As this is my first blog post, I’ll introduce myself: my name is Sarah, I’m 21 and study a bachelor of psychology at CSU in Wagga Wagga. I absolutely love travelling and this isn’t my first time in North America- I got back from a year in the USA in 2015, so this might be a familiar experience for me.
Getting Ready to Take Off
Before I left to go to Canada, I got to spend Christmas with my family at the Gold Coast, which I really treasured. Not only was I saying goodbye to my family, but also the summer. It would be the last time for a while that I could hang out at the pool
or sun bake!
Just after Christmas, my brother drove me back to Sydney and I caught my morning flight out. For the most part, my flight went without any problems. I missed my connecting flight from Seoul to Vancouver, but I definitely won’t complain as the airline put me up in a 5-star hotel, fed me, and I got to see a bit of South Korea.
A Few Days in Vancouver
By the time I landed in Vancouver I was exhausted and in great need of a shower. In Australia, I had the great idea while packing to bring my skis- but this didn’t feel like such a great idea when I was dragging around 60 kilograms of luggage and a huge pair of skis while trying to navigate the public transport in Vancouver!
Luckily there were lots of friendly Canadians who helped me out! One lady even carried my skis onto a bus and paid my fare for me. So I’ll have to pay that forward somehow. I will say that one of my favourite part of Canada so far is how friendly the people here have been- they were always offering to help me out, and you definitely can’t stand at a bus stop for more than 2 minutes without getting into a friendly chit chat with the stranger next to you.
I spent new year’s eve in Vancouver before catching a bus to Kamloops, a small town in British Columbia where I would be studying at Thompson Rivers University.
Finally in Kamloops!
After living in the self-catered part of campus in Wagga, I discovered that cooking my own meals was not at all a skill I possess, so I decided to live in a homestay while on exchange. I was nervous to meet the family I would be living with for 4 months, but they were very friendly and I am excited to get to know them more! On my first Friday here, they took me to see a local ice hockey game, which was very exciting (although it still shocks me how aggressive ice hockey players are- it’s normal for many fights to break out in a game).
I started orientation week on my first day of arrival in Kamloops, and the cold definitely shocked me. Minus 20 degrees is much colder than the 40-degree heat I came from in Australia. But all of the town is coated in snow, which is absolutely beautiful. The university had about 200 new international students starting at the same time as me, from all over the world, so there were plenty of people to complain about the cold with and it was very easy to make new friends. I’ve also had the chance to try tubing already, and hopefully will be trying some other snow sports soon (snow-shoeing; curling; ice-skating on frozen lakes; and of course I’ll have to ski!)
Well that’s it for this week, but hopefully I’ll be able to update you all on some new adventures soon!