IN OTHER NEWS, I TURNED 30

When I was 20 I had great expectations of where I would be when I turn 30. I would own a house, I would be in a steady relationship, and I would finally have clear skin. 

Fast forward 10 years, I am single, live in a rented basement and still do not have clear skin. PLUS living through a worldwide pandemic where we can’t leave the house, I did not see that one coming.

I thought I might have been able to stop using the term winging at life by now and had a better understanding on where my life was heading.

However I try and call people using my cell and wonder why it does not dial, 4 times before I realized it was a calculator. 

When I was 20, I thought my clumsiness would gradually get better and I would just learn how to walk, however here I am at 30 and more clumsier than ever. My friends from both sides of the ocean do not even bat an eye lid when I trip on air, or loose my shoes walking up the stairs or walk into the one table in our enormous lobby at work. Someone announced recently they wanted to do air yoga as our next team building session to which someone just said, but let’s leave Laura at home and I was not even offended.

If you ask any of my friends, they will tell you that I was not looking forward to turning 30 and I was a tad dramatic. I even asked my mother if she accidentally skipped ahead on one of my birthdays and I would remain 29 for another year.

I feel that one day I was young and free and the next day I suddenly have a favorite grocery store and even worse I have a favorite reusable bag.

I had a discussion with my therapist about it as well. She said “So you think that, your life is about to come to an end as you know it, because you are turning 30?” I could see she was internally rolling her eyes at me. She went on to explain that when the Millennium happened, everyone thought the world was going to end, but they woke up on January 1st and everything was fine. She said this was the same for my 30th, I would wake up and it would all be fine.

It took someone to compare my 30th birthday to the Millennium for me to start wanting to celebrate it. 

Now I must be clear, the reason why I was struggling to turn 30 was not because I considered myself getting old, however grey hair I have might think differently, here is why:

  • I struggled to not compare myself to people I know who own houses, have successful jobs, in long term relationships etc etc. I thought I really should have achieved more in my life by now. It took a big internal fight with myself to snap out of it and realize that I took a risk at 27 and started my life again by moving countries which not many people can say they have done. It was something I chose to do, chose for a reason, and (took 2 years to realize) my greatest achievement in my life so far.  
  • That I have taken life for granted. Where has the past 30 years of my life gone, and how quick is the next 30 years going to go?

In the age of social media and FOX News it is a little too easy to wallow about turning 30, But lets face it, comparing myself to sparkly celebrities is a tad unrealistic expectation.

One of my favorite ‘self help’ books is The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k by Mark Manson. The most helpful thing I took away from the book was how you measure your happiness. Funnily enough I discovered that WE choose how we measure our happiness. For example, no amount of wealth (even though some helps) or successful job titles will make me as happy as seeing my friends/family after a long amount of time or being able to help someone that really needed you.

So stop fucking around. Get your fucks together. And here, allow me to fucking show you.

– Quote by Mark Manson

So every time I spiral about getting a year older, I think back to this article (read here) and how I need to stop comparing myself to everyone around me, and just do what makes me happy.

So here is s to turning 30, still winging at life and wishing to hear about Brexit in the news again.  You do you girl.

A Clumsy guide to Jasper

Everyone knows I love adventure, and living in The Rockies means I have unlimited access to it, but working in the Hospitality and Tourism industry means that time to explore can often be limited.

So what happens when you find out your adventure buddy has the same two days off as you and the same adventure-seeking attitude as you? Go to Jasper of course.

So what do you do in Jasper exactly? which is a 6 hour journey one way from Invermere, on a budget, wanting to explore everything, but also find time to relax, in just two days?

So here is my little guide to fellow clumsy adventurers on what we did to get the most out of Jasper in two days and how I tried to keep upright.

Clumsy Moments: No trip of mine would be complete without me falling over or driving the wrong way down a street, and naturally Jasper would be no different.

