Victoria's Maple Leaf Secret

Victoria's Maple Leaf Secret

Visiting British Columbia's Victoria Island

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Who doesn't love Canada? It has great food, amazing people, impeccable air, and well Justin Trudeau. Vancouver of course is a fantastic, innovative city growing by the day. However, in evolving into a first class country, Canada is also home to one of most antique and historical landmarks in the continent. The island of Victoria, named after the late Queen Victoria, gives its visitors a piece of Europe for less flying miles, close proximity, and an unforgettable road trip if you dare to cross the California-Oregon- Washington trail.

Victoria Island: The British island of Canada

photo by TripAdvisor

Victoria Island is home to one of Canada's most beautiful islands. The Island is a British common wealth, and renders tribute to the Queen of England, Elizabeth. Victoria Island is home to an estimated 350k people of a median age of about 43. If you are planning of visiting Victoria, keep in mind this travel spot is one of curiosity, European coffee spots and pubs, to Parliament.

Finding a place to stay? How about the haunted Fairmont Empress Hotel?

photo by Rocio Flores-Villa

The Fairmont Empress Hotel is home to one of the most lavish and luxurious interiors. The staff welcomes their guests in elegant tuxedoed attire at the foot of the entrance. The interior contains an old Hollywoodesque eerie style, with tales of ghosts haunting the corridors of each floor dressed in early 1900 attire. The Empress contains one of the best cuisines within its restaurants, and elegant coffee and tea resting places for its guests. The experience of staying at the Empress resembles that of the Beauty and Beast castle.

The Parliament Building

photo by Rocio Flores-Villa

Walking about in Inner Harbour mid-day, in a cold, rainy environment certainly invites the the need for a hot cup of tea and scones in the very lavish Parliament Building. Within its walls is the many portraits of the tribute of Queen Elizabeth, and ancient European architecture.

China Town

photo by Bielousov

Many great cities have a China Town adding to the cities' cultural diversity. However, the China Town of Victoria Island has been crowned as the second oldest and best China Town behind the infamous one in San Francisco. What makes this China Town so unique is the greatness of its buildings and the jewel of culture in it. This China Town is less about commercialism and more about embracing Chinese culture.

Aboriginal Culture

photo by Yiling Liu

What makes Canada so unique its is respect for its indigenous culture. While the majority of the country has grown along with its European influences, people have brought with them the respect for those who lived in the land before them. The Royal BC Museum, offers its visitors a tour of the origins of Vancouver and the evolution of indigenous lands into European colonies.

Whale Whale Whale, is that an orca?

photo by Viator

One could argue they've seen many orcas at Sea World shows, but have you seen one 5 feet away from you, while on an inflatable boat? Probably not. The experience is not only exhilarating, but also something worth adding on you bucket list.

Bastion Square

photo by Dacardoso

Bastion Square is one that combines European vibes with Canadian pride. It offers alleys of risk pubs, quality coffee and pastries, and the best cuisines you will ever experience. The architecture and small shops are a definite shot for your new instagram post, and the people you will meet are one of the friendliest and interesting individuals you will meet.

Craigdarroch's Castle

photo by Rebecca Bollwitt

Built by Baron Dunsmuir in the late 1890's, this Scottish architecture proves to be one of the most eerie and bone chilling tours in the Island. It has been rumored to contain the spirits of those who habituated the household. The many wooden floors in the building take you a a scene back in time, with the intact items and clothing of the owners. It is a must see attraction when visiting Victoria.

I am in Vancouver.. How do I get to Victoria Island?

photo by Rocio Flores-Villa

What if I told you you and your car could be taken from across the ocean in a humongous ferry? Tourists drive into the port, where a titanic ferry awaits them. All you have to do is drive into the ferry, and climb overboard to enjoy a hot latte and pastry, while the violent Canadian winds push against you. This scenic sail is a must, showcasing small islands and picture worthy packs of forests along the path.

Things to prepare for as you plan your trip to Victoria Island

photo by British Columbia's Travel Guide

1. Take a heavy jacket and umbrella.. the rain is unpredictable and well depending on the season, it could even snow

2. Make note of the currency exchange, not everyone accepts US dollars

3. Make a list of sights you want to visit, too many, not enough tours

4. Bring tons of energy, get ready to walk for miles

5.Get ready to see Queen Elizabeth's face everywhere

Cover Image Credit:

Photo by Vancouver Spectacular by Nature

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You Are NOT Enough

We will never be enough, but God is always more than enough.

