Hi. I am Laura. I’m 27. I love food. I am a sucker for reality TV shows. I married my best friend, Chris. I love shopping. I laugh at my own jokes. I cry every single time at the cinema. I have a cat. And I am a serial worrier.
My husband and I don’t necessarily fit the ‘carefree traveller’ stereotype. We are older than the quintessential early twenties traveller age group. We didn’t even own a backpack and had never stayed in a hostel. I don’t seem to have the ability to travel “light”. I mean — here is how bad it is — I carry alcohol gel with me for emergency situations. Not a carefree traveller.
I had fleeting thoughts of wanting to travel, but generally I was content with my life in Scotland and always liked my spontaneous ideas to involve lots of planning (a contradiction in terms, I know).
Then it all changed. Why? Because we came to Canada on holiday in 2012 and both fell in love with this amazing country. Cue complete mind shift. We decided what the heck — throw caution to the wind. Let’s swap a year in Scotland for a year in Canada. For us, life in Canada began right then.
The decision seemed easy at the time, but when you are a serial worrier like me you get plenty of time to worry between making the decision and landing on Canadian soil.
What happens if I don’t meet any friends?
What happens if we don’t find a job?
What happens if we don’t find somewhere to live?
What happens if I miss my family too much?
Let’s review the benefits of Canadian life:
- Amazing weather, for sunbathing and skiing! (Maybe even in the same day if you head for Calgary).
- Great scenery.
- Lots of awkward (but funny) conversations where you try to ask for a toilet, bin, flat to live in, hire car, etc. (For future reference, the translations are: washroom, garbage can, apartment/condo and rental vehicle).
- Meet lots of amazing new people.
- Opportunities. Canada is the land of opportunity at the moment with a growing economy.
The big benefit? A complete change on the way we view life.
We now live life for the second, aware of the ticking timer on our Canadian experience. On a Working Holiday Visa you need to make the most of your time to see all that this amazing country has to offer.
I have found my spontaneous side (I didn’t know I had one!) and it turns out I also had the traveling bug.
Our time so far has been jam-packed with new adventures. We have been hiking around Lake Louise in the Summer and ice skating on it in the Winter. We have wrapped up learning how to ski and stripped off to experience the heat of the natural hot springs. We have been on scenic road trips through the Rockies to jumping on a plane for a weekend in Las Vegas. We bought cowboy hats to ‘Yeeha’ at our first Rodeo and joined a club to learn how to line dance. We have been bear spotting in the Spring through Kananaskis Country to dog sledding through the snow in Winter. This is our new Canadian life — an adventure.
Even though I have the ‘worry’ gene, my Canadian experience has been amazing so far. You just need a dream, right? You don’t need to be a backpacker and be experienced at traveling the world, you just need to take a deep breathe and go for it. Who knows where your journey will end up?
Laura is a newbie blogger and newbie Canadian! The Adventures of Mooster and Mooses was set up initially as a memoir of her and her husband’s year in Canada, but is steadily growing more followers as the adventures build. Her blog reports all the shenanigans involved with Moving to Canada such as finding jobs, a new pad and making friends.