Today marks a whole month since I arrived in Canada. As much as I love it here, this was the second most stressful journey of my life (first being the time we were denied boarding in Thailand).
Let me take you back to a month ago when my journey first began. My bags were packed and waiting at the door, I had my caffeine fix and my bladder was empty. The only thing I was missing was an Uber. Request after request was denied which left me stupefied, staring at my phone in disbelief. I had given myself an hour for a twenty minute journey and I am so thankful I did. Finally after almost half an hour of waiting (no exaggeration here, you can imagine my anxiety level at this point), an angel by the name of Ahmedwal gave me a ride into town.
I hoisted my bags into the boot, got in the back and almost immediately I started crying. Having spent the last two days saying goodbye to my friends and family, having little to no sleep, and then having just had to say goodbye to my mum, I couldn’t help it. The tears were flowing and there was no stopping them. I was so embarrassed but Ahmedwal was very sympathetic and kind and kept the conversation flowing to distract me (which worked). He also managed by some miracle to get me to my bus five minutes before its departure. I doubt you are but if you’re reading this Ahmedwal, you are a saint and the best Uber driver ever!
With my nerves slightly calmed and now on the coach, I tucked into my croissant, pecan plait and coffee. Refuelled and feeling a little better, I attempted to make myself look more presentable. When I looked in the mirror I wanted to throw it across the coach. Having not slept the night before, I looked a sight. It was a miracle I had been let onto the bus!
All I seem to see on the news lately are travel delays and lack of staff at airports. When I arrived at Heathrow airport I saw that this was unfortunately very true. I really sympathize for the staff who are there because the pressure on them is way too much. If you are planning on travelling any time soon, do as I did and give yourself an extra couple of hours. If you’re waiting around a bit longer it doesn’t matter, the peace of mind is always worth it.
After checking in my bags and being told to try to get some sleep on the plane (good advice but ouch) I joined the very long que to get through security. Just another little bit of advice please, please, please take off your belt, jewellery etc before its your turn. It is so painful to watch someone faffing around when you’re ready and stuck waiting in line.
After being let through, I was desperate for a cup of tea so I made a beeline for the nearest café. As I sat waiting for my gate to open, I kept seeing something fly around the airport. I thought maybe it was the lack of sleep getting to me but to my amusement, there were two chaffinches flying around. Not only were these birds surviving in here, they seemed to also be thriving… and pooping every where.
I flew with Air Canada who I’m aware have a terrible reputation, however the food and service was fantastic. I watched a couple of films, listened to some music, read and didn’t take my previous advice of sleeping, this would come back to bite me later.
Warning: The rest of this post contains a lot of moaning.
When we landed, we were delayed on the runway for 40 minutes as there was no space for our plane. We then went through passport control, which is a room full of machines that the majority of the general public cannot seem to function. I waited 45 minutes to use a machine that took me two minutes. I’m not trying to poo-poo people that can’t use the machines, but as it goes with watching people take off belts etc at security, its not fun to watch. Lets do away with the machines and bring back the humans!
Because I am starting my working holiday visa, I was put through to immigration where I stood and queued for just over an hour and a half. By the time I got my visa the excitement had worn off, I was exhausted and crashing. Having taken so long to come out of immigration, my bag had been relocated from the conveyor belt, so I had to que for that as well which took another half an hour.
Finally, I was all set and ready to be picked up by Mitch who told me to go outside, go down stairs and outside then go back up and outside to my original place to be picked up. I’m sorry Mitch but I’m having a moan, my bag was heavy and I was tired! (Ha ha)
Eventually, I found him and seeing him for the first time in just over a month, I greeted him by shouting “YOU ARE SO ANNOYING!” Then a prompt laugh and hug. The car loaded, we drove the two hours and 15 minutes to our new home in Sarnia, Ontario.
After being in Canada for five days, I began full time work. I know for most people this sounds terrible but Canada is quite expensive so I am happy to be working so quickly. I work as a trainee dog groomer and it’s honestly one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. Mitch is working on farm and we rent a trailer on the property, which is very handy as it’s close enough that I can cycle to and from work.
Annoyingly as I have only had my full motorbike licence for one year, Ontario doesn’t recognise it, so it doesn’t transfer over. I am either going to redo my licence or wait until I have held my licence for two years. Canada is so beautiful and such beauty can only be truly appreciated behind handlebars, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to wait that long!
We bought a car yesterday so we are now going through the steps of registering, insuring and getting plates etc. I’ll be writing a post about it, as I am amazed at what a lengthy a process it is just to get the car on the road. Hopefully I’ll have this done before the weekend in time for some exploring.
The Blog of Travel is finally, after years of waiting, going to be about travelling again. Watch this space!