by Shannon Braybrook
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com
Vancouver Island (paradise)
When we first decided to sell everything and buy a fifth wheel and truck, I had no idea how exciting life would become. I mean, it’s been almost 3 years, and Dave and I have lived in 5 different towns all over this beautiful province. Each place gives me the ability to meet wonderful people, experience new cultures, and to eat some amazing local foods. It also inspires me to write daily. We currently live on Vancouver Island in British Columbia and all I can say is that this land holds some magic. From the moment we stepped off the ferry, we felt a sense of home. The amount of forest and creatures that are abundant in every corner of this place just blows my mind. I spend a great deal of time wandering with my little dog into beautiful old-growth parks and along some amazing ocean shores. I forgot how incredible the ocean was. The crabs dot the beach and the clamshells are absolutely enormous! I remember as a child, spending a great deal of time with my family down at the ocean. Collecting stuff and digging up clams. You never forget those days. That salt air scent stays with you forever. Did I mention the forest? It is similar to the Amazon rainforest but without the deadly animals. This past few weeks has been such a wonderful time, standing next to some of the most gigantic trees I have ever seen. It puts your life into perspective knowing that a tree has been there for almost 1000 years. It is really a sight to behold when looking up… way up and still not seeing the top. To make our explorations even more exciting, we just recently purchased some electric bikes! We are so excited to gear up and start seeing even more of what this beautiful island holds. I’ve been looking at hammocks too. (For those little excursions that may need a nap break in the middle). The culture on Vancouver Island is very different from the mountain culture we just came from. We were living in small villages in the Kootenays for over 6 years and it is true that “Kootenay time” really exists. Since moving to the hustle and bustle of a real city, we have had to contend with thousands of people each day flying down the highways at super speed. I am starting to go with the flow now and picked up my pace a bit. I’ve been on “turtle mode” for way too long. I love it here though. It is as diverse in culture and people as I have ever seen before. Something I have noticed each day as I go out to do my errands is that there is a big divide between rich and poor. There are many people living on the streets. I talk to a few each day. What I never expected was the love I would feel for the people that I meet. I believe they come into my life for a reason. We are all here for a reason. I look for the lessons each day when I meet a new person. While living in our last little town, I spent more time alone than I believe was healthy. Since landing here, I have met hundreds of new people with absolutely huge hearts. No animosity, no snobs, not one bad attitude. Even after moving to my new little neighborhood, I realize how connected we truly are to the people around us and I continue to shine my light and I get light back. It’s pretty simple. Be kind. Get kindness. The bank lineups are longer in the city. The traffic is backed up all the time but in my heart, I just wait, be patient and talk to yet another new friend. It’s fantastic. I’ve felt quite at home here in the past few weeks and until we are ready to venture on, I will make it my home. I highly recommend getting out and saying “hi” to a few people this week. Make every day a little getaway. It doesn’t hurt and it isn’t as scary as I thought it would be. Have fun venturing in your own town or pop by a close little village for a new dining experience. We like to pick a new place each Sunday. Whether it is a small coffee shop tucked in the trees or the most amazing fish and chip restaurant in a local mall, we are trying it all. With our new little foldable electric bikes, basket and puppy in tow, we are ready to start the next adventure! Life is about living. Go out there and live. Have a great week. Shannon
Life is an adventure
Hey gang! Thanks for hanging out to read all about my crazy journey traveling all over the place with Dave and Sadie. I have to tell you how excited we are this week. We just got the new electric bikes and it is time to gear up and go! I had no idea that riding one of these little zippy things would be so invigorating! We already ride the Harleys but decided to park them this year and take advantage of not using fuel for a few months. We chose foldable bikes with tons of power. Probably the most power on the market. Dave does intense research when we go to buy things and thankfully, he doesn’t bore as easily with details. On the contrary, he loves all of the extra nerd stats that come along with a purchase. Not me! I just wanna ride. I am looking forward to buying the basket for Sadie today. We are looking at durable front baskets that won’t bounce around. She has been riding on the back of my Sportster for 3 years and I think she will love the quietness of an electric bike compared to my straight pipe 1200-horsepower Raven. I am super stoked to get new eyewear too. I found a place that sells bifocal safety glasses and I really need them now more than ever. (I am an affiliate marketer with the great little safety glasses to the right, check them out if you get a second and thanks ). Helmets are also a must on these little bikes because they fly down the trails at speeds as high as 32 mph. We hope to get the GoPro camera on board soon too and to create little YouTube videos and reviews.
The Fresh Food Experience
Since moving to Vancouver Island, we decided to make it a weekly event to try new foods. Living on the road is fantastic but finding restaurants and new types of fusion menus in small towns can prove to be a little bit challenging compared to the big city. Our first week here had us searching for wood fired pizza and when we came across some of the freshest ingredients on top of an amazing crust, we knew we were in for some awesome surprises every week. There are some gems in this area. In six short weeks, we have experienced some of the best food and customer service from The Dog House Restaurant in Duncan. They have the largest portions of beef brisket eggs benedict I have ever seen and the piece of pie should actually be called a 1/4 pie slice! Maggie’s Seafood Market “Fish and Chips” is another top notch restaurant over in Nanaimo. My mouth is watering just thinking about the huge prawns and enormous portions of fresh halibut and handmade fries. So delicious. It’s hard to want to try new stuff when we have already found some of the best foods in just a few weeks. We decided to make each journey to a new pub or restaurant a memorable experience and try different things each time. I mean, you only live once. You might as well try it all! We are really looking forward to this upcoming weekend to hop on the bikes, travel into town and sit on an outdoor patio to soak up some sun, dive into some new delicacies and get ready to share with you on the next blog. Hope you join me. Have a wonderful week and explore your local mom and pop establishments.