Summer in Victoria
In the summer of 2017, following the worst semester of my life, I chose to stay in Victoria instead of returning home. Needless to say, this is one of those situations where making a difficult choice pays off ten times over.
I was wary of spending an additional four months away from home (and being completely and entirely financially independent for the first time ever), but I was even more wary of returning home. Not that I don’t love my parents, and love being home, but the danger is that I’m either too comfortable there and the Fall 2017 semester would be even worse, or my parents and I would be at each other’s throats per the saying: ‘You can never move home.’
Summer in Victoria, blessedly, ended up being amazing. Not only did I get to know some friends better, but I had amazing adventures. From May to August I worked as a multimedia coordinator for a local non-profit and it was chock-full of relevant experience to my field of study. Not to mention, most of it was done remotely.
When I wasn’t road-tripping up-island, or hopping ferries over to one of the Gulf Islands, I was riding the bus to Willows Beach to lay in the sun and leisurely toss a Canada Day-themed Frisbee to the tunes of Lorde’s Perfect Places and Milk & Bone’s Coconut Water. While I will always have a special love for the Alberta Rockies, it was particularly dreamy to wile away the summer months seaside – barring an unfortunate incident with poorly placed sunscreen of course.
Any span of several months can’t be all fun and games (apparently), and I faced some difficult times too. In late May, my grandfather passed away somewhat unexpectedly. I’m especially grateful that moving to Victoria allowed me to be closer to my extended family in the past couple of years, as they live on the lower mainland of BC. In other real world challenges, payment for my job was extremely delayed due to the federal government’s messed up payment system, and for a hot second my credit card bill was higher than my bank balance, which had never happened before and I hope to God never happens again.
Another great element to living in Victoria for the summer is that people want to come visit you! One of my friends from back home was in Vancouver anyway, and took the ferry over for a few days to see me. Another one, my ultimate best friend, came all the way from Edmonton to see lil ol’ me. This can be stressful, because you have to act the tour guide in a city where the vast majority of your time is spent on campus, but always worth it.
In terms of adventure, myself and one of my friends drove up to Tofino, with stops near Port Alberni, in Cathedral Grove, and in Ucluelet. Camping on the beach was as wonderful as I had hoped it would be, even if we failed spectacularly at starting a fire.
In another adventure, three of us went over to Pender Island for a weekend of hiking and hot-tubbing, that happened to be the eve before my 20th birthday.
I took the Clipper down to Seattle to meet up with my friend and her family for the weekend, and that was amazing. The Clipper is definitely an experience worth having, but make sure you’re not prone to sea-sickness, because that baby bounces. The Seattle sights were as amazing as my Instagram explore feed promised they would be and the weather was beautiful, but the highlight of the trip was watching the newest episode of Game of Thrones in our fancy hotel while my friend and I screamed at literally anything that happened on screen.
Victoria is the perfect summer location, because not only does it have tons to offer within the city itself, but its an unparalleled jumping off point to all kinds of cool places on the island and near it. This summer, I hope to have even more outdoor adventures that are unique to the west coast.
From the Goldstream trestle to the Ogden Point Breakwater, what is your favorite Victoria-based adventure?