In an attempt to do a bit of research before bed last night, it didn’t take me long to stumble upon sites such as “haunted Victoria”.
Once upon a time, Andrew and I would take annual three-week vacations to other continents.
This was paused when I was diagnosed with RA. We still went abroad but it wasn’t as intense, just in case I would suffer too many debilitating flares. A year later, we had grown comfortable with my RA, however, we abruptly sold our house and bought a condo, so our trip that year was also severely dialed back. We said, “NEXT year we will return to intense travel!” We planned to visit the sites of Mennonite villages in Ukraine. Then the pandemic hit, our trip was canceled, and we explored Northern Manitoba instead (we only went as far North as Flin Flon and Thompson… Churchill remains but a dreamy someday for us).
So, we haven’t travelled too intensely for several years by now, and we haven’t left the province at all for two years!
But, we may be easing back into it, as the world itself eases back into it: we will soon be flying to Vancouver and plan to take the ferry over to stay in Victoria on Vancouver Island.
A dear friend passed away this past January. She married a Mennonite boy, and, despite their best efforts, ended up here (there are so many women who share this story). She longed to revisit the place of her birth and childhood: Vancouver Island. In the time I knew her, she never did manage to return, and I think about this often. Now, I am finally going to set foot on her beloved island and there is something holy and mystical about this. I think I will visit her grave and tell her about my plans.
So. My research.
I always tell Andrew that he can plan whatever he wants and I will love it, because this has been true for all the years we have been together. He likes planning and I like going without knowing what I’m getting into. Once my feet hit the ground at our destination, I begin to pay attention.
Last night I returned home from dinner on a patio with friends (amazing!) much earlier than he did, and a bit of Vacation Brain gripped me. I began looking stuff up online and learning about what I might like to see and do while on our little getaway.
Like I said before, I soon was reading ghost stories of Victoria.
Now in the morning I am forgetting my strange dreams, but honestly it all makes me that much more eager to fly away once more… and see Victoria’s haunted alleyways and old cemeteries for myself, and feel my feet upon the island my friend often talked about.
Hatching Plans to Chase Family History in Ukraine
Is Ste. Elizabeth a Ghost Town?