Canada Weekly Love

8 Hours on a Train + Vancouver, BC = Weekly Love

December 17, 2011

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I spent a bit of last week in Vancouver, BC for the World Hosteling Conference by Gomio. It’s always fun to learn more about niche industries within travel. Overall an interesting experience. I spent a lot of time in hostels while on my RTW trip, so it was cool seeing the other side of hostels (from the owner/manager perspective), instead of just as a traveler or booking site. And I have a few pretty sweet looking hostels I now want to go visit. :)

And now I have a weekend of relaxing in store — Christmas-y stuff/planning, a few more gifts to pick up, Christmas menu to plan, an Awkward Holiday party to attend, some eggnog to make, and a wee bit of design work to finish (No, I’m not a graphic designer anymore, but I do get to do a bit of playing at BootsnAll and one of my favorite travel articles of the year comes out on Monday. It’s going to be a pretty one, if I do say so myself).

This week:

Train to Vancouver I flew up to Vancouver (about one hour) and took the train home (about 8-9 hours). Although the train takes ages, it’s a beautiful and relaxing journey. I just love trains. Amtrak now has wifi on some of their trains, and while it’s an awesome idea, it’s a bit spotty still. So I was able to check email and get some work done, but it’s not the reliable constant connection that I was expecting. It would have been frustrating, but ok for personal use, but probably won’t be taking the train and trying to work at the same time until their wifi is a bit better. I still love the train though.

Old travel friends While I was in BC, I went for drinks with a friend I met on my round the world trip, and even though we hadn’t seen each other in 3 years (seriously it’s been that long?) it was so fun to catch up on life.

Conferences Attending a conference solo in a [micro] industry that you don’t know anyone in, can be a challenge. It involves a lot of introducing yourself to strangers for 2 1/2 days. It’s rewarding, but a challenge and exhausting (people who struggle with insomnia should just go to conferences and talk all day. Zzzzzz…) So now I can add “conference speaker” to my LinkedIn profile. In all seriousness, it was a good experience (and slightly terrifying). I think I liked being a panelist better though. Answering questions and participating in a discussion is a bit more engaging than just talking at people. And people said I was funny, a compliment I will accept, even if they were just trying to make me feel better about myself.

Vancouver, BC I was just in Vancouver in June for TBEX, so it’s always kinda fun returning to a familiar city. I ended up going to a couple of the same restaurants as last time just because I needed something close to the convention centre (Giovane cafe), but I did get to check out The Buzz Cafe & Esspresso Bar — where I worked from after I arrived on Monday. Raw Canvas, a wine/art bar in Yaletown. Seriously, I don’t know why Portland doesn’t have one of these. Cool concept, in that you can paint and drink. :) I just got a massive cheese plate, no painting, but looked like a fun place. Granville Island Brewing and their tasty winter ale, along with Roaming Dragon food truck, that was a tasty dinner.

What are you up to this week?