Travel always has a way of giving me exactly what it is that I need, even if I may not realize it at the time. The couple of weeks between my trip to Ottawa and my trip to Quebec City were difficult for me. I felt like I hit a bit of a wall. I had come very far, but I had the feeling that I had so much further still to go. And I wasn’t ready for it, wasn’t quite sure how to process it, wasn’t sure if it was even what I wanted. And so, once again, I began to question my choices, decisions, and actions. Questioning if I had done the right thing. In the back of my mind, I knew that I had – but these past six months have changed me so much and caused me to make some important, but very difficult, decisions that continue to impact my life everyday. Andddd I’m not done yet either. So, I was at this in-between point when the time came for me to visit Quebec City. I debated not even going, but I eventually decided to make the trip because I had a feeling a little travel outside of Toronto would do me good.
And I was right. Visiting Quebec City was exactly what I needed to reassure me of the path that I am on. The city is magical and it almost felt like I had travelled back to Europe (which, of course, I can’t complain about). Quaint cobbled streets winding up the hill in the Old Town area, tons of delicious food options, castles, hostels, and more. Everything about Europe that I love… except for the fact that it was super cold in Quebec. I was not a fan of that, but it’s all part of the experience.
I also met some amazing people at the hostel I stayed at. These people were so inspiring, all pursuring incredible paths related to education and travel. Through spending time with them, I felt re-assured that my decisions were right because this is what travelling is all about. Doing what you love. Connecting with passionate people. Building relationships everywhere that you go. Continually growing and learning along with all of the places that you explore and people that you meet. It is hard to fully explain it, but these people inspired me to keep going and pursuing what it is that makes me feel alive. At the end of the day, that is what matters most: doing whatever it is that makes you feel alive. Travelling, exploring, learning and growing is that for me, and I will never stop doing so.
And did I ever explore this city! I walked along the Terrasse Dufferin, which is located near the Chateau Frontenac and winds all the way around the Chateau and the Citadelle, providing beautiful views of the St. Lawrence River. It was beautiful to walk along it and admire the view. I explored near the Citadelle and walked further into the city to explore near Battlefields Park and the Plains of Abraham. I also visited the nearby MNBAQ (Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec), an incredible museum displaying artwork from famous Quebec artists. It is a beautiful museum and all of the exhibits were great, it is somewhere I would highly recommend checking out!
I went for a tour of the Chateau Frontenac with the friends I made at the hostel. Though a bit pricey, it was a great tour that showed many of the facets of the Chateau and also mentioned lots of history about Quebec, Canada, and the Chateau specifically. If you are interested in learning more about Canada’s history in Quebec and the role the Chateau played, plus seeing inside the incredible building (which is also the most photographed building in the world from the outside!), then I would recommend going for the tour when you visit.
I spent time exploring Vieux-Quebec and checking out the Quartier Petit Champlain, wandering all along the streets. The Quartier Petit Champlain is a smaller street network primarily for pedestrains which offers tons of boutique shops and restaurants. It was also decorated with plenty of Christmas decorations, which really put me in the Christmas spirit! I also ate lots of delicious food. Crepes, poutine, and more… Multiple times. No regrets.
One particular restaurant that I visited really captured the essence of Quebec, and I think Canada as a whole. It was a small café-type restaurant in the Quartier Petit Champlain, and the owner spoke a wide variety of languages including English, French, Chinese, German, Spanish, and more. There was a variety of customers from these various backgrounds as well. It was so cool to be in this multicultural place in that moment, and I couldn’t help but think it was one of the best representations of Canada as a whole that I had ever been a part of. Quebec City is also a very multicultural city, so maybe that impacted how I felt as well, but I hope that I will continue to find places and spaces that give me this feeling. Canada is a multicultural country and we should be embracing and celebrating it as such.
I am curious what those who have visited Quebec City before think of it. I found it to be a very magical, multicultural, and inspiring place. I would love to visit again in the winter when the city is covered in snow; I imagine it would be even more magical. As I said, this short trip gave me exactly what I needed. What does travel give you? Let me know in the comments below.