A Weekend Trip to Canada

A week ago, I took a trip to Toronto, Ontario, to celebrate my first year anniversary. Let's just say we planned the trip before the news broke of a blizzard, named Jonas, set to hit the northeastern region of America. Instead of cancelling, we decided Canada was too good of an opportunity to pass up, and left before the snow touched down in New Jersey that Friday. Traveling by car, we spent 8 hours on the road, driving through frigid air with strong winds that knocked on our windows. 

Arriving to Canada was easy and painless. I had never crossed a border by car and expected a full inspection, which did not happen, at least not there. I'm not sure what it's like during the day but the traffic was almost nonexistent. One major issue you may face is the accessibility to use your phone. I have an international plan, so I was able to make calls and text when possible. One thing that I'm not sure comes standard with this plan is the use of GPS. It slipped my mind that we were entering a new country and that an actual GPS system would be needed. While my service was limited, I was able to use the application to get around.

Toronto is a beautiful place. It was cold, very cold, but it did not deter from its beauty. It's a melting pot of cultures, centrally located in an area that boasts of food, clothing, and traditions from around the world. It reminded me of a few major cities, mainly the soulfulness of Philadelphia, metropolitan lifestyle that is New York, and the poshness of London. We ate Thai food at this banging place called Pai Northern Thai Kitchen. It's located downtown, and I suggest getting the Kung Tawt Sa-Moon Prai Shrimp, they’re amazing. The CN Tower was a cool way to see the lay of the land and figure out your next destination. Also, it has free WIFI, and it's a great place to catch your breath and relax. 

On our way home, we stopped at Niagara Falls, and marveled at the icy sculptures that surrounded the water. Not even the below freezing conditions could keep tourist away. It's not just a place for honeymoons; it's great for families too. There's a Ferris wheel, a host of restaurants, and attractions to keep you preoccupied. I was grateful to bare witness to one of the natural wonders of the world.

 

Overall, it was a short trip and left me wanting more. Honestly, we had no real plans of what we wanted to do when we got there. The goal was just getting there and wandering to spots that attracted us. Would a plan have served us better? Possibly. But there's nothing wrong with making your own fun off the beaten path. I made a promise to myself that 2016 was the year of intention. I've intentionally set goals that allow me to travel and go often. So each month I've committed to seeing new places and spaces with little cost. That's includes everything, from new countries, states, and cities, by planes, trains, and automobiles. Driving to Canada took two full tanks of gas (about $20 each), a reservation at Airbnb (can be $25 a night, we spent under $150 for 2 nights/3days), and affirming we were going. I have decided traveling isn't expensive or impossible; it's possible because I said so. Take the plunge. Accept it is your divine right to see new places and to go often. Don't put out blockages that it's not feasible, or that you don't have the time. Remember, it's possible. See you soon Toronto!

Now, for what I learned on my first anniversary...stay tuned. I want to share how learning to love myself transformed my relationship, and the decisions I make.

 

-@ayanaiman