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Society and even the church seem to constantly encourage us with the saying "You are enough," and their intentions behind this statement are totally innocent. Something about this phrase has always bothered me, though, but I never understood why. In a sermon I heard one Wednesday night a week or so ago, the verses Proverbs 30:7-9 were used, and these verses stood out to me in a big way.

Proverbs 30:7-9

7 "Two things I ask of you, Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the Lord?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.

The speaker was specifically focusing on verses 7-8, but the Holy Spirit kept drawing me to verse 9, even days and weeks after. So I decided to dig into it. This verse focuses on Agur (the speaker in the passage) and his tendency to sin. When he asked God to provide "only [his] daily bread," and then when he continued on to speak about the specific sins he was afraid of committing, Agur was completely and wholly surrendering his struggles with temptation and sin to God, because Agur knew he couldn't do it on his own.

Aren't we all like Agur? Because we are human, we mess up all the time and fall into sin more than we would like to admit, and many times because of this, we fall into guilt and shame. This is because, on our own, we aren't enough. If we were enough on our own, we wouldn't sin. If we were enough on our own, we would be able to save ourselves. If we were enough on our own, we wouldn't need God. But none of those statements are true, are they? In fact, it is the exact opposite because God is enough, he calls us out of sin. Because God is enough, He sent Jesus to save us from our sin. Because God is enough, He is with us in every situation because we call to Him.

How do we know that we aren't enough? Because no one is!

Every human sins, even great heroes of faith. David, one of the most well-known biblical figures: the one who killed Goliath and one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ, said in Psalm 51:5--

Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

The beauty in realizing that you aren't enough on your own is that you don't have to be! Never in the Bible does God call us to be "enough!" He never expected us to be enough because it is impossible. God does call us to depend on Him, though. This is because God is ultimately more than enough. When we depend on God to help us keep away from sin and put in the work necessary to keep away from sin, it will be much easier. We will never be enough, but if we continuously search for our identity in worldly things and not Christ, we will be upset when we realize that we are not enough. Guess what, though, when we find our identity in what Christ says about us, we will find peace and hope because just like 2 Corinthians 12:9 says:

9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

God is the only one who is enough. When we depend on God for everything we will begin to see that HE is enough, and that's all we need.

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Kiss of Death: Callejon del Beso

The era of colonial Mexico brought with it one of the most tragic and chilling love stories to haunt the streets of Guanajuato.

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The story of Doña Carmen and Don Luis has pulled tourists from all over the world to visit the haunted stretch of Callejon del Beso (Alley of the Kiss), in Guanajuato, Mexico. This stretch measures 68 cm in width between two balconies, that saw the beginning and end of one of Mexico's greatest and most tragic love stories.


Doña Carmen was the daughter of a wealthy man, rumored to be violent and strict with his only daughter. Rumor has it that his strict ways and jealousy led him to raise his daughter in solitude and estrangement from the world outside. This had been the case for many years until Carmen met Don Luis, a humble and working man who captured her heart instantly. They began courting at the nearby church until word reached Carmen's father. At the news of his daughter's secret love, he threatened her to send her to a convent and went as far as arranging a marriage with an old and wealthy Spanish man, that would bring him great amounts of wealth.

At the news of this chaos, Carmen sent her lady in waiting, Doña Brigida, to inform Don Luis about the events. Desperate to keep their relationship, he began to look for solutions that would allow him to stay close to Carmen. He furiously looked, until he came up with a plan: he would pay whatever was needed to acquire the room whose balcony touched Carmen's across the stretch of the bricked alley from house to house. This brought a temporary solution for the lovers, seeing them talk for hours while holding hands, falling more in love every day. Life seemed perfect and everything had fallen into place.

One night at the sound of muffled voices, Carmen's father rushed to her room. Where he found Doña Brigida guarding the door. Her father tossed her lady in waiting aside and rushed into her room. Finding her daughter with her arm stretched across the window, he furiously rushed dagger in hand, pushing it into his daughter's chest.

A numbing silence came upon Don Luis, as Carmen's hand became limp in his. To which he placed one last kiss on her hand, bidding farewell to the woman he loved one last time.

The story earned this stretch 68 cm wide alley as the Alley of the Kiss, or better known as El Callejon del Beso. Legend has it that if a couple visits the place, they must kiss on the third step below the balconies to ensure seven years of perfect happiness. If a couple neglects to do so, seven years of doom will come upon them. It has become one of the most visited places in Mexico. And well if you are single, then you just don't apply to the criteria. However, if you are single and come across the enchanted steps and balconies, locals say you must return asap to the place and secure your kiss with your beloved to ensure your fate.

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