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Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

I'm on the line to the ferry! Lane number 5! I am so excited!!! I have been waiting patiently for this moment for a while now. It's a gorgeous day here, but the lack of energy drains me quickly. I sit inside the ferry, watching the horizon for two reasons, one not to get seasick; the other hoping to spot whales. At one point, I can recognize far, far in the distance, a pod of whales, but it is too far to have a glimpse of this majestic mammal. I hope I will get a chance to experience their beauty in close view later on in my journey.

I am waiting for my time to get to the immigration booth. I know I have followed all the rules for Canada, and I should not have a problem entering, but I am still a bit nervous. I pass my passport to the immigration guard. He asks me where my home is, and I say, "New York State". "You drove all the way?" "Yes, I did; I have been on the road for the last eight months." He continued asking me where I had been, so I went ahead and told him about my travels (a short version). "What are your plans in Canada?" I said I was here to visit friends and travel. "Where are you planning to travel?" At this point, I feel bad for the people behind me waiting in line. I go ahead and tell him my plans. He continued our friendly conversation, recommending other places to stop and check out. That was my sweet welcome to Canada!

I had to make last minutes changes and book an Airbnb since Miriam's sons surprised her with a visit. I do stop first to get a SIM card and some groceries, but it is all under extremely low energy. By the time I get to the Airbnb, I am totally spent. I am hoping a good night's sleep will bring a miracle. Unfortunately, that is not in the cards.

Miriam and I plan to meet and spend the next two days together as she shows me Victoria. By morning, I know I have no choice but to call her and ask for help. I am learning to ask for assistance with certain things in life, but asking for help with my health is a weakness of mine (I am learning, Eva Marie).

In the end, Miriam's sons didn't stay, and she helped me move to her place. I am resting for now, gaining back my energy. So far, all I can say I saw in Victoria, is Miriam's comfortable coach :). I have the utmost pleasure getting to know Miriam. We have quite a lot in common, and one is the love of the "Jerusalem of Gold" song. A song we both have a deep personal connection to.

I am definitely changing some of my plans. Bowron Lake Provincial Park is out. It is too remote; even the immigration officer recommended I skip this one. I am taking out the Sunshine Coast Hwy so I can return to Victoria and explore and revisit with Miriam the right way. I added another two days to Whistler so I can take my time exploring it. The rest stays as planned, as long as the fires and weather let me.

Ramona and I already have a few travel reservations, and I want to keep them. I will rest extra for now at Ramona's.

If you caught up only recently on my journey, you would find out that Ramona, Sandara, and Miriam are new friends in my life, but for sure, it feels like I have known them for many years. I don't think I can say it's because I am a nice person, but I am :) Seriously, I found a whisper in the air regarding sisterhood: if you are willing to open yourself to this magic, it will reward you with endless love. Try it!

I am unsure how to express this notion, but self-awareness is such a key to healing oneself. If I had faced this kind of health challenge a year ago, there would have been a much more frustrated Gila in the background. This journey has given me the gift of calm and a deep understanding of the meaning of accepting uncertainty. We all know life doesn't happen as planned, but maybe it is!?!

A wise young man told me once peace is in the surrender. I will continue to let life unfold as the flowing river with surrender and peace.

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