Time of year: This is important, because Jasper is on the top of everyone’s list to see, so in the height of Summer it is super busy, and in winter, not a lot of the roads are open so you cant see a lot. So we went mid May, where the highway is clear and most of the sites to see are accessible. Plus the coach loads of tourists from around the world are still yet to arrive.

Accommodation: There are not many hotels in Jasper due to it being a National Park, so finding somewhere to stay is often limited and expensive. Of course you can stay in the HI Hostel, but this is normally booked up, and this time it was just cheaper to book a hotel. We stayed at Pocahontas Cabins, which was about 45km North of Jasper Town site. We had our own cabin which had a kitchen and bathroom.

Food: I purposely booked somewhere with a kitchen, so we could cook and prepare meals for our stay without spending a fortune on over priced food. We spent $100 on groceries, which fed us breakfast/lunch/dinner for two days and had food left over to take back home. There also aren’t many places to eat once you leave Jasper Town, so pack a lunch so you don’t get hungry!

Getting There: We decided to leave after work on the Tuesday to get to Jasper, however that did mean we didn’t get there until after 1am, but I’d rather do that than travel in the morning of your arrival. Extra exploring time!

First things first: Head into Jasper and the information centre. You will need to get yourself a park pass for however long you are staying there. We also grabbed a good old-fashioned map as there is no cell service in the park. There is something quite fulfilling from finding your way using a map and not using Google Maps. Just make sure you know what way north is, so you don’t go in the wrong direction, not talking from experience of course.

What to see first: I always like to get the most out of anything, so planning is a must. If you are staying for two days like us, do everything the furthest away. On the second day, do everything that is on the way out of the park. This not only makes sure you see more but also makes your journey home much more pleasant and does not feel as long

Pyramid Lake: This is one of my favourite places in Jasper, it is so stunning and beautifully romantic that you can imagine why people choose this spot to have a wedding ceremony here. There is Pyramid Island which you have to walk across an insta-worthy bridge to get too. Most people don’t explore this tiny island, but make sure you go to the far side and sit and admire the great Pyramid Mountain, and you understand where it gets it name.

Medicine Lake: Head out towards Maligne Lake and just take in the beauty of this road. If you are the driver however make sure you do you keep your eyes on the road, often my buddy would be looking scared as I swerve into the other side of the road. Medicine Lake is a must see. It is a unique experience as it is surrounded by forest fire devastation, and at this time in the season the lake is hardly full. Don’t just view the lake from the car lot, take a walk down to the shore lake and see how far you can throw rocks.

Maligne Lake: This lake in May is still frozen, but you can see it is close to melting. In warmer weather this would be a great place for a lunch stop at the side of the lake. We just took some easy strolls around and admired the historic Maligne Lake Boathouse.

Clumsy Moment: In the wake of the lake defrosting, it leaves a lot of mud. Which of course is where I decide to walk, rather than the trail, and I still have a pair of very muddy boots.

Maligne Canyon: This is where we stopped for lunch. We took our packed lunch and wandered around the Canyon and stopped at a bench overlooking the falls. Also if you are in need of caffeine, which by this point I most definitely was, there is a cute cafe and gift shop.

Evening Fun: This is where having your own or access to a kitchen comes in handy. Cook up a storm, open a bottle of wine and relax on the porch and watch the sun set over the mountains. Mountain Bliss

Breakfast: We took off back into Jasper Town and treated ourselves to some Avocado and Eggs on Sourdough that Shoreditch hipsters would be proud of. Coffee was not half bad either, so good in fact, we took another one for the road.

Highway 93A: Rather than taking the main route of just the 93, take the A road. Until recently this road was more of a dirt track (way more fun) but now paved. It is much quieter and you can take your time enjoying the beautiful surroundings. If you are lucky enough like we were, we saw a stunning Mama Bear and her two baby cubs.

Clumsy Moment: You do need to be prepared to see wildlife here, be prepared with your camera at all times. Unlike us who were munching away on snacks as I saw a grizzly bear in the distance, and I almost threw the tub of trail mix out the window in order to get my bud to grab his phone to take a picture.

