Archive for October, 2010

Australia – Phones

Used: 2008/2009

I am going to say this first, I never really mastered Australia cell phone plans. Their pay as you go plans were really strange in my opinion. You pay like $29 or $39 or whatever and you get like all these various things in the package. Between Caps, plans and pre-paid, I never knew what was going on. Plus you have to top up like every month or 3 months, everything is different. New Zealand was so much easier where what you pay for is what you get. Anyway, there are loads more cell phone companies in Australia. The ones I delt with were Vodafone for my cell and Telstra for my payphones.

Fun side story that has to do with nothing: Okay, so when I was in Australia in July 2008, the iPhone was finally released. (PS. I have no idea when it was released in the US). It was a HUGE deal of course and the line at the ONE Apple store in Sydney for about 2-3 weeks was a block long. It was a huge to-do that iPhones be open to all teleco providers, unlike the US where it was on one network. Throughout the rest of the world, they have different cell phone rules and almost all phones are open to any network, unlike the US. iPhones started out on only a few networks (Voda being one of them) but within a month or so, they were available on all the networks. I liked that it that was, but it was so weird at the same time because I am so used to closed networks. I wish the US was more open with their phones and that pre-pay was more popular for people that hardly use their phones, like me.

Anyway, I did Voda for my cell because I had it in New Zealand and thought it would be fine for Australia too. So NOT TRUE! I mean, they were fine for the big cities, but in my travels down the East Coast, there were some towns where I wouldn’t get reception for days at a time. I didn’t mind it too much, but I can see it being a little annoying to others. Apparently the Optus network is “known” for being better in rural areas. How classic is that?! Anyway, another recc I would have for you is if you want a voda SIM card, go to Woolies and just pick one up there, instead of the actual Voda store. They are only $2 (v. like $10 at the Voda store) and it’s the same thing. And with all the different options, I never knew if I had enough money to make any sort of phone calls or whatever. But like NZ, everything incoming was free. When my parents would call me, I would get this really horrible echo on the line that I didn’t have in New Zealand, so I do blame Voda for that, so our conversations for 6 months weren’t the best.

Now the payphones on the other hand, were heaven! Just like olde skool New Zealand calls. Pop a 50cent piece in any phone booth, get your phone card and make as many calls as you want to the local 1300 number! 13xx numbers are kind of awesome! They are like nationwide local numbers. They cost the amount of a local phone call, but you never have to worry about being in the right area. 1800 numbers are free, like the US, but 13xx are more common. A little annoying about the lack of 1800 numbers, but I’ll take a 13xx number over a straight local number any day. Plus, I got to use my Global Gossip card so it was nice to have all my communication money in one place and I could top up locally at any GG store and not put money on my credit card. Sometimes I would actually make the calls at Global Gossip stores because the booths were a little more comfortable, but after a few weeks, I realized I could make the same calls at any public phone. And like how NZ used to be, I would try to make all my calls at one time and only use one 50cent piece.

Since my travels end up being 2 years (whoops!) and in my experience, 2 years is about the lifespan for a cell phone, I didn’t bring my phone home because I had no plans to go to a different-band country anytime soon and I also assumed the next time I do, I would have a tri-band phone anyway. The phone was still in fine working order, plus I still had a little less then AU$20 left on my SIM and I really wanted to get rid of that, so I posted the phone on gumtree and I sold the phone I had bought 2 years earlier in NZ for NZD$100 for AUD$30, plus my credit within a day. I actually sold it to an Aussie who liked having cheap phones, so everything worked out. I miss my little crap phone and wish they still sold them in the US, but it was time to move on.

Cheap phone

My awesome little phone! I miss you so much!

Once again, I can’t for the life of me find a picture of a phone booth in Australia either! And this kills me that I didn’t take any pictures! Guess I need to go back, just for a picture!

Moral: All cell phones are not created equal in Australia. Figure out your plan and pick a teleco that is right for you. None are going to kill you, but some just work better in the country vs. city. Talk to those who have been around the block to figure out which is right for you. Or if you get a starter pack, sometimes one will be included and you’ll survive.

New Zealand – Phones

Used: 2007/2008/2009

As if you didn’t know, I totally kick it olde skool when it comes to phones. I am not really a big fan of wireless, though of course, I see its positives and glad they exist, but if they weren’t everywhere, I probably wouldn’t notice.

