Sitting around the dinner table last Saturday night, a burst of excited chatter from across the room caught my attention. Travis’ aunt and uncle had recently spent the weekend in Vancouver and his aunt Jan was regaling the crowd with tales from their visit.
For British Columbians living outside the lower mainland, a visit to Vancouver is often more of a necessary evil than an exciting adventure. Whether having your passport renewal expedited, making the trip for work, or using the Vancouver International Airport to head off on vacation, Vancouver is BC’s hub to the rest of the world. It is also home to the province’s best shopping, sport events, dining, and attractions – making a visit to Vancouver a common weekend getaway for those within easy driving distance.
The excitement in Jan’s voice, sparkle in her eye, and animated account of a weekend in Vancouver wasn’t the reaction I expected for a routine visit to the coast. Instead it reminded me of the enthusiasm we displayed when weaving stories about out time in London or Istanbul, exotic cities we had dreamed about visiting for years. Somehow, after traveling the world, chasing excitement and an awakening only travel seemed to provide, Jan had found this same experience – at home. No need for a nine hour flight or thousands of dollars, it was here the entire time.
A weekend in Vancouver may be commonplace for us, but for international visitors, or those coming from across North America, it represents the realization of a dream. It’s a city that’s been sitting on their bucket list for years and a visit is the result of pinching pennies and making sacrifices to get here.
Watching Jan spin tales of shopping on Robson Street, entering Michael Kors and instructing her husband not to touch anything, and eating at a swanky restaurant that was so dimly lit she used her cell phone as a flashlight to read the menu, I realized it’s time for Travis and I to get back to basics. We’ve been home for a couple months now, without any firm travel plans for the near future, and it’s been difficult to accept the situation before us. After chasing each new fascinating destination day after day for half a year slowing down has been an adjustment. However there are wonderful experiences and new adventures all around us, if we are willing to look. And that’s exactly what we now plan to do.
With each free afternoon, day off, and long-weekend, we have decided to make the most of our stay in the BC interior to get out and explore the province. Starting with two days in Vancouver during the first week of May. We’ll also be writing all about our adventures as we go; good news for those of you that have enjoyed our BC themed A-Z Challenge this April.
While I think a well deserved rest is in order after the demands of writing 26 posts in 30 days, after a couple days of recuperation we’ll be back and ready for more. We are planning to turn our time discovering BC into a regular feature with one or two posts per month. For quick access to anything BC themed here at HBWT just click on our new “British Columbia” tab on the right-hand sidebar.