Athabasca Falls: Second to Pyramid Lake, this is my favourite place that I will visit again and again. We spent about an hour here, and that’s without doing any of the trails. Make sure you notice the battle that was had between the water and the rock and it really leaves you thinking how powerful Mother Nature really is.

Athabasca Glacier: On the way back through the Icefield’s we stopped for a little stroll around the bottom of the glacier. This glacier recedes 5 metres every year and has lost over half its volume in past 125 years. Insane!! There are a few parking lots depending how far you really want to walk.

Clumsy Moment: There are lots of rocks and creeks to cross while trailing around here, don’t go climbing on the rocks like an excited 5 year old expecting not to fall over.

Other things to do but we didn’t: Book yourself into the Glacier Skywalk. Apart from the astonishing views being the draw to this attraction, learning about the sheer engineering in building the Skywalk is enough to draw me. On your drive home stop off at the Peyto Summit and get a snap of the lake at sunset that will make all your instagram followers jealous!

Thanks again for reading! You can click on the link on the right side to follow me for Blog updates or check me out on Instagram for all my latest snaps. See you soon!

You Look Canadian Now

There I am, standing in my plaid (pronounced plad) shirt, dusty jeans and Blundstone boots, a regular outfit of mine, my friend turns to me, ‘Do you know you dress Canadian now?’

Until that point, I had not really thought about how I dressed and how different it is from when I lived back in the City. Now a shirt, jeans and boots are my staple outfit, whether it is grocery shopping, a night out or coffee date.

While my dress sense may have changed, there are still a lot of aspects to my life, where I remain ‘English’

Even in the gym…

English v Canadian English

You say tomato, I say Tomato. Unfortunately this is a true story. We have one particular gentleman who comes into our restaurant and always asks for the soup, I had to repeat Tomato several times before the grandson interjected and said tomato. Second occasion I served the guy, I checked the soup, and it was tomato. Exact same story.

I have travelled to quite a few countries where I could not speak their language, and survived, Iceland, Norway, Egypt to name a few, however I have had more Lost in Translation moments in Canada than anywhere else.  

I have written emails at work where I was told that my email was far too ‘British’ and that I need to adjust my writing style as the client will not understand. There’s Google Translate so I dont’t see the issue!

There are some terms however I have become accustomed to, just so every time I speak I am not met with blank stares. For example, I now say (while cringing inside):

  • Sweater instead of Jumper
  • Wallet instead of Purse
  • Cell instead of Phone
  • Backpack instead of Rucksack
  • Trash instead of Rubbish
  • Parking Lot instead of Car Park
  • Trunk instead of Boot

My favorite thing that people say to me is ‘well you don’t sound English?’ Yes, sorry I don’t sound like I have stepped out of a scene from Downton Abbey, ‘I from Essex mate’, for you that don’t know, an Essex accent as a unique twang to it.

Telling the time here is also very different. When I say I will meet you at half 7, they think I am saying half 6, as in half way to 7.  There have been several times where I have been late to something.

Double Fisting. When I was first told I was double fisting, I spat out my drink. What it actually means is you are holding a drink in each hand. Who knew eh?

Talking of which we say eh practically after every sentence, along with ‘for sure’.

“Can I get another coke?” “For sure you can”

Luckily I am taking my English test soon so I am one step closer to becoming Canadian. Ironic thing is the test is in Cambridge English.

Winter

I used to think I had quite a high threshold to being cold. Turns out I am a bit of a wuss.

In the height of Winter, I would have several inches of snow on my car every morning. It takes a long time getting all that snow off your car, then you have to sit and wait another 10 minutes for the inside of my windscreen to defrost. Everytime I opened my car door, the snow would fall into my seat, so I would have a frozen bum driving to work. By the end of winter I mastered how not to do this.

