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

STUDENT VISA APPROVED FOR VANCOUVER!

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Sitting at my desk here in Norwich, England, I often feel like a cog in what is a huge machine, sometimes small and churning around.

I think about the day that Willow and I will say good bye to my parents and walk through those gates at the airport to fly to Canada, soar over the mountains and hit that beautiful skyline I’ve only ever seen in the pictures.

On Thursday 25th May 2017 at 4pm, all of our hard work paid off and my study visa was approved.

What feelings I hear you say? Well, that’s a question! A bundle of excitement, nerves, sadness (as I will miss friends and family), happiness, all rolled into one.

All my colleagues hugged me and we celebrated! I have been lucky enough from the start of this journey to have a supportive workplace who have known I wanted to leave the UK from the start.

I packed my bag at the end of the day and headed back to my parents. I cried with relief as I never thought this day would come. I put all the windows down and felt the sun on my face. I put the radio on; it was coincidentally playing Coldplay – Adventure of a Life Time (song at the bottom of this post).

When I got home, Willow was sitting in the garden cuddling our family dog, Ben. I knelt down beside him and we hugged, I asked how his day was and I said;

‘Guess What’

‘What?’ he said.

‘It got approved’

‘Seriously – we are going!’

My Mum and Step Dad have not liked the thought of all of this at first, and were devastated that I wanted to move away. My Mum had me young and my Step Dad has been my true Father figure, however they let us live with them to save and supported us. My Mum cried at the thought of us leaving when it was approved, but I hope she understands its truly what I want.

The last two years of saving and planning paid off, and we enjoyed a glass of wine in the garden to celebrate.

Landing in Vancouver, July 2017

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To think that Willow and I have been saving for the last two years for this dream – which is now becoming a reality – is rather a massive achievement, especially when I’m a gal who has champagne taste and beer money. OH jeez, how have I saved all this?!

What are we saving for I hear you say? Well, that’s what this site is about. On July 24th 2017, (or there about’s depending what flights are cheapest) my wonderful boyfriend, Willow and I, will be embarking on an adventure of a lifetime. We’ll be jetting off to live in Vancouver, British Columbia. I’ll be a Brit girl, in BC. :).  We’re at the final stage of getting my two year study visa where we’re waiting for the last bit of our savings to go into our accounts until we have enough to send to CIC for evidence. I’ll be hoping to get a work permit after finishing my studies.

This blog will feature what I’d like to do when we arrive in Vancouver. The sites, the food, the SCENERY! Baring in mind I only learnt what a carpool lane was the other day, questions arise in my mind every day like:

Where will we live? Who will I be friends with? Where will we shop? Is setting up bills the same as the UK? Where will I get a part time job? Will people like me? What happens if my visa application fails? How do Canadians watch TV (silly I know), what is cable and how do I get it? What are phone contracts like out there?

But whatever! I can’t wait and I think I’m pretty level headed and independent that I can’t wait to learn all these things!

I’ve dreamed of Canada all my life, and with Willow who has already spent a year in Vancouver before we laid eyes on one another, it seemed to be..well…fate.

Despite already being a graduate in Arts Management from a London university, I’m keen to get stuck in and studying again, learn a proper skill. I have a desk job at the moment and trust me, I can’t do that forever.

The last two years has seen us living at my parents house saving every single penny we earn and my GOD are my roots bad *cries*. Our social lives have plummeted but quite frankly, each others company alongside Dexter (watched twice), Orange is the New Black,  House of Cards and many other TV series have kept us going as well as long walks through the fields around where we reside.

I’m not sure who’ll read this, but I know I will in about 10 years and probably have a right laugh!