The world is too large to settle in one place.
15.10.2013 - 20.10.2013 -15 °C
This is my second backpacking adventure to Toronto, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, and Montreal and my long desired first time to Canada.
At first glance, this Canada trip seems like like it was just an ordinary trip, but it was more than that. Many years ago, after the World Trade Center was destroyed, I had an infatuation with the tallest skyscrapers and structures. The CN tower in Toronto was and still is one of the tallest today. After finishing college in 2011, I had wanted to spend a few days in Toronto to see the city and go up the tower. But despite problems with my career and finding work, that dream broke apart. At some point, i gained stability working hard with two jobs and I was ready for a trip to Canada. Just like all of my other trips, seeing other places besides one in one trip is just the way I like to Travel.
Toronto was my first destination of arrival staying in my first hostel, Canadiana Backpackers Inn. For those who have never been in a hostel before, hostels are not only cheap but perfect ways to meet other travelers to make memories with and stay connected with.
After a first laid back day walking around the city, the next day I ventured south to Niagara Falls to view the New York and Horseshoe falls. Coming from the states, New York being my birthstate, looking at the US from another country was a truly odd experience. I then hopped on the Maid of the Mist to get a once in a lifetime experience of the falls up close. Once in a lifetime, as in the Maid of the Mist is now no longer on the Canadian side as of one week after my voyage. Later I made two stops over to Niagara-On-The-Lake for some souvenir shopping and then wine tasting at Niagara's infamous wine country( Not in the video).
Next day was the big day of not just going up the CN tower like I have always wanted but fulfilling my thrill and adventurous side but doing the CN Tower Edge Walk. A six person walk around, lean over, and backwards guided tour around the very top of the CN tower. Considering the height and possible risks, I felt absolutely comfortable and safe with the cables and leaning over the edge with beautiful views of Lake Ontario, Downtown Toronto, and the horizon on an absolutely beautiful and clear day. After completing this and completing my tour around the rest of the tower including the SkyPod, I took a ferry to the offshore Toronto Islands. In front of Toronto lay these beautiful tranquil islands with a serene walk along the lake leading to a fairly nice beach.
Bright and early in the morning, I sadly left Toronto to catch my very first train ride on VIA Rail from Toronto to Ottawa to Montreal. The same train that you can ride across the country to cities like Vancouver, Calgary, and Quebec City. After a comfortable four hour ride, I took advantage of a 3 hour layover in Ottawa, Canada's capital city to see Parliament Hill and the Rideau Canal. About late afternoon, I finally arrived at the center of Montreal to find myself not only lost but BLOWN AWAY at how much more French it was then I anticipated. The French love and preserve there culture so well that I rarely saw English in Montreal. I was at first intimidated by all this not to forget the amounts of graffiti and occasional trash I saw in the street, unlike Ontario.
My second hostel stay was not a highly rated hostel like the one in Toronto. La Maison Du Patriote was a bit more personal and seemed far easier to meet people. With my new travel friends, I had company to check out the Latin Quarters, a french bar, Poutine, a local Quebec cuisine, Parque du Mont Royal overlooking the city and beyond, and the rest of the city itself. A trip to Canada is nothing without the awesome sport of Hockey so I caught a Canadiens vs Predators game at the Belle Centre before catching a flight back home the next day.
The destinations I visited are not off the beaten path, however everyone has a different vision of a place they go to. Canada is not too much of a culture shock from America, but there exists a difference enough to feel and notice. This Canada trip was not just an ordinary trip, but a symbol of perseverance despite life struggles and problems I have faced in order to gain stability. I not only fulfilled a bucket list desire but managed to turn one great dream into several amazing realities.
Deadmau5 - HR Cephei 8938 (My favorite song in existence)
Deadmau5 - Phantoms Can't Hang
Deadmau5 & Kaskade - I Remember
Strapping Young Lad - Love?