My laundry room used to be outside. Only in Canada where I would have to wrap up like I am like I am hiking to the North Pole, just to walk 2 seconds to the laundry room.

I did not enjoy when my hair would freeze, (yes this actually happens) mainly because I thought I suddenly had turned grey and panicked.

Stop Signs

I look at stop signs, and often see these as an optional instruction rather than the law. Half way across a junction, I often remember that I should have stopped 100 yards before, so I think stopping in the middle of the junction is a good idea. I assure you it isn’t.

What we call a T Junction is called a 3 way stop here. 3 cars will stop and all look at each other, because they are too polite to just go and I am screaming in the car behind, JUST MOVE!!!

Don’t get me started on 4 way stops, lets just say this would have been a lot easier if you put a roundabout there instead.

Tim Horton’s Lingo

Asking for a Double Double (Coffee with 2 cream and 2 sugar, a staple drink here in Canada) in the Tim Horton’s drive thru. My friend wanted a coffee with 2 cream and 3 sugars, so I asked for a double double with an extra sugar. Simple right? Oooooohhhh no. ‘Well that’s not a double double mam; it’s a coffee with 2 cream and 3 sugars!’

Another time I asked for 12 mixed doughnuts, the guy did not understand, I kept explaining to which he responded, oh you mean a dozen? No mate, I mean 12 doughnuts.

I am now not allowed to speak to the server at the drive thru when I am in the car with other people.

Sassy v Sarcastic

Being British, you are born with a very dry sense of humor no one else in the words seems to get. Unfortunately this got me in a lot of trouble when I first moved here, and well, still does. Back home I am sarcastic, here, the sarcastic term is rarely used and you are called sassy, which I find far more glamorous.

I will say things so convincingly that I then have to reassure the person that I did not mean it, and that I am actually a nice person. Convincing someone I am nice is actually quite hard to do when I take the piss out of them (make fun) all the time.

If I ask a colleague for a favour, they will do it, if I promise to be nice for a day. To which other colleagues respond ‘Never gonna happen’

They don’t realize the meaner I am the more comfortable I am with you, if I am being nice, that’s when you should be worried.

How My 1 Year in Canada was Kick Arse

We all know it’s easier to sit on the sofa with Netflix than get up and go to the gym and get healthy. It’s no different when you are struggling to come up with what your achievements are, as it’s easy to admit failure rather than admit your triumphs.

I recently celebrated my one-year mark of living in Canada. It was a day I was excited to celebrate, but as it got closer I dreaded it. So I let it pass without so much of raising a glass to myself.

All I could do was reflect on my mental and emotional struggles, rather than tell myself ‘Girl you upheaved your life to the other side of the world and still alive to tell the tale’. I was constantly thinking, ‘What if?’ What if I stayed, would I be happy?

The thing about that ‘what if’ feeling when you think about your past is there is just no bloody point. We can’t change what has happened, as much as we want to.

So rather than focusing on what could have been, I decided to list some of my Kick Arse (I’m still not saying ass) moments of 2018.

Getting on a Plane

This was probably the toughest of all 2018 moments. It was going to be way easier for the time being for me to stay and carry on with my life as it was. Following your dreams are not always easy, but I still chose to take on the world, as I saw that leaving the country I grew up in and moving halfway across the world, was the only way I was going to better myself.

Staying Put

Within a day of living in my now lovely home tome of Invermere, I was looking up at flights back to the UK. I did not unpack my bags for 3 days as I was dead set on not staying where I was. Over the next month or so all I did was sleep, work and watch Netflix, the only time I would laugh would be at the comedy shows I forced myself to watch. Then my amazing friend Hayley, one day dragged me to the car rental, where we hired a car and drove to Calgary for a mini getaway. This was probably the best kick up the arse I received all year. Driving through Banff National Park with the frosty trees and snow-capped mountains. I fell in love. Without Hayley, would I have stayed? It doesn’t matter, as I am here now.

