My Place – Mike Bonkowski

Everyone has a special place, a place where you have memories, where you can find peace and harmony. A place where you know you are just happy being there. For some it’s a quiet place, for others it’s a noisy place. But all of these places have one thing in common; they are places where you think of first when asked “Where is Your Place?”.

1. Who are you and how long have you lived on Vancouver Island?

I am Mike Bonkowski. I have lived on Vancouver Island for all the 46 years of my life.

Bonkowski - Mike at Waterton Lakes National Park2. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I do work in a fine-detail industry, and I enjoy hobbies of a fine-detail aspect. I work as a Chartered Professional Accountant, and my hobby interests are coastal BC transportation and related history, and photography of coastal BC transportation in action.

Living all my life on an island, I’m naturally most interested in marine transportation. I grew up riding BC Ferries and seeing the Canadian Pacific rail ferries in action. In my history reading, I’m fascinated by the history of small coastal steamships which were the only transportation link between remote coastal settlements Read More

Soren – Join Me on My Adventures!

Soren - Englishman River

Vancouver Island is a place to visit for people of all ages. Join Soren as he tells us about some of his amazing adventures right here on Vancouver Island!

1. Who are you and how long have you lived on Vancouver Island?

My name is Soren and my parents own and run Vancouver Island Expeditions.  I have lived on Vancouver Island for my entire life! (almost two years)

2. When you aren’t sleeping, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love spending time in the kitchen with my Daddy and Mommy. Dinner time is fun time, always eating something different. I eat everything, but anything that comes with a dipping sauce is the best! I’m a big help in the kitchen too. I climb up on my stool so I can hold the bowl and even use a whisk. Cooking with my parents is the best!

I also love going to the park. We go to many different parks all around Vancouver Island.  I especially like watching the ducks at the pond, quack quack! We go on lots of hikes, Read More

Soren – An afternoon at the Teafarm

Vancouver Island is a place to visit for people of all ages. Join Soren as he tells us about some of his amazing adventures right here on Vancouver Island!

This month I got to spend some time at the Teafarm!  I love Teafarm for so many reasons!

7-IMG_4519I thought tea came from the cupboard but apparently it comes from a farm!  But if you visit the tea farm in Cowichan you’ll learn that tea actually grows on a bush and then the farmers turn it into nice smelling tea by plucking and drying it!

There was a list of all the teas and we choose one to try.  The nice people at the tea farm brought us a teapot and special cups to drink from.  My cup was small, just the right size for me to sip from. 2-IMG_4558 The tea was much better than drinking water from my sippy cup – it was warm and a little sweet too but mommy said there was no sugar in it.  Neat, eh?  There was a really nice place to sit outside with big wooden chairs – perfect for climbing all over!  There was even a fireplace inside just in case it’s cold outside and lots of places to sit.  I could have brought some friends with us too!

In the house at the tea farm there’s lots of tins to choose from. I took them off the shelf and put them back on the shelf.  Off the shelf and then back, I could have done this all day!  This is what I did when everyone else was learning about how teas are made and the different type of teas.

At home when we have tea I don’t get treats!  At the tea farm they bring chocolate and other goodies for you to pair with your tea.  And the shortbread was the best I have had in my entire life!  I6-IMG_4542 smiled really big at the nice man so maybe that’s why we got treats?  The chocolate tasted like flowers, prettiest chocolate I’ve ever eaten.  My girlfriend would have loved this place!  I’ll definitely smile at him again when we go back to get more treats.

Yummmmmy!  I really like that there’s so many different types of teas to choose from.  Before we left Mommy said I could take a couple tins of tea home with us.  I hope we can go back to the tea farm again soon to try more teas and goodies!






Get to know Leif Bogwald

Vancouver Island Expeditions is an exciting new company on the Island. Leif Bogwald is the owner and travel curator of Vancouver Island Expeditions. As a quick way to get to know him, he has offered his responses to the following questions:

1. What is your favourite travel destination in the world?

This is always a difficult question. Each place is unique and offers something that no other place can. Having said that, my current favourite travel destinations are Norway, Croatia, Iceland, and Belize. Read More

Photo of Nanaimo's Bastion

The Nanaimo Bastion

Many of VIE’s day tours and multi-day tours start near the iconic Bastion in Nanaimo. We have chosen this location for a number of reasons. Not only is this a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the city, particularly for history enthusiasts, but it is also a symbol for what Nanaimo used to be and what it is today.

The Bastion is central to Nanaimo’s history and continues to be an integral part of the city’s fascinating story. It is a constant visual reminder of how the city has grown around it. Read More