During my smokey trip to BC, we traveled from Sidney to Tofino, and stopped along the way in Nanamio, Victoria, Ucluelet, Alberni, and many other stops along the way. There we saw HUGE trees! The smokey presence of forest fires happening far away was everywhere. We could not escape the permanent smell and "fog" that would never lift. It can be hard to distinguish between smoke and fog... especially in Tofino in "Fogust"! However, this exposure to new stimuli has fascinated me and my creative side. Hence, the Top 8 Personal Inspirations from this trip.
1. My birthday dinner involving the consumption of seafood.
For my birthday, we went to a Coast Hotel in Victoria, which happened to the the same one we stayed in during our previous travels. Last time we went there, we didn't enter the restaurant implanted inside the hotel because it was "too expensive", but this time our family were like "well it's our son's birthday today, so why the heck not?" And so we ate seafood for my birthday dinner. While my sister ate cod, the rest ate a dish filled with crabs. I really liked this dish, because I found it satisfying to fiddle around with the crustaceans' limbs before I break them off. King crab is my favourite out of all of the crabs on the dish, because its large, long limbs were filled with irresistible meat!
Possible applications: a boss enemy/tabletop RPG NPC that uses their crab limbs to attack adventurers. Their weak point are their joints, in which wrestlers can easily tear apart and eat some tasty food inside them.
2. The beached driftwood of various shapes and sizes, found in shores across BC.
During one of the stops on our road trip across Vancouver Island, I observed the driftwood, ranging from smooth, giant trunks to small sticks that can easily fit your hand. I fiddled with them as if I was trying to make practical tools out of them. Meanwhile, my sister, believing she just saw a whale, debated with my mother whether or not it was actually an ocean's wave.
Possible applications: the driftwood chain whip/nun-chucks, the signature weapon of a protagonist. She made them herself!
3. The works of Roy Henry Vickers, found in Tofino.
I was very amused by the amazing works of art by Roy Henry Vickers. The paintings he did looked like they were made in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator! That clearly gave me some smooth Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics vibes as a result.
Possible applications: Vector images in Adobe Illustrator, such as a beautiful landscape or a totem pole.
4. The goats grazing on top of the roof of a restraunt. Yup, that's a thing.
When our family noticed that a bunch of goats were on a grassy roof, we stopped and looked around. The roof belonged to a general store that sells food such as fruits and sauces. It reminded me of a dream I had not so long ago, of a similar store run by a llama wearing a hat. It sold dairy products, wool, and even calendars! I wonder if the restaurant served goat's milk...
Possible applications: further development into the llama's store, by expanding the list of products that are sold there.
5. The boardwalks to the temperate rain-forests
In one trip, we traveled across the temperate rainforests by walking on cedar planks and bridges. The animals we saw were a long, black slug and a dark brownish-gray squirrel. At the end of the route there was a large shore with rocks and a rainbow flag planted onto it. But once were were done with the sightseeing, we had to go all the way back! At least we took some great photos while we were there.
Possible applications: a great D&D campaign, the blatant rip-off of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, a desktop background of a rocky beach photoshopped to look like an alien planet.
6. The foggy beach in Tofino, popular with surfers.
At one point our family decided to visit an interesting beach. Upon further investigation, we can tell this place is teeming with surfers because there are tons of hotels with surfboards outside. As we took our first steps on the beach, we could not see what was happening in front of us because it was very far away and foggy. As we came closer, the sand below our feet became damp. Before we knew it, the hotels behind us became lost in the fog. The only things we could see at this point are strangers walking in different directions and the waves that crashed before us.
Possible applications: a forest-related horror scene filled with fog, the attire of a female surfer.
7. Victoria's Chinatown
During our return to Sidney, we stopped by Chinatown to find a nice dinner to eat. We visited the first restaurant, but Dad left before we started ordering because he didn't have an open palette. We then visited and ate at Don Mee. We also visited Fantan alley, and it was neat to find out that it was actually a pack of restaurants and businesses hidden behind tall buildings.
Possible applications: a scene in which two protagonists come to stay in Chinatown for a while, the neighborhood alleys of a fictional city
This was our first stop, and it was also our last one. It's like a boomerang: you leave your starting point and eventually you return there. It's our road trip in BC in a nutshell. It's home to some interesting residential buildings, and the restraunt Fish on Fifth (I recommend tasting their halibut, because it's the least greasiest halibut I ate, and also try some trivia cards or tying some knots while you wait). What's more, there are some interesting sculptures across the seaside of Sidney such as "Eye of the Ocean" by David Hunwick, "The Muse" by Louis-Marc Simard, "The Keeper" by Ronald T. Crawford and "Centaur Chiron" by Philip Organ!
Possible applications: a glass/rust centaur, tiny seaside creatures that hide in small pools of water, anything that is made out of both marble and chrome
And that's pretty much it about my trip. Traveling across the outside world can give you a lot of inspiration, even if you haven't been looking for it. If you're out of ideas, visit real life and go outside! Explore new places. Inspect anything that catches your eye, from something hanging on a wall to a statue sitting on a bench. With a little imagination, you could get something out of it...