Working My Up

In a nutshell, I start out as a server, I move into the assistant manager position, and now I am a sales coordinator. All in the same hotel, same year. This isn’t me patting myself on the back; this is me just noticing the changes I made in myself over the year. Once realising that Invermere is now home to me, and in order for me to stay past my work visa, I would have to push myself career wise. So that’s what I did.

Being ok that everyone leaves

It can be very hard making friends outside of your work when you are somewhere knew, let alone a new country. I have been here a year and only just started meeting people that are not connected to my job. It is great meeting other travellers, as you can become friends almost overnight as you can relate more to each other. It sucks nonetheless as they do move on and leave to carry on seeing the world. Which is amazing, but for a while took its toll on me as I felt I was never going to have that companionship like I do with my friends back home. However I soon realised, as I was growing with my confidence, that this was just the way it was, and rather than backing away and stop making new friends, I would embrace the time I did have them. I had a grand time with some incredible people, and even though they have left, I know have several continents I can now visit!

Letting myself be myself

People used to tell me that when you travel ‘you find yourself’. Pffttt, ‘Bitch I know myself’. I did know myself yes, but maybe not as well as I thought. After years of wanting my nose pierced, but not being able to due to the ‘appearance’ I had to portray in the power suit world, one of the first things I did was get it done and it felt amazing just being able to do something I couldn’t before. I also wear the brightest dresses to work, and a good red dress is my trademark, so Ive been told! I have also learnt to become patient, calm, and try really hard not to stress out. (I know my new Canadian friends and colleagues will probably beg to differ, but they did not know the old me). I would get stressed and angry at someone if they walked the wrong side of the escalator on the tube, or incredibly annoyed if I had missed my train as the doors were closing, even though there was another one in 3 minutes. It’s not hard to be patient in a mountain town of 4000 people however. I know this sounds silly, but not getting wound up by standing in a queue for 20 minutes because the server forgot your coffee order, is a tiny victory.

As I was struggling with reflecting back on my year, a wise friend of mine told me to list an achievement for each month of 2018. I scoffed in his face naturally, but actually when I forced myself to think about it, it was quite easy to come up with something. So I challenge you to do the same, an achievement for every month, and I promise you it will be easier than you first think.

East to West Road Trip – Part Two

Welcome back guys! We left last with Nicola and I leaving Vancouver and travelling to Victoria. Read Here if you haven’t already.

Days 5-7 Victoria

It was a pretty complication free drive, apart from the never ending rain, and making a last minute dash to catch the ferry to the Island, standard Laura & Nicola lastminute.com.

At this point we have had 3 days of constant rain. Rain that just. Did. Not. Stop. As many people like to remind me ‘oh you should be used to it as you are from the UK’. Firstly, this was the reason why I left the UK and secondly, no, it does not rain as consistently as it does over here on the West Coast, and Victoria was no different on the day we arrived.

So I have not stayed in many hotels in my time in Canada, I have either sofa surfed or hosteled by way around. What completely took me (and Nicola) by surprise was upon check in, we not only pay for the whole stay up front, we then have to pay a security deposit of $300. By credit card of course.

I hand my credit card over; already knowing full well it’s going to be declined. (New to the country, very, very low allowance). Nicola is looking at me sheepishly like I should know how to deal with the situation. I don’t.

Anyway long story short, after several more dances around with my card, and a hike in the rain to the bank, we were finally allowed to check in. To which we dumped our bags down and marched back out to the liquor store to get some well-deserved beer.

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Very Wet. This is also the face she gives me almost constantly

Clumsy Gold:

While staring aimlessly at the beer fridge trying to find something my fussy mate would actually drink, I step back and almost take out a very expensive wine display. I had to grab the bottles to stop them falling. I then did this again 2 minutes later, I was then told to go and wait by the cashier, before I bring the store to oblivion. 

