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Thank you to all entrants. Please visit the semifinalist page to view the top ten essays as determined by our panel and the public voting. Click here to view the top ten
I gave my farewell to the Seattle terrain as I prepared for the City of Peace. Aboard the Victoria Clipper, I set thrilled as ever, the swift breeze sweeping gently off my face. On the roof I stood leaning towards the sea, gazing ecstatically as we neared the province. I could only imagine what a treat I was in for. I have heard of all the stunning landmarks, delightful beaches, and wondrous parks as well as the many other popular attractions. Though, what I’ve been cherishing the most was the opportunity to really connect with the environment. As a college student so wrapped up in my studies, I yearned the relaxation of such a trip. A stay that would allow me to completely mellow out and maintain a relaxed inner state. Hopefully I would drain of all the stress balled up from finals. Yes! The thought of sleeping in for a whole week was very comforting. Suddenly I snapped out, as we landed on Vancouver Island. I headed out, and couldn’t wait for what would be my first helicopter ride to the actual Vancouver destination. Swish, the helicopter moved swiftly, my heart beating rapidly at both the pace and the breathtaking view of Vancouver, at last. The exquisite coastline adorned with massive amounts of fresh greenery, the chic layout of the city, not to mention the grand highlights of the Grouse Mountain and Lions Peak Mountain. The expansive scene was so priceless, every bit worthy of treasuring on its own. As I absorbed it all, the aromatic air filled my lungs and had already made me feel bound and welcomed for the adventure. Once I landed, there was no time to waste. I checked into the Hyatt Hotel and I undoubtedly knew that my first trip was going to be to the English Bay Beach located at the West End. I slowly strolled on the beach admiring the liveliness it held. The youth playing volleyball and Frisbee, light-heartedly laughing away. The water filled with toddlers splashing and playing in the sand, so carefree and pure. The sun hitting everyone, indicating the bright day it wishes us. It was so peaceful and I felt soothed by it all. As I continued to walk, I was in awe for I knew that I have finally approached the internationally renowned Stanley Park. Its magnificent rainforest was rich in a variety of textures and height overflowing with radiant wildlife. The trail lead to a particularly interesting landmark called the Siwash Rock that looked absolutely gorgeous against the fresh sunset. The park also featured Hollow Tree that was centuries old, it was immense in width and length. Its antique condition had left a valuable mark and addition to Stanley Park. As I closely observed, I quickly wrote down every detail of the fascinating qualities in my journal. Trying to capture these moments and feelings to the full, my pencil was on fire. Being an English major with a creative writing concentration, I knew that the hotspots in Vancouver would allow me to express my passion for writing while keeping a serene influence. My visit will contribute to my aspiration of becoming a professional writer. My publicity is dependent on the quality of this story. To be recognized, as a winner is of personal joy, though more importantly a door that will open for publications to come. Therefore, Vancouver will always be a special place in my heart because it is a determinant for the success of my career. With that said, my sorrowful departure has come and words cannot convey how appreciative I am of the natives. They have shown me around some of the most amazing sites I have ever seen and their warmth has made me feel at home. They really cared that I had a splendid time and indeed I did. Vancouver, you will always be in my memories for you have shared and enlightened me with all the wonderful beauties of your nature. I will see you in the near future!