COPING UP WITH THE PANDEMIC THROUGH CYCLING

I woke up early this morning only to realize that it has only been four months since the lockdown happened. To me, it seems like it has been several years. Ever since it happened, I just wake up each day with uncertainty, with anxiousness and lots of what-ifs. As a person who loves to travel, this pandemic has basically impacted me mentally. And also the fact that we never know when we will be able to travel again just basically adds up to the worries that we already have. 

Before the pandemic, I have actually tried to save some amount for my future travels. Sadly, I needed to cancel some trips because of the restrictions. But as a person who always tries to look on the bright side of things, I decided to spare some of the amounts I saved to get a bicycle. ‘Well, if I can’t fly, might as-well ride a bike instead!’ , I told myself. Also, the fact that I am based in Vancouver and Vancouver is a great city for biking is just one of the major reasons to own a bike.

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It has been two months since I got my ‘First-Ever Bicycle!’. Growing up, I never had my own. I remember when I was a kid,  I always go to my friend’s house to borrow his bike. So imagine the excitement I had when the Bicycle Store contacted me that my bike was ready for pick-up! 

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After getting my bike, I decided to break it in and cycled around Stanley Park. It was my first bike ride in almost 2 years, the last one I had was when I was in Berlin in Germany last 2018, so I had a bit of a challenge, especially when the track goes uphill. Though challenging, the view at the top made it worth it and eventually I just forgot all  the struggle and basically felt proud of myself which is basically a fulfilling feeling. 

Each day after getting my bike, It has started to become like an inspiration to me to wake up and go to work each day as I just look forward to riding it every after work, which I never felt ever since the pandemic happened. And each time after every cycling session, I just feel better physically and emotionally that  it makes me look forward to the next session.

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Sometimes, I get invited by other cyclists to bike with them, allowing me to discover places in Vancouver that I haven’t been yet, and most of these places have a view to die for. My favorite so far is the beach near the University of British Columbia’s Mall street, it’s just the perfect place to watch the sunset while you get warm in a bonfire while having a platter of cheese, meat, and fruits. 

Being able to go to these places, especially through cycling, and during this pandemic has definitely fed my wanderlust spirit a hundred times more than before it all happened. And for the first time, I started to have the same feeling of appreciation towards local travels to that of international travels. 

Riding my bike not only keeps me mentally and physically fit, which is basically the state we need to be in during this whole pandemic but it has also allowed me to connect with new people who share the same interests as me. Though this whole pandemic has affected the world badly, biking or cycling has helped me cope up with the whole thing, it has allowed me to experience the feeling of being extremely free, particularly when the wind hits you as you go against it. It’s just one of the silver- linings that I cannot overlook. 

Riding my bike not only keeps me mentally and physically fit but it also gives me the feeling of being extremely free, especially when the wind hits you as you go against it. 

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Exploring Canada, The Best Country

Growing up, I have always been surrounded by people from different parts of the world, predominantly Canadians. Often times, they show me photos of their home country, and basically those photos has sparked the desire in me to travel there someday, so ever-since then I always wanted to visit the country.

So fast-forward, earlier this year, I was able to secure a Canadian Visa. Thanks to all the people who has helped me in this process. In my opinion, getting a Canadian Visa is one of the easiest process which I went through, everything was done online and I just went to the Visa Application Center to submit my Biometrics and Passport. Great Job Canada! I will not be discussing the whole process of getting a Canadian Visa in this post but I will definitely discuss and share that in a different blog post. 

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Downtown Vancouver

So I traveled to Canada earlier this year. I flew from Paris to Montreal through AirTransat, an airline which is based mainly in Montreal. I flew from Europe as it’s so much cheaper to fly from there compare to like flying directly from Dubai. So first things first whenever I arrive in a country, to go through Passport Control. For some reason, whenever I go through passport control, I always feel some jitters. Maybe because I’ve felt discriminated from all the interrogations from officers from my previous travels.

British Columbia Parliament Building

Ok so going back, to my surprise, upon handing my passport to the officer, she just looked at the pages then looked at me with a smile and said ‘welcome to Canada!’- that was like the first time an immigration officer greeted me with actual words and welcomed me to their country with a huge smile! Oh well, only in Canada! 

Banff, Alberta

I have spent two-whole months exploring Canada, from the exotic coast of British Columbia to the snowy-peaks of Alberta. Within those months of exploring, I’ve concluded that Canada is basically one of the most beautiful countries I’ve visited. This country just boasts breath-taking natures, from Icy Peaks to turquoise-colored lakes which definitely has made the photographer in me giggled with excitement each time. It is also in Canada where I’ve experienced extreme hospitality from people. Definitely one the many good things which I will never forget from this trip. 

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Canada is one of the most-memorable country which I visited. Mainly because of how beautiful the country is and how friendly people there are. So imagine how I felt when I needed to leave the country- yeah, I was filled with emotions. I know this visit is basically just an introduction and I know that I will be back for sure. I also think that  it is a destination which I will always go back to for a visit but will feel the same excitement as if it’s my first time visiting. So definitely looking forward to it, and hopefully it will be sooner. 

Have you been to Canada? If so, how was your experience? Feel free to share them on the comments below!