Happy Sunday everyone! The weather in Toronto has been pretty unpredictable lately. Some days it’s unbelievable chilly and windy, and other days it’s sunny and warm, haha.
So in my previous two posts, I mentioned that I would be posting photos from my Vancouver trip, as well as sharing with you my reflection on that vacation. I’ve been honestly quite lazy when it comes to writing down my thoughts, and sometimes I don’t know how to express them well in writing. But… I find this exercise necessary.
Early last month I visited Vancouver for the first time. It sounds kind of crazy that I haven’t ventured outside of Ontario much, despite having lived here all my life. It mainly has to do with the fact that if I’m going to spend so much money on a plane ticket, I might as well travel outside of Canada. And so well, that’s been the case. But now that the Canadian dollar is so low, I decided to stay within Canada and explore my own country instead.
I’m super lucky that one of my good friends lives near Vancouver, so I was able to crash at her place for the week (thanks Min!). I traveled solo, so having some company was great :D I also met up with Linda, whom I originally met back in South Korea :)
I love traveling, especially on my own. I’d like to think that I’m a rather independent person, and that I’m capable of doing many things by myself. I like being in a foreign place where people speak a different language. I find comfort in uncertainty. Although I may have a terrible sense of direction and suck at following maps, I enjoy the freedom of wandering around and getting lost in an unfamiliar city. One of the main reasons why I prefer traveling by myself is because I get to do, eat, and see whatever I’d like, whenever I’d like. No compromising required, no arguments created. I enjoyed my time in Korea, Tokyo, and Paris alone :)
It’s not that I dislike being around people, because it’s fun to share experiences. I’m an introvert by nature, so I highly value my “me” time. Especially when it comes to vacation. If I’m spending the money and time to travel, I want to be able to do as I please. I want to do things at my own pace. And yes, I’m extremely, extremely grateful that I’m able to do all of this.
Unlike many of my other vacations, this one was quite slow-paced. I got to cross off most of the things on my list, whether it was sight-seeing or visiting restaurants. I also indulged in sushi everyday; mission accomplished :D
We went hiking at Lynn Valley and Min was able to get a nice snapshot of the suspension bridge for me (with me on it of course :P). We were planning to bike around Stanley Park, but it didn’t work out. I did walk around the entire park by myself on a different day though. One of my purposes of this trip was to discover more about myself, as well as the beautiful city of Vancouver. I walked a crazy amount everyday because I wanted to be outdoors and close to nature, and they have a really nice waterfront. The other reason was because I wanted to digest all the food I was consuming, haha. But to be honest, I didn’t eat that much during this trip.. or at least it wasn’t a lot compared to others. I eat rather healthy so my body just wasn’t used to all the “foreign” food it had to deal with (lol).
As expected, the Japanese food scene is really strong in Vancouver. I visited both Miku and Minami (its sister restaurant) and the food was delicious. We also went to a very charming and cute bakery called Basho Cafe. They had many matcha-flavoured baked goods and the place was very warm, in addition to friendly staff. Another memorable pastry shop/chocolatier was Beta5. It was located strangely in the industrial district, but their chocolate and cream puffs were to. die. for.
I also appreciated the public transit system, since it was very easy to get around the city and to the airport. Vancouver is definitely much smaller than I had imagined, but I like how walkable the city is. The people are also more relaxed and I noticed there were way more people with tattoos compared to Toronto. I actually got another one while I was there, haha. Since it requires a couple of weeks to heal and the first few days are crucial, I didn’t want to be working in the bakery with a fresh tattoo. So I figured it was the ideal time to get it :)
The timing was actually perfect for a vacation, as I very much needed a break to de-stress. It was during my birthday too! :D And did this little time away from home help me at all? Absolutely. In fact, I’m very satisfied with how things are right now; moreso than ever before. I’m happy with my point of view in life, in how I see people, the stage in my career, and my current relationships. One of the most important things is that I’m able to travel, because I simply cannot imagine life without it.
There’s more that I could talk about, but I’m pretty tired right now so I’ll just end this post here :) The last week was insanely busy and I couldn’t leave work until 7:30pm or 9:30pm on some days. Yesterday was also one of the most stressful days ever – felt like my heart was going to fall out of my chest! The wedding order I worked on was successfully completed and delivered :) Congrats Cindy & Marco (if you happen to read this! Haha).
Enjoy some photos from my trip below! Didn’t take too many with my DSLR and these are mostly food-related; please visit my instagram for everything else!