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I love my life! Taking my time, soaking in the sights and always taking the road less traveled.

Backpacking; life as I know it

CANADA | Monday, 4 June 2012 | Views [6226]

Check in, check out. Unpack, repack. "Hey how are you? What's your name? Where are you from?"

Good bye! Lovely to meet you, see you when I see you!

Repeat.

Actually, on second thought. Introducing yourself and offering your name isn't anywhere near as important as where you are from. Regardless, it's a vicious cycle!

Over three months now. Did I think I would last? Of course! Have I thought about returning home? Of course! Am I still having fun? I think so.

When I think about it, a quarter of a year really strikes me as a long time. What do I have to show for the time I've had away? Well this journal for one. A few colourful snaps here and there, some emails and new contacts around the globe, and I will even be as bold to say, new skills in the kitchen!

I need some new growth! I need some new challenges. I am heading up to Shawnigan Lake in about one week, depending on when I can arrange a ride with the other counsellors. I AM SO FLIPPIN' EXCITED! If I could, I would hide myself away for the next week and speak with no one. Maybe Vipassana round 2? Living out of a bag, well a few, has been fun and interesting, but what's next? I feel like I am starting to flatline. Not in a bad way, but not entirely in a good way. I still love the opportunity to meet new people and develop new relationships, but it's starting to feel like a bit of a routine thing. I personally don't see this lifestyle as something that I could continue for ANOTHER 3 months. Although, perhaps I could, if I was to travel elsewhere. Even then, I still REALLY want to work and get some routine happening, give me some structure within my days!

I don't think backpacking is a sustainable lifestyle. Where I am now (Ocean Island) and have been many times before, there are numerous travellers who I have observed and noted to be stuck in that monotonus rip. They aren't unhappy with their lives, but they do not appear to be happy. They don't appear to be comfortable, nor are they uncomfortable to do anything about it. 

Is this sounding terribly negative? Perhaps. It doesn't matter, because I still love my life and still enjoy every single day! I just want more...


I caught a  ride back to Victoria on Saturday morning with a quiet, but pleasant guy named Emir, from the French part of Switzerland (don't forget, country of origin is important!). He had hired himself a sporty looking Mazda mx 5 for his 29th birthday. He offered me a lift as I was about to leave the hostel, after noticing my fantastically decorated "VICTORIA" sign. Easy enough hey? We squeezed everything into his hire car, my large backpack sat between my legs as I dozed in and out of sleep. I think I am starting to become a bit car sick when I ride up front now. I don't know why, but every time I am in the passengers seat, I start to feel a little bit nauseous. Uh ohhhh!

We had a coffee upon arriving back in Victoria, talked for a bit and then I had to RUN! I did actually go for a run, I felt it was necessary. As I was running down Douglas street, I bumped into Baptiste from Tofino! He had caught a ride with Michel and Teun on the same day, and had come straight to Victoria, where as I had stopped over in Nanaimo for the evening. I was supposed to email him, but running took precedence.

He was planning to meet Michel and Teun (from Dutchland BTW, living in Germany though) at around 4pm in front of the Ocean Island. I told him I would meet them there, after eating and hopefully showering. I had my quickie workout, freshened up and met Baptiste. There were no plans, so I convinced him to have a game of chess. 

Australia vs France!

I had been craving (and I still am RIGHT NOW) a game. Baptiste was a worthy opponent, but I won. He had to go back to his couch surfers place. So I was left alone. I raided the book pantry in the hostel, cleaned it up and found 5 books that I will read over the next week, or take with me. 

What was for dinner? I had been swayed by the Frenchies so I went with the Ratatouille. DELICIOUS! I am really enjoying playing with food. 

I even impressed myself, getting my basil and thyme on!

That evening, I bumped into Michel and Teun. These guys are great company! Super funny, friendly and gay. There was a large group of us (80% Europeans) who had all hung out in the sauna in Tofino. These two were including in that large, European group and it was good to see them again, and hang out with them more that evening. We had a beer, watched a bit of the live music in the hostel and shared a laugh.


Sunday morning, of course no plans. Michel and Teun told me that Baptiste was coming round to hang out at approximately 9am. He arrived, we played chess. Baptiste and Dr. Teun (yes, he is a doctor) against me. BAM! In the end, Europe fell as it does, and Australia was victorious. This time though, it was a much longer, more intense game. We decided to grab lunch, hopped around to the local grocery store and got some goodies. I convinced Baptiste to go with the tempah option and we made some veggie burgers with fresh guacamole. YUM!

Good food, somewhat good company (kidding!) and good times!

Lunch was very heavy, and it was a nice day, so the four of us left the hostel (only after Michel took 30 minutes to change his shorts, groom his hair and select an appropriate sweater) to go wander! I was in need of a new watch, new water bottle, along with some new shoes and thongs. I found myself a new hip water bottle, and we wandered through the Bay Centre, window shopping. 

Michel demanded that it was cappuccino time, despite it almost being 4pm. Of course the trantrumatic (is that a word?) gay got his way and we went to a local coffee shop. Teun and Michel insisted on purchasing us something, so I grabbed an Americano (I think it's just a black coffee and I added cinnamon) and Baptiste had an ice cream. We enjoyed a lengthy conversation, mainly about what I did for work in Australia. They all listened intently, which was nice. We then moved the conversation to my favourite place; Parliament building!

I was bouncing off the walls after my Americano, thanks guys!

We hung out there for a while longer, talking about everything. Doctor Teun gave me some excellent advice, and so did Michel. Career opportunities, studying and travelling. It's fantastic to meet these kind of travellers (well, they were here on a business conference/vacation) who have so much more to share. 

It was coming up 5pm and we headed back to the hostel. There we met Judith! My German travel buddy from a few weeks prior, actually just last week. She had gone to Banff with Madlen and didn't quite enjoy it there as much as Victoria, so she's back! I was getting hungry, and we were supposed to make lasagne (which I will hopefully do later today) but instead, because there were quite a few of us, we opted to make pizza. Flour, water, oil and salt for the dough. Topped with lots of colourful veggies, herbs and cheese. YUMM

Fresh, veggie and delicious!

Good company. Great people!

We had plenty, shared with some other surrounding seagulls (travellers watched eagerly) and enjoyed a good feast. Baptiste left us at around 7:30pm to go and couch surf. That evening, Judith and I shared another beer with the fellas. 

Today, unfortunately here comes the teary part... It's goodbye, again! Oh the harshness of travelling. I met Baptiste downstairs at 8:30am, insisted on one final chess game whilst we waited for Michel and Teun to join us for breakfast. Unfortunately, they had to grab a bus/ferry back to Vancouver. I enjoyed learning off them, they offered a lot of valuable life experience, and tonnes of bragging about how Europe is superior to the rest of the world. Heard that one before!

Ciao Europe!


It is about noon now, and I am in my favourite place. Starbucks/Chapters on Douglas, downtown. Love this place. I don't buy any books here, nor do I buy any coffee. I come in, use the wifi, read through books, fill my water bottle. I love this place. I REALLY like Victoria. 

Later today, I am going to meet with a new friend, Ahshad, to go to a boot camp with him. Should be exciting! Time to eat though, I am HUNGRY. 

Peace, love and RESPECT to all! 

Tags: backpacking, cooking, europeans, homosexuals, love, routine, veggies

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