This Way

After a big fiasco at customs that I’d better not discuss in detail just in case the government really is watching, I made it on the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles. I showed up at the terminal at 9am, planning to get on the 10:30 ferry, but they CBP agents so many questions for me that I missed the first boat and didn’t make it to the United States until about 5pm.

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Goodbye BC: A Victory Lap

At some point early in the 6 weeks between my last exam and the day I left Canada, I said to a friend, “I love how I’m treating the fact that I have to get to Oregon soon as no big deal at all.”

You know, just playing the character: Cool, calm, collected solo female hitch hiker. Not afraid of anything. I play it so well sometimes that I believe it, but there was something about saying those words that day that flipped a switch.

“Oh shit,” I thought, “I have to say goodbye to everyone I know for a long time and hitch hike to southern Oregon in a few weeks.”

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And so, my time for me turned (blissfully) into time for others. I went on a mad-dash around southern BC, clocking about 3000km, clawing after connection, having fun with far flung friends and family, but all with the shadow of how I wasn’t going to see them again for a long time hanging over us. Read More »

Summer (supposed to be) in Vancouver

This summer turned out to be a lot of me saying, “I know I’m taking full time condensed courses, but yeah, I think I have time to fit that in.” I found time to take on a bunch of extra work, go to a festival, take several day-trips up the Sea to Sky, and I even squeezed in two weeks of backpacking into the one week I had off between classes. But no, I did not have time to blog. So now I’m faced with the gargantuan task of summing up the 3 months since  my last post into something with few enough words that my brain– exhausted by the fact that I just finished a university degree (what?)– can handle concentrating on long enough to write.

So, of course there was the studying, the working, and the angst…

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Ugh… Riding around in boats and talking about my favourite sport for money is the worst

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Cardboard Signs & Fresh Lines: One Hell of a Year

It’s June 1st and I have never been so stoked to celebrate an anniversary. Happy one year to my favourite duo of all time— Allie + Adventure!

June 1st, 2015 is the day that Adrian and I left our backyard home at The Palace for the United States of America, only to be escorted back to Canada by an entourage of six border guards. “You can’t tell a border guard that you quit your job and gave up your home to go travelling” was just the first of many lessons learned the hard way.

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A Story That Includes Surfing and Hippies

So what I have been doing for the past month is this: More, but mostly less living in Victoria and spending every spare day between sporadic Victoria-based commitments backpacking the island. One day, I was sitting around my mother’s house being generally depressed, when I decided that I should probably learn how to surf. Why? Because sometimes you just need to throw something new into your life, the weather had been pretty good, and I own a wetsuit that I don’t use enough.

My trip to Bamfield was only ever meant to be a stop on the way to Ucluelet, where I’d rent a giant beginner surf board and attempt to hitch hike with it to Long Beach. I was hoping to do some splashing around in the wash, get hit in the face a bunch, and maybe even catch a few waves. However, I got picked up at a gas station in Port Alberni and was invited to drink beer around a campfire by a nice guy called Uncle Dave. What can I say? I’m easily distracted.

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Looks cold

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Journey to the Edge of the World (Alternate Title: I Love Bamfield)

After hitching a 2 hour ride down the logging road out of Port Alberni— full of potholes, narrow bridges, and enormous trucks— I arrived in Bamfield East. I had no good reason to go there, other than how I didn’t know a single thing about the place. I had even failed to realize that the road I would be taking wasn’t paved. All I knew was that it was there, at the end of the road, and that I wanted to be at the edge of the world. Also, there was only a 40% possibility of the precipitation, compared to the 70% in Ucluelet. That’s mostly why I went there.

I stepped out of the car under gloomy grey skies and wandered down to a park. The streets were empty, lined with boarded up buildings and boat trailers, and the park was not exactly worth the trip. It came as a shock when I ran into a woman getting the campground ready for summer.

“You can’t just come all this way and not see Bamfield West,” she said, as she poured gas into a generator. Bamfield West, she explained, was definitely the cooler half of town, but it was on a peninsula with no over-land access. The water taxi was 5 bucks, and once I was there, I could apparently walk wherever I wanted to go. She handed me a map and told me to go to the general store and ask them to call the guy who owned the boat for me.

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