While I had a good few months in Toronto, the mountains were calling my name (louder than usual) and I eventually broke down and booked a one-way flight to Vancouver with Tom (an expensive last-minute flight – curse spontaneity). Within less half a week, I’d packed up my life (something I’ve gotten far too much practice at), said my final goodbye to Toronto and spent about 5,000,000hours getting delayed at the airport because (1) my longboard was apparently too big for carry-on (I guess it must have grown since the last time I flew with it) (2) Tom’s suitcase was too heavy (3) his other bag was oversized (4) our baggage attendant was too lazy to process our check-in and after re-packing our bags, we missed the luggage cut-off and had to take a later flight. After that eternity however, I was getting my first glimpse of the mountains and remembered why they were making such a fuss about needing me to come back and visit them.
From there, I checked out the city and Stanley Park and ate amazingly delicious sushi for days on end. However, one of the downsides of the city (and all of British Columbia) is the fact that everything is really expensive. Especially for things like skis and ski gear, which is expensive to begin with and are completely necessary for maximal mountain loving.
With that, it was time for another spontaneous trip: this time, to Seattle. To sum things up, it was an American whirlwind of shopping, football and shouting “Murica!” at fast food chains, overly popular university sports and weird money.
It was so much of a whirlwind, I ended up losing my passport during the day and a half long trip and terrified I wouldn’t be able to get back to my home country, I started desperately researching how long it would take / how much it would cost to get a replacement (15 days – waaaaay more time than I wanted to spend in Seattle and $300), if I could get across the boarder without one (yes, but I needed a birth certificate – which I only had a photocopy of and photo ID) and how I could sneak across the boarder (swim out to freezing international waters, drown and hope to wash up on a Canadian shoreline apparently). After a significant freak-out, I called up Canadian boarder control and explained my situation. As it turns out, Canada wants to let Canadians enter their country and apparently I’d be fine with a photocopy of my birth certificate and photo ID. Even with the re-assurance, I was shaking as I got to the border. In true overly nice Canadian style however, the border control agent didn’t question my lacking passport and I made it back in the country without a hassle. A few days after getting back in the country, I got a message on twitter from a lady saying she found my passport! Apparently she found it at the stadium, Googled my name and found my twitter account! I thanked her about 1,000 times when she said she’d mail it back to me and was even able to give her travel advice for going to Machu Pichuu after she asked me about it because of the stamp in my passport. So to anyone who thinks social media is a waste of time, NO! It’s passport-savingly useful!