Traveling to Vancouver, Canada was an unusual experience – for the first time in fifteen years, I traveled alone.

Not that I was entirely alone once I got there. It’s a big city, after all, and I was there to attend TBEX, the Travel Blog Exchange conference that gathers travel writers from all corners of the globe for a long weekend of learning, networking, and vigorous carousing.

As if we couldn’t revel plenty on our own, TBEX took place during the Stanley Cup playoffs, when Vancouver battled (and lost) the battle to Boston. Enough said.

This was a week of firsts for me, from solo travel to staying in a hostel:

The funny thing is that I may have started my travels to Vancouver on my own, but I never felt alone. And by the end of the week, I left with a new network of travel bloggers who I gladly count among my friends.