I had booked rooms and a rental car for my August vacation and intended to drive up the Highway 1 coast from San Francisco to Mendocino. It dawned on me that while that would be a great trip to do, I can do it any time. I cancelled all of that trip and rebooked myself for a week in Vancouver BC. I can spend three days walking the city, eating, drinking, and seeing the last city on the pacific coast that I have wanted to see. I’ve walked and seen:
- Eugene and Portland, Oregon
- Seattle, Washington
- Monterey, Santa Barbara, and San Diego, California
I always felt that Vancouver looked like a city that would welcome walkers and there would be an over-abundance of things to see, pictures to take, beer to drink in a 4 day trip. So I fly out on a Monday and return Friday. 4 complete days does not do it justice nor has it done any of the places I’ve gone before. I walked Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo, and Kyoto that way too and its never been enough. With Sydney, I was there on a business trip so had longer but had to work every day and really only saw things on a weekend off.
But here’s the thing. Walking a city and putting on 11 to 20 miles a day is different than puttering around in a bus and seeing what the tour guide intends you to see. You cannot take the next left and the next right and get lost on the tour bus. A kindly Japanese policeman will not help and you don’t have time anyways. Time on a bus is divided into getting to those 5 or so necessary tourist stops. I always wonder if the person is curious what is down the next street.
I don’t get to do the streets at 40 miles per hour so the bus tourist gets to see more. But at what cost? Seeing more does not equate to seeing. I’d prefer to spend the days and tiring this old body out each day in Vancouver.
So off I will fly on August 14th from SFO. I’ll do the usual carry-on bag only and use my MEI Voyageur that holds my kit so well. I’ll pack along my FujiFilm X100F because part of this whole thing is the recording of it. I will not see all of the city but I changed hotels so my walking days are differently divided. Normally, I choose a region north one day to get lost in. Then south the next day. Then I finish up with whatever I want. I just want to get lost and found again on city streets surrounded by things I will never likely see again.
The photographs form the baseline for me. They anchor the memories and are preserved on Google Photos and Instagram.
This is the last vacation I do before I really go. I lock in my miles on United that I need to really go and not spend a dollar on flying anywhere.
Vancouver here I come!