Vancouver island is very beautiful. There are snow-topped mountains, trees everywhere and many big lakes. My favourite part is the west coast where you’ll find wide outstretched beaches. Except from Alaska, this is about the most west point of North America. I love the Pacific Ocean, it’s so peaceful. At the beach I climb on some rocks and sit down for a while to enjoy the view.
Even though it’s beautiful at the island, I don’t enjoy it as much as other trips. I really love road trips, but normally I’m driving during them. This time a friend is driving and because he rented the car, I can’t drive and have to sit at the passenger seat. Where as driving on a road trip is active and exciting, just sitting there is really boring. I even fall asleep several times and I realise that I don’t like this. We make the best of our time together, but we both want different things and that’s not really working out. I find traveling together a great way to get to know someone better, as well as for friends as for someone you’re dating. You just learn better who someone is when you’re almost 24 hours a day with them. We finish our days together with a nice pizza and movie night back at the Airbnb and then go our own ways at Thursday morning.
After being depended on someone else for a couple of days, it feels like pure freedom to walk alone in Vancouver again on Thursday morning. I still have some work to finish though and first go to my local coffee place and office. I also bring another visit to my favorite bookstore here, Indigo at Robson street. I work again at Friday morning, but I still have some things left at my bucket list for Vancouver, so in the afternoon I go on discovery in the city. One of the places on the list is Queen Elizabeth park, the highest place in the city. I take the skytrain to the edge of the park and then walk to the top. It’s a bit cloudy today, but it still gives a nice view. There is something else interesting up here called the Bloedel Conservatory. A beautiful indoor garden with a lot of colourful birds. It’s a wonderful place to find some rest in this busy city. You hear and see birds everywhere as you walk a small path through the garden. Some birds can even talk. One bird wishes me goodbye, I like that since I’m leaving in only a couple of days.
Later Friday afternoon I go to Flyover Canada and I can highly recommend anyone to do this experience when you’re in Vancouver. It’s only about 10 minutes, but really impressive. Here you can get a short impression of how it is. In a 4D movie experience, you’ll fly over Canada from the east coast to the west coast. The screen is in front of you, under you and above you and it feels like you’re actually flying. I had no idea that Canada is so beautiful and I take a mental note to do a long road trip here some day when I’m back. I realise now that I’ve seen only a small part of the country and that there is much more to discover in future journeys.
At Saturday I do one last hike Lynn Canyon park, but the GPS of my phone is not working, so I don’t want to get lost in the forest too much. I go back to the city and visit some local coffee places one last time. In the evening I have dinner with a friend and at Sunday it’s time to pack my backpack for the journey home.
When I get at the bus one last time with my backpack on my back it feels unreal to leave Vancouver again. In just a few weeks I’ve gotten quite used to this city. It’s the feeling when you almost finish a good book, but I know it’s not the end of the book, just the end of a chapter. At the city center I look around one more time to say goodbye to city. As I’m sitting down in the Canada line to the airport I actually feel a bit sad about leaving Vancouver.
The flight is comfortable and having flown twice with Iceland Air now, I can recommend this airline. What I like best about them is their customer service on Facebook. You can easily send them a message and get a response often in less than an hour and things like changing your date of flying are easily taken care of for not too much money.
Landing at Schiphol Airport after a couple of weeks of traveling always feels funny. I feel like a visitor, not as a local. Only when I walk into my street in Utrecht, I start to feel like coming home. Later this week I’m walking in Utrecht and listen to the same audio book I was listening to in Vancouver. It’s so strange how one day you can be on this side of the world and the next day you’re on the other side.
It’s beautiful weather with a lot of sunshine on Monday when I arrive back in The Netherlands and at Tuesday it starts snowing, I love it. It’s nice to be back home. To sleep in my own bed, work at my own desk and see my friends again. At my local coffee place the people are excited to see me and I them. It’s nice how traveling makes you appreciate normal life more. The comfort of going everywhere on your bike, having a supermarket at the end of the street and friends living nearby.
What I miss most of Vancouver are the mountains and the ocean. I miss the beautiful parks of Vancouver, especially the island of Stanley Park. Also the many local coffee places, but I think I’ll spend some time in the coming weeks to discover more local coffee places in my own city. I miss my American family and friends and I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to visit them. If it’s up to me it won’t be too long before I travel back to America and I’d also love to visit Canada again some day. For now I’ll first focus on being here and running my business. The year has just started, we’ll see what it brings.