BACKPACKING IN NORTH AMERICA | NIAGARA FALLS, TORONTO & MONTREAL



Finally I've found the time to write the second part of my backpacking in North America post! I've just got back from Paris and leave for uni tomorrow so have been hugely preoccupied with getting all my washing done (glamorous, I know) and gathering everything I need for Falmouth before I leave. So that's todays reason behind how useless a blogger I am. But back to the post... After New York I headed to Toronto where I spent three days. I didn't actually see much of the city because I had such a lovely couchsurfing host and such lovely fellow couchsurfers staying there that I spent all my time with them in the park playing softball and flunkyball (google it)! I really appreciate being able to meet such amazing people who I probably wouldn't have met if I'd been travelling with friends. Travelling alone definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone in that respect.



I also stopped of at the Niagara Falls with Leon, one of the fellow couchsurfers. It definitely wasn't what we were expecting! Beside the falls is a huge industrial park full of hotels and casinos and even a Starbucks... I don't understand that, why ruin such a beautiful part of the country?! However the waterfall itself was still really impressive, it's so long and so loud! We paid to go behind the falls into the huge tunnel system which was pretty cool as you get to see the falls much closer than you do from the tourist walk way. It was also only $20 from Toronto to Niagara by coach so I'd still recommend going if you're in the area!



After Toronto I headed for Montreal. Again I was staying with a couchsurfing host plus her flatmates and they were lovely. Overall I had a really positive experience using couchsurfing. I had heard some weird stories which made me nervous before going but it was completely fine. I think as long as you're staying with someone who has great reviews you can't go too wrong but definitely trust your instincts. Originally I was meant to be staying with a different host in Montreal but I felt he was sending weird vibes closer towards the time of my stay so I cancelled with him and found my new hosts where I was really happy!


Montreal was really beautiful, I was there for just under a week so had plenty of time to explore the city. I especially liked Old Port. Lot's of churches and a cathedral combined with French being the first language in Montreal gave it a really European feel. Also there is the actual port which is really pretty and there was a food festival on at the time which I enjoyed (stuffed myself)! I spent a lot of time relaxing in parks, reading and listening to podcasts (PanDolly and Guardian Long Reads are my favourite if you're interested) and of course eating crepes. Mount Royal was really lovely too. I went up once in the day and once in the night for the view of the city and also because the walk is really nice. They have a piano up there and luckily for me lots of talented tourists to play it. One evening I sat listening to different people play for hours, it was so relaxing. I was really sad to leave Montreal as it was the last stop on my trip. Travelling alone is definitely something I'd do again but I'm back at uni now so it will have to wait for next summer! Hope you enjoyed reading about my trip, let me know if you have any questions!

BACKPACKING IN NORTH AMERICA | NEW YORK


My phone is broken and Apple has now had it for two and a bit weeks, tinkering (hopefully fixing)... the separation is starting to physically pain me. And of course it breaks just before I go off trecking around North America... BY MYSELF. Mother was not pleased. But that explains the lack of Instagrams recently, I will of course be catching up once my phone is returned because I have so many amazing pictures from New York to share!! So this post may seem out of the blue as my social media has been completely void of hints but actually the trip has been planned since around Christmas. I backpacked from NewYork to Montreal via the Niagara Falls and Toronto by bus and couchsurfing. This post will focus on the first leg of the journey, states side.



I made sure to do all the touristy sightseeing I could. I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge, went to Times Square at night, spent a day at the MET and got the Staten Island ferry past the Statue of Liberty. Each was amazing and even a bit overwhelming because it was all so big. I took my time, making sure to absorb as much as possible. A lot of the sights seemed weirdly familiar to me where I'd seen them in different films (especially NY Library- Day After Tomorrow, lacked flooding but still very cool). These were all free activities bar the MET which you make a donation of choice to visit. I also spent a lot of time walking around interesting areas of the city such as Soho, the High Line and Brooklyn, again free to do but great for experiencing and getting a true feel of the city. So by accident I ended up not spending a massive amount in NY when I was expecting it to be ridiculously expensive. My main expenditure was on food (Chloe's vegan restaurant in Soho was amazing!) and shopping.



I spent one of my mornings at ground zero. The two huge pits where the towers once stood have been made into beautiful memorials. It was very overwhelming and poignant but therefore, I think quite perfect in describing and marking what happened there. The museum is completely underground so you're walking where the sub-levels would have been. I'd definitely recommend going to the museum, I learnt a lot about the attack that I didn't know before and it's good to understand such an important point in history especially as it took place in our lifetimes. After the museum you can walk to the Staten Island Ferry to unwind from the memorial like I did. 



I spent quite a lot of time in Central Park because NY is big and it's a little dirty and sweaty and sometimes a girl needs some fresh air! My friend Agi (who interned in NY this summer) and I enjoyed an amazing picnic of fresh salsa, blue corn tortilla chips, strawberries and oranges one of the days I was there which perfectly broke up my city sightseeing. We relaxed in the sun, chatted and people watched and it was made so perfectly clear to me why New Yorkers love and need that park! I'll be posting the second half of my North America trip asap. Hope you don't mind how brief this is, I'm ever so slightly jet lagged right now having returned from Montreal today. It took me just over five hours to get back from Gatwick thanks to ridiculous passport control queues and Southern Rail strikes... oh England, why such a warm welcome?!