Well, well , well, I have arrived at last in the land of the maple leaf, the mountie, the Rockie Mountains, and, apparently, famous things beginning with the letter ‘M’! Yes, that’s right folks, for those of you who haven’t yet picked it up, I’m in Canada!
My exchange semester at the University of Ottawa begins on September 2, but I have flown in early to do a little bit of sightseeing before I get down to the study.
I’m writing this from my youth hostel, which is right on the main street in downtown Vancouver. I flew from Sydney to Los Angeles just over a week ago, and I’ve since been travelling up the West Coast of America until last night, when I finally set foot in Vancouver, on the Western side of Canada.
I’m spending about 4 nights here in Vancouver and then I’m taking a 12 hour bus ride (eeek!) to Banff National Park, which is in the Rocky Mountains. After that, I’ll be Yukon Ho for Alaska until uni goes back.
So far I’ve been lucky enough to have my picture taken with a (lookalike) Johnny Depp on Hollywood Boulevard in L.A, spend a day hiking through the giant forests of Yosemite National Park, watch the sea lions in San Francisco and see some of the artwork in Seattle.
You’ll be pleased to know, of course, that my studies at the University of Sydney have been very useful on a number of levels throughout my trip so far! Firstly, I have been able to (attempt to) converse in French with a number of lovely French backpackers!! Also, my government/international relations major assisted me in a passionate political debate that took place in the communal kitchen the other night. And finally, as a media student, I have been blessed with endless newsagents along the coast of America, selling me all the gossip mags I need to while away bus waiting time - so far, a good start to my semester of exchange, I think!