We stayed in Vancouver for just over a month. Kindly, a very good friend of mine let us stay in his lounge for the whole time… it saved us a lot of money and helped us get started in our second stint in Canada!
Vancouver is great, it’s a city… so big, loud and a million things to do but it is probably the most relaxed city we’ve ever been to. It’s active; with several beaches (like English Bay Beach), parks (Stanley Park) and pathways for rollerbladers, cyclists and pedestrians there is no shortage of active bodies.
Vancouver also has a great science museum, although I would skip the space museum as the exhibition is pretty dated. It is definitely worth the trip to North Vancouver; Capilano has some great hikes around a dam and Grouse Mountain is a great tourist attraction. For those who are in good shape, there is the grouse grind annnnd those in similar shape to me (i.e. not) there are gondolas available to take you up and down the mountain. At the top of the mountain, there is a hilarious lumberjack show, a grizzly bear conservation area and numerous plaques to read about the mountain.
Our primary focus in Vancouver was to start the job hunt. In my previous post, I alluded to the struggles and small victories. We had days where we’d send out a few applications, cover letters, emails or meet others for coffee. We went to a few gatherings with the BCSEA, which was pretty cool and meant we met a lot of like-minded people and unfortunately a lot of expats looking for work after 6+ months and with years more experience that we had. It was great to meet these people but a little sobering to realise how saturated the renewable/sustainability market is here.
Luckily at this low point, I received a call about an interview on Vancouver Island (at the time of writing I still have not heard back about the role). I was really pleased and Vancouver Island was on my list of places to visit but it’s expensive to get there so I wasn’t sure we’d want to spend so much money going there, but since it was for an interview we re-budgeted for this. We had a car and the ferry cost us around $200 and then the cost of accommodation and food on top of this. I am so pleased we went! It’s a small city but had absolutely everything you need.
The city of Victoria is an interesting mix of English architecture and Canadian lifestyle. The parliament buildings and Royal BC Museum are places you must visit. The Parliament buildings offer a free tour which gives an in-depth insight into the history of Victoria and the building. The Museum has the most amazing exhibits I have ever seen; the first nations and old town exhibits are superb. We a lot went on a few hikes around 30 minutes away from Victoria (Upper Goldstream Falls and Holmes Peak) both around an hour and the peak trail overs an amazing view.
We really enjoyed our time in Vancouver and Vancouver Island. We made a few friends in Vancouver which also meant we were able to go to pubs and bars we would never have been to otherwise. Vancouver Island was a really pretty place and we wouldn’t be opposed to getting jobs on the Island!
However, we felt the city would be a great place if we ended up with jobs but as we struggled and got more frustrated it was evident the road was calling to us again.
We’ve made the desision to hit the road again and travel through the Rockies for 2 weeks – cannot wait!! – During the trip we’ll keep applying for jobs but from glorious locations 😉 and I should hear about my interview during that time, this is when we hit the crossroads:
Left: I get offered the job and we move to Vancouver Island
Right: I don’t get offered the job, we hit the road all the way up to Yukon!
Best of both worlds, we think anyway 🙂