As part of my starter pack, it included a New Zealand SIM card. The phone I had in the US, I had already had for 3 years before leaving and couldn’t make one call without it being plugged in (pointless!) and wasn’t tri-band anyway. I tossed it before I left. So when I arrived, I had the card, but no phone! Since the card was a Vodafone, I went to the nearest Voda store and bought the cheapest phone they had, and old skool Nokia that I don’t think they even sold in the States anymore. I loved it! Classic green screen, non-flip, can’t do anything but make calls, do text and play some games. Why don’t they sell these anymore? Anyway, the biggest downside was that it wasn’t tri-band so I was either going to keep it to only use overseas or toss it when I left. I had just arrived and wasn’t thinking that far ahead.

In New Zealand there are really only two cell phone companies, Vodafone and Telecom. They are pretty much the same and get the same reception everywhere, the only way you can tell the difference is by your number. 021 area codes are Voda and 027 are Telecoms. One thing that I love about international numbers that we don’t have in the US is you can tell by the area codes if the number is a cell or landline. When I told people that we didn’t have this in the US, they were shocked, how do you know the difference? they asked. I said we didn’t and you just had to know. Thinking about, this is crazy. How many text messages are wasted every year, just sent into outer space? It’s kind of weird that no one has complained about this yet.

My Voda SIM card was pay as you go and it was perfect. You always knew how much you had. Everything was just a straight payment. Incoming everything was free! Text within NZ were dirt cheap. Text to the US were like NZ$0.20, which is cheap. Calling was hella expensive, so I rarely did it. My parents always called me and it was cheap for both of is. Sometimes there were sales and it would cost like NZ$3.00 to call the US for 30 minutes and I would take full advantage of it. When I first arrived, you had to top up NZ$20 every 3 months or your number would expire and after I got my living and job situation sorted, I rarely had to make any calls, so my top ups would pile up. The last top-up I bought before I left when my work permit expired said it wouldn’t expire for 12 months, so something must have changed in the 18 months I was there. NICE! I got to use my same number when I came back to NZ after 6 months in Australia, no top-up needed.

The pay phones on the other hand, where owned by Telecom. When I first arrived, the hostel I stayed at told me how to make a call. You can buy two cards, one Telecom card with money on it and a phone card on top of it, or, instead of the Telecom card, just toss in NZ$0.70 per call and make as many local calls as you want on that money. 0800 numbers in NZ are expensive and it was a better deal to call the local number, but it was hard with no permenant landline, hence the extra money for the phone booth. For about 10 months this worked well for me when I would call my sister. We would text a time to meet up and I would head to my local phone booth, put in my Telecom card, it would take off 70cents, I would then dial the local Auckland number on my phone card and everything would connect. Even calling her cell in the US, calls were like 5cent a minute. Just another fun experience of being overseas!

When my sister and parents were in NZ about 10 months after I arrived, my sister wanted to call her boyfriend while she was here and I told her how to do it. After like one call of about 20 minutes, she was like, “That Telecom card was counting down money and we are almost out”. I was like, “no way, it should just take off 70cents a call and that’s it!”. I didn’t believe her. But after a few more calls, we were out of Telecom card. I even stood in the booth with her once while she was on the call to see. What the hell?!? I can’t afford this!

When I got back to work after the family left, I searched far and wide on Telecoms website for an explanation on what was happening. I couldn’t find anything, so I emailed them and they said they would respond within 7 days. In true New Zealand fashion I got an email response back the next day telling me what changed. Turns out THE DAY AFTER I made my last call via the payphone to my sister before she arrived, they changed pay phone fees and now charged per minute on top of the local calls. This was going to suuuuuck. It was a while before the hostels caught on to this change and for the rest of my time from January until June 2008, I had to make all my calls at work. And because of the winter time difference and we went on a 5 hour change, I had to wait until 6pm to call my sister and we talked a lot less in those months, but txt’d a lot more. Annoying, but part of going with the flow of traveling and learning to adapt to new environments.

When I returned for a holiday 6 months later, hostels had caught on to this new trend and most offered public landlines to make local phone calls only, which is helpful. I know what you are thinking, just use SKYPE! But to me, that is even more expensive. My parents nor my sister use it and I would then have to pay for computer time in a public hostel (like $3/hour) plus Skype fees on top of that. Not worth it, in my opinion.

