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Old 12-11-2017, 05:55 AM
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Default An alternate AvatarMeet location (Vancouver)

To start off, my appologies in advance for such a LONG post! hrh However, I'd like to go into why I think this location would be a highly viable and excellent option in addition to some of the other venues that have been mentioned so far.

My suggestion for next year's North American AvatarMeet location is Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Why Canada? Why Vancouver? First, instead of asking "why", I would say, "why not?" I believe, for many reasons that I will go into below, that Vancouver is a truly ideal spot for the next AvatarMeet. It offers opportunities for not only urban adventure (if you so please), but you also have the very unique and incredible opportunity to partake in adventures that include gorgeous, rugged, and remote (yes, remote) natural landscapes and activities, and SO much more. All of which is literally within minutes of the downtown core and where the main meet accommodations would be. Vancouver is NOT like other cities. With Vancouver, the landscape is yours to explore, and your adventures and activities are what you make of it. Ultimately, Vancouver is about choice and fantastic accessibility, and it strikes an incredible balance between breathtaking natural landscapes and urban exploration, if you so please. Adventures and opportunities abound, and they are literally endless.

What are some of the things you can do within 5-45 minutes of where the accommodations would be? What's available? Here is a shortlist of just some of the things to do there:

- Rugged forests and beautiful mountainous terrain
- Wilderness and car camping in many of the surrounding provincial parks on the north side of town where there are remote and rugged landscapes for literally hundreds of miles/kilometers into the surrounding wilderness.
- Many hiking trails from beginner level (but still beautiful), to rugged and remote trails that can include high elevation gains
- Zip line rides and gondola/cable car rides through the mountains that offer you unique and spectacular views of the surrounding terrain
- Paragliding
- Suspension bridge walks over canyons and cliffs, as well as bridges spanning from tree to tree
- Ecological preserves for potential habitat restoration activities - for what has become a key part of the AvatarMeets (irayo, ma Raiden!)
- Sea kayaking and paddle boarding
- Whale watching
- Aboriginal galleries, museums, and carved wood totem poles - a chance to learn about the native peoples of the area
- Pacific oceanfront parks
- Beaches (including a clothing optional beach for those who may wish to do so)
- Boat tours
- Aquariums
- Aviaries
- Greenhouses and botanical gardens
- Traditional Chinese and Japanese gardens
- Urban parks within the downtown core - both forested and coastal (as an option to the more rugged areas north of town)
- Art galleries
- Theaters
- Movie cinemas
- Shopping of all kinds
- Fresh food and seafood markets
- Coffee houses
- Bars and pubs
- Restaurants of all nationalities

Those are just some of the activities available, and literally all of them, and I mean all of them, are literally within minutes of where the accommodations would be.

I would also like to point out that Vancouver is very progressive, friendly and accommodating to those of the attendees who may be a part of the LGBTQ community. There are also other activities and possible events there for you to enjoy and be a part of as well. So please, feel welcome and safe to do whatever you like, and be a part of what the Vancouver area has to offer.

Beyond what it has to offer, what I believe makes Vancouver such a unique opportunity is its accessibility. This is where I feel Vancouver really has an advantage. First off, it has an international airport which is 20 minutes away from the accommodations, transit is excellent in and around the city, and some hotels even offer shuttle services to and from the airport. Most importantly, and I can't stress this enough, just about everything I mentioned in the list of activities above is literally within walking distance, or within a short 10-45 drive or transit ride away from the accommodations. Not only is this advantageous for travel times between activities, but this facilitates a multitude of activities that is also accessible to those within the group who may have certain mobility concerns or activity restrictions. Vancouver also has one of the highest walkability scores of any city in North America, so accessibility and an incredible amount of activities are available to all. There is literally something of interest for everyone, no matter your interests, age, or physical ability. Out of all the AvatarMeets so far, Vancouver has the potential to be the most varied and accessible on a recreational standpoint.

Now, I know there may be a concern from some of our American aytsmuk about the fact that you would need a passport to attend a meet here. But allow me to address that.

First off, yet another advantage a meet in Vancouver has (or anywhere else in Canada for that matter), is the Canadian dollar is much cheaper. Currently, the Canadian dollar is 21 cents cheaper than the U.S. dollar, and for anyone in Europe who may want to attend, the Canadian dollar stands at 0.66 Euro, and 0.58 British pounds. But more specifically in regards to our American friends who may not have a passport yet, the difference in the dollar more than makes up for the cost of getting your passport. So in reality, getting a passport is a non-issue cost-wise when compared with other AvatarMeets that have been held within the U.S. so far.

Additionally, by getting your passport for a trip to Vancouver, you'll then have one to eventually attend a meet in Europe (or elsewhere). I see a meet here in Canada being sort of like a "bridge gap" for our American aytsmuk between attending a meet in the U.S., and attending one in Europe in the future. Coming here is an easy excuse to get your passport and use it in a place that isn't too far away. But ultimately, having a passport opens up a lot of opportunities. Traveling outside your own borders is a wonderful and amazing experience that offers us opportunities to learn and grow as individuals. The world is a big and beautiful place, and a passport is your gateway to the entire world. Also, the way the current airline laws and regulations are going here in the U.S. and Canada, we may need a passport just to travel within our own countries (our regulations tend to mirror each other), so you may need to get one sooner than later just to attend meets within the U.S. anyway. Certainly something to consider. A U.S. passport is good for 10 years, so the initial cost is a good investment. And once you have it, you don't have to think about it for another 10 years! In the end, I'd say $11 per year is a pretty good deal, wouldn't you say?

