I find nothing more stressful than a flight, especially an early morning one and this was no exception.
After arriving at Gatwick at around 7am with my mother, I proceeded to check in at the ‘Air Transat’ terminal (for anyone that doesn’t know. Air Transat are a Montreal based budget airline that flies from UK, as well as other places to areas in Canada). I had paid for an extra service called ‘Option Plus’ (£49) which meant an extra bag and a joint baggage allowance of 33kg, unfortunately my baggage was still over weight by 3kg so I was advised to take an extra bag with some clothing on board with me rather than paying another £49.
So after the emotional goodbyes and a really friendly airport security guy (makes a change), I went through to the departures lounge. I met aNother Helen who was on my flight and also doing the IEC in wetherspoons. We both agreed it didn’t feel real yet and it was more like a holiday and that we would be returning home and back to our jobs.
Boarding the flight, I felt I was in a dream like state due to my exhaustion. Once on the flight, I received a small bottle of sparkling wine, blanket, ear plugs and an eye mask as part of me upgrading to option plus – I also got a small pack of Pringles – wow!
I won’t talk about the flight as I’m sure you know what’s it is about: sleep, watch movies, sleep, eat, watch movies, watch the interactive map to see where you are, sleep.
The flight finally landed in YVR after a detour to Edmonton. Passport control was busy and I ended up waiting 20 minutes to get through, then it was time to collect my luggage. My two suitcases came out pretty quickly but my snowboard went through the oversized carousel and this took ages, I panicked as I thought it might have ended up on another flight so you can imagine my excited relief when it finally came through.
After I had all my luggage, I left it on the trolley between a few carousels and went through immigration to get my work permit. The waiting area of immigration can only be described as a 1972 job centre style seating, booth with CBSA officers and long lines. Luckily, anyone who had a student visa was asked to go to a different area so the line suddenly got shorter. When it was my turn, I was greeted with a ‘hey, how are you today?’ I was asked for my LOI (as discussed in post on the working holiday visa) and asked what work I was planning to do, when I answered child/youth care she politely asked to see my proof of medical and advised she would take the restrictions off of my work permit ( I was very concerned about that). After 10 minutes and being told I could not do any studying.
I left the airport with Helen and grabbed a Sudan (taxi) to the Samesun Hostel. We both had a glimpse of the journey through South Van, over Granville Island and on to Granville street to the hostel.
Skip forward a few hours after a shower, a nap and a few drinks at the bar. I took my first night photo (since last July lol) of Vancouver and had my obligatory Quebec style pulled pork poutine – needless to say I could not finish it…