I feel like such an idiot! In searching all my pictures, I can’t find a single picture of a New Zealand phone booth! This used to be my thing, I loved taking pictures of all the local phone booths in countries I traveled in. And I can’t find a single picture!! I wonder if I just never did, always thinking that I’d have plenty of time to do it, I’ll just do it later and I just never did. So weird of me! If I come across a picture, I’ll post it.

Moral: I wish Telecom had stuck to their old prices but in their email to me, they said they hadn’t raised prices in like 10 years, so in that way, I can understand the change. But people are always going to find ways around them and hostels have done it by offering free local calls on landlines. And in a choice on mobile phone in NZ, doesn’t really matter which you pick as they are both really smiler.

Music has always held a place in my heart while traveling. I was just starting to get into radio when we took the cross country trip in 1995. Once we got out of LA, my sister and I became obsessed with the 10 cd’s we owned at the time. We would listen to them all every single day and then that was it. It wasn’t until about 3 weeks into our trip (and we were on our way home) that I realized, duh! There are radio stations outside of LA! And I could have spent my time listening to them instead of our lame cd’s! I felt like such an idiot at that point. 3 weeks down the drain! The upside of it, is that we can’t put on Green Day (Dookie, everyones first cd), Sheryl Crow or Boyz II Men to this day without the two of us thinking of that trip. There is a song on the 2nd Boyz cd that lists a bunch of town and country names and as they would list off the US city names, I would always count the ones that we had been too, thanks to that trip. By the end, it was more then half!

The trip to Italy in 1997 was changing for me, music wise. What is with all this music that they play in Italy that we had never heard in the US?! How does that happen? It was my first dream job to be the person that brings all the European music over and introduce it to the US. That trip can be summed up by the following songs: Bittersweet Symphony (whatevs, I totally heard it a month before any of y’all), I’ll be Missing You (the Puffy version), some Coolio song that they never played in the US and Where’s the Love from Hanson (yay!). That was the beginning of my obsessive radio phase (which lasted nearly 10 years).

Songs of our 1999 trip to Italy included “Vamos a la Playa” (never played in the US, obviously), “Mambo Number 5” (heard it on LA radio about 2 weeks after returning to the US) and that “Blue” song which made it to the US about 6 months later and I nearly had a heart attack when I heard it on KIIS the following November. It brought me right back to singing it in the car with the whole Villa crew, Italy in mid summer. LOVE IT!

I love that certain music just brings me back to a certain vacation or trip. Things have gotten a lot faster moving, thanks to the internet. But of course, there is still music that is wicked popular overseas and just never makes a dent in the US. There are loads of New Zealand songs that I “discovered” while I was over there and I can sing every word to this day and if it was to play in the US, I wouldn’t even blink for about a minute, till I would realize that, wait a minute! I know this song because I heard it in NZ every day! And even some Aussie stuff. There was this Ricki Lee song that was in the SEX AND THE CITY II commercial earlier this year and I jammed every time it came on the TV and I was like, why do I know this song? Because it was hugely popular when I was in Australia. 2 YEARS AGO!!! And it still shocks me that I would then never hear it on the radio.

Also, theme songs of certain trips. The theme cd for my semester at Umass was some Eminim CD. There wasn’t a car that drove by that wasn’t BLASTING that cd. Apparently, every year on the backpackers bullshit tour, there becomes a CD that you can’t go one day without hearing. The CD for my trip the latter half of 2008 was that last Kings of Leon CD. Thankgod, I was kind of meh on it. The cons were that it was played all the time and it’s only like 30 minutes long, so you hear it a lot. The pros where that it didn’t annoy me too much and every song sounded the same to me, so it was like listening to the same song over and over again, which if the song isn’t too annoying, surprisingly doesn’t annoy me too much. KOL will always remind me of Australia.

Moral: One of the things I look forward to when traveling is flipping on the radio and hitting scan. I think that is one of the reasons why I love to incorporate driving into a lot of my trips, is to turn on the radio and see what’s on. I always look forward to that part! Plus, I always try to buy cd’s of the music I hear and that reminds me of that certain country because besides supporting local artists, it’s my version of a great souvenir!

