Destinations Magazine

When The Universe Poops In Your Cereal

By Colleen Brynn @ColleenBrynn


Vancouver Island has been home for about the last 3 weeks now, and it’s been indescribably refreshing to be on Canadian soil, breathe cool mountain air and frankly, be the only student intern at the clinic where I’m working. Solitude, lack of competitive attitudes/superiority, and lovely introverted *me* time have been the absolute bee’s knees.

My plans here, apart from working and honing my clinical skills, included two main activities: driving to see some sweet stuff on the island and write write write.

Weekend one came around, and I was excited to hop off to Ucluelet for the day. I had rolled through once before, back in 2009 with my parents. We were on our way to Tofino and only stopped briefly, but I remember how charmed I was and knew I’d be back one day. Being so close, how could I pass up the opportunity!

Well, not 15 kilometres from town, *put-put-put* my car rolls to a steaming stop. White fumes slither out from the hood, then vanish, carried away by the rain and the breeze. I’m beside Kennedy Lake (which, at least, is pretty), and in an area completely void of service.

Fast forward: some wonderful strangers pulled over, helped me, drove me to town, waited for me to connect with a tow truck driver, then dropped me off at the pick-up spot. I managed to have a sandwich, and before I could even finish it, I was on my way out of Ukee once more. The town would have to wait for another day.


Originally, all I had wanted to do that day was sit in the dark and write. I could easily have spent my entire day like that, but the beautiful island called to me. On my way back, I half chuckled to myself. See… you should have stayed home. The universe was speaking to you.


After dropping my car off at the mechanic’s, I returned home and cracked my laptop open, sighing, At least I still have you.

I tapped away for a bit, cooked some dinner and then things started getting awfully glitchy.

Fast forward: computer crashed and wouldn’t start back up properly. I laughed at the universe (“Really? Car and computer in the same day? HAHAHA” *maniacal laughter*), then proceeded to ugly cry once I realized what this meant and then went to bed because I could no longer deal with the day. Spent the whole next day, 7 hours to be exact, on the phone with Apple (lovely, lovely people by the way), spent close to another 2 hours the following day after work chatting with them, and then they finally concluded that I needed help in person. The closest Apple store? Vancouver.

The universe took a big curly dump in my breakfast cereal.

So what did I do?

I put my big girl pants on, amazingly didn’t turn to rum, and planned a spontaneous trip to the Apple store in Vancouver. Yes, I could have gone to one of the service centres on the island, but my gut was telling me to go to the source. Plus a good friend there was the last bit of luring I needed to go.

I weighed all my options (ferry, public transit, etc) before my supervising doctor told me, “Just fly.”


Just some casual dermatochalasis. Whatever, okay?

I’ve seen these little seaplanes loads of times before, but for some reason had never imagined I’d actually fly in one. I had no idea they were within reach. In fact, if you pay to take a vehicle on a ferry, the plane is actually more affordable, and even more so if you value your time. I ended up going with Seair as they offer a student discount.

On the day of my flight, I was so nervous/excited/beside myself (and this was so clearly all over my face) that the pilot offered me the co-pilot’s seat. I quickly said yes, and for the whole flight I whipped my head around, observing the world from that new height, and chattered away with the pilot about my silly questions.


I learned how to tell turbulence in the air by the water, and to spot where fresh and salt water mix, to notice changing weather patters and all sorts of other little aero-tidbits. It was such a treat, and I’m so grateful for this experience, one I most definitely would not have had if it hadn’t been for my car and computer concurrently dying.

So the universe might have taken a crap in my breakfast, but I tossed that out and made one hell of an eggs Benny.








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