Last week, I took a solo trip into Montreal.
Yea, that's Canada.
My current residing place in Burlington, VT is only 1hr 30min away. Perfect for a day trip. Despite how close the city is, I've never encountered such a drastic culture shock in such a short amount of time.
One word... French.
Montreal is the largest city located in the Quebec Province of Canada, and it is definitely French-Canadian. After I passed through customs and into Canada, I felt like I was back on my Spring Break European trip with Phil and Tobi. The road signs, the weather, and the landscapes were total deja vu, kilometer after kilometer.
And I loved it! Sure my Virginia license plates stood out a bit and speed limits were a bit confusing, but man what a rush.
Entering a city for the first time is always exciting, especially with a camera in hand. I build up an extreme fascination with designs, shapes, and structures that I don't normally encounter everyday. Usually these are not very interesting for working locals or busy tourists, but I like to think that everything in a city was created by someone with specific design decisions. For me it's like going to an art gallery, but one where people live and work in a harmonious relationship with their surroundings.
This solo trip was great for experiencing that.
Any of my friends and family that have traveled with me know that I tend to be on the slower side. I'm always playing catchup with the group and leaving them asking where I went or when we can we move on. Well, when you're by yourself, there's no rush!
I literally just parked my car and walked around the city for hours and hours. Got some French coffee, incredible food, and with the help of Google, circled around most of the city. And to top it off, skated a few local parks!
Here are a few spots that stood out to me as I ventured around.
The point of all of this is to hopefully encourage you to see the world from a new lens (or an old lens if you're broke like me and can't quite buy new camera gear). Photos or not, city or country, the hard work of honest and talented humans is beautiful. Be on the lookout for it. It is everywhere and constantly evolving.