Gina Petrovich

Beat the Mondays: March off the beaten path, even in Kelowna

Gina Petrovich is Kelowna Capital News’ newest travel columnist

“Off the beaten path” is a phrase we’ve all heard or spoken at some point in our lives, generally understood to describe a place less popular among the mainstream crowd, typically boasting an authentic experience that will send you home with a unique story to share.

I like to call it intentionally lost. And yes, wandering off can often lead to being unintentionally lost too, which only in my recent trip to Hong Kong did I really learn to embrace as part of my journey.

Most places we explorers travel to have their iconic landmarks and must-see places. Go see them, go check out the Eiffel Tower, walk on the Great Wall of China, hang out in Times Square, these are all rights of passage and shouldn’t be skipped over for personal fear of being a tourist. We are tourists when we visit a new place. Through my experiences, I’ve learned there are ways of being a tourist that are respectful and enlightening, serving as substance to grow our travelling souls while leaving no negative trace.

If you have the desire, you will make the time to get the most out of your travel. Having already visited NYC less than a year prior, I was already on my way back for a second taste. This time I was armed with some new things to do that not every visitor has done. I researched “Off the beaten path NYC.” It was that simple and a practice that I began to apply to all subsequent travel.

I found myself in the artsy district of Tribeca painting the Brooklyn Bridge on a hand stretched canvas sipping Vodka Tonic with a new friend from Pennsylvania.

Have you heard of the whispering gallery in Grand Central Station? A secret spot, corner-to-corner where the softest whisper or sweetest nothing can be spoken in and heard above the crowds in another corner across the arched terminal.

Does an abandoned smallpox hospital sound interesting? How about riding an areal tramway over the East River to Roosevelt Island to see the eerie reminder of times gone by? Apart from stepping momentarily into a horror movie where your mind plays tricks on you this island is a quiet place and a prime spot to grab a coffee and sit on a bench watching the city not far across the river.

READ MORE: Beat the Mondays: Use your travel time wisely

“Some people are born New Yorkers, some are made New Yorkers, but all are welcome.” – Unknown

I’ve written about my love for outdoors and hiking, and while this doesn’t fit the typical description of such, the High Line in Manhattan certainly delivered an outdoor experience. Offering a bird’s eye view of the city via an abandoned railway track turned trail, this allowed for a less crowded perspective of a part of the city that not everyone has seen. This will probably be the sole trail experience that didn’t require trekking poles, guts and a lot of stamina. My search for extreme and risky hikes is soon to follow.

Let’s look at Kelowna in the summer from a tourist perspective; beaches, wineries, and beautiful scenery. At least that’s what I thought when I was a tourist to Kelowna once upon a time. I am still constantly discovering new things about this beautiful place I call home. I’ve lived here over 10 years and I continue to walk around with my camera like it’s my first day. As travellers, we can go out and see what’s right in front of us, or we can dive a little deeper, venture a little further and see what’s hidden, maybe not that far from where we already are.

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Batutta

Gina Petrovich is a Kelowna-based wanderer with a knack for adventure. She’s now sharing her adventures with the Capital News in a bi-monthly column.


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