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Exploring the Pacific Northwest

It’s been almost two months since my last post but it has been a busy few weeks! I travelled about 1500 miles in the space of a week, finished the semester with finals week and two concerts, and I’m now back in the UK! After a really busy month I’m finally back at home and getting to relax a bit and see friends and family over the Christmas holiday. I’ll make another blog post on the what it’s like to be home for Christmas soon, but for now I need to catch you up on my week long solo trip to Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland, that I went on at the end of November. (I survived.)

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Before I left I was a little bit nervous as I had never travelled anywhere completely on my own, but I was also really looking forward to exploring new places and the confidence this trip would give me to travel to more places in the future. I also did quite a lot of research, watching YouTube videos and reading up about other people’s experiences and tips for travelling solo. I found that I quickly enjoyed the adventure in this experience and although I had moments of worry and fear, these moments didn’t last long.

Travelling such long distances in buses and small planes was really fun and quite different to anything I had experienced before. On the small bus I took between Crescent City, CA and Medford, OR (a 3 hour journey) I met quite an eclectic group of people. This included a woman who was travelling to pick up her car from a garage in the hopes that she would be able to drive home. She told me a lot of random facts about the area as she continued to talk to me for almost the entirety of the journey, which was a bit exhausting for me! I don’t know if her car worked and she made it back to feed her horses. I also met an artist who had spent 6 months travelling around America in remote areas and was on his way home to Colorado. It was strange to be travelling so far on such a small bus and have people from all sorts of different backgrounds there with me.

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^ The little bus that took me through the mountains to Medford

Once I got to Medford I checked in my bags and I was then told that I needed a visa to stay in Canada for 5 days, but very luckily for me I could apply for this on my phone in a few minutes and it only cost CA$7 (about £4). This was definitely a bit of a wake up call for me on what I need to do more research on before visiting a country…! From there, I spent 8 hours in Medford airport as my flight was delayed to the point where I had to change airlines to get a flight to Vancouver where I could make a connecting flight in Seattle. Luckily this all worked out fine, I learnt that there isn’t much to do at Medford airport, and I am very grateful for my friend picking me up from Vancouver in the middle of the night, 5 hours later than we originally arranged!

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^ Vancouver at night. This amazing view can be seen from the top of my friend’s block of flats!

After the day of travelling I arrived in Vancouver and I had a really great time staying with my friend and her family. It was so nice to catch up and explore the city, especially when I got to spend time with my friend and other people, hiking or having a meal together. I really missed this once I left to travel back down to Humboldt.

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^ Exploring the nearby hiking trails and Stanley park with my friend.

Travelling solo can get lonely, especially as I only stayed in Seattle and Portland for a couple of nights each, so I didn’t go out to make friends with the people I met, but it also means I was able to take as long as I wanted to explore the places that I was interested in. I also learnt that it’s okay to just sit in a coffee shop for a bit and that you don’t have to do everything a city has to offer. In the end I really enjoyed Seattle and Portland, even if I didn’t do all of the touristy things I really enjoyed walking around and exploring these places.

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^ Different sites in Seattle and Portland, some which were really far from the touristy areas – I did an awful lot of walking!

After all of this travelling and hours on buses and coaches I was very happy to get back to my dorm room in Arcata. As well as being a great adventure, it taught me a lot about what I enjoy doing, rather than what I ‘should’ enjoy doing, and it also made Humboldt feel more like home as it was a comforting relief to return to the towering redwoods.

Travelling within the year abroad was a great experience, and I would recommend anyone who is going on an exchange to try and travel and explore the country they are in!

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I made a short video of this trip which you can watch below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRh3iQXwKQ0&feature=youtu.be

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2 thoughts on “Exploring the Pacific Northwest”

  1. Hi Trish
    Really enjoying your blog! Seattle is great and i’m glad you embarked on the journey and managed it by yourself. It gives you a real sense of achievement and confidence after doesn’t it?

    Love the video and looking forward to more updates of your amazing time away.
    Keep up the great blog!
    Vanessa

  2. Looks like an amazing adventure Trish, so pleased you enjoyed the whirlwind trip. I know Laura loved having you even for just a short while.

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