So, I’m completely losing track of time here in Canada. I think I’ve been here for like 11 weeks now! Phwoaaar. I really need to post these more regularly because life is so hectic and there’s so much to share! The past few weeks for me have been all about finding a routine and settling into life in the city, as well as finally conquering the skill of being comfortable doing things on my own. The frenzy of arriving in a new country and setting up life here is over and now it’s clear that I just need to find my mojo and my community, and really throw myself into it.
Here are the notable experiences from the 11 weeks since I last posted (there is a lot to go through but I’ll try and be brief!):
I’ve been doing a wee bit of snowboarding recently… a while ago I hitched a ride with Sasja & her friend up Cypress mountain to go night riding… it was so much fun, and being the end of the season, there weren’t any queues at the chairlift! Ideal. On top of that, I finally connected my turns and could ride for more than 20 meters without bailing. Progress. My second night boarding experience was up Seymour mountain where they have $10 ladies night (score!). There was limited visibility, but my confidence improved greatly (although I did get a bit overconfident at one stage and as a result performed the biggest face plant ever seen)… in true last-minute-Laura fashion, I missed the last shuttle down the mountain, so managed to land a ride with some kind strangers back home. A rather interesting end to a fun night.
On top of this, I just recently went up to Whistler to work on my snowboarding (my goal was to do a whole run without falling over… which I didn’t quite manage. But I got close, so I’m still pretty chuffed with myself). Although at first I was a little hesitant to go by myself, it was hands-down my most favourite weekend so far. I caught a rideshare up on Friday morning (10/10 would recommend rideshare) and went hiking and exploring around the village. I also went to the Whistler church’s Good Friday service and ended up hanging out with a group of people I met there, so that was awesome! Saturday was completely dedicated to snowboarding – I went up Whistler mountain and went down as many green runs as I could to regain confidence (as it had been about 3 weeks since I’d been boarding last). Then I met up with a couple of gals and they took me over to Blackcomb to go down some blue runs! This was where I experienced a cat track for the first time… and I’m just gonna say right now that if you’re a beginner snowboarder, cat tracks are absolutely NOT a good time (my body was so sore afterwards that I could barely move haha). In saying this, it was totally worth it. My confidence was given a huge boost in knowing that I could handle blue tracks without going flying over the edge and snowballing down the side of the mountain. Yeeeeya.
On Sunday I went to church, checked into my AirBnB, had a wee nap and then went up the mountain for a few hours again. Monday was the best day by far… I met up with my friend Jane (we worked together at Kathmandu in Auckland) and her mates and they took me to the very top of Whistler. There, I experienced fresh pow for the first time! It felt like boarding on a cloud (I still can’t get over how cool it felt haha)! Despite the double-black-diamond visibility at the top (don’t worry, my mates were wearing bright jackets so it was all good 😉 ) it was my favourite run by far. Jane and I then boarded all the way down, I handed back my rental gear and rideshared all the way back to VAN. I went to sleep that night tired, sore, but very happy.
Another fun thing was the Vancouver Canucks v. LA Kings ice hockey game! Ali & I went together and had a great time. Who would’ve thought a Kiwi and a ‘Merican could get so hyped up over a Canadian hockey team! My workmate Rod was kind enough to lend me some legit Canucks apparel so I felt like a true fan (and I got to keep the cap – chur!). Even though we lost the game 2-0, it was still awesome and I can totally see why North Americans are so obsessed with the sport. It was fast paced and pretty physical, so really exciting to watch. What I found weird was that at the end of the game, the players didn’t shake hands or congratulate the other team. They literally just picked up their sticks and walked off! A bit of a contrast to the rugby games back in NZ, I thought.
Some other highlights have been: eating my first proper Nutella donut which has completely changed my life as it is the best thing in the entire world (cheers Tim Hortons, you’re gonna be the death of me); walking the 13km Stanley Park Seawall with an awesome kiwi gal Holly (who’s from Tauranga, of all places!!); seeing squirrels, raccoons, skunks, chipmunks, and beavers all for the first time; having work hangouts at the Hawaiian-themed Shameful Tiki Bar; seeing the millions of cherry blossoms and flowers that have bloomed around Vancouver city; exploring Cleveland Dam and Capilano Valley; participating in the 10k Vancouver Sun Run (I aimed for sub 1hr and got 56 minutes… not a bad effort for 2 weeks training!); checking out the unbelievably beautiful Abbotsford Tulip festival; and most recently climbing Hollyburn Mountain.
On top of this, I think it’s about time I shared two super exciting things: 1) I’ve landed a job, officially starting the week after my current internship ends (so May 23rd)! It’s a Project Coordinator role for Ledcor, so essentially I’m gonna oversee projects and make sure their budgets, timelines, client communications etc. are all going smoothly. I’m so thankful for all of your thoughts and prayers, God well and truly pulled through big time with this one. 2) Mike’s visa has been accepted (!!!!) and he’s flying over in 2 week’s time! I honestly cannot contain my excitement about this – it’s been 3 months since we’ve seen each other and it’ll be great to finally be able to hang out in person (Skype is great and all but it just can’t beat the real thing). Eeeeeeeeeeep.
So yes, that’s about all from me. Over the next couple of weeks I’m preparing for my new job, trying to get connected in Church, and planning a super fun outdoorsy weekend for Mike when he arrives. Watch this space.