Maple Milestone: The Three Month Mark

This week marks the three month anniversary of my arrival in Canada, which seems about the right time for a general update – a ‘maple musing’ if you will. The realisation that I’ve been in Vancouver for a quarter of a year already has come as somewhat of a surprise, as time seems to move at an entirely different speed here. On one hand, I cannot believe the time has flown by so quickly. A quarter of a year? Mid April? Really? It seems like just yesterday I was standing at the airport, laden with luggage and saying goodbyes. On the other hand, I cannot believe it’s only been three months, as the longer I live here the longer it feels like I’ve been here forever. And that I could be here forever.

As they say, forever is a long time, and perhaps too strong a word at this stage in the game, but it’s definitely safe to say that I’m very much enjoying my time in Vancouver and that I have no plans to run back to Blighty for the time being. I have a great job, great apartment and I live a minute’s walk away from a great beach. I’ve done some great things and had some great experiences, including a Canucks hockey game, a trip to Seattle, an Olympic anniversary celebration and day trips to the ski slopes. I’ve met some great people, particularly in my team at work, and I’ve planned a lot more great things to come, such as a weekend in Whistler.

Even if it is a bit cloudy, who wouldn't want to live here?

That’s not to suggest that everything has been, well, great. At least not totally, all the time. I wouldn’t say I’ve been homesick as such, but I do miss my family and can’t wait for them to come and visit. Three months is long enough for my trip away to be more than just a trip, and I’ve been here for the right amount of time to miss my British friends but not to make Canadian ones. My fellow BUNACers from the group flight are starting to head back home one by one, and by the summer I’ll be one of the only few remaining. The cost of living in Vancouver is much higher than I anticipated, making my dream West End apartment with gym and pool seem even further out of reach.  With my new job I can now afford to travel to the places I read about in my guide book, but I no longer have the time to. And don’t even get me started on the banking system.

Of course, all of these annoyances pale into insignificance when thinking about what I’d be doing now if I was still in Southampton. My point is, since arriving in Vancouver there have been far more downs than I thought there would be (making new friends is proving difficult) but far more ups too (fantastic job, lovely apartment). Moving to another country definitely hasn’t been easy, but it’s also the best thing I’ve ever done and I wouldn’t take it back. So much so that my second Working Holiday Visa has been applied for and conditionally approved, and it looks like I’ll be staying for an extra year. In 2012 the world might be flocking to London, but I’ll be heading straight back to Vancouver.


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About MarmitetoMaple

I'm originally from the UK and have been working and living the dream in Vancouver, BC, since January 2011. I am a firm believer in travel, good cheese, volunteering and community engagement.

10 responses to “Maple Milestone: The Three Month Mark”

  1. blue1990 says :

    I love this blog! I’m heading to Toronto on the 18th May and reading this has made me feel very excited. It’s also been very helpful.

    I’m glad you are enjoying yourself despite the ups and downs. It sounds like an amazing place to be! And I know that I’ll want to stay for another year, England is not doing it for me at the moment. =P

    Looking forward to your next posts.

    • marmitetomaple says :

      Thanks for your comment!

      Not long now until you’re off to Toronto, best of luck with your last couple of weeks in the UK…I know you won’t need any luck out here, you’ll definitely love it!

  2. Carla says :

    Hi! I know that this is an old post so I hope you still get this, but I was just wondering – how come the other BUNACers you met on your group flight are leaving three months into it? Do a lot of people just stay there for a few months then move on with their travels? Also do you think you might have found it easier making friends if you had gone alone, i.e. then you might have moved in with some of the others etc? Im considering doing it next year and am just worried I’d be alone over there and not make any new friends.

    Thanks for any help

    Carla xx

    • marmitetomaple says :

      Hi Carla,

      Thanks for your comment, it’s great to hear that you’re considering coming to Canada! Firstly, a lot of people on my group flight were only ever coming out for a few months, they weren’t all looking to work (some just travel) so it wasn’t that they left because they didn’t have a good time. To be totally honest making friends with Canadians is very hard, and I’m so glad I had my group of British friends from the flight, I really do think the group flight is worth it in that respect. Saying that, I do have a lot of friends from work and also friends of friends, it just takes time. As long as you’re willing to put yourself out there you’ll be absolutely fine!

      Lizzie 🙂

    • Jackie says :

      I’ve just come across this blog. I’m close to my three month mark in Vancouver on a WHV. Absolutely love it and agree with most things on this blog.
      I just wanted to assure you about the loneliness comment you made… I came alone and I’ve made friends and have a boyfriend too, found a job within two weeks. It can be done with a positive attitude and a smile!
      If you’re here already – great!!

  3. Maple Bacon Please! says :

    Hi MarmitetoMaple, this is a fantastic blog and full of great tips. We are moving to Toronto from Australia in under 2 weeks and I have found your posts re mobile phones and banking very helpful. My husband is Canadian but hasn’t lived in Canada for over 15 years so is totally out of the loop when it comes to some of the things we need to organize as soon as we arrive.

    • MarmitetoMaple says :

      Hi Danielle, thanks for reading and thanks so much for your comment! Congrats on the big move, you must be so excited! I’m really glad you found the posts helpful, it’s always the little things that take some time to figure out. Travel safe and enjoy Toronto…I hope you find your poutine and beaver tails! 🙂

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