Last fall I decided it was time to travel solo, so I started planning a trip to Montreal over a school break. I only started planning about a month in advance and Montreal was a little more expensive of a trip than I wanted to take on with that short notice. As I thought of another place to travel to, one city came to mind: Ottawa.

First impressions of Canada's capital. Spoiler alert: it totally worked its way into my heart! // dreams-etc.com

I almost went to Ottawa years ago. It wasn’t a place I was too excited to visit at the time, but the idea of going there has been in the back of my mind ever since. “One day I’ll go to Canada… One day I’ll go to Ottawa.”

Airplane tickets to Ottawa were in the price range that I had in mind and the idea of visiting the capital of Canada as my first adventure in that country totally made sense.

“I’ll be in Ottawa this weekend,” I pointed the dates out on the calendar when talking to one of my bosses.

“So you’re just going to Canada? In a month?” he asked.

“Yep!”

“Well… that’s cool!”

I honestly thought I’d visit Ottawa, marvel at the beauty of fall in a Canadian city, enjoy my stay, see a few sights and cross Ottawa off my list of places to visit. What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with such a vibrant city.

Beautiful, yes! The fall foliage was stunning and the architecture in certain parts of the city was so fun to see. I spent quite a bit of time standing in the rain to look out over the Rideau Canal.

I also loved learning about the history of the city. I only spent a few days there, but I created an itinerary (with the help of someone staying at my hostel who had visited Ottawa before) that helped me learn about the history of how this city came to be. It was so cool to have that background knowledge as I walked around and explored. (Of course, I’ll share more of what I did in the coming weeks.)

When I left I realized that I had a lot more fun exploring Ottawa than I anticipated. Still, I had checked Ottawa off the list. It was fun, it was over.

Only it wasn’t. I keep thinking back to the vibrant energy of Ottawa. I miss walking the streets amidst the bustle of its residents. I miss exploring ByWard Market and stumbling across new sights to see as I meander the streets. I miss exploring in the rain and ducking into coffee shops to warm up and take a break.

There was a lot of construction as they put in new transit lines to make the city even easier to navigate and there’s so much more to see.

I’m excited share more of this beautiful city with you. It surprised me (but it might not come as a shock to others) that… this city captured my heart. And I might be going back very soon, this time with my mom for a specific event I think she’d love. It’ll be so much fun to introduce her to Ottawa!

First impressions of Canada's capital. Spoiler alert: it totally worked its way into my heart! // dreams-etc.com