**I apologize if the YouTube videos aren’t working as I linked them right from the website and copyright laws and therefore links change all the time. Let me know what song you want to hear and I’ll find it for you.**

Australia – Noosa

Used: 2008

Noosa was another place to break up the trip and waste more time before I was going to fly out of Brisbane back to New Zealand in a few weeks. It’s known as the Sunshine Coast and it’s a surfers paradise and known as the gateway to the Australia Zoo, but other then that, there really isn’t too much else to do. The town really reminded me of South Orange County because it was very split into super fancy shopping near the water and backpackers paradise on an inland road and nothing really in between. I crashed out here for nearly a week and didn’t really do much as I was starting to get sick, so sitting in my room at Noosa Backpackers (booked out a twin room so I had my day bed to crash out on and read all day and a different bed to sleep on) all day with the windows open and a nice breeze wasn’t the worst way to spend a week!

I did go to the Australia Zoo for the day too. They have an awesome bus service you can buy at any backpackers which includes a ticket to the zoo and return transport, so it makes for a good day. But the zoo was kind of super creepy. It’s Steve Irwin’s zoo and unless you are a die hard fan (I’m not), it’s creepy. I mean, it’s otherwise a totally normal zoo, but when I was there they were redoing a lot of it, so I didn’t feel like there was all that much to see. I liked the Taronga Zoo in Sydney a lot better. To me, the place felt like Disneyland. Or Universal Studios as there were lots of demonstrations and shows. There were even rides! But the creepy part to me was the gift shop. Steve and his families pictures are on EVERYTHING! I understand his face and maybe the wife, but to have the kids pictures on everything was just so creepy. This is the place that I did hold a koala and it was awesome. The well placed food court was excellent, but eating there, I realized that there were no bugs or birds picking at the droppings, like there are in most places like this. Everything was Disneyland clean and neat. Just kind of creepy. I don’t regret going, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have days to kill or are a Steve fan.

Creepy Gift Shop

Creepy Statue at Australia Zoo

The rest of the time in Noosa was spent on the beach, catching up on some internet or just trying to get better. My email time was perfect as I got an email from a friend of mine in the US, whose cousin was living in Brisbane, so at the last minute decided to stay with her for most of my time in Brissy instead of a hostel. Between fighting a cold and not having to stay in hostels anymore, my spirits were immediate lifted! I couldn’t wait!

Moral: A good place to kill a few days, but not really much to see. Also, I was just getting burned out of the sun and heat and beach all day everyday. New Zealand was around the corner and I couldn’t wait to go “home”.

Cute piglets at the Australia Zoo

Queensland rain at the Australia Zoo. Nuts!

I love otters!

Used: 2008

I know this post is coming out of nowhere as I have writing a lot about Australia, but lately there have been lots of posts about the South Island of New Zealand (it starting to become summer and all) and a lot of people write about Kaikoura and in my opinion, always leave out a one of a kind experience that, as far as I know, can only be found here in the entire country. Swimming with Seals. Wait, I just looked it up and they have a seal swimming operator in Abel Tasman as well and I am just remembering wanting do it this, but we were in the area around New Years and the tours weren’t going out when I was in town. So booo there! Anyway, I went to the South Island on Easter weekend in 2008 to visit some friends and specifically went up to Kaikoura to do the Seal Swim.

I had a great time! There were a couple of groups of girls and like one couple (with one dude) and me. After wet suiting up and boating us out, they put us in two different dinghy’s and shipped us out to two different rocks, so we could get the most out of it without it being too crowded. The guide threw over a raft as well for people in the water to hang on to and most of the group hung on to that, but I wanted to get out there and get the most of the experience. Plus, I don’t think many of the people had been snorkeling before and were kind of scared of the rough water against the rocks.

You get so close to the seals! And you see their huge teeth or whatever, it can be kind of scary! About 10 minutes in, I felt something grab my leg and I freaked out, but stayed as calm as I could. Since everyone else was shirking because of the cold water and animals, I kept quiet. I felt down and felt a small hole in my wet suite, but everything else seemed to be fine, so I just kind of took is slow the rest of the trip. They pulled us back into the dinghy and the dude next to me, pointed out three punch holes in my suite and I was like, oh, yeah, that happened. He told me to show the guide and I did and he was like, that hasn’t happened once this season! And the season was almost over! I guess I was just too playful and they told me that it was most likely a young pup who was trying to play with me before it realized that I wasn’t a fellow seal. How crazy is that?! I told the owners as well, as the wet suite needed to be patched up. Since there were like 30 girls and 1 dude on my tour, I just sat and waited for the dude to finish in his bathroom before using the guys as it was totally empty and clean, unlike after 30 girls using one changing room. Oy.

