I saw the ad weeks ago and was excited ever since. I’ve been dying to do some exciting outdoor stuff in Vancouver and knew (I KNEW!) The Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show would be the show to help me do it. Woo!
Grabbing an equally excited friend, we excitedly went to the venue, excitedly bought our tickets and excitedly burst through the doors of the convention centre.
And that’s when all the excitement ended.
For a show with the words “Outdoor Adventure” and “Travel” in it, you would assume interesting and, well, exciting, right? Well you shouldn’t. To put it in perspective, the most exciting thing about the show was the free bag of Old Dutch potato chips we got on our way out.
So what was I expecting, anyway?
New ideas! Fun (and preferably local) activities to do on the weekend. Affordable would be nice but outside the box would be better. I already mountain bike, snowboard, hike, camp, ice skate, roller blade, box, kick box and run (well light jog). Gimme something else to do.
Enter the boredom
Soooo many booths. And they all look the same. Oooo! maybe it’s like a maze and if you can find your way around you win a prize? No? Just confusing and maze-like by accident. Oh. Call me lazy (because I can be) but I didn’t want to have to use a map to navigate my way to the one booth I came to see anyway or to have to figure out where I was in the large room without the incentive of a prize for my efforts.
Free stuff? Yes, usually a highlight anywhere, the Motts Garden Cocktail booth was giving away huge cups filled with tomato juice – I mean garden cocktail. Now I love tomato juice (although I’m used to it including vodka and a celery stick…) but even I couldn’t stomach two and a half cups of the stuff in one sitting. Sure enough, one booth over, there were piles of half filled cups all over an empty table.
Adventure slide shows
As per the website:
See breathtaking slide presentations, and hear from seasoned adventure travelers as they share incredible stories of the thrill of adventure travel!
Yes, that’s what a true adventurer wants to do. Hear about other people’s fun times and thrilling lives. Complete with a slide show of static pics?? Whoa. That doesn’t sound boring at all!
Even the cafeteria/food services area was un-adventurous. Nowhere was there Eagle meat burgers, Dodo bird flavoured potato sticks or even Unicorn taquitos. The most adventurous item on the menu – hot dogs.
Whose booth is this anyway?
If any of the following booths cause your breath to quicken, your heart to skip or your pulse to race…then you lead a very boring and sad life:
- We introduce to you…The Safeway Pharmacy booth
- The Province Newspaper booth– I like the province newspaper and read it all the time, but I also like Entertainment Weekly, O Magazine and the daily 24 hours newspaper. My point – none of them belong at the outdoor adventure/travel show.
- Canada Border Services Agency booth– reminding you of what you can and cannot travel with (still have that ‘no weapons’ rule? Party poopers!)
- Canadian Diabetes Association booth – ????
- Canadian Food and Inspection Agency booth – ????
- Green Party of Canada booth – ????
Campink – Pink camping gear! We all know we can get camping gear anywhere (ever heard of M.E.C or Walmart?) so you really need to give me some kind of incentive to buy it at the show and lug it all home.
Answer: Make it pretty and colour it pink. A unique twist on an original product.
I don’t even need to go camping to use this stuff either. I will happily find a use for a bright pink flantern.
Surfsister – surfing lessons on the beach. They provide the wetsuits and gear so all I have to do is show up. Sweet. That’s how l like all my activities – pre set, exciting, and requiring little more than for me to show up (kinda like a good first date). Now while I’d prefer if they were in Vancouver (they’re in Tofino, BC – a 4 hour trek away), they tell me the reason for the Tofino location is because they need an ‘ocean’ and ‘waves’ in order for us to surf.
Bah humbug. Call me when we can start surfing ‘inland’ or in a ‘wave pool’ (which is a really good idea so somebody invent that!)
On the other hand
iparaglide – It’s the newest thing I want to try – paragliding! I went to the show specifically to see what price I could get and where they were located (the office address is located downtown which sort of didn’t make sense…). Turns out that beginners paraglide off a big hill/slope located 2 cities to the south of Vancouver and then after we get better we get to paraglide off a mountain located 4 cities to the east of Vancouver. That (out-of-the-way locations) and it’s pricey are two of the reasons I decided to put my wallet away. Starting in the hundreds, I also have to add in the cost of renting a car to get to the various public transit-unfriendly mountains.
So although I love adventure and I crave excitement and I live for something fun to do, it seems I still have no problem doing anything fun and adventurous…
As long as it’s within my city limits.
And for free. 😉