Today is our last full day in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. It’s hard to believe that one month ago, we were on the Atlantic coast of Europe and now we are on the Pacific coast of North America. Victoria, which is the provincial capital of British Columbia, is located on Vancouver Island, west of the mainland, which is one of the reasons I love it. Lots of water and boating opportunities!

Tomorrow, we will take a ferry to Seattle, then over the next few days make our way to Boulder, Colorado. We will spend the summer in Boulder, then spend September in Prague. After that, Plan A is to rent an apartment for a year in Boulder or Washington, D.C. We will have been on the road for 20 consecutive months by then, and have decided that’s enough for right now.

Our apartment here in Victoria is the best one we have had on our journey. We are on the 15th floor of a 16-floor building right in downtown, with views of downtown, the Inner Harbor, the Juan de Fuca Strait, which opens into the Pacific Ocean, and some snow-capped mountains off in the distance in what I think is Washington State. We watch ferries and giant cruise ships come and go, and sea planes take off and land in the Inner Harbor all day long. The downtown area is relatively small and very walkable, with lots of shops and restaurants, and a nice movie theater two doors down.

I found a great yoga studio here in Victoria that has my fave – full-on, heavy-duty hot yoga! I went to three classes when we first arrived, and was pretty excited about it. The people, teachers and facility are very nice and I can walk there. However, about an hour after the third class, my vision went haywire. It didn’t hurt, but I started seeing all manner of “floaters” in my left eye. They kept getting worse and weirder and it really freaked me out. I was seeing what looked like streaks of black ink moving through my field of vision on the left side, then it changed to mostly black and gray dots floating in a dense cloud all over. Sometimes it was all of the above all at once. I could still see and read, but the floaters were quite prominent and had come on very suddenly. We started calling ophthalmology and optometry offices, and urgent care centers, but no one could see me. Pro Tip #1: one does not just walk into an urgent care center here. You call early in the morning and try to get an appointment. If you develop a problem later in the day, you are out of luck until the next morning. The people we spoke to seemed to take the situation fairly seriously, and told us to go to a hospital, so we did. By the end of the day, I had paid this hospital a shockingly large amount of money (we are still self-insuring), sat in a room for about six hours, and finally left without being seen. Not impressive.

Fortunately, the next morning Steve found an optometrist who could see me. He diagnosed my condition as posterior vitreous detachment, which sounds much worse than it is.  Evidently, as we age, the vitreous portion of the eye (the face eggs, as Lady Caroline on Succession called them), gets smaller over time, and the membrane surrounding it begins to pull away from the retina. If it doesn’t pull away cleanly, you can get “floaters.” The floaters are basically harmless; however, if the vitreous membrane pulls the retina with it, and the retina tears, you have to have prompt corrective surgery, or you could lose your vision. Pro Tip #2:  if you see floaters with flashes of light, you need to be seen ASAP, as the flashes often do indicate a retinal tear.

The optometrist said he had seen several cases of people developing this condition as a result of doing yoga, especially vigorous routines and inversions, so that is the most likely explanation. I was certainly overdoing it in my excitement to have found a fabulous hot yoga studio. Now, about three weeks later, the floaters have mostly gone away. I’ve gone back to yoga, but only yin classes, which is the gentlest form. The doc said I’m at increased risk for a retinal tear for the next few weeks, which I took as a prescription to be a slug, basically. And really, with Succession and Ted Lasso building toward their series finales … let’s face it … I was going to be living La Vida Sofa a lot this month anyway.

Meanwhile, the hospital that left me in a room fearing for my vision for six hours did agree to refund their physician’s fee, since I never saw one, and a portion of the outrageous facility fee that they charged me as a non-Canadian without insurance. I’m still out over U.S. $300. For nothing. Once again, as we continue our odyssey through the health care systems of various countries and continents, Europe is kicking North America’s a**.

On a not unrelated note, I spent most of yesterday trying to sign us up for an Obamacare plan in Colorado; it did not go well. I thought we qualified for an immediate special enrollment, as we have been out of the U.S. since January, but alas, it appears the Colorado will make us wait a month before our coverage kicks in. Because of course.

In any event, our month in Victoria has been mostly relaxing and filled with lovely views, spring flowers, mild to cool temperatures (nice, since A/C isn’t a thing here), stunning sunsets and a couple of visits from dear friends who live in Washington State. I really don’t want to leave, and would buy this condo tomorrow if I could; however, it’s virtually impossible to emigrate to Canada these days, so we sail tomorrow.