These past few weeks have been a whirlwind– of change, emotion, and packing. I think my best friend Hannah could tell that I was beginning to feel overwhelmed by how rapidly my life was moving and decided it was time for me to take a break. So when she texted me asking if I wanted to take a long weekend trip to Canada, I immediately said yes. I had never been to Canada, not even Niagara Falls, and I was itching to visit this northern country before I travel across the world.
Our trip was pretty impulsive. We made the plans two days before we were slated to leave. We didn’t have hotels, we didn’t research what to do in Toronto, the city where we would be staying, and we didn’t have a set plan on when we would leave for Toronto and when we would head home, but that was okay. Amidst all the change taking place in my life, this impulsive, unplanned trip seemed completely sane. Besides, how hard could it be to find an affordable hotel for the day of in the middle of Toronto? (Very hard, the answer is very hard.)
Hannah and I left for Canada around 5:45 a.m. Our bags were packed and our bikes were strapped to the back of her car, ready to go. After a few rest stops and some bike mishaps along with way, we made it to Niagara Falls. It was one of the most beautiful things I have seen. The rush of the crystal blue water was both calming and alluring. Even in the blistering heat, I couldn’t help but smile.
Around 4:30, we decided it was time to book a hotel. We called every hostel listed in the city of Toronto, but all were booked; the prices of hotels were far outside of my budget. We were almost resigned to sleeping in the park, letting the mosquitos take us. But then, we found something else: a university residence hall turned hotel for the summer with hostel prices and available rooms right in downtown.
My weekend in Toronto may have been short, but I experienced so much in the two days I spent there. Not only did I experience Toronto nightlife, but I spent a day at the beach, ate at an Indian Food Festival, rode my bike throughout downtown and the financial district, visited Graffiti Alley, ate one of the most delicious vegan meals I have ever had, and met some pretty amazing people.
All these experiences offset any mishaps that we faced, like the Uber driver who almost refused to pick us up and then scolded me for slamming his car door, or the creepy middle-aged dudes who tried to pick us up at the bar. Or, worst of all, the sunburn I got from laying on a beach for hours.
There really is nothing like traveling to new places: experiencing the culture, interacting with the people, and taking in all the life around you. Spontaneous traveling is worth it, as long as you are traveling with someone who enjoys taking life as it comes, and who is open to trying new things. I wouldn’t have wanted to spend one of my last weekends in the United States any other way than seeing more of what this great big world has to offer.