I am not a fan of jumping off things (national past-time in NZ), but throw me in the water with animals or rafting, and I am game! For some reason, whale watching is really popular in Kaikoura. I don’t know if it’s because I grew up in Los Angeles and we always go whale watching for like 1st grade field trips or that you can do it in 100 other places around the country (not to mention the world) but I don’t really see what the appeal is to coming all the way to Kaikoura to do it. Do something different! Jump in the water and swim with seals!

Otherwise, Kaikoura is a cute town. Not really all that much to do and I only came for the seal swim. I stayed one night at The Lazy Shag, which was okay. Looked like an old motel converted into a hostel. Perfectly fine for one night and really close to town.

Paua Building

"Beach" at Kaikoura, the day I arrived. Not too pretty.

Kaikoura Town

Used: 2008

There are two ways to enter Fraser Island. Harvey Bay, which is a bigger town but a long ferry ride to the island (and oddly, more popular) or Rainbow Beach, a tiny town that is like a 15 minute ferry ride to the island. When I was up in Airlie Beach, I picked a guided tour that was leaving from Rainbow Beach, so I bypassed Harvey Bay and went right on to Rainbow. There are three hostels right across the street from where the bus drops you off and I just picked the one that offered the VIP discount which ended up being Fraser’s on Rainbow. Since I was only staying one night on each end, I sucked up a dorm and it was fine. There isn’t much to do in town, so I just went to the beach with some people I had been hopscotching over all down the East Coast. This happens a lot and is actually kind of funny.

There are a few activities in Rainbow Beach and something they sell to backpackers is feeding wild dolphins. The Dolphin Ferry Cruise provides everything from return travel to your hostel, a quick ferry ride over to Tin Can Bay and dolphin feeding. It’s slightly over priced considering if you have a car, you can just drive over yourself and do it for free (a small donation for the fish is requested) but I love dolphins and this seemed pretty cool. No regrets from me!

Feeding wild dolphins at Tin Can Bay

I did Trail Blazer Tours to Fraser Island and since the tour originated in Noosa, they didn’t pick the Rainbow Beach people up until 10am, which was great! Rolled over to the island and then up the main highway on the island, by passing all the self drivers and just enjoying it all. We hit all the tourist spots on the east side of the island on the first day before settling into our hostel for the night.

We stayed at Base Camp Fraser Island and I loved it! Apparently most of the time, they just put the groups up in the normal dorms, but we slept in the tents and I loved it because it was different! 4 sets of bunks in each tent with an en-suite bathroom and outside had chairs and tables to relax on, plus we had full run of the half inside/half outside kitchen and huge tables. The first night we walked over to the Eurong Beach Resort and went to the bar at the upscale resort. Fun!

The next day was packed full of hikes through rain forests and lounging at crystal clear lakes. I didn’t feel rushed at all and enjoyed every moment of whatever we were doing, while all the self drivers around us, arrived after us to the lakes, jumped in, took some pictures and pack it up before we did and drove off to the next lake to check off their list. At the end of our full day on the island, we were back at base camp and the bar was closed, so most of the group just played card drinking games, while I watched and it was pretty funny. Some of us were reading through the brochure and we realized that we didn’t go to Lake Mackenzie and that the brochure actually didn’t say we would go there and some of the group was disappointed, but I wasn’t. Because we skipped the most popular (and probably the most crowded) of the lakes, we got to spend time at a similar (and probably less crowded) lake and I was fine with that. Even though I am guilty of even doing the East Coast backpackers bullshit tour, which in itself is a giant check-list, normally I just do the stuff I am interested in, not caring if I check off my list. This revelation didn’t effect me at all, because we had spent half day at this beautiful lake that was mostly empty. You can’t miss what you’ve never experienced.

Rain Forest on Fraser Island

Typical lake on Fraser Island

This is as far as I would get in this water

On the third and final day, we hiked to the islands version of the Sahara and boarded down the dunes into the lake that was full of fish, which kind of creeps me out. It was so hot, that I got in, but not for very long. We then hiked back to the bus, ate a quick lunch and zoomed back to the dock for the ferry ride back to the mainland.