Also, I am actually a dual Canadian/U.S. citizen, as all my extended family lives in the U.S., so if any of you have questions or any concerns about getting a passport or coming across the border (it's a pretty simple process), I would be more than happy to help you with questions you may have. You wouldn't think it, but passports are actually pretty easy to get (as long as you're not a felon or something. hrh) Basically, all it requires is for you to print off a passport application, fill in the necessary information (it's all straight forward stuff), get your passport pictures taken and printed beforehand, take everything in to your local passport office with 2-3 pieces of I.D., and that's it. Pretty easy stuff. Here is a link for all the passport information you'll need:

https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...-to-apply.html

In addition, you may also be wondering what the weather is like. Vancouver is in what is known as an "oceanic climate". For several months of the year, it tends to be quite rainy, but during the summer months, it actually tends to be very dry with moderate drought conditions, which makes for very fair weather. Particularly in July and August. The temperatures also tend to be very comfortable in the low 22C/72F range, with some warmer days than that. You can have a look at the chart below of the average weather to expect there. Look specifically at July and August though, which is most likely when the meet would be held next year. If you live in an area where there is oppressive heat and/or humidity in the summer months, Vancouver will be like a sigh of relief and a breath of fresh air. And for anyone from the U.K. or other parts of Europe who may want to attend, it'll feel similar to being at home.


Last edited by True Love For Neytiri; 12-11-2017 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:58 AM
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Anyway, to sum up, I just think Vancouver is an ideal AvatarMeet location, and I feel it has A LOT to offer. As mentioned, it is a place with literally something for everyone. Again, Vancouver is what you make of it. You want to go hiking in the beautiful, rugged landscape of the mountain wilderness? You've got it! You want to go whale watching? You've got it! You want to go paragliding over the mountains? Go for it! You want to lay on the beach to catch some sun rays? It's only minutes away. You want to visit art galleries, aboriginal museums, or do a little bit of shopping? It's all right there. You want to grab a great cup of coffee in the morning? It's just a hop, skip and a jump away. You want to do some zip-lining over the mountains and valleys after that morning coffee? You can do that too. Vancouver's got it all.

Anyway, if any of this intrigues you, I would highly suggest having a look at the Vancouver tourism website below to see what is available in addition to what I have mentioned. It'll also help to give you a feel for the area in general, the landscape, and what Vancouver has to offer. I guess all I can say is, come on up to Canada and have a great time! Adventures are just outside your doorstep.

https://www.tourismvancouver.com

In addition, here are a few pictures to whet your appetite. There's A LOT more to come, so sit tight.









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Old 12-11-2017, 05:59 AM
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Here are more pictures of the nearly endless trails and provincial parks right in the Vancouver area that offer camping, hiking, and other activities.










Last edited by True Love For Neytiri; 12-11-2017 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:09 AM
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In addition to those areas, there is also the opportunity to do zip lining and cable car rides, and even paragliding for the adventurous among us. All of these activities are within minutes of where the accommodations would be.



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Old 12-11-2017, 06:10 AM
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There are also suspension bridge walks over canyons and cliffs, as well as bridges spanning from tree to tree.



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Old 12-11-2017, 06:10 AM
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Vancouver also has activities on the ocean as well. You can go sea kayaking and paddle boarding, or you can go whale watching or go on one of the many boat cruises available.





Last edited by True Love For Neytiri; 12-11-2017 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:11 AM
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Or you could enjoy one of the many beaches close by to the accommodations.

https://parkbench.com/blog/best-beaches-in-vancouver


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Old 12-11-2017, 06:15 AM
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There are also aquariums, aviaries, greenhouses and botanical gardens, as well as traditional Chinese and Japanese gardens to walk through.







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Old 12-11-2017, 06:18 AM
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Not to mention there are many, many urban parks close to the accommodations to visit that include both forested and coastal areas.






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Old 12-11-2017, 06:19 AM
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There are also museums, art galleries, aboriginal art museums, and theaters all close by for attendees who would like to partake in the arts and history.




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Old 12-11-2017, 06:20 AM
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There are also a fresh food and seafood market close by at the Granville Island Market (no ferry needed), as well as many, many coffee houses, and bars and pubs. All right by the hotel.




Granville Island Market:





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Old 12-11-2017, 06:24 AM
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And for all of us, there are nearly endless restaurants of all kinds close by with food from all nationalities (too many to list here). So no matter where you're coming from or what your tastes are like, you're sure to find something that makes your tastebuds come alive.

North American food:
And for all of us, there are nearly endless restaurants of all kinds close by with food from all nationalities (too many to list here). So no matter where you're coming from or what your tastes are like, you're sure to find something that makes your tastebuds come alive.

North American food:






Mexican:



Italian:



Chinese:



Japanese:

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Old 12-11-2017, 06:26 AM
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Greek & Middle Eastern:





Thai:



Indian:

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Old 12-11-2017, 06:30 AM
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Anyway, if anyone has any questions at all, just let me know and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Last edited by True Love For Neytiri; 12-11-2017 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:23 AM
Tsamsiyu
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For all my aysmuk on ToS I would like to leave my thoughts so far, both places look amazing , but for me I really do like the Vancouver option, I am all for any option where the travel to get to the meet is somewhat easy and any Meet area that has a Large International airport near by and a possible hotel/staying quarters that is close to said airport makes that a much easier meet to get to, while still being able to see many, many things and Natural areas that I don't have at home, Also on a personal note I have always wanted to get a taste of the PNW/Southeast Canada area, the weather is mild in the summer and there are just alot of different climates and biomes in a short distance. so for me easy to get to and then many things to see and experience sounds exciting. One of the biggest things that I worry about for any meet is getting my travel down, so a set up like this fits me better, but I know there is still plenty of time for the planners to work things out. So no worries.
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