Walking back to the hotel with beer in hand, one of the cans drops out of my 6 pack, and crashes to the floor and bursts in the middle, spraying beer everywhere and rolling down the street. When I finally grab hold of it, part of me is thinking ‘shall I drink this?’ Thinking that’s a tad inappropriate, I regrettably throw it in the bin. 

The next day we go and do touristy things, and NO RAIN!!!

Firstly make our way to The Empress. Which is really just a big posh hotel, which does fancy afternoon tea we cannot afford, but does not stop us going inside and taking a look and looking completely out of place.

We then go to The Miniature Museum. Which was absolutely bloody amazing, Nicola and I loved it. We were told most people usually spend around 45 minutes in the museum. 2 hours later, we walked out. Best 16 bucks I have ever spent. (I am not sure what this says about the pair of us)

No trip would be complete without Nicola getting drunk and stupid. We went to the delightful Phillips Brewery, made our way through some tasty flights, spilt a few pints, (guess who that was) and well I will leave the rest up to your imagination.

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Mile Zero

What’s Mile Zero? It is the end of the famous Transcanada Highway, which starts in Nova Scotia and goes all the way across Canada, finishing in Victoria, BC. It is the longest national highway in the world!

Most people do really awesome things, like run the whole way, or cycle the whole highway. We just drove from one side of BC to the other!! But to give you an idea, you can fit all of UK & Ireland into BC and still have room!

Don’t ask why it is called Mile Zero when everything is in kilometres, and don’t get me started on pints that are clearly not the size of a UK pint.

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Day 7-10 Seattle

After recovering from a pretty hefty hangover, we make our way on to Seattle. Don’t worry I have my passport; Nicola took good care of it after I left it at home the first time.

So we are sitting in the queue to cross the border, all very patriotic with the big monuments, and Google shouting at you ‘Welcome to the United States’ as we cross the imaginary border. Now as we get closer to the Border Agent, we are getting more and more nervous. Both thinking, should we have filled in some more forms, our passport is enough right? (Yes we both had done our ESTA).

We are then at the Border Agent and I hand over our passports. She looks at me, ‘Where are you from?’ Me: ‘Invermere’ I suppose it would have been more believable if I hadn’t just handed over my GB passport.

Questions continue, both of us just forgetting everything about ourselves, ‘What’s your date of birth?’ ‘Errrrrr….’ ‘What’s your name?’ ‘Errmmmmmm’

Next thing we know, there is a big yellow form slapped on my windscreen and we are told to go and park up, as we have to have a secondary inspection. Well this is it; we are going to be barred from the country.

Our finger prints were scanned, more interrogating questions, and then paying $16 USD for the pleasure.

So what touristy stuff did we get up to?

The first Starbucks. Not to burst your bubble, but this isn’t actually the first Starbucks, because the original one moved to the building it is in now, thus just being the longest running Starbucks. We went to take a peek, stood in the queue (outside) to get a coffee then realised we both don’t actually like Starbucks coffee, so we left.img_5403.jpg

The Underground City. This was actually pretty fascinating. Seattle was originally built on lower beach land, and due to a fire that burnt down half the city; they decided to build a few storeys up. Which left a whole underground world that you can go and tour around. Just the kinda nerd stuff we are both into.

The Gum Wall. A wall full of gum. I don’t need to go in more detail.

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Impressed by the gum much?

The Space Needle. A revolving floor. A clumsy persons worst nightmare. No matter what city I am in, I love to watch the city life go by from a great height. (London is still by far the best). We sat down at the window and I decided to do a time lapse as we revolved round. I put my phone on the ledge to capture us going round, then just watched my phone stay there, while we carried on revolving round. It took me longer than it should have done that it’s just the floor moving and not the window ledges.

Crossing the border back into Canada

I forgot my work permit. I was lucky to be allowed back in. I keep my work permit pretty much under lock and key, and if you have read this post, you will understand why.

Make you check out my other clumsy and travel stories on the links below.

