A Home Away from Home in Victoria: The Oswego Hotel

The Oswego Hotel in Victoria, Canada

I rocked up in the hippie shuttle van from my last accommodation to an elegant building called The Oswego Hotel – my new home for the next two nights. At that time, I didn’t realize just how delightful my room would be, it would literally feel like a home away from home during my time in Canada.

When I walked inside the lobby, the woman who checked me in asked me what it was like riding in the hippie van around town, it looked like such a fun van and she had seen it around Victoria before. We continued to have a friendly chat about the city, where she was from in Canada, and about my trip and why I was there. Even though The Oswego Hotel is a classy establishment that would be considered chic by most, it didn’t have the pretentiousness that some nicer hotels tend to have. I loved it.

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The Meaning of Adventure in Victoria

Hiking at Gowlland Tod with Hike Victoria

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I wasn’t always an adventurous soul. Or perhaps I was, but my anxiety growing up masked it well and prevented it from coming out very often. I used to be scared of everything and anxiety would call the shots in my life.

I’m thinking of writing up that account of my past at some point, but long story short, I confronted that side of myself back in high school & college and decided to overcompensate with seeking out adventure in my life forevermore.

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Video: Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

As I continue to write up my time in the capital of British Columbia, I wanted to take a moment to show you through video how wonderful my short trip was this past month. I spent my days partaking in the best kind of outdoor activities, staring in awe at the architecture, sipping on craft beer, and finding the best color pops and artwork around the city.

Victoria is a very lovable little city, I hope you can get a sense of that through this video! I’m looking forward to sharing more about it with you this week and next. Stay tuned.

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10 Reasons You Should Visit Paris this Summer

10-reasons-to-visit-paris-france-europe-this-summer-travel

The warm spring days we’ve been having in the Pacific Northwest lately have only made me think more about summer and what I want to do with it. Summer is a time for adventures, of getting lost in new cities, enjoying long days, and having chilled wine catch-ups on rooftops during warm summer nights. Summer is also the time to travel.

The first time I ever solo traveled was in Paris, France in the middle of summer. It was by no accident that I ended up in the City of Light by myself. From a young age I had always been fascinated by Francophone culture and had dreamt of going to Paris for years. I thought it was only fitting that it would be the first place to find my independence as a solo female traveler.

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A Funky Alternative in Victoria: Hotel Zed

Hotel Zed in Victoria, Canada

I hopped on the local bus, just a few minutes walk from the ferry station in Victoria. I proudly presented my Canadian dollars to the machine with the correct change and got my bus pass for the day to head uptown to Hotel Zed, my first stay in the city.

A short 10 or so minutes later and we were already at my stop, or at least I thought we were. I got up quickly, right as the bus started moving again, and I almost fell flat on my face to the horror of those on the full bus.

I could actually hear a synchronized sharp intake of breath by everyone on board until I caught myself as gracefully as a could with my big duffel in hand and quickly jumped off the bus like I knew exactly where I was going. Just a day in the life of me.

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Postcard from The Butchart Gardens

Postcard from The Butchart Gardens - Vancouver Island, Canada

One of my close friends from my early school days used to give everyone in our friend group a flower in a flower pot on the 1st of May. He would just leave it on my porch for me to find, always somehow surprising me year after year from elementary to high school. My own birthday resides in May, the month known for the height of colorful blooms and wonderful things, not that I’m biased or anything.

I remember the first time I was given flowers from a boy I liked, my many walks home from school that consisted of me very literally smelling the roses (or anything else really) while my head was in the clouds, as it has always been.

I still say my favorite city in the USA is Boston because I went when the tulips were in full bloom (yes in May) at the Boston Public Garden. That was also the trip that I discovered my favorite flower in the world is burnt orange tulips. I had never seen something so beautiful in the form of a plant.

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My First Impressions of Victoria, BC

My First Impressions of Victoria, BC - Canada

I’m just finishing up my 5-night stay in the British Columbia capital of Victoria and I’ve been blown away by the friendly, welcoming, and genuine nature of the city and its inhabitants. This trip was my first time in Canada and I could not have asked for a better experience.

I’ve learnt a ton about British Columbia history, wildlife, and the overall pace of life and great standard of living here on Vancouver Island. I love how fit everyone is, their fondness for brunch and high tea, and the way I immediately felt at home from the moment I stepped off the Clipper Ferry from Seattle.

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Travel Misconceptions: Vanuatu

Travel Misconceptions: Vanuatu

One of my goals on The Atlas Heart is to break down travel misconceptions or judgments about places and ideas. Perhaps it could be that destination that everyone warns you not to visit because of how dangerous it is, or maybe you yourself had preconceived notions that were proven wrong once you arrived to where you were going.

My aim is to present a variety of different opinions and experiences through the eyes of other travelers. It’s important to hear travel stories from all different perspectives in life, I call it seeing the world through a kaleidoscope lens.

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To Drone or Not to Drone in Your Travels?

To Drone or Not to Drone in Your Travels?

There is always new technology popping up in the blogging world and travel communities in general, or should I say, it is usually technology that has been around for awhile but has recently been developed for the average user.

One hot ticket item these days is the use of personal drones to take professional looking videos and photos from high up. It’s crazy how good a picture can look with a lofty perspective.

However, as with any new technology, there are a lot of questions and concerns around the new drone mania. Many don’t even know where to start when it comes to deciding if this is something to invest in either for travel memories or for a professional blog. You also have to take into account the constantly changing laws around drones and the concerns from governments about how you should be using them.

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Hawaii in 25 Photos, from Oahu to Maui

my-favorite-photos-of-hawaii-road-to-hana-maui

The recent warm weather in the Pacific Northwest is quickly defrosting the long Portland winter away from my bones. It has been such nice weather in Portland in the last week, it has almost been too nice. When we had a humid lightening storm last night, I felt like we were back in the tropics.

I had the chance to explore Hawaii – Oahu and Maui – around this time last year on our way from New Zealand, and it is still a cherished memory. I had wanted to go to Hawaii for ages so you could say I was delighted to have been able to fit it into my travels last year.

So, when can I go back again?

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