United States

Back home in Santa Cruz!

I’ve said it many times before, but Santa Cruz is effectively my home, and I’d never felt that more than when I arrived in town! I was given the warmest welcome by everyone that I knew, and it was the type of thing to bring a tear to my eye! I missed y’all so much, and it’s so flattering to have people so happy to see me once again! I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for the first few days!

In some ways, it almost felt like I never left. I still found myself hanging out regularly at the level-up video games store, meeting cool people, and getting involved with whatever was going on. I did take some opportunities with my new camera and tripod to explore some of SC’s more iconic spots, such as the beach and boardwalk, and got some of my favorite photos from these locations.

I checked up on a few things I left in town, and traded them with some of the things I had in my luggage already, including getting out a new jacket, and a few of my older plushes. I also took a day to head up to the UCSC campus, which I’d surprisingly never done before, despite my huge amount of time in Santa Cruz. I was told that there was a really nice spot with a view of the entire town, and I thought it’d be a really good spot to record a video

Finally, on the last few days of my time in town, there was a video games art show in the level-up store, and I just had to come in there with my plushes and video game, to chat with the people who came in, and other artists. It was completely free, so I had no reason not to come along!

After this, I actually had plans to head to LA where I’d stay for a few days, and then get a cheduled bus to San Antonio. However, this plan fell through when I fell extremely sick just a few days before I intended to go to LA, and wasn’t in a position to go anywhere. After a few days, I’d recovered a little, but still wasn’t in great condition, but had no choice due to my LA bus being scheduled on a fixed date. As such, I had to skip on my intended visit to LA, and just head straight in to then immediately catch my bus out. It was a bit of a disappointment, since I really wanted to visit LA, but I’m sure I’ll have another opportunity at a better time.

Now I’m in San Antonio, and still recovering from whatever I caught last week. Hopefully I should be better soon!

Adventures in Portland

Well, a short trip back toward the north, and i find myself in a wonderfully charismatic city. This time, I’m staying with a host that’s an older woman, who I’m helping out with some home decorating.

I’m actually really enjoying my time here. Portland really has a character to it that I very much appreciate. a lot of hipster cafés around, good food, gorgeous views and scenery, and fun little markets that pop up in various places. I noticed a very heavy African influence in town, as I visited several shops selling African clothes or decorations, and I found myself buying a really nice African shirt. This might have just been the short visit I had, but I don’t remember seeing much of thing kind of thing elsewhere.

On the last day of my visit, my host took me for a thanksgiving meal with her family at a large cabin up on Mt Hood. It was my first time ever getting to experience thanksgiving, and I really felt welcomed to their group. The kids were adorable and loved playing with my toys. There were a few other people that some of the family members had brought in with them, including a student from Alabama, and an exchange student from Saudi Arabia. At one point in the evening, one of the family members offered to take us even further up the mountain, where it was a lot colder, and snowier. I was excited at the opportunity, and jumped in the car alongside the other two students to witness a stark change in climate, as the cool slightly rainy environment we had lower town the mountain soon turned to below freezing weather, with the floors blanketed in snow. We found a small hotel up in this area, and had an explore around in the night-time snow, before getting in the car and driving back down into normal weather again.

The day afterwards, I hitched a ride from Portland all the way to San Francisco. I was riding with a girl who was an American Student up in Canada, and travelling back home to (presumably) visit family. We were actually driving down with very unfortunate timing, because the entire state of California seemed to be on fire, and we actually saw several parts of charred woodland as we passed through. We also went through some areas that were so covered in smoke, that we could barely see anything ahead of us. It was a little worrisome, but I was confident things would be okay, and they were! Now I’m in San Francisco, staying in a hostel for the night, but I’m going to make my way down to Santa Cruz next, where I know a guy, and I’m gonna stay with him for a bit.

Washington and Oregon

Well, November 5th, and I crossed the border. Now I’m officially in the United States!

My first stop was Seattle. Essentially the easiest place to reach from Vancouver, and mostly a pit-stop on my journey. I stayed with a friendly student girl for about 3 days, and she was sweet, and really nice company. Her boyfriend was someone that I actually ended up chatting with quite a lot. he works as a Chinese teacher, and makes educational Youtube videos teaching it online. I watched him recording one of his videos, and even saw him get devastated when he forgot to press record on a really good take! We ended up chatting a lot about how he once flew over to China with very little knowledge and experience, and then got his money and passport stolen, and was stranded with no real way to support himself. He ended up getting taken in by people over there, survived off their kindness, and got fluent in the language during that time. It was a story that resonated with me, as it’s something that I’m able to relate with, and I’m glad that we seemed to be on a very similar wavelength.

My next stop was Salem, Oregon. I was speaking online with one of my British YouTube friends, and I brought up the idea of meeting a YouTuber he knew in town (Lockstin) while I was making my southward journey. The guy seemed down with it, and we actually went out for lunch together with his wife and editor, which was honestly an outcome I wasn’t expecting! He was a really chill guy, and his wife was so incredibly sweet! She seemed to love my game concept too, and I feel like I’m on a good track if I’m getting positive comments from people of that kind of high profile! I stayed in town with a guy I met on a Discord server just a few days before, and it was mostly relaxed while I was there. Salem is somewhat of a small town, so there wasn’t too many points of interest in town, although I did seem to make pretty decent friends with a homeless man in the area, who was quite lively, fun, and a joy to talk to. I’d often head out and find him, and then just sit on the floor chatting for hours. It was really nice company.

There was one thing that Lockstin recommended I check out in town, which was a place called Coffee in Motion. It was a café built in a double decker bus just on the outskirts of town. For anyone who knows anything about me, this is totally something that I find really cool, since I want to be able to eventually build a house out of a bus, and it was really great getting to chat with a guy who built a café in his.

Anyway, that aside, things haven’t been too eventful in the last few weeks, but things should probably pick up again once I reach Portland. I’m actually backtracking slightly on my southward journey, but I never actually stopped in Portland on my way down, and it’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit.

Goodbye Canada!

It’s honestly been an amazing experience, but the time has come! I’ve made a video giving a bit of a summary of some of the things that have happened during this long and exciting journey. Honestly, I barely scratched the surface in this video, and will probably return to talk about specific events sometime in the future.

These have honestly been the most amazing 5 months of my life. So many ups and downs, and so many wonderful people that I’ve met along the way After all this, I personally consider Canada to be a home of mine, and I really want to make it my home one day!

Now my journey takes me into the United States! next week I’m going to get a bus into Seattle, and start making my way down the west coast, and toward Texas, where PAX is going to be. I’m sure I’ll hav many fun and interesting adventures in the United states too!