New backpacker blogs tell the real stories of what it’s like to be a backpacker through Canada & the world. Read about how the places you visit change you & the people you meet become your best friends, what traveling alone really feels like & how to make the most of 24 hours in a foreign city.
Find out how you can submit a blog & earn yourself a FREE night accommodation at Samesun hostels.
We are throwing a No Pants Par-tay in the Beaver Bar on Saturday 15th of June from 9pm.
Come Dress as Tom Cruise from ‘Risky Business’ or anyone but with NO pants.
Got Balls!? We do! Bingo night is your chance to join in the greatest geriatric tradition of them all, and maybe win a few prizes!
Join Johnny, the main man of the Beaver Bar in a night of numbers as he hosts Bingo.
Hear him call out things like, ‘number 10, big fat hen, number 10′.
Starts from 9pm in the bar. So try your luck, we dare you!
An Aussie in Vancouver
After putting my black ballpoint pen down for what must have been the one hundredth time in an exam week of cramming, early mornings and of course the dreaded papers themselves, my mind was polluted with concepts, facts, statistics and quotes but one thing was absolutely clear – I needed something new.
Something interesting. Something good. Something that would expand my horizons and my understanding of the world.
A gap year in Canada as my solution.
At the outset of the trip a few questions plagued me and raised doubts about how much I would actually enjoy my trip. Would I be alright on my own? Was it worth the cost? Where would I go to feel at home?
Staying at Samesun for a weekend answered my questions and put my mind at ease.
What I thought would have been the most daunting weekend of my life ended up being one of the most rewarding. Upon entering my six-person dorm room at the Samesun in downtown Vancouver, I acknowledged my roommates with a simple Australian “G’day”. It was the perfect ice-breaker – the two Australians warmed to me instantly and we began talking about everything from our jobs back home to Rugby League back in Australia. Before I knew it, I was downstairs at The Beaver having beers with them, and talking to people across the table who we had just met. It was an amazing first night, and it showed to me that I had indeed nothing to worry about!
On the advice of people I had met on the first night, I spent the rest of the weekend visiting the sights in Vancouver that had been recommended to me on that first night. From local downtown landmarks such as Granville Island, Chinatown, the Steam Clock in Gastown and the Winter Olympic Cauldron(s), to natural spots such as Stanley Park to Lighthouse Park in North Vancouver. All of these on the advice of people who I had only met the day before – something I never would have done before I left Australia.
And the sightseeing didn’t end there. In weeks to come I would be treated to spectacular day and night views of the city from the slopes of nearby Grouse Mountain, not to mention also snowboarding for the first time in my life. I also got into hockey and became a Canucks supporter, eventually getting to a game and experiencing the awesome atmosphere that Rogers Arena creates for the national sensation that is ice hockey.
And the question of not feeling at home? Not a problem for an Aussie in Vancouver! Along with meeting the two Australians at the Samesun on that first night, I was later introduced to the Moose Down Under bar and restaurant in downtown; an Aussie bar run by Aussies! In addition, as I would find out in weeks to come, there is definitely no shortage of Australians staying in hostels in Vancouver.
Looking back, all my original fears and doubts about my journey to Vancouver seem irrational. I’m still staying and working in Vancouver, and even two months in I am still meeting new people, sharing my story, seeing and doing new things – making the most of my time here.
All thanks to my time at the Samesun with its social atmosphere that allowed me to comfortably settle down in what was a new country and new experience for me. It has taught me that it has all been worth the cost, that I wouldn’t be completely alone and with the right attitude and a willingness to be outgoing and meet new people traveling is a must-do experience for everyone!
Thanks to Declan for his submission in Samesun’s Backpacker Blogs.
Declan writes about his experiences during his gap year in Canada on Blogspot.
Traveling by yourself and staying at SameSun couldn’t make any more sense!
I’m Brazilian, born and raised. I was about to finish my pharmacy degree when I decided to come to Canada to improve my English and travel. I wanted to do this before life got too damn serious. Nothing could keep me from doing this!
Everything was awesome in Toronto, where I spent the last 9 months, but was time to put on my backpack and see what the rest of this amazing country had to show me! But there was problem haunting me: would I be able to travel by myself? Cause one thing is easy when you know you have school and you’re going to look for a job; it will solve the problems about making friends. Another totally different adventure is putting some summer clothes in your luggage, saying goodbye to all the awesome people I had just met and leaving again into the unknown. Then I thought, “come on, I’m 24, I love talking and having a couple of beers.
It can’t be that hard, can it?”.
After a while all the planning came along. At first the tickets, then saving up, and last, but not least, a place to stay. I was almost booking a well known international hostel, just cause it seemed like my safest option, when one of my customers at the restaurant in Toronto told me: “no, if you want to meet people and have fun, you should definitely consider SameSun Backpackers”. I got home, checked online for the pics, the location and decided “this is the place for me!”.
Time to pack, I was kind of nervous. When I got here, exhausted after a long night at the airport (another long story!), the gentlemen at the reception offered to bring up my luggage. Happiness was just starting.The moment I got to my room, I started talking to this amazing girl, from England. She invited me to go eat with her and showed me around. We walked and talked a lot. She was an amazing person who worked in Thailand for a while working with elephants and other big animals. Then we went for a couple of beers in The Beaver, the Canucks were playing on the big screen, and the excitement around was a relief, I felt like home right away! The next day, Kim, the English girl was leaving. So I sat at a table during the free breakfast with 6 random people. It was so easy to start talking, and before I realize, I invited myself to go out with 2 German girls. We went biking on Stanley park, then walked around Gastown, Chinatown and came back to a fun wine girls night at the pub next door. The day after we went to Granville island, a lovely place! After this 2 days, I just ended up meeting more and more people from different nationalities. Genna, from Australia, a girl with a bad ass scar that she got doing snowboard. A Canadian girl, from Nova Scotia, that was a tree planter (what the heck is that?), a girl who ran a half marathon just for fun, a French guy who told me that nowadays things are kind of hard back home, and so it goes!
The thing is, even not being crazy adventure stories; I found out that traveling by yourself, doesn’t mean AT ALL that you’re traveling alone. As long as you have an open mind and you’re willing to try new stuff without prejudices, you’ll do just fine. Also, it’s an amazing opportunity of leaving your fears behind you and being free to do whatever you like, whenever you like. You’re not attached to any group, if you want to read, you read, if you want to go to the beach, you go to the beach. We just have one life to live, I don’t want to be the kind that regret just because I wasn’t courageous enough to try new things. Do you? Now I’m on my way to Quebec and Montreal. Can’t wait to see what is to come!
Ps: There’s just one problem about my story, I broke my phone this week, and it costs me 250 dollars to fix it. But while, sh** happens – the good memories remain!
Thank you to Fernanda for telling us about her experiences backpacking through Canada. We are always happy to see people making friends & planning adventures with new friends! That is the way to keep the world connected and create a big happy family.
If you would like to win a free night’s accommodation, tell us your story & get published on Samesun’s Backpacker Blogs.