East to West Road Trip – Part One

Fortunate enough for me, shortly after Natalie was here, I was blessed with the presence of my childhood pal, Nicola.

Some factoids about the pair of us:

  • We have known each other since we were 6 years old (now 28 & 29) where we were plonked in the same class.

Our friendship is at that stage where we are only nice to each other when needed. For example on her arrival at the airport, she greeted me with the middle finger. I expected nothing less.

  • Getting older meant we moved further away from each other, bought houses, moved to cities, chased careers, and time to see each other was down to once or twice a year.
  • What would happen when we did meet up? Get drunk. Obviously. I would list the funny stories but it would need a whole separate post!
  • Random fact: She calls me Karl (Pilkington) and I call her Ricky (Gervais). If you don’t know who these two guys are, I suggest you You Tube them immediately.

Arrival:

After picking up a middle finger wheedling Nicola from the airport, we make our way back to Invermere. She of course wastes no time in noting how dusty my car was (In Canada it was considered sparkling but what do I know!).

Nicola’s welcome into Invermere was I doing some emergency swerving while driving to avoid the deer that just decided to jump in front of the car. Welcome to Canada mate.

Halloween:

I couldn’t write this post without including a note about us dressing up for Halloween. Nicola loves fancy dress, me not so much but we managed to coordinate a costume. Nicola – a witch (fetching) and me, her black cat. I even had a tail.

It sure was double double toil and trouble that night!

The Trip:

After a day of recovering from the shenanigans of the night before, we set off on our 10-day road trip. We would be driving across British Columbia, to Vancouver, then onto Victoria and then crossing the border to Seattle.

Day one: Invermere, Lake Louise, Emerald Lake, Revelstoke.

Very proud of ourselves for getting up and organised we were out of Invermere by 8.30am. First stop was Lake Louise, (after stopping at a couple of view points through the park). (Note, so much better getting there before 12 to avoid the coach load of tourists in your instagram photos).

No matter how many times I visit here, each time I come the Lake always looks different and I soak in a different experience each time. It was even more amazing watching Nicola taking it all in for the first time! Actually that’s a lie, it was funny as hell watching her deal with the cold in her 101 layers

We are then back on the highway heading towards Golden.

Then it suddenly hits me…I left my passport at home.

Nicola just looks at me, “I am not even surprised”. Not the first time I have done something like this.

Now considering we are planning on crossing the border, it really did throw a spanner in the works. We had no choice, but to go back home and get it.

I was not allowed to look after my passport from that point. Probably for the best.

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Day Two: Revelstoke to Vancouver via Kamloops

I am probably the worst person to have driving, as I get very easily distracted, ooooo shiny thing. ‘Keep eyes on the road Laura! often was shouted by Nicola.

My favourite thing along the journey was watching the trains go through the mountains. We actually stopped to watch trains go past each other, through tunnels that were dug out into the mountains. I was mesmerised.

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So mesmerised in fact, I made Nicola drive for the next stretch of the journey so I could stare gormlessly out the window at the trains.

Driving with Nicola goes something like this:

Nic: Laura what does this road sign mean?
Me: I don’t know.
Nic: What do those red flashing lights mean?
Me: I don’t know, but maybe we should slow down.
Nic: Did you do any driving test when you started driving in Canada?
Me: No….
Nic: Don’t you think you should?
Me: Pffttt….I will just Google it

Day 3-4 Vancouver

It rained, as you can see below.

Stay tuned for Part Two where we make our way to Victoria, and attempt to make it across the border…

The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go

The question that people ask me most is, what made you leave London and come to the mountains? (Actually, the most asked question is what part of Australia are you from because the English and Australian accents sound identical apparently).

What made me move to the middle of nowhere, to a country that I have never been before?

The quote, ‘The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go’ you know, which is on everything in every gift shop? I never fully understood it, all I could gather was that it must mean something to someone.

