the Ahousaht tribe, on whose lands Lone Cone Hostel & Campground is built and who also manage its fortunes, providing this regular boat transfer …

 

... giving us a good perspective ...

… giving us a good perspective of just how much nature to expect over the following few days …

 

... as we land on this jetty, reading for making our way towards reception on a small island off the main West Coast of Vancouver Island.

… as we land on this jetty, reading for making our way towards reception on a small island off the main West Coast of Vancouver Island.

 

Love the cosy ...

Love the cosy ambiance provided by the hostel: Here is a view of the women’s dorm which, in turn, offers a view across the campground & lake …

 

... very relaxed ...

… where it’s all very relaxed …

 

... welcoming atmosphere ...

… a welcoming atmosphere indeed …

 

... that runs through the campground here ...

… that also runs through the beautiful campground here …

 

... a place where making new friends & life contacts ...

… a place where making new friends & life contacts …

 

... is easy indeed.

… is easy indeed.

 

And wouldn't you, too, just likely fall in love here?

And wouldn’t you, too, just likely fall in love here? I hear of some people hating to leave. I hear of some people coming back, time after time. I completely understand, as I am likely to be back here myself one day.

 

The local Ahousaht people have got a thing or two going for themselves. From cultural expansion plans, to providing excellent services for international travellers: It’s refreshing to witness such a thriving First Nation community out here.

As a visitor to a land that has been inhabited by countless First Nation generations over time, I am forever grateful to have shared in a part of their story. To have been here and listened in on the recent development of what has only decades ago been an abandoned site in Native American history. To hear of encouraging signs, where local Chief Nathan Charlie is talking about expansion plans entailing cultural centres as well as more state-of-the-art accommodation for travellers. It is encouraging indeed. “We have had a business partner that has helped us set up the hostel”, he would tell me on one occasion. And adds: “It has since provided employment opportunities to a good dozen of people in our community.” We are very proud of that, he seems to add. And so he should. I do not miss to compliment him on his recent successes, only running Lone Cone Hostel & Campground for the past two years. Given the incredible amount of international travellers that have since picked up, stayed at and returned to this place, it definitely has potential to give the entire Tofino area a heads-up of what is possible in terms of First Nation community business development. Check this out.

The beautiful women dorm & kitchen area ...

The beautiful women’s dorm & kitchen area …

 

... are a mere stone's throw away from the beach, which offers kayaks for rental and welcomes day trippers to stop and swing by, too ...

… are a mere stone’s throw away from the beach, which offers kayaks for rental and welcomes day trippers to stop and swing by …

 

... it is here where I laze around happily, basking in the sun like a lizard ...

… it is here where I laze around happily, basking in the late summer sun like a lizard …

 

... with facilities incredibly well maintained ...

… with facilities incredibly well maintained …

 

... all the way out to the jetty that has visitors come & go: Reaching Tofino is by various free boat shuttle services a day.

… all the way out to the jetty that has visitors come & go: Reaching Tofino is by various free boat shuttle services a day.

 

Can't wait to find out more about the aboriginal history in these special environment, as local dweller / traveller Scott shows me a cultural ceremony having taken place this past summer.

Can’t wait to find out more about the aboriginal history in this special local environment, as local dweller / traveller Scott shows me on his phone, a cultural ceremony having taken place at Lone Cone Hostel & Campground only this past summer.

 

So what else is there to see & do around here? Go visit Long Beach (surfing, walking, or else). Check out the local art galleries. Eat at Tacofino! Enjoy life, really.

I dedicate this last part of my article to the beautiful people I’ve met here on my way. To the inspiring, three-hour / nine kilometre walk I’ve taken barefoot across Long Beach, listening only to the sounds of Pacific Ocean waves breaking, thinking of the whales further afield. Next stop out there: Japan. Incredible.

Oh, and if all that talking has made you hungry (it sure has!), then be told of this one little, super popular place I recommend you to go to, called Tacofino. It’s about a fifteen minute ride out of downtown Tofino, and well worth going for. You are guaranteed a good tasty meal there, as well as seeing some muscular surfers. Hm!

Walking on Long Beach (including crossing logs) ...

Walking on Long Beach (including crossing logs) …

 

... watching the surfers ...

… watching the surfers …

 

... as well as the world go by: A good start for your adventure is the local national park's visitor information centre.

… as well as the world go by: A good start for your adventure is the local national park’s visitor information centre.

 

I like it here: Thank you so much for sharing this lovely "Tacofino" meal with me, dear Elisabeth & Zebadiah!

I like it here: Thank you so much for sharing this lovely “Tacofino” meal with me, dear Elisabeth & Zebadiah! See you guys in Vancouver next 😀

 

To Tabea (and all the other beautiful, nature-loving, gifted spirits around) ...

To Tabea (and all the other beautiful, nature-loving, gifted souls & spirits around) …

 

... you guys made an itchy pair of world traveller's feet calm down for a full few days, sitting by the fire sharing stories like in the old days. LOVE IT! To you !!!

… you guys made an itchy pair of world traveller’s feet calm down for a full few days, sitting by the fire sharing stories like in the days of old. LOVE IT. To you !!!

 

More pictures from my travel adventures around Tofino are 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 🙂

 

And you, which question would you like pondering over in a place as beautiful as this?

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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