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. I think I like these places because they all have some commonality between them. In all these places, nature is very much a part of their culture and, in my experience, it is very easy to get to know the locals. When we were in these countries, we were always greeted with a smile. There was an overwhelming feeling that anyone would be happy to help you just so that you could truly enjoy your visit to their country. I hope that VIE can reflect that sentiment in some way for visitors to Vancouver Island.
2. What is your favourite destination on Vancouver Island?
I grew up on Vancouver Island, so I have seen a lot of the Island’s beaches, mountains and towns. It’s a relatively small island, but there are a lot of beautiful places that never see many visitors. The one place that I can never get enough of though is Newcastle Island. It is a very short boat ride from the Nanaimo harbour, yet it feels like you are miles from this city of 85,000 people. Walking around the island is great because it has natural beauty and it has a rich history. I love that you can see evidence of how the use of the island has changed, from the local First Nations to the rise and fall of mining and fishing industries and now to parkland and tourism. Although it is very visible from Nanaimo’s waterfront, it is a hidden gem where you can still feel like you are the only one on the entire island.
3. When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
When not working on VIE, I am involved in various organizations around Nanaimo and the rest of Vancouver Island. I am currently on the Vancouver Island University Alumni Board and I am Past President of both the Young Professionals of Nanaimo and the Nanaimo Chartered Accountants Association. When not working or volunteering, I’m typically playing sports (basketball and soccer), practicing yoga, or exploring the Island for new things to see, do, or taste.
4. What did you do before you started VIE?
My previous career was a Chartered Accountant at a highly respected firm for 11 years. During this time, I helped owner-managed businesses run their operations efficiently as possible and stay true to what they wanted their company to become. This might seem miles away from operating a tour company, but my experience has actually given me invaluable insight into what works and doesn’t work in business.
5. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have 3 things, what would they be?
First, I would absolutely need a comfortable mattress. I really love sleeping in a comfortable bed—especially since my newborn son has made a good night’s sleep a rarity.
Secondly, I would need something that plays music. I am always listening to music and I love the way it sets the mood or brings back good memories.
Finally, I would have a net to catch fish and other seafood. I love seafood, so I think I would go crazy if I was surrounded by seafood and unable to catch anything.