School starts September 14 for me. That leaves just a little over two weeks of summer and freedom left, which means one last bash with my best friend of 18 years, Briana, before hitting the books. Briana and I have travelled before,  first trip when we were 11 years old was a tour of Italy with my family. Then again when we were 16 to Mexico, and earlier this year again, when she met me in Miami after Semester at Sea docked in Fort Lauderdale. Where we are going now actually has a little story to it….

Once upon a time after a young girl on Semester at Sea visited lands far-far away, she realized she really didn’t know much about her own home, Canada. This allowed the girl to dream of her own mystical land, and get in touch with home. After all, home is where the heart is… and her heart was in travel.

She heard from many how beautiful Canada was. Locals from her travels kept reassuring her of their own love for her country. One particular woman in China, a merchant who was trying to sell her a purse was particularly keen on “ripping the girl off”. After a session of bardering the Chinese woman asked where the girl was from. She exclaimed she was a Canuck from Canada. The Chinese woman’s face lit up as she grabbed the girls arm and pulled her aside. The Chinese woman took a look around to see if anyone was looking and then opened up her vest to reveal a collection of Canadian pins and memorabilia from the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. She whispered, “I love Canada”. The Chinese woman then sold her the fake Michael Kors bag for a reasonable three dollars.

After travelling back home, the girl became ashamed to have only seen a fraction of her country, and yet seen so much of other people’s countries. So she made a point to travel cross-country to the wonderful land of British Colombia; Vancouver specifically and celebrate her country with her best friend.

So that is where I am going on Monday at 7 am. I am taking a flight across my own country to explore the beauty I’ve heard so much about in Vancouver. I will be house-hopping with a few friends and hopefully making an impression on Vancouver, or at least Vancouver will make an impression on me.

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