I’ve had a habit of facing my fears and getting (mostly) over them in the past decade. I’ve had a habit of getting out of my comfort zone and not allowing myself to think the worst until after I do something. The one fear that I can’t seem to kick, however, is the sheer terror I have of drowning.
For some reason, activities like scuba diving don’t faze me too much, perhaps because it’s so calm underneath the sea. But, if I’m doing something that’s more aggressive, such as surfing or being in the midst of waves I don’t know how to read, I have major panic attacks. I’ve dealt with intense anxiety my whole life and this fear of water has to be one of the strongest ways of spiking my anxious mind.
An afternoon in Niagara Falls can throw you into the present as soon as you lock eyes on its magnificence.
I decided to make a last minute stop into Canada again, my second in a month. This time it would be to the other side of the country, however, to Ontario where one of my best friends was moving into her new place in Toronto.
One of my other blogger friends, Lauren from Justin Plus Lauren, is also a Toronto resident and I wasted no time in asking if she was interested in a little reunion. She said she was and we settled on a day trip to the mighty Niagara Falls.
I didn’t have much in the way of expectations for the craft beer scene in Victoria, BC. I’d only heard mediocre reviews of Canadian beer as a whole from American and Canadian friends alike in the past, but I came back to Portland with a much better idea of Canadian styles of brewing. Not to mention, my taste buds were much more refreshed after taking a break from the heavy IPAs you’re apt to find in the Pacific Northwest.
I was impressed enough with the budding craft beer scene in Victoria to write up a guide for you guys on what to expect, both with specific breweries, brewpubs, and the unique liquor laws of British Columbia.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.