Air Transat, breakfast burrito, Burrad Street, David Morin, food trucks, Giraffe Restaurant, Granville Street, holiday safe, hs backpacker plus, immigration Canada, moving to vancouver, our canadian adventure, Pancake day, post office travelling card, Rudderless, rude health porridge, Samesun Backpackers, travel insurance, travel journal, working holiday visa
Well it’s been a long time getting here and now I finally am it still doesn’t quite seem real! It’s all quite daunting moving to a new place by yourself but it’s still early days yet so I’ll see how I feel in a couple of days time! The last few days since leaving work went far too quickly, it dawned on me that I had a lot to do and not as much time as I thought to do it in! The weekend was spent with loved ones. I was treated extremely special on Saturday with a full blown 3 course meal by Craig and he also gave me a beautiful travel journal to take with me. Sunday was a another lovely meal with close family. On Monday I popped into the post office thinking it would be easy peasy to pick up a post office travelling card and some canadain dollars but turned out they needed to order one and it would take 6 days, eek! I always have the fear that my debit card won’t work abroad so therefore wanted to get a travelling card however I left it too late. I informed my bank about the debit card so hopefully that will work and I am having my post office card sent out to me in the post so all will be well! For travel insurance, I researched for quite some time and asked two of my friends how much theirs was and it seemed pretty extortionate, almost 1k! I think this was a lot to do with cover for winter sports but as I’m not going to be doing lots of skiing I didn’t feel the need. I have been following a blog called OurCanadianAdventure and ended up contacting Nick on it, probably too many times, with questions and he was extremely helpful. He said that he and his girlfriend bought their travel insurance from Holiday Safe. After spending a good hour researching the site and looking through the different options such as multi trip and sports cover insurance I felt that the HS Backacker plus policy covered what I wanted to do and an added bonus is that it came in at a reasonable £170. On Tuesday I wanted to get as much done as possible but also see my friend Dan’s new baby. I almost didn’t go but was so glad I did as he is super gorgeous and then as it was pancake day I couldn’t not make pancakes. I was actually super grateful for it being pancake day as it took me away from all the organising for a couple of hours and just let me unwind. Wednesday was a bit calmer as I managed to have most of my things together but I stressed out in the evening as the bag I wanted to take wasn’t quite big enough therefore I opted for some long soft fabric folded bag which after having wheeled down Granville street can simply say was a big mistake! My goodness it is the loudest bag in the history of mankind and I must’ve had every person on the street stop and stare. It also is extremely difficult to carry so yeah, made a little bit of a mistake with that one but it’s not the end of the world. Wednesday evening, despite its stresses, was lovely spent with family, Craig and close friends. It all started to feel real once I had everything packed and was setting the alarm for 7.30 the next morning. Thursday 19th February was one of the most emotional days I have had in a while! My mum decided to say goodbye at the house so that Craig and I could get the train to the airport together. It was horrible, I hate saying goodbyes and know what she’s like when her children go away. I’m the third one to go now. I keep telling everyone I’ll be back in 6 months so it’s not the end of the world! The journey to Gatwick was easy enough, with poor Craig lugging my humungous bag on his back and up the stairs! We arrived in good time and I checked in with Air Transat and then we went to Giraffe for a lovely big breakfast. At 11am it was time to say goodbye and I just couldn’t stop crying. I didn’t want to be going by myself, as childish as it sounds, and it hit me so hard when I had to say goodbye. I just wanted us to be going together. Even now as I’m sitting here writing this I’m wishing we were doing this together. It’s funny when you’re at a point in your life and a plan changes and you think, it’s ok, I still want to do this, I’ll be fine to do it alone. And it’s true you can do it alone but when it comes down to it, as fine as I am doing it alone, I would still much prefer him to be here with me and for us to be sharing it together. I can’t wait until he comes out in May and we can have a fun two weeks travelling together. Anyway enough with the soppy talk, we said our goodbyes, I stupidly put mascara on in the morning so must’ve had black running all down my face, and then before I knew it I was through the security check and making my way to the departure gate. The gate had aready been called so I went straight to my gate, thinking I could pick up a bottle of water but when I got there the machine was broken. I was parched! I also didn’t get any snacks for the plane but it was ok, you get food with Air Transat so not too bad! I was still crying when I got on the plane but thankfully I was seated next to a lovely woman called Chrsitine who I ended up talking to for the majority of the flight which made me feel much more relaxed. I was also happy to see that they had Rudderless on their movie selection so I would have a film I wanted to watch on board. Turns out it was alright but not as good as I hoped, good but not great. The flight to Vancouver was 9 hours and 25 minutes. We took off at 12.20 and landed at 1.45pm (Vancouver time). After getting my luggage I had to go in to the immigration office which wasn’t too bad at all really. There was a long line of people waiting to be seen but the whole process was pretty painless. I printed off so many documents but all they asked to see was my passport and acceptance letter. I then received my working holiday visa which they stapled into my passport and she informed me that I couldn’t work in healthcare as I needed specific qualifications. After that I made my way out of the airport to get the Sky Train to City centre (again this was absolutely fine and only took 30 mins and cost $9) Once I arrived at city centre I lugged my huge bag down a couple of blocks and arrived at my hostel. I chose a 4 bed female dorm and it was quite nice to arrive and for no-one to be in the room so I could spend time messaging people and letting them know I had landed! By the time I got to the hostel and got sorted it was about 5pm so I then headed out for a wander around Downtown and to just take it all in. It’s quite chilled and there’s some tall neon buildings (not quite as impressive as New York) but they have a lot of shops similar as well as what we have in London. Already I’ve seen a few Five guys dotted about! There are food trucks scattered about which I love as food trucks usually always so delicious food so I will be trying them at some point! I headed to the shop on the corner to buy an adaptor and then headed down Burrard Street and came across lots of delicious looking asian cuisines. I settled on 2 scrimp roles from a vietnamese small food place and that filled the spot for the time being. An incredible singer was also singing outside which gave a nice vibe to the night and before I knew it it was 7pm so I decided to head back as this was 3am English time. I met a couple of nice girls in my dorm and was in bed by 9pm. Unforutnately due to hunger pangs and body clock not functioning I woke up at 3am but I suppose 6 hours isn’t too bad and I can sleep a bit more later hopefully. I still can’t believe I’m in Vancouver.