Whats been happening along the way.

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Since being here I know that all my lovely friends back home are probably wondering why the heck I haven’t posted and what I’ve been up to.

Its’ kind of funny, the fact that before you move abroad one does all this research, building a picture of a place in their mind, a place of mountains, beaches, beautiful scenery merging with a majestic city landscape.  Ahhh, sounds like bliss.

The fact is is that all these things are currently on my door step and I’m so lucky to have it. But life isn’t all pretty pictures and rainbows – we all know this. That being said, I’ve seen some amazing things, achieved so much and overall becoming more aware of life, people and my surroundings.

The 21st July marked 2 years of James and I being in Canada – isn’t that crazy? If you’re reading this and were one of the people I was banging on about this adventure to before moving here, your whole life is probably flashing before your eyes thinking where the hells the last 2 yonks gone?! Well, me too, my friend..me too.

I have now completed my design program. It was bloody hard. Harder than my degree. I was working at the weekends in a restaurant as well as a week night so that made it harder. Long arse days at college then working at weekend + homework + life = not much exploring and downtime. I learnt so much and made a couple of really lovely friends on the course. I’m grateful I have them to lean on. You need those physical people when family isn’t on your doorstep anymore.

2018

Last Summer I lost my best friend, one I had put my heart and soul into, the one that I lived for. She made everything else invisible and only she mattered. I will never be able to replace the love and bond we developed or recover from the sheer loss. I’d do anything to hold her again. I love you, Lucie. I watched this video the other day that my friend Elise had posted online and it was about the fact that you carry on, you smile, you look normal but you don’t ‘move on’.

My parents came at the perfect time after what had happened during my first year in Vancouver. I was treated to a fantastic road trip with them, truly a holiday of a life time with their warming company and an opportunity to reflect. As well as a great holiday, they also gifted me with a puppy, we called him Sunny. He really is a wonderful boy who adds an extra light to every day life!

Summer 2018 – moving house

We moved house last Summer from Main St. to Kitsilano for a fresh start. It was a great move and we were really lucky to get the place we did. I felt desperate to leave our old place so began researching places to live nearer the beach. I found our place online, went to see it and  said to the landlord ‘Please let us live here’ – so she did. I couldn’t believe our luck because its SO HARD to find a pet friendly place in Vancouver. Its hard to find a decent place in general.

My friends Helen and Josie came to visit, it was so strange seeing those Norwich folk in Vancouver, we ate lots of good food, relaxed, explored and went whale watching. Whale watching was one of the best things I’ve done since being here and I hope to go again one day.

I’m now working in design and communication for a Non Profit assistance dog charity here in Vancouver. I’m lucky I get to be around my favourite animals and work in design. I want to learn more and grow here and even though I’m still learning and make many mistakes (trying not to!) I hope I can develop into the person I want to be.

Maybe I’m finding my path, and even though there will be many avenues to take down the road, I think I’ll be okay.

Help me plan our first week in Vancouver!

Firstly, thank you to all my new followers and viewers. I’m so grateful! But maybe now you can help me?

I want to know if you have a favourite hang out in Vancouver or anywhere in BC? Or, is there a place you’d like to visit? Then please let me know and send me there! 

With only 5 days to go until we leave…(5 FRICKIN DAYS OMG) it feels like the days are literally flying by. I keep thinking of our first real ‘exploring month’. This fun won’t start straight away as we’ve got some serious life admin tasks for the first few days, like getting new phones, sin numbers, bank accounts opened etc.

Yes I said it a fun month, as I won’t start uni until the start of September and Willow won’t start work either until then. So, all we can do is get set up in our new pad and explore! We have some great friends in Vancouver already who have been kind enough to put us up for a few days whilst we wait for our apartment to become available. They’re English, so I’m going to be stuffing some classic English delicacies in my suitcase like tea bags and skips.

I can’t wait to embrace our new home city; taking in the surrounding area especially Main Street which is the key location where we’ll be picking up all of our groceries, and hanging out if we fancy a nice evening wonder for a drink or some fresh air.

I think I’ll be blown away, excited, confused maybe, just mentally trying to take it all in will be rather exhausting but in a super good way.

I’ve began to run up a list of places where I think Willow and I should go and visit first. Instead of me discussing them all now, I’ll post my reviews, hints and tips of where my favourite places are for you to explore! But first, wheres your favourite place? Whether its taking in the mind blowing scenery, grabbing a bite to eat and a cheeky cocktail or having a dip in the ocean – I’m keen to get stuck in and give it a go no matter how random.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

 

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A photo of us celebrating with friends a couple of weeks back. 

 

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How To Find the Cheapest Flights

 

It’s hard having Champagne taste and beer money.

Oneself cannot afford Virgin Airways first class beds – I was lucky enough to experience this once, but it’ll be a long time until I get this treatment again! I really wanted to discuss how we found our flights and to offer some tips and tricks and most importantly, share our mistakes so you don’t repeat them.

Who To Fly With And How To Find The Right Airline For You

I swear by Sky Scanner to find cheap flights – http://www.skyscanner.net

This useful site compares prices with all airlines for your desired day of travel to your perfect destination. You can also opt in to be a bit flexible on the dates to help you find the cheapest seats.

