Six years ago I was sitting around grousing about the fact that most of the 12,405 square miles of Vancouver Island got so little publicity in the tourist trade. Victoria and Tofino were the major attractions then (and still are, for the most part). It was as if there was a total no-man’s land between those two destinations.
My forty-plus years of family history in this gorgeous and special place told me that there was plenty to see, do and appreciate beyond those two destinations, and so our new blog/website at www.VancouverIslandBeyondVictoria.com was born.
Our idea was to highlight, honestly and simply, all the other spectacular places and experiences to be found on Vancouver Island. We have paid our own way for everything, refusing to accept the freebies that most tourism writers are accustomed to. We never announced our presence and our goal prior to arriving at any destination, so we got the true measure of the places we wanted to write about. We never wrote a negative review – if there was an experience that left us unhappy we simply didn’t write about it (mercifully, there were few instances that left us disenchanted.) Our goal was not to slag businesses and communities but to enlighten our readers about the hundreds of positive experiences available to them.
All the while, through thousands of miles travelled and many dollars spent, we also aimed to help publicize great experiences offered by smaller businesses that didn’t have the big publicity bucks available to major centres and tourist destinations. We hope, in our own small way, that we have accomplished this.
The past six years have been a revelation – we have had our hearts lifted by the sublime beauty of this place. We have discovered amazing history, enjoyed hundreds of special activities, met dozens of interesting, dedicated and truly remarkable people. We have made friends along the way – an unexpected but delightful bonus. Our readership has blossomed to a world-wide audience.
But, the time has come to say farewell. After six years of weekly posts the self-imposed deadlines are proving cumbersome. We will keep the website up and from time to time if we enjoy a new experience I will write a post and share with you all. Our Facebook page will remain active with shared news and reminders of special events on the Island.
Thank you all for your readership and support over the years – interacting with you from time to time has kept things ‘real’ for me. Thanks to our advertisers, who helped finance our travels so that we could share this magnificent hunk of rock with you all. And finally, thank you to my husband Michael – the best travelling companion, computer techie, idea guy and friend I could have hoped for during this journey. It has been, to say the least, a ‘trip’!
Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island