Four places you CAN’T visit on vacation and four you CAN

How to vacation in Vancouver amidst school and work

Illustration by RESLUS

Written by: Nathaniel Tok, Peak Associate
Illustration by: RESLUS

Remember when summer used to be fun?

Seriously, I cannot remember the last time I took summer off, and I’m sure you can’t either. Instead of crying together, I made a list of amazing vacations adjusted to our Vancouver home base and a zero-dollar price range. You don’t even need to leave the voting district to enjoy these great getaways!

The real location: Oahu, Hawaii, USA
Vancouver substitute: AQ staircase

Summer is a great time for hiking up mountains. Here’s introducing the SFU version of Stairway to Heaven on the Hawaiian island of Oahu! AKA that never-ending flight of steps connecting the AQ to Saywell Hall.

Ascend the path to enlightenment — or light-headedness — and satisfy your hiking craving while maintaining your fitness amidst papers and exams. The real stairway has 3,922 stairs, so if you climb the stairs 187 times*, you will have climbed the height of the real Stairway to Heaven in Hawaii and achieved the same feeling of “never doing it ever again.”

*Four Peak staff members have died trying to count them. This is an approximation.

The real location: Lollapalooza
Vancouver substitute: Empty West Mall lecture hall   

Bummed out that you won’t have time to go to music festivals? No problem. Simply come to SFU in the evening, plug your laptop into a big screen projector in one of the empty lecture halls, and blast your Spotify playlist to oblivion.

Pre-hide your alcohol in a West Mall lecture hall. After hours, sneak back in with friends for the deluxe music fest experience! Imagine yourself in a concert and it will be so.

The real location: Idyllic Okanagan farm
Vancouver substitute: The local grocery store

Going fruit picking in the Okanagan is always fun. You know what’s even more enjoyable? Not going to a desert in the summer. Just pick fruit in your local supermarket.

It won’t be as charming as those family farms, but it’s closer, air-conditioned, and features a far wider variety of fruits than any single Okanagan farm. If you miss the constant humidity, just stay under them vegetable misters. And if you miss insects buzzing around you while you steal the fruit they helped produced, the SFU Biological Sciences department is always looking for people to help them rear those critters. After all, isn’t paying to pick fruits more or less paying to do work?

The real location: SFU exchange somewhere far, far away
Vancouver substitute: Crash other schools’ campuses

Summer is a great time to go on exchange. But that involves writing applications, finding accommodations, and convincing yourself that doing courses over there will be a life-changing experience compared to simply doing the SFU equivalent. But you can do an exchange right here in Vancouver!

Simply find a friend in UBC and attend their class for them and then buy them lunch to simulate exchange application fees. Repeat with friends from BCIT, Douglas, Capilano, and the others to complete your well-rounded exchange experience to make proper use of your U-Pass. Be sure to take lots of photos and share them on social media because apparently, that’s what exchange is for. Just watch out for Wreck Beach.