Wandering Wednesday: twoOregonians discover Commercial Drive, Vancouver B.C.

Wandering Wednesday: twoOregonians discover Commercial Drive, Vancouver B.C.

For our Wandering Wednesday guest posts we ask a fellow travel blogger to highlight one place (city or entire country) that has been one of the most memorable for them. It can be a fond type of memorable, or “my hair caught on fire, I contracted rabies, and my luggage was stolen”- type of memorable. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We’re taking it all.

For today’s Wandering Wednesday, we’re featuring the lovely Ted and Bethany from twoOregonians.  Ted and Bethany are two native Oregonians leaving their fair state on January 5th, 2012 to embark on a journey around the globe.  Ted is the program manager at a shelter for homeless families, and Bethany is a landscape architect and local food advocate.  Together, they’re eager to learn more about social care and food systems and gallivant to the far corners of the earth.

Where to find Ted and Bethany (twoOregonians):

Twitter: @twoOregonians, @bethanyrydmark, @tedrydmark

First things first, Why do you travel?

We’ve been bitten by the bug.  Our experience of the world, shaped by a deep heritage at home and the diversity of humanity and cultures abroad, causes us to marvel, and we love to feed that passion.  Beautiful people, foods, cultural treasures, and stories from across time beckon; why not follow?

What brought you to Vancouver?

For the past several years, we’ve lived across the river from Vancouver, Washington, but neither of us had spent much time in cosmopolitan Vancouver, British Columbia.  We decided it was time to get to know our neighbor to the north.

When we married in 2006, we honeymooned in the Pacific Northwest, road tripping up from Portland, Oregon to Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington state to Victoria, British Columbia.  For our forth anniversary, we were saving money for our RTW trip, and instead of splurging on the tropics (oh, they sounded so wonderful!), we decided to do a mini-repeat of our honeymoon and throw in a stop in Vancouver, British Columbia for good measure.

What was your most memorable experience (good or bad) from your time in Vancouver?

World Cup season on Commercial Drive!  We watched the 2006 final match between Italy and France during our honeymoon in Canada, and four years later, during our visit to Vancouver, we loved staying near Commercial Drive where we ate our way up and down the sidewalks, catching glimpses of World Cup 2010 in nearly every pub window and storefront.

Cheers sounded up and down the Drive at each goal, the whole neighborhood alive with the pulse of the game.

Any advice for travelers headed to Vancouver?

For two Portlanders much more at home in the Hawthorne District than inner SW Portland, it’s easy for us to say that Commercial Drive is where it’s at when visiting Vancouver.

Venture out from downtown and stay with someone who knows the city!  We settled on a great guest house just a few blocks off of Commercial Drive and it proved to be the perfect spot to use as home base.  Our host was a charming, sincere woman, and the opportunity to spend time with her became a cherished memory from our visit.

It’s an easy ride on public transit to reach this street of semi-gritty character and hidden finds just beyond the shadows of the skyscrapers.

Foodie Favorites from the Neighborhood:

Turks Coffee Lounge- 1276 Commercial Drive.  Ted is a self proclaimed coffee snob, and Turks satisfied his cravings.

Sake Maki- 1414 Commercial Drive.  We loved the Angel Roll and the Crunch Roll.  Also, the kitschy decor.

Gelateria Dolce Amore- 1588 Commercial Drive.  Their shop gave Italy a run for its money.  Back for the mango three times in one weekend.

How did your experiences in Vancouver change you as a person and how you feel about travel?

Vancouver reinvigorated us.  Our RTW plannings had been a steady theme in life for years, but we reached a new place of resolve and motivation after experiencing a break from the daily grind at home and the joy of spending time, meeting locals, eating great food, and celebrating international sports with other like-minded fans.  That summer, a year and a half ago, carried us through the past season of penny pinching and dream building.

Okay, last question. Where are you headed next and why?

 Departure time has finally arrived!  We leave on January 5th, flying from Portland, Oregon to Lima, Peru to begin our long-hoped-for adventure around the world.  We’ll be spending January through March in South America, hitting Machu Picchu, Patagonia, and nooks and crannies everywhere in between.  Then we take a trip across the ocean, making our way toward the Mediterranean.  Eventually, we plan to carry on into Africa, SEA, and New Zealand, enjoying great food, building friendships, opening our eyes to the world around us, ans see what part we play in caring for the humanity and this great earth.

Do you or someone you know have a memorable experience from your travels? Want to be featured on one of our Wandering Wednesday posts? Send an e-mail to

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