About four weeks ago I finally arrived in Victoria, BC. My friend and me took the ferry from Vancouver to Swartz Bay and then headed to Downtown Victoria. On the bus we experienced the first of many great moments of this exchange semester:
My friend and me had both a large suitcase, a carry-on and a backpack. And our IKEA bag of course! A lady got off at the same bus stop as we did. She was wondering where we are from. “Austria”, I said. “Oh, that is wonderful! I’ve always wanted to go to Australia!”. There we are again. No kangaroos in Austria! We were pretty tired – 10pm and we were travelling with about 40kg each and it takes a while to get from downtown Vancouver to Victoria. “No Austria. The one in Europe.”, I explained. “Oh, you must be pretty jet-lagged then, eh?”, she assumed. My friend then told her that we are already travelling for a month (in terms of visiting and exploring different places in North America) and that we are consequently not jet-lagged anymore. The lady looked completely puzzled. “But… But, why? How did you come here? Did you go on donkeys?!?”. Uhm, yeah!!
Anyway, I love it here! People are so incredibly nice. When you get off the bus, everyone says “Thank You” to the bus driver. If you lose your iPhone at university someone will eventually give it back to you. Professors give you high-fives if you do something good. But not only the people are great, nature is even more impressive. Vancouver Island is gorgeous. Sunsets on top of Mount Douglas. A day at the Willows beach. Or just hanging out in front of the library between classes. This weekend we will drive up north to Ucluelet and Tofino – two of the most beautiful spots on this Island.
I still remember that I was watching one video on YouTube over and over again last November, when I got the acceptance email from UVic. At that point I could not believe how beautiful British Columbia was portrayed. And I still cannot believe it. That’s what I love about Canada – it still surprises one, even if you think that you have seen the most beautiful place in this country already.