Vancouver Island

The last two years have been scary and limiting and most of us have stayed put for the most part. From working from home, homeschooling, and mass-closures (especially in my province, which had some of the strictest rules in North America regarding the Pandemic), understandably travels were put on hold or cancelled altogether. 

In the summer of 2020, Canada had closed it's borders to international travels, so our planned trip was of course cancelled. We knew we wanted to do something for Brad's three week holidays, but of course had to stay in Canada. Bonus points if we could find something socially distant and in nature, as we'd just passed six months of curfews and lockdowns in our tiny urban condo with five people and were going slightly crazy. Lockdowns were challenging for everyone, so I don't want to claim it was harder on us than anyone else, but I will say if you lived through the pandemic without a back yard and have kids, it was particularly grueling. 

Thankfully Canada is a huge country, so we were able to travel within the country and enjoy a little adventure whilst keeping Pandemic rules, testing, and masking. We went to Vancouver Island and spend all day every day outside on the secluded beaches and trails. It was wild to be in such an absolutely mind-blowing landscape and climate, yet still use Canadian dollars! I couldn't believe we were still in Canada as it's worlds away culturally and mentally from Montreal. 

We stayed in Victoria, renting our friends beautiful home while they were camping. Then we went on to Salt Spring Island, renting a rustic cabin that came with hens and a super gentle dog! What an idyllic, restful few days. Then last stop was Ucluelet, a surfing town just south of Tofino. We still visited Tofino, but Ucluelet was much more affordable. We met up with friends from Montreal who were camping out West the same time we were there and had a beach day, complete with wet suits (which was absolutely necessary as the water was *freezing*). 

We usually travel to urban locations, but for safety reasons and also to give our bodies and minds a rest from isolation in the city, this destination was the perfect choice for Summer 2020! 

We cooked all of our meals, both to save money and because restaurants, though open, didn't feel safe. Vancouver Island wasn't masking very much in 2020, but since we were coming from a much stricter environment with higher infection numbers it felt really strange and wrong not to. I should add that we all tested negative before travelling out West and wore our masks any time we were around people, but that wasn't too often as we were usually out on the forests or on the beach. 

It was all absolutely charming and the absolute best place to catch our breath. I am so grateful that this option was open to us in 2020. Of course, many would have chosen not to travel at all and I absolutely respect that. 

If you're looking for a Canadian getaway, I can't speak highly enough about Vancouver Island. The only drawback to this location is the price and sometimes the weather. It's quite chilly on the coast, and there were times I wore a thrifted winter coat that I found while there. It was August! We definitely didn't pack enough warm clothes. The cost of food was astronomical compared to Montreal. Everywhere, but especially as we travelled further West to Ucluelet and Tofino. Grocery shopping was on a strict budget, and we ate Raman and eggs for most suppers! In that sense it reminded me of Iceland - absolutely gorgeous but very expensive. Vancouver Island was such a dream! 

Victoria is a city I could see myself living in, and that's not something I have ever said about a Canadian city apart from our beloved Montreal! 

No comments:

Post a Comment