Made it safely to Toronto yesterday afternoon, marking the first time that I’ve set foot in a new country since I was a kid. The experience has been enlightening in every sense of the word. I feel unencumbered by previous experience, and ecstatic to be given the opportunity to really explore an area that is wholly new and foreign to me.
Because I’ve done some travel in the states in the past where I flew into a city with nothing but a ticket and a place to stay, that somewhat nostalgic twinge led me to fly into Canada in much the same way. My thoughts leaning towards, “What could *possibly* be so different? It’s Canada!”
Needless to say, this has certainly been a lesson in travel hubris.
After landing, I proceeded through customs quickly and headed towards the nearest information booth to start finding my way towards my accommodations in Toronto. I was staunchly focused at this point on my mission to find some Poutine, and hadn’t anticipated the sheer size of Toronto.
I started finding that it would take me at least an hour and a half to reach the downtown area by public transportation. So I hopped on the airport terminal bus headed towards Yorke Mills (my stop was halfway at Yorkdale) and nearly missed my stop.
It was here that I wandered through a mall in the wrong direction for about 10 minutes while trying to locate the subway terminal. After taking the subway to my stop, I found myself in *another* mall (this time underground) and got lost in the labyrinthine concourse trying to find my way above ground.
Some context: I have a terrible sense of direction. I bought my first smartphone solely for the purpose of not getting lost. At this time, I was having difficulty with the KnowRoaming SIM that I had gotten to try on this trip and using one of the map applications was kind of out of the question.
Once I finally made it above ground, it was fortunately a straight shot to the hostel (and back to the place a friend suggested for Poutine). If you’re ever in Toronto, I’ll second that it’s definitely worth trying out Smoke’s Poutinerie. They also include sriracha as a featured ingredient in several items, and I completely approve.
Looking back on it, I would definitely do a lot more research before traveling to another primarily English speaking region. At the same time, it’s provided me a wonderful opportunity to just get *lost* somewhere, and even with my terrible sense of direction I always find my way 😀
Stick around, there’s more to come: Updates on cancelled train trips, bucket lists, and the Toronto comedy scene. Thanks for reading!