Beyond a Travel Review: Vancouver

What do you think our fourth grade selves would think?


At the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Ten years as friends, Paloma and I tried to go on a European trip together. That didn’t work, because we were both in our early twenties and way too broke and busy to plan a big trip together.

Now in our late twenties, we’re not less busy. But thankfully we are less broke. So we made a vacation that would help us both relax.

Our favorite friend activities before this trip were:

  • napping
  • making food together
  • ice cream
  • long walks
  • parks
  • watching HGTV or silly home improvement shows on Netflix

Vegan pudding?!? But favorite sweet treat for me was Rain or Shine ice cream.

So we made sure that Vancouver would be a lot of that. We picked one thing every day to do. Just one. There were tangential goals, sure, but it wasn’t a pack-it-all-in kind of trip.

Still, after at least three years of no non-working, non-family vacations, it was tricky to give myself permission to slow down. Thankfully, Paloma had homework to do that kept us in cafes or lazing about in the AirBnB some days.

When this happened, I felt the energy buzzing saying, “You only have x days left. What are you doing lazing around inside?”

But then I walked outside to sit in the sunshine to read a book I’d had on my kindle for months. Then a Monarch butterfly alighted on my shoulder. I looked up and smiled at Paloma. This is why we were here together. This rest was intentional and necessary, especially because it was so hard to do.

Where we’ve ended up is not exactly what our ten year-old selves would have predicted. They might not have been impressed by the napping… but they would love the tree-top trekking at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, biking around Stanley Park, and eating ALL the good ice cream in the city.


Museum of Anthropology gave us our first GREAT views.

I know my ten year-old self would be both overjoyed and unsurprised that we are still best friends, still supporting and challenging each other.

Thank you Paloma for reading through the entire Lonely Planet guide book three times, for joining the letter writing club with me, for forcing me to slow down, for finding that amazing classical record store, and for being the best travel buddy I’ve ever had. Vancouver was great, but mainly because I got to travel there for the first time with you.


Tacofino lived up to expectations for drinks, tacos, and chill patio times.

About austinausten88

Playwright in love with Classic films, afternoon tea, and Noel Coward. She recently graduated from Rice University. In the fall, she will be exchanging her English major undergraduate status for that of Theatre & Performance Studies graduate student.
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