So since the Canadian government required you to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival due to COVID-19, I have been nesting in a hotel bed with my laptop, Netflix, FutureLearn online courses and some books for the past 2 week. As someone that loves being out, it has been a bit of a challenge but I have managed to survive and even sorted some logistical and legal stuff out. This was the perfect time to reflect on what I want to achieve from this experience, and learn more about the history of Vancouver, the different areas and culture around them, nature and conservation, public transport, car purchasing and getting a CB licence, job market, vegan restaurants and groceries stores near where I will be living, places for walks and run etc. I have noted most places I want to check out, adding them onto to my everlasting list of go-to places on Google maps.
My main goal for the first 2 weeks of chill time was to:
- Apply for SIN – Social Insurance number which you need to work and everything else. For more info on how to apply click here.
- Open up a bank account – You have to do it in person so I have booked an appointment for when I’m out of isolation. I chose HSBC as this is who I’m within the UK.
- Sorting out climbing venues – I found 2 places for indoor climbing very close to my house. One called The Hive Bouldering Gym which is where I will be going probably most of the time to train and get stronger again, and the Cliffhanger Climbing gym which is all ropes. As soon as I make some climbing buddies I’ll probably rope climb more. As for outdoor, there are few local crags but the main walls are at Squamish and Whistler which are on my go-to list.
- Check out my eligibility to drive on UK licence – I found out that in Canada you are allowed to drive on UK licence for up to 90 days upon arrival, but after that, you have to get a licence for the region you live in, which in my case would be British Columbia. Find out more here.
- Looking at potential volunteering in conservation – Stanley parks offers a couple of days a week opportunity to help and remove any invasive plants within the park. The training about the ecology side of things is provided so this would be super exciting to get involved in, especially since Bald Eagles nesting in the park.
- Look for food supplies – I found this organic online grocery store called SPUD so got myself couple delivered to help me survive the 2 weeks. As for after the isolating Vancouver is filler with fresh food marks all over, vegan food supplies stores and I even found NADA, a familiar zero waste shop which I use to go to in the UK. Since I want to save as much money as possible for climbing and travel, I will cut down as many costs as I can on food during my trip.
I have also occupied myself with few long movies and entire 3 seasons of Ozarks on Netflix which was pretty good. I have also started a few more courses on the FutureLearn website, and my favourite one so far is about Technology Metals. Thought me some stuff about rocks, mining, supply and demand etc. All in all the past 2 weeks have been somewhat productive so it’s not a total waste of time and I even managed to inspire myself to exercise a little and do yoga with the limited amount of space in the room.
I am super excited as tomorrow will be my first day out so I can finally explore Vancouver and its Autumn glory (which is currently constant clouds and rain that’s not a problem at all). I am also super stoked to finally meet my roommates and meet new people at work starting from next week.
More to come on some of the sites around like Stanley park hopefully soon.