In what most of my family seems to have just accepted in the latest in a series of questionable life choices that they just have to let me get out of my system, I took advantage of a long weekend in order to make my first trip outside of the US. After squishing a few things around in my schedule, I took off on a Thursday and drove to Toronto. (Which I mostly chose because it’s relatively close and I wanted to be back on Sunday night for roller derby.) Here are some highlights:
staying in a hostel was really cool
I stayed at HI-Toronto on Church Street and it was great in terms of all the things you typically look for in a place to pass the fuck out in; it was clean, safe, and in a good location. It was easy to avoid talking to people when I didn’t want to, but there were also plenty of people there who were willing to sit around and chat as well. I was pretty excited about traveling alone (because it meant that I could do whatever I wanted) but I figured it was as good of an opportunity as any to pretend like I’m an extrovert who can just go up and make friends with total strangers. I met a bunch of people who were really cool and one guy who was a lil sketchy, but overall I’m really glad I shoved my nervousness aside and talked to some of the other travelers.
Truth be told, I was way bored at Casa Loma. I didn’t really plan an itinerary, just showed up with a list of things I thought would be fun, and I wish I had picked something else on the list. I took this selfie after I bailed.
The Art Gallery of Ontario, however, was wonderful. (I don’t know if it was objectively wonderful or if I just like art museums, but still.) This is a photo of people taking pictures with the Pretentious Floor Burger.
I accidentally stumbled into the tour group of an tiny old lady who was extremely animated; she was so passionate and excited and truth be told I’m just happy to know that people like that exist in the world. I don’t have any impressive insightful thoughts about art, but I learned a lot and really enjoyed my time there overall.
Kensington Market was super fun, but I definitely did not appreciate it as much as I usually would because I’m frustrated from moving my stuff so many times in the past year(ish) and didn’t want to buy anything. There were a lot of vintage shops, and this one in particular kind of reminded me of a vintage version of hot topic that’s trapped in twee hell. (AKA, it’s literally perfect.)
I was eating on a way weird schedule but I ate so much good stuff, including:
- ginger vegetables + rice
- vegan pizza (ft. zucchini and tomatoes)
- the best bagel I’ve ever had, topped w/ an egg w/ cheese
- a veggie burg & fries
- a carrot cake cupcake
- lots of croissants
- a fruit smoothie
- an incalculable quantity of coffee, in many different forms (since every time I got tired I went into a coffee shop and journaled a bit, I probably drank at least 7 cups of coffee over the two days that I did most of my stuff there)
cartilage no. 3
Piercings and tattoos are an ongoing process for me, so on my last night I was kinda like “shit I didn’t buy any souvenirs except for some maple flavored coffee and a book about LSD that I’m scared to bring across the border so what can I do to commemorate this trip” and naturally the answer was paying someone to fucking stab me.
There were only two types of reactions I got about traveling alone; people at the hostel were totally unfazed, and people at home were like “what the FUCK that’s not SAFE.” Realistically, in terms of adventureness, this was a baby adventure — in terms of distance, it was closer to home than Nebraska, where I spent the summer working. Still, I came back feeling very empowered and refocused; I did something I’d desperately wanted to do for a long time, despite tons of logistical bits getting in the way, and it was a great feeling…at least until the fluid mechanics homework I blew off over the weekend came back to bite me in the ass.