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Canada

    Canada, Vancouver, Travel

    Embracing the Vancouver rain at Lynn Canyon

    Lynn Canyon Bridge Byrnewithme

    Something I was only too aware of before before coming to Vancouver was that it rains here a lot. I’ve always had a sort of romantic idea about the rain, usually with images of being inside, next to a fire with blankets, tea and books while the rain batters the roof outside. This is what I like to think my experience will be when I think about a rainy day, but I’ve lived in a country where it rains a lot of the time for most of my life and I can say that in reality, rain is just rain. 

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    Canada, Vancouver, Travel

    The great Vancouver bucket list

    Capilano Suspension Bridge Byrnewithme

    In June 2018, I moved to Vancouver, BC with my boyfriend on a two-year working holiday visa. We came here with certain expectations of what our life would be like. We saw adventures in mountains, weekend camping trips, exploring nature, and visiting all of the scenic lakes we saw in pictures before we got here.

    We also came here taking for granted that these are all things that would simply happen. After a few weeks of settling in, we realised it’s not that easy. Most of these experiences will be completely new to us. When you’re new to a city it takes time just to figure out how to get to the closest bus stop, never mind up the nearest mountain.

    We started to feel a bit like fish out of water after a few weeks of settling in, and we didn’t know where to even begin. That’s when we decided to begin with a list. You can’t start anywhere if you don’t know what it is that you want to do. On arrival in Vancouver, we had only 18 months of our two year visas left to fill with as many experiences as possible, and this list is how we plan to do it.

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    Canada, Vancouver, Writing

    Living under a cloud of smoke

    smoke in vancouver

    I have, for most of my life, lived in a place where the weather at its most extreme is often considered mild tempered for many other parts of the world. Out-of-the-ordinary weather is an event, something to keep us talking for a few weeks. What would normally be just an inconvenience in one country could have Ireland on lock-down, with schools and workplaces shut and all of us glued to our televisions watching an exhausted Joanna Donnelly move into her 12th hour of weather reporting on RTÉ.

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    Canada, Travel

    Non-stop (2015)

    This blog post was originally published in 2015. It was accidentally deleted and restored in January 2018.

    I hate to be the “it’s been so long since I’ve posted so instead of talking about specific topics I’m going to give a general update” person, but I’m afraid I’m gonna have to be that person. I think a common theme in study abroad blogs is people being too busy to post anything for a month or more, but for us at least, it’s a good thing because it means we’re actually doing things. 

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    Canada, Travel

    Differences (2014)

    Botanic Gardens Montreal
    This blog post was originally published in 2014. It was accidentally deleted and restored in January 2018.
    When it’s been so long since you’ve posted an update it’s difficult to figure out what you should talk about. It won’t be possible to talk about everything that’s happened since I last posted two months ago, but one thing I know I can talk about is differences.

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    Canada, Travel

    Hannah tries to get a phone (2014)

    This blog post was originally published in 2014. It was accidentally deleted and restored in January 2018.

    I had done my research before heading in and found what I thought was the best deal with one network and it would work out cheaper for me to buy the $75 phone and get a sim. I asked about the plan whereby I pay $20 for free texts as well as having the $20 credit which I could use to make calls, or so I assumed. She told me actually, I would get free texts but I can’t make or receive calls. I misunderstood at first, as I thought she meant the calls won’t be free, but actually she was telling me I can’t make or receive calls at all because I don’t keep the $20. If I want to simply make or receive a phone call, I have to pay a lot more per month.
     
    I had already bought the phone because I thought I was going in for something different entirely, so all I could do was look for a better deal elsewhere and pick the least expensive. In the end, the best deal I could find was to go for a plan which is $35 a month for unlimited Canadian and international texts and 250 minutes with free calls after 5pm and on the weekends. That’s not even including data, which I don’t need, but shudder to think what I’d be paying if I did.
     
    However, I knew this was the best I was going to get so I decided to go for it and I was just glad it was all over.
     
    But it wasn’t.

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    Canada, Travel

    Hannah goes to Canada (2014)

    This blog post was originally published in 2014. It was accidentally deleted and restored in January 2018.

    My first piece advice for those of you travelling from Europe to Canada or the US: your hairdryer will not work. If it does work it’s got just enough power to take about 5 hours to dry your hair

    Tip #1: Don’t bring your hairdryer, and DEFINITELY don’t buy a new one before you leave (like me). Get one when you arrive.

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