Capilano Suspension Bridge

Without Maps

I’m still in lalaland as my brain lingers on thoughts of travel. This happens to me every time I go somewhere...even if it is just to the other side of the country. I’m always pumped with this sense of adventure that I cling to for as long as allow me to indulge myself.

One of my favourite parts of traveling is exploring places by myself. It’s such a liberating feeling to know that you can just pick up and go whenever and wherever and not need anyone to do it with. It’s terribly empowering. Not just that but I have a certain way of traveling that I know doesn’t jive well with a lot of people. I don’t like having concrete plans or rigid schedules, rather just a general idea of what I want to see and do. You discover so much more when you’re open to let the day take you where it wants to. You discover gems that aren’t on the maps and you meet people you may never otherwise meet. There’s that thrilling feeling of uncertainty that just keeps you on your toes all day.

I got to do that while in Vancouver with random excursions all throughout my time there. I traveled up to Capilano on a whim and got to see the natural beauty of Northern Vancouver. While there I made a new friend from New Zealand, Matt, who randomly became my traveling partner and handy photographer for the next two days. I also randomly decided to check out the Chinatown in the city...a place I usually don’t enjoy visiting. But there I found the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden, a sweet little garden authentically designed in the Chinese tradition. It was odd to see this little piece of China in the middle of Vancouver...but ‘tis the celebrated diversity of this good ol’ nation of mine that makes it just an everyday spot.

Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden

The next day I ventured off to Victoria, BC (photos here)...totally was not in my itinerary, but as usual, excited by the thought of adventure. Didn’t really know how to get there...had such a complicated array of transportation -- a bus, a train, a ferry, a shuttle -- making for a trip that took nearly five hours (one way!). But the scenery en route was so gorgeous. Had a horizon full of islands throughout the ferry ride, a welcome view at any time! Plus, I happily got to visit the capital of British Columbia, a small city with a certain old school charm to it.

Hatley Castle in Victoria

I love that uncertainty of travel. Not knowing where exactly you’re going and having no maps laid out in front of you...just relying on a combination of the guidance of others and your own inner compass. A little slice of “carpe diem”.

Beautiful British Columbia

The license plates in BC say, “Beautiful British Columbia”. Simple, to the point, and so very, very true.
I’ve just spent the last week bearing witness to the “Beautiful British Columbia” while visiting my best friend who recently moved to Vancouver. I was stunned the moment I stepped out of her home as I had the landscape of endless mountains just instantly fill my view. As I walked the streets of downtown Vancouver, I was thrilled to see those mountains peek in between the gaps of the skyscrapers as if playing a little game of hide and seek with the people of the city. The mountains really were just unassuming in its grandness and merely acting as a humble backdrop for the city. Just so laid back and cool. How I’d love to wake up with that view every morning...


Took in a lot of nature in the past week...a rarity in my regular hustle and bustle downtown life in Toronto. A nice change of pace considering all the school and work madness that’s been consuming (and will now resume consuming) my days. I went out to see the Capilano Suspension Bridge right in the thick of the rainforest and some 200+ feet high above the waters of the Capilano Canyon.

And Carm and I took a road trip up to the mountains yesterday to enjoy the peaceful quiet of Lynn Canyon, which was quite possibly the highlight of my trip. Way up high in the Lynn Canyon Valley, we hiked (using this word very lightly) to a nice secluded area where we spent the afternoon playing by a stream dotted with rocks. It was such a glorious day full of sunshine and just the right amount of cold. So much calm and quiet, I wish I could go back and just spend the day there reading or writing. Such a perfect day, I felt like I was in a movie or something. Le sigh...I’m daydreaming as I write this....

Lynn Canyon Valley

Thinking back and trying to savour every moment of my trip, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride of living here in Canada. It’s crazy how diverse this country is...not only demographically and culturally, but geographically as well. It’s such a vast nation full of surprises. I travelled out east to Nova Scotia last year at around this time of the year and the land told a different story there as well, with the ocean endlessly stretching out, seemingly merging with the sky at some point. East to West, North to South, each region in Canada has a different vibe to it. It’s exciting and invigorating to know that. Makes me want to grab a car and some friends and just drive all over the country. I’ve still so much to see and learn.

But anyway, I’m just really happy that I took the time out to go see both my friend and another part of my country. It’s always such a great feeling to go out and explore something new...

Here’s to discovering a wider world!

**To view more photos from the trip, click here.