Like other cities and areas of the world, Vancouver has a distinct style, and there are certain essentials one needs in order to both fit in and make it through weather-wise. My friend’s girlfriend is moving to the city for the first time and in order for her to successfully make it through the rainy spring and the rest of the year, I put together this Vancouver travel must-have list. Whether you’re here to stay or you’re visiting, there are a few things that will help make your time here more enjoyable:
Car Camping Essentials
If you aren’t up for a long camping trip, car camping can be a great alternative. This type of camping is great for those with larger groups, children or elderly people—as well as for those that are either not physically fit enough or not interested in a grueling week of hiking 10 to 25km per day.
So, what do you need in order to have an enjoyable car-camping trip?
Check out this list of Car Camping Essentials
Why Celebrating Friendships Leads to Happiness
Because I believe that what we focus on grows, I know putting time and effort in to celebrating friendships (one of the most important things in my life) will bring me further happiness.
“It’s about taking those moments when things are fine and making them amazing, because those moments are what make us who we are, and they’re the same moments we take into battle with us when our brains declare war on our existence. It’s the difference between surviving life and living life.”
– Jenny Lawson in Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things
Living life to the full for me, is all about having adventures—big and small. While I could find joy having adventures by myself, I prefer to share the journey with those I love. My good friend Alex and I have talked about the importance of living an adventurous life. No, we’re not going to sell everything and backpack around Europe, or train for a year to hike in the Himalayas.
Adventure is a state of mind. Adventure is about wondering “what if?”—to get curious and take steps towards exploring possibilities.
During this first year of our friendship, Alex and I had many adventures (near and far). Living in two different (and far apart) cities in the Lower Mainland (greater Vancouver area) has meant discovering new places and returning to familiar favourites each time we get together. And every time we get together we talk about other places we’d like to spend time together and travel to.
This anticipation in itself brings happiness. Anticipating adventures with my friend extends the joy of the actual adventure.
I Wish I Knew How to Pack Light for a Conference
I’m attending the Women in Travel Summit (WITS) in Québec City! It’s taken me more time than I care to admit to pack my suitcase and carry-on back for the conference. I really wanted to pack light for a conference and travel carry-on only, but my personal item (a camera backpack) is too long, unfortunately.
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Reasons why I Feel Like I Have no Idea how to Pack Light for a Conference
- There will be a variety of activities over the 11 day trip. For instance, there will be outdoor excursions planned during a 3-day press trip I’m going on to the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean area. I will also be indoors for two full days in a hotel during the conference. I know indoor air conditioning is often set pretty high (which means that I’ve planned to wear cardigans layered over a light dress or blouse for those days). For the rest of the days I’ll be either flying to or from Québec City for most of the two days, or walking around the city with tour guides.
- I’m admittedly indecisive. I keep going back and forth with the items that I’ve picked out to bring. Will I look too casual? Should I bring more blouses?
I’ve only been to one conference (Alt Summit during June in Salt Lake City, Utah) prior to going to WITS (Women in Travel Summit), so learning how to pack light for a conference will be a work in progress for a while.
For Alt Summit I didn’t have money to purchase items of clothing specifically for the conference and I also really don’t like wearing hot weather clothing (shorts, short skirts, tank tops). I feel like I have plenty of clothing options for WITS, but still feel unprepared.
What to Pack for a Conference
There are a few pieces of luggage/accessories that I wish I owned. I keep hearing about packing cubes. Packing cubes are soft mesh cubes that hold and organize clothing. I have some mesh laundry-style cubes I’ll be using until I can get my hands on these:
I have a camera/laptop backpack but wish I had something else for my carry-on luggage, since the backpack doesn’t fit clothing or much else. There are SO MANY laptop backpacks out there and I have found so many on the eBags website. This Browning Jackson Carry-On Backpack below looks promising, though:
What do you pack when you’re going to a conference? Once I’ve been to a few more and feel more confident, I’ll share what I bring with me.
How to Leave Room for Spontaneous Travel in your Plans
You can call it FOMO (fear of missing out), with a dash of “don’t tell me what to do” rebellion, but I like to have some say in how my time in spent when I travel. Spontaneous travel can work on its own or mixed in with activities you’ve planned.
I generally want to have some ideas for what to do and where to spend my time, but I don’t want to follow a rigid schedule. What if I’m checking out a cool museum, or heading to a restaurant and see an interesting looking street with lots of great-looking shops down it? I’d want to have the flexibility in my day to be able to wander around for a bit.
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