Celebspotting, new friends and a circus job! My working holiday in Vancouver

Nicky Torkington, 26, from Hampshire tells of her Work Canada experience!

Hi All,

Well I've been here over a week now so thought that I better send you all an update. First of all, I have to say that Vancouver is an amazing city and I’m really loving the place - so much so that I have decided to stay here for the summer and get a job in the city even though I was originally planning to head to somewhere a bit more rural. I’ve never really done the big city thing so Vancouver seems like a good place to start!

Ok, so I’ll start with the airport. I was a bit nervous about the whole group flight thing (for those of you who don’t know I booked my flight through BUNAC who organised my visa so there was a group of 19 of us who were heading to Canada on working visas). I thought I might be the oldest in the group but was pleasantly surprised to find that most of us are of a similar age the youngest is 19 and oldest 28 so quite a good mix I think. Everyone was so lovely and we all got on really well, I guess because we were all in the same boat. (It was good having found a few of them on Facebook beforehand so I knew who to look out for at the airport!)

Since I’ve been here I’ve done some fun things as well as job hunting, including going for a run around Stanley Park, which is beautiful!

There is a 10km sea wall run which I was adamant I could not run all the way around but I went with Rhiannon (a fitness fanatic!) who ran ahead and then I ended up running all the way round trying to catch up! In the end I was out for about 2 hours as it took us half an hour to walk to Stanley Park from the hostel. I was knackered after that! I did see some beautiful scenery and some racoons though so it was worth it.

A few weeks later…

I thought it was about time to update you all on what I’m up to! I have been rather busy working alot! YES! I managed to get a job, well actually I have two...but more on this later!

First of all, I’ll let you know what happened since I moved into my flat…

After moving in to the flat, we realised that the area we live in won Best Neighbourhood in Vancouver for a few years and is also highly regarded in the film industry! Vanvouver is known as the Hollywood of the North and a lot of movies are filmed around here

We did a bit of hanging round on one set to see some scenes being filmed for a recent James Franco movie. He came over and chatted with us, so we got our photo taken with him - it was a surreal experience! We are hoping to see some more famous faces as time goes by!

As for the job front...after about a week of constantly applying for jobs, looking on Craigslist (Canadian version of Gumtree) and dropping my 'resume’ (CV) off to almost everywhere that was advertising vacancies in Vancouver, I managed to find a job at a coffee house on the main shopping street in Downtown. I really underestimated how much Canadians love their coffee and it took a while how to learn all the different drinks we sell but I’m now up to scratch. I only had part time hours at first but now seem to be working a lot. It’s a 24 hour coffee shop so I have to work quite late some nights but luckily have not been given the graveyard shift yet! I work with a lot of international people and we have a laugh when we’re not working flat out. The shifts are good as if I work in the evenings I get to spend all day at the beach which is good!

So although I have been working like a dog for the past month I have had some time off to enjoy myself. What makes it even better is that the weather has been glorious for the whole past few weeks (today was the first day of rain in a month). It’s so nice to have some consistency!

I have made the most of the weather and have been visiting the various beaches around the city, Kits, Sunset Beach, Spanish Bank (which is the nicest by far as it is less crowded) oh, and of course Wreck Beach! As well as beaching it, the girls and I have been kayaking at Deep Cove which was stunning. The views of the mountains were amazing, the sea was calm and we had such a great time. We rescued a starfish named Patrick from death by seagull and had a picnic on a deserted beach - it was a great day out! We’ve been rollerblading in Stanley Park, watching outdoor movies under the stars and taking in the Gay Pride Festival. We also took a trip to Lynn Canyon, which is a national park in North Vancouver with lots of hiking trails as well as a suspension bridge and a canyon where you can jump off cliffs into the water (it was freezing!).

So that’s where I am up to now, everything seems to have fallen into place really quickly. It feels like I have been here forever and I’m definitely starting to feel like a local, especially when people ask me for directions and I know where they need to go! Life in Vancouver has turned out to be pretty awesome. I will write again soon with more updates as I earn more money and take time out do more fun things. I'm off to Whistler and Vancouver Island for a Vacation nest week so I should have lots of stories to tell!

Do you like the sound of this? Start planning your adventure today finding out more about the programme on our Work Canada page.