Hot Sand into Cold Water

Pros: Loved the accommodation, bus and guide. At one point, we were riding around the island and there was a car that got stuck in the sand and was blocking “traffic”, so our driver got out and unstuck them. Awesome! I felt what we saw and the amount of time we spent at each place was great and it was a great mix of sitting on lakes and doing nothing while seeing stuff and going on hikes.

Cons: It’s been a while since I did this trip, but even in just writing about, I am having flashbacks about the food. If I never saw another sandwich again, it would have been too soon. I felt like for every meal, all we did was have sammies. And while it could have been worse, a little variety never hurt anyone.

Moral: For the price (which was even cheaper because I booked it with my Whitsundays trip) I couldn’t have gotten anything better. It was everything I wanted and nothing extra, which is perfect for me. I had a great time and would recommend this company. And of course, Fraser! My second favourite island in Australia. So different from anywhere else. Love it!

Used: 2008

It’s an over 13 hour bus ride from Airlie Beach to Fraser Island which is another highlight on the trail. There isn’t really much in between except small little beach and farming towns but because it’s such a long ride,
backpacker tourism has sprung up, breaking up the ride and helping you spend more money! Some people stop and go inland here for a bit and do a stint on an outback farm or keep to the coast and go diving and just hang out on the beach.

I picked the small town of Agnes Water/Town of 1770 to stop on because out of all of them, there seemed to be the least to do here. Hell, the road off the main highway to the town wasn’t even paved until fairly recently. And after a week in Airlie, I was in the mood for nothing. I stayed at the 1770 Southern Cross Retreat and it was great! After 2 nights on a boat and an overnight bus ride, I booked out a whole room to crash for my 3 nights. I am the worst in shared rooms as I am the lightest sleeper and after 3 days of crappy sleeps, I needed some peacefulness. This hostel is a bit out of town, but there are shuttles a few times a day and I made use of them to pick up food and go to the quiet beach. I hung around the hostel just reading one day as well as it had a very retreat-like feeling to the place.

One activity I did was go on a kayak trip at sunset and it was awesome! I love kayaking and tried to do it almost every place that it was offered. Another thing I nerded out at was the town museum. Come on, for $3, you know you are in for a good time! Since I hadn’t been to a museum in a while, it was totally worth the $3 to learn about the coast. I also went on a really long beach walk at Agnes Water. And that was all for like 3 days! A perfect break between activities. Next up, Fraser Island!

Moral: I was really in the mood (and so was my wallet) to do nothing. And Town of 1770/Agnes Water was perfect for that!

End of the line!

Great day for a walk, so beautiful!

The beach was littered with Jellies


Canada – Victoria, BC

Used: 2010

While I am all for spending a lot of time in one place, to experience it, instead of always moving on to somewhere new, the trip I took in Australia from Melbourne to Adelaide had some girls that were from Victoria on it and they couldn’t shut up about their island. So I when I was in Vancouver and I knew I wanted to come back into the US via the ferry, it had me take a side trip over to Vancouver Island. And while I know there is loads to do on the island, I didn’t have all the time in the world, so I ended up just being there for the day. And for the town, that was just the right amount of time. There really isn’t a lot of to do there. It was a very British city with all the gardens and really reminded me of Christchurch in New Zealand because of it.

Victoria Harbourfront

More Victoria Harbour

They have a cute little harbour front and some beautiful British buildings and a pretty good selection of tourist shopping for a smaller city, but the downtown area can be walked in an afternoon. I walked out to the end of Highway 1 (Mile 0 as they call it) and it was an excellent walk. I came across this super cute burger stand in the middle of this whole residential area, which was great as I was starving for dinner.

End of the line!

I stayed at the Ocean Island backpackers and the place was classic hostel, reminded me of me time in Australia. They have dorm rooms, but I stayed in one of their double rooms and the room was so freakin’ tiny! I mean, at least they warn you, so I was prepared, but anything more then one night, it would have sucked. The bed wasn’t very comfortable, the walls were paper thin and it was pretty warm out, so I had my window open and even though I was in a quieter room facing the ally, it was still pretty loud. But then, I am a really really light sleeper. Super friendly staff and all the usual hostel fixins’.

Moral: While in hindsight, I wish I stayed in Vancouver an extra day and just backtracked my route, I have no regrets on the route I took, as I got to spend some time on the water and see a new place! I rarely regret going somewhere new, no matter how blah it is.

Art in Victoria