Exploring Victoria for 3 Days!

This is part of a continuing series from my travels in Canada. You can read the previous blog post here. I'm currently sitting at a Starbucks in downtown Victoria writing this latest blog post. I'm taking a ferry boat back to Vancouver tomorrow morning on Christmas Eve. I've enjoyed my time spent in Victoria; the capitol of British Colombia and my favorite city in Canada. It was only a four hour drive from Tofino. The population of Vancouver Island is approximately 750,000 and nearly half of the people live in Victoria. I explored the city after checking into my hostel. It's not particularly clean, to say the least, but it's really cheap. Roughly $20 USD per night. Always trying to be thrifty during my travels since funds are tight. Getting drunk at local bars with strangers is entirely uninteresting to me. Plenty of free activities to do outside in nature! After a long day of hiking, sometimes eating a large meal is the best medicine, so I went to a Japanese all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant, and it was absolutely delicious! However, I did watch Sully on the largest IMAX screen in British Columbia and it was a truly fantastic film. Yesterday, I went for a hike at Mt. Douglas Park, circumnavigated the upper peninsula and drove up to Swartz Bay, which is the end of the line before Fulford Harbour. From there, I drove along the coast to Butchart Gardens, which is one of the main attractions near Victoria. However, I immediately realized that the gardens looked nothing like the photos. All the plants and flowers are dormant this time of the season. So instead of asking for a refund, I decided to return in the evening when everything is lit up for Christmas celebrations. I headed back downtown for a few hours, flew the drone along the coast, hiked down along the rocky beach during a gloomy dusk, and drove up to Butchart Gardens since my ticket was only good for that day. I was not disappointed with the lighting display at night and captured stunning photos in full HDR. They resemble something out of a hallucinogenic trip. Take a look for yourself...

I awoke early this morning, took a shower, took care of laundry, charged electronics, ate a Cliff Bar, and hit the road for Goldstream Provincial Park; a 30 minute drive from downtown. Another rainy overcast day but anything is better than sitting around the empty hostel twiddling my thumbs. It was totally worth the trip! This lush rainforest was undoubtedly the most breathtaking natural wonderland I've experience so far. I was hiking for over 2 hours; it was possible to hike for 15km up to Mt. Finlayson, but I simply didn't have the energy to climb steadily uphill, so I continued in the treetops near the highway. The long exposure photos I captured at Goldstream are really quite stunning! I've decided to carry around my tripod whenever I go hiking henceforth. Just take a look at the vibrant colors and smooth river streams...

Whenever I'm in a new place (which is happening a lot lately), I'd always rather be driving around, exploring outdoors, taking photos, than wasting precious time doing what I can do anywhere. For example, I haven't made any phone calls during this entire adventure since my service is nonexistent in Canada and I'd rather not spend extra on international roaming. However, I'm still posting regularly to social media to keep my friends and followers updated on my whereabouts. One of the goals of this trip was to get featured on various Instagram accounts. However, after posting a few dozen photos that still hasn't happened and I'm mystified why not. Regardless, getting featured may be excellent exposure, but, as usual, no exchange of money is involved. That's why I've reached out to Tourism Vancouver about licensing my aerial footage. The marketing director will be available to meet after the holidays. In the meantime, I can edit together a final video and possibly shoot more aerial video around Vancouver. It would certainly be quite an accomplishment and financial success to make this a reality! My plan is to explore national parks in Washington and Oregon along the way to San Francisco. There's so many beautiful natural wonders in these areas! I intend to camp outside in nature the entire time, unless conditions are miserably cold and/or stormy, at which point I'll either sleep in the car or spring for a cheap hotel. As a young scrappy adventurer, I'm excited by the challenge of surviving on a budget. I still have the financial backup from my father but I'm trying to rely on that less and less. Already applying for marketing/tech jobs in San Francisco and reaching out to recruiters via LinkedIn. If I'm not able to find a job in Silicon Valley, the entrepreneur capital of the world, something is seriously wrong. I may not have lots of practical experience in a workplace environment, but there's no reason I can't convince a hiring manager to take a chance on the "Purple Cow"! The road has taught me so many valuable life lessons. As an example, watch this inspirational fast-motion video I put together from travels into and around Canada...

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