2014 was the year I finally saw some of BC, and then left BC and saw some of Alberta. I also saw a lot of other places too, some familiar and some new. I was a self employed contractor for the whole of 2014 which meant I could take as much time off as would fit around work, and I made the most of that flexibility. I did a LOT of things in 2014 (start a couple of new contracts, pass the Certified Human Resources Professional exam, invest in some personal development courses), but my travels have definitely been the highlight. Below is a snapshot of the 15+ cities I visited over the past 12 months.
My first trip of the year was just a day in Whistler at the end of January, but was still a little bit of a big deal. I hadn’t been on the Whistler slopes since a few hours’ skiing in April 2011, and I hadn’t ever snowboarded before. Even though Whistler is so close to Vancouver that it’s practically considered a ‘local mountain’, snowboarding there was still something to check off the bucket list.
February arrived, as did my parents. They came to visit for 10 days, the last of which I spent with them in Seattle (technically we’re into March now). I’d been to Seattle a couple of times before and never really loved the place, but this time I took a short ferry trip to sunny Bainbridge Island. It reminded me of Bowen Island and Gibsons, very small and laid back with some fun little shops and great ice cream. That trip made me want to give Seattle another shot. Hopefully I’ll get my chance this year.
Every January since 2011 I’ve written a list of places I want to visit in Canada. For a couple of years, I made the mistake of publishing said lists on this blog. I can officially say that I’ve been to 0% of these places. This year I left BC for the first time for a week in Edmonton with work, but I didn’t see much and it wasn’t my plan or choice so I don’t really count it as a ‘seeing more of Canada’ success. The first half my 2014 has suggested that the second half will go in much the same direction, so I’ve decided to take a stand. No longer will I waste away long weekends ‘relaxing in the city’, looking at Tripadvisor reviews for places I don’t get around to booking, or complaining that nowhere is pet friendly (lies). Ladies and gentlemen, I have a plan for the summer. And it looks a bit like this:
June 13-15 – Bowen Island
Yes, that’s today. We’re heading to Bowen Island after work for a weekend with my brother and his girlfriend, and of course Dave is coming too. I’m very much not looking forward to the horrific Pet Area on the ferry, but am thankful that the journey is only 20 minutes and know that the outdoor hot tub on the deck of our beach-side guest suite will be more than worth it. I’ve been to Bowen Island before, but only for a day and it was a couple of years ago, so I’m looking forward to more exploring. It’s been an intense week for me as I completed a 5-day intensive personal development course in a basement with no shoes on, so I’m looking forward to some fresh air and relaxation.