By Natasha – 1st year student
One of the most exciting times at Quest is when the end of your block is within reach and the planning for your celebratory 4 day break begins. Students at Quest do all sorts of cool adventures on block breaks, with the primary deciding factor being what time of year it is. In the fall you will often see students throw sleeping bags and tents into the back of their car and drive off into the middle of nowhere to find a fantastic hike, rock wall or a natural hot spring. When December hits, you will be surrounded by hardcore skiers who are hitting up the world renowned Whistler ski hill to catch some powder. Or, if they are not feeling those expensive lift tickets, they disappear off into our backyard at Quest and backcountry ski for the day with only the mountains for company.
No matter what your personal preferences are, there’s sure to be an adventure for you.
Outlined below are four excellent choices that are offered to keep you entertained and relaxed.
Choice #1: Garibaldi Lakes = $
Garibaldi Lakes is a stunning turquoise lake just 40 km away from Squamish… Well, the trail is anyway. To reach this gorgeous site, it is a 9 km hike with a 900 m elevation gain. If you want to stay the night (you will) be sure to remember to reserve your spot with BC parks, or you might find yourself coming down a day early. This trip is easy on your pockets with the major cost being food and the camping fee.
Chose #2: Vancouver = $-$$-$$$$$$
Vancouver, the capital of BC… Nope just kidding that’s Victoria, but regardless of its social standing in BC, it’s a city worth exploring, especially since it’s only an hour away from Quest. Vancouver is one of Canada’s major cities and it has everything from concerts, museums, shopping and fantastic food. A must-see for people who are visiting Vancouver for the first time is a little place called Granville Island.
Contradictory to its name, Grandville Island is on a peninsula a short bus ride from downtown Vancouver. It has an amazing daily farmer market where you can get anything from fresh fruit, specialty chocolates, seafood or if you are already full you can look at all the beautiful handcrafted jewelry, pottery, and clothing.
Another cool activity in Vancouver is to go and see Cirque de Soleil in November when the show comes to town for the entire month. A warning for individuals with a student budget, be careful when planning your trip to Vancouver. This fantastic place can steal your heart as well as your money. Plan your budget before and try finding cool deals on online sites like Groupon and stay at hostels or even better a friends place. If you can’t get everything done in one block break, don’t worry about it! You can always come back next block break.
Choice #3: Tofino = $$
One of the most popular block breaks comes in the month of October when summer is starting to disappear into fall and Quest students flock in overfilled cars out to Vancouver Island to catch the surf in Canada’s surfing capital, Tofino. Tofino boasts some of the best waves and with a wetsuit rented from one of the many Quest-friendly rental shops, you won’t even feel the cold ocean. The best way to enjoy yourself on this trip and to come back to school with all ten toes is to rent out a house with a few friends. This means you have a kitchen to cook your food and a hot bath at the end of a long day at the beach.
There are endless options to keep you busy on your time off, so write them on a piece of paper and drop them into a hat if you are having a hard time deciding. If you are burnt out from your last block, remember that there is no shame in getting takeout and cuddling in your bed and binge watch your favorite series on Netflix to recharge either.