If you’re looking for a great budget deal, in our opinion, it doesn’t really matter what airline you go with. For Canada specifically, the cheapest flights we always saw were with Air Canada and WestJet. We ended up going with WestJet in the end and booking it directly through their own website. It’s always worth looking directly on the actual airline sites as we did; sometimes you’ll find flights a bit cheaper if you’re lucky.

Another reason why they’re cheaper is because the entertainment may be stretched with no in flight screens on long hauls…so a Kindle and sharing a lap top for a film sesh will be fun..! Never mind, that money will go elsewhere when we land.

Clean Your Cookies

Cookies hold data about what you’ve been looking at online, so cleaning your cookies out on your computer can truly help you find cheaper tickets. Plane companies are very good at knowing what prices you’ve been browsing and can change the prices so quickly, you’ll miss that best deal in a flash. Clean up those cookies and it may reset the price of your flights to avoid that disappointing price bump up (I feel your pain).

When To Book – don’t make the same mistakes we did!

In this experience, we made a mistake but one which couldn’t really be avoided. I’d highly recommend booking your flights as soon as you begin your plans. I seriously wish we had done so at LEAST 3 months ago, however its hard when you’re waiting for a visa to come through like we were. It’s natural you want to be certain your adventure is actually happening before spending all that money!

Back in March this year, the cheapest tickets were only £300 for our initial lift off date of 24th July. That was one way per person – not bad in my opinion for a 10 hour flight! This was with WestJet again, however when we looked two weeks ago, the price was £750…each..one way. This is where we learnt to be flexible and changed our day to leaving on the 19th July. We saved ourselves roughly £800 by doing this so that’s our bed and sofa paid for on the other end, give or take.

36 Days To Go.

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Helen’s Hen Do to…PARIS! My Last Europe Trip.

Moving to Vancouver has really forced Willow and I to squirrel away the cash. I’ve hardly spent a bean on myself, but there was one certain trip I could not afford to miss…

Last year my wonderful friend Helen Anderson requested me to be one of her Bridesmaids for her upcoming wedding. And how could I ever refuse? I am undeniably excited to see her get wed to her love, Matthew.

I realised a Hen Do would be on the cards and this was something I could never miss, especially for my real life Angel, Helen. This was my last chance for quite a long time to go away with Helen and see her enjoy herself. This was her time and I wanted to be a huge part of it.

Our first day we dropped off our bags at the hotel, hopped on the metro and visited the Arch De Triomphe. The view was fantastic from the top and it was great to learn about the history of this iconic piece of architecture. We headed to Laduree, a world famous iconic Macaroon and Cake store in the centre of Paris. I treated myself to a beautiful pastry smothered in a fluffy rose water cream with fresh raspberries, topped off with a delicate rose petal.

After building up an appetite (it doesn’t take much for me), we headed over to a great burger place which was a short walk away from our hotel called Le Ruisseau. Quick, easy, but so fantastic and fun! My burger – steak tartare burger (obvs)- was probably the best burger I’d had in forever; I had no problem with washing down with my favourite cocktail, an Aperol Spritz. I’d highly recommend Le Ruisseau.

After over indulging on juicy burgers we headed to a roof top bar to admire and swoon over the Parisian skyline. The Eiffel Tower glowed beautifully, helping us to get excited for Disney Land the next morning.

Disney Land – 15.5 hours of the place. Helen, the gang and I couldn’t resist to skip around like crazy gals for that whole time apart from a few wee breaks! It doesn’t take much for Helen to look like a real life princess as she does most days. However, on our Disney day, I believe that with her gorgeous purple hair, pastel coloured flowing skirt and glittery, beautiful scale like top everyone thought Disney was promoting a new upcoming Princess!

Saturday night as soon as my head hit that pillow, I was a out like a light. I’d managed to pack in as many zzz’s as I could to make sure I was bright and breezy for the next day.

On Sunday, we took a leisurely stroll, past the Moulin Rouge, where we found a road full of bustling cafes. Obviously, I had to have a club sandwich and a pint – not too authentic but I thought hey, why the hell not?

After no time at all, and after a picnic on the lawns outside the Eiffel Tower it was time to head back home to England.

It was a total pleasure to spend this time with my dear friend. To see her enjoy herself and to make some awesome memories which we’ll never forget. Here’s to a trip for Helen to VANCOUVER!!!

 

 

Where to live in Vancouver..? Help Us!

I NEED YOUR HELP VANCOUVERITES! SHOW YOURSELVES!

There’s only so much digging through Craig’s List a Brit gal who’s never been to Vancouver can do!

My boyfriend Willow as mentioned in my first post, was lucky enough to go to Vancouver on a working holiday visa between 2013 – 2014. But me, no – I’m just winging it (with him by my side of course)!

Please, if you find this comment and recommend some places for us, I’d be so grateful! We love socialising, cool bars, pubs, art and design, relaxing.

Our top budget, with some bills is around $1,600. Trust me, we want location over anything and will be fine with a lovely basement suite. My college is in Oakridge and we’re keen to be in or as close to Kitsilano as possible.

We’ve found a few lovely apartments that fit our budget, but really…what’s it like trying to rent in Vancouver?

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Map of Vancouver