The first question a lot of people have asked is, “Where are you going?”
A lot of my friends in North America have also been asking if I’m visiting their town. I would love to. I genuinely would. There are many places I still want to visit. If only I had more time and money. But let me tell you about my current travel plans in words, tables and maps (see below).
My friend is getting married in Ottawa this weekend so I decided to fly to Toronto. Air Transat – the Easyjet of transatlantic Canadian flights – were more affordable than flying to the capital. Yes, Ottawa is the capital for my non-Canadian friends. I’d never ventured to the country’s largest city despite studying a year in Montreal so I was keen to make the most of it. Check out my post on Toronto once I’ve finished it.
I’ll be spending almost a week in Montreal. Hitting up my favourite spots with friends from five years ago: Saint Laurent, McGill University and Patati Patata (go to #3 – I’m famous). I also used to play rugby with these guys – the Montreal Irish. Hands down the best and most welcoming club in the city. I might even come out of retirement – I did bring my gum shield after all.
On to Boston next. My former flatmate in Montreal works there now making 3D printers. Cool, right? I’ve been twice before and loved it. No doubt I will for a third.
Around 8 June I’ll be hitting up the Big Apple. Numerous friends live here now unsurprisingly. One of whom I have on speed dial ever since our days in Montreal. Visiting him will square things off at 2-2 in the contest of who is the better friend. He’s made the trek to Edinburgh twice over the years despite him being from Australia.
Who do I know in Washington DC? My Scottish pal, of course. Obviously I’m pumped to meet Obama too.
I would love to continue south and hit up the likes of New Orleans, Tennessee and Texas. Whether I could handle the heat is a different matter. Who thought it would be a good idea for me to move to Australia? 29°C in Ontario yesterday and the moisture from my clothes would be enough to water Kew Gardens.
Flying north to Chicago, one of the things on my bucket list is to watch a Cubs game. I’m not even a baseball fan. I don’t even know the rules. But it’s one of the few big American sports still in season and the Cubs have that underdog status and cult following. It will also be Father’s Day in the US and spending it with my friend’s dad will be a unique experience. Before you think I’m a terrible son, I will make sure I speak to my own dad too.
My friend and I will then skedaddle to Calgary for what will probably the most epic part of my trip: The Canadian Rockies. A seven-day, 1,200km road trip through Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks. Possibly reaching heights of almost 4,000m and without exaggerating, witnessing some of the most stunning scenery and wildlife on the planet.
If we don’t get eaten by bears, we will end up in Vancouver. This is where my plans are a little more fluid. All I know is that I want to be in Van for Canada Day on 1 July. Maybe I’ll head to Whistler for some mountain biking or Tofino for my first of many face-plants while learning to surf. Sometimes no plan is the best plan.
Who throws a better party? Canada versus the United States. Comparing Canada Day and Independence Day celebrations will be like having your birthday and Christmas within the same week.
From there, I know I definitely want to go to Seattle; Portland; San Francisco and Yosemite National Park.
My final two stops are Las Vegas and Hawaii. I have a hotel for Vegas and I have flights. I just need to get my backside down there by 23 July. Wish me luck! And if you have any recommendations, let me know!
|Montreal||29 May – 5 June|
|New York||8-13 June|
|Calgary||7-day road trip from Calgary to Vancouver via Banff and Jasper National Park|
|Banff||7-day road trip from Calgary to Vancouver via Banff and Jasper National Park|
|Vancouver||27 June – 2 July (including Canada Day)|
|Yosemite National Park|
|Las Vegas||21-23 July|
|Brisbane||29 June –|