When five of my newest (yet closest) friends in Vancouver and I decided to embark on a weekend roadtrip to the Sunshine Coast, there were a few details to hash out.
First: who’s in? The idea was broached to a group of foreign girls, all in our mid- to late-twenties, who have formed an unofficial brunch/happy hour club. A few responded and jumped on it right away, agreeing to send an etransfer to secure their spots. Easy.
Second: where will we stay? I tend to be the planner in my group of friends (you should see my To Do list), but luckily, someone else agreed to handle the money and book our AirBnb. She found an awesome place that—somehow, amazingly—we all effortlessly agreed on.
Finally: to take a car or not? At first, I was adamant we’d want the freedom of my Volvo; but when the long weekend drew closer and one of us thought to check the ferry schedule, the lack of vacant spots changed our mind. Instead, the girls bused to Horseshoe Bay and I got a ride. Some of us sported carry-on suitcases; others only had backpacks. Two of us dropped our bags in the free luggage area—one of my friends stopped me from nearly tossing my bag in the wrong pile that was headed to a different destination.
I was happy she was there.
I’ll be honest—I’m typically an advocate for solo travel. When I explore alone, I’m more likely to meet other people and push myself out of my comfort zone. I like waking up when I want, going where I want, doing exactly what I want every moment of the day. But lately, I’ve enjoyed travelling to create lasting memories with people I appreciate in my life.
Gibsons is a weird, delightful place. The otherwise hectic pace of life seems to slow on this hilly coast that overlooks an ocean dotted with islands. We kayaked through light rain, drank craft beer at a brewery/farmer’s market, danced in the sunshine on a giant deck and got to know each other better through the mishaps and adventures that accompany any good trip.
In hindsight, we made one major mistake: we should’ve brought a car. The buses run sporadically in Gibsons (at one point, the transit supervisor drove by to tell us the bus we were waiting for wasn’t coming) and there are only two taxis in the area (the drivers got to know us as ‘The Davidson Girls” for the street we were staying on, which for some reason, everyone struggled to find). At one point, we were stuck in a parking lot with a trolley of melting frozen food and rumbling stomachs with no way home to cook dinner. Even then, we didn’t bicker, blame or get emotional—except to laugh.
Obviously, the most important aspect when planning any girls trip is choosing the right company. Our group of five worked together better than I could have imagined. We didn’t fight or have drama the entire weekend. There were no cliques or anyone who didn’t get along. Chalk it up to maturity, personality or darn luck, the reason I had such a wonderful time in Gibsons was mostly because of the people I was with. Having the girls to battle a bat in the AirBnb, figure out the BBQ on the back deck, split into taxis and share the duties that accompany any adventure made the entire experience much more enjoyable.
Maybe I’m not so set on solo travel after all.