I’ve never travelled alone. My excursions have only ever been in the company of pals, parents, or a partner. I’ve never even planned a trip solo.
While exploring with others is wonderful, there’s a lot of value in travelling alone. Not just in setting your own schedule—I like to think of myself as a pretty easy-going traveller, provided I get plenty of naps. The value is in being independent. I’m comfortable in solitude, and I’ve lived away from my parents for two years. But I’m also a compulsive worrier who feels more at ease with a companion. Travelling solo, even within the province for a handful of days, is a good challenge for me.
I was also motivated by my good friend, Maria Asselin-Roy. She’s a photographer who has travelled the world, both with others and on her own. Her photos are stunning, and her openness to experiences inspires me.
With all this in mind, I headed for a quick weekend getaway: just me, some books, and a camera. Here’s my experience of Tofino in pictures.
I stopped at Tacofino my first night in. The bright orange truck was run amok with hipster-surfers desperate for tacos and burritos. It was well-worth the wait, though. Two fish tacos, a tuna taco, and a watermelon basil freshie hit the spot after my eight-hour trek to Tofino. Chowing down on tacos by Mackenzie Beach was absolute heaven.
Every bit of the Tofino Botanical Garden is worth a wander, but the Old Growth Boardwalk leads to a particularly incredible view. I snapped so many pictures when I stumbled out of the forest growth into that clearing.
After all dat nature, I trekked downtown to spend-spend-spend. Favourite little shop has to be Caravan Beach Shop. I wanted to buy everything in the store, but limited myself to a few select items. There I met the owner, Jen, who filled me in on her delightful gardening adventures while she rung me up.
While the NPH-approved Wolf in the Fog and Kuma both come highly recommended, I was hankering for a wide-open patio. Shelter Restaurant fit the bill quite nicely. Pictured is the Tofino surf bowl with wild salmon, and a Tofino Brewing Co. blonde ale.
Speaking of Tofino Brewing Co. …
Confession: those aren’t my bikes. Aren’t they just so PNW though?
I was hoping to pick up a growler of the hunt & gather, but alas it’s a seasonal brew. I opted for the tuff session ale instead: a pale ale with caramel notes. I’m 100% slobbering for a blackberry-fermented kettle sour though, so summer/fall, I’m a-comin’ for ya!
Also very PNW: Caravan Beach Shop + Tofino Brewing Co.
Tofino is a paradise for surfers, hikers, and adventurers alike. But it’s also the perfect place to hit pause, rest, and reflect. I hope you enjoyed my reflection on Tofino in pictures. Stay tuned for some lazy photos by the beach to close off this three-parter.