Enei - Runnin (Feat. Georgia Yates)
Daft Punk - Voyager (KUMO Remix)
Deadmau5 - Faxing Berlin (Piano Version)
This was not only my first trip to Central America but my first backpacking trip. This trip was a huge breakthrough in my vision of travel as I have spend the past year evolving my passion and desire for travel. It was suppose to be two plus ones, however my mom didn't make it because of school. So my step father and I happily flew into the beautiful countries of Belize and Guatemala, Two completely different yet diverse lands with amazing people. Everything from the beaches, to the buildings and architecture, the landscapes, lakes, volcanoes, Mayan ruins, to the cities. Belize is the only English speaking nation in Central America however has a large Spanish influence. Belize was touristy expensive while Guatemala remained relatively cheap for the budget traveler. Fortunately weeks before, I purchased a GoPro to have the ability to record the reefs of Belize and its marine life underwater. Also enhancing the quality of the magnificent ruins of the Mayans.
This trip was not only a success in being the first time to travel between countries but also to practice my long flawed Spanish. Through hard work of tutoring for 8 months, my intermediate skills got my step dad and I around Guatemala in peace. We ran into a scare with the transportation in northern Guatemala as the bus company was known for scams, however we entered Guatemala and arrived in the beautiful island of Flores without issue. You get what you pay for but as a budget traveler and adventurer a $2-4 bus ride in a retired american school bus across Belize was worth all the ass pain. Riding the Belize Water Taxi took longer than usual and although Belize City is not known for tourism, It was still great to see the heart of the city. The highlight of the trip was Tikal and couldn't have went any better. There is nothing like doing things on the go and had the privilege of staying at the most awesome hostel overlooking Petén Itza without any plan. Last but not least, spending our last day at a higher altitude in Antigua gave this whole trip that extra touch of chill and laid back with friendly Guatemalans, bright pastel colored buildings, cobble stoned roads, and a backdrop of a volcano that was hard to resist looking at at every chance. To get from Tikal to Guatemala City, We took a 9 hour overnight bus called Linea Dorada. Fortunate for us, we had seats right up front on the top deck overlooking our morning drive through the mountains and into Guatemala City. This is the same bus that could be used to go from Guatemala City to Peten where Tikal is.
From beaching, snorkeling, water taxiing, chicken busing, temple climbing, border crossing, lake chilling, burrito eating, and Belizean and Guatemalan beer drinking, there was not one second that I didn't enjoy myself, once again fulfilling my dreams and visions. Many months ago like every other place I desire to travel, I envision how I would do things. Being in Belize and Guatemala, I did it better. Many years ago, I sat in a college classroom glancing at pictures of travel, two years ago I started, last year I left the country for the first time, this trip, I backpacked for the first time. Like all my videos, they represent me as I put my heart into all of my footage. I not only enjoy my time and explore but I hope to give others the opportunity to see how things are done beyond the travel guides and books. This is travel in the eyes of Anthony Perez! Hope you enjoy and happy travels!
Day 1: Fly into Belize City,San Pedro
Day 2: San Pedro Snorkeling
Day 3: San Pedro, Belize City, San Ignacio, Xunantunich, Cahal Pech
Day 4: San Ignacio, Belize Guatemala Border, Flores, San Miguel
Day 5: Flores , Tikal
Day 6: Flores (Chilling)
Day 7: Bus ride down to Guatemala City, Antigua
Day 8: Antigua, Fly out from Guatemala City
Although The Bahamas is Florida's Atlantic neighbor, It is overseas ,filled with culture, great food, and of course beautiful beaches. Most definitely not Americanized. In addition to it all, 90% of my friends are in Florida making it easy for me to get a nice clique assembled to set out for these lovely islands. Flying was considered but a cruise seems much more fun and affordable. So my eyes are set for Royal Caribbean on May 7th en route to CocoCay and Nassau.
East of Nassau is a long uninhabited island called Rose Island. Just like the Dry Tortugas i saw this island on Google Earth. I hope to set foot here and enjoy all it has to offer.