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This time last year, I started planning my move to Canada, but then it was just an idea. Not even a set a date to leave, as if there was something that was holding me back. Something was holding me back from shaking my doubts into a concrete plan.

At this point, I had been living and working in London for around 4.5 years. Even though it was the best thing I could have done for my 22-year-old self, by 27, the glory and glimmer started to chip away, right at my soul, slowly with washing away my self-esteem.

Amidst this chaos and confusion, I ended up being signed off work for a short while.

Little did I know, that this is when I will be making my next life-changing decision. Next thing I recall  I booked my flights.

I had signed up for a Travel Company* that places people with working holiday visas into jobs. Jobs that won’t chew away my sanity and swallow my soul. Just as, I was currently going through in my London job.

I started to learn more about The Canadian Rockies, and the places I could potentially live & work.

The more I researched, the more my horizon expanded, I was being drawn to the life, the complete opposite of what I currently had.

There are many reasons why I ended up here, my crumbling career, my degrading health, my shattering relationship, it all had a part in how I am sitting here today.

I think fate is the biggest one, why all of this had to go wrong in that order for me to end up here.

If these things didn’t happen, would I have ended up in Toronto, Vancouver, and The Middle of Nowhere? Would I still be with my boyfriend? Would I have even moved to Canada?

I often wonder, how the life would have turned out for me. But then I shut the voices in my head…

The Mountains are Calling, and I Must Go!

*anyone thinking of starting a new adventure, but do not know where to start, The Global Work and Travel Company is what got me out here. They help you with job finding, trip planning, as much or as little help as you need. They help you put your dreams into a reality, 

I went Skating and Snowshoeing…

We have established in my previous posts that I am somewhat graceless. So as you will gather from the title of this post, my attempts to Snowshoe and Skate were an absolute disaster.

Snowshoeing

We know I didn’t get very far without snowshoes in Vancouver on Grouse Mountain. So when I went snow trailing up Panorama Mountain, I sensibly hired some snow shoes.

Snowshoes for those people back home that do not know…look a little bit like this:

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This time, I was lucky to not be on my own. (means perfect insta pictures) Gemma was charmed with my presence at this point did not know how vertically challenged I really was. Mawahahahahaha.

So Gemma and I set off with our Snowshoes and walked to the beginning of the trail. Or what we thought was the beginning of the trail.

What was lying ahead of us was a wall of snow. When I say wall of snow, I mean as soon as you step into it it goes up to your thighs. I am no expert or anything, but I was pretty sure this was not the way to go. But Gemma and the lady in rental place was convinced this is the way. So of course we carry on.

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Me standing (not kneeling) in the snow after fishing out my snow shoe…

Continue reading “I went Skating and Snowshoeing…”

When I Lost my Visa and Other Important Things

Me trying to not loose stuff is like me not walking into something for a whole 30 minutes.

I am a very organised person. I run events with military precision, I have been known to do spreadsheet itineraries for holidays, and I have never ever missed a deadline.

However when it comes to keeping hold of my things, important things, I am absolutely incompetent.

I have lost countless oyster cards with A LOT of money on, I have had about 4 drivers licenses in the past two years, and do not get me started on the amount of bank cards I have had replaced.

You would think that while I was travelling around Canada earlier this year I would find a way to keep my important things safe.

Continue reading “When I Lost my Visa and Other Important Things”

Reaching Canada – What the F*ck have I done?!

As most of you know I have packed my bags and hopped over the pond to Canada to spend a year on a Working Holiday Visa.

After a very comfortable flight, quick process through customs, and a dodgy photo from the customs robot,  I was allowed to sit in the queue at the immigration office, hoping my holiday visa was going to be granted.

So its my turn, I shakily hand over my papers, but he just wants my passport to ‘check my file’. He is taking what seems like a life time clicking the mouse every two seconds on the computer. What is he doing? Has the UK sent a warning out about me?

I mean, would you let me in, based on this photo?

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Continue reading “Reaching Canada – What the F*ck have I done?!”