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Thursday, 25 April 2013

Canadian Preperations!

So, it's been nearly a week since everything has kicked off and I must say I'm getting really excited already.
It's now less than three weeks before we go away!

Visas are all done, we now just need to sort out our ESTA thingies to enter the US, but that shouldn't be too hard. (Our flights are not direct to Canada, we fly from Heathrow to LAX, with a 6 hour layover and then LAX to Vancouver.) Our return flights are booked for next February, as apparently most airlines can only be booked 10-11 months ahead, so in a few months we will use our flexi ticket option, and push our flights back to May 2014 so we get the full year. I'm wondering if when we return we can split the flights to have a few days layover in LA rather than a few hours just for the hell of it! It would be rather cool to have a few days somewhere new at potentially no extra cost.

We land in Vancouver in the middle of the night, so we're going to book a cheap and cheerful hotel close to the airport, so we'll just crash and try and get some rest. (I'm not good at sleeping while traveling, I have never been able to, cars, trains, buses, boats, planes, you name it I can't sleep on it, so I should imagine I'm going to be awake for a good 30 hours.) So yeah, land, immigration, crash, will probably be our first day in Vancouver.

Next day we'll move to our proper accommodation. We're planning to use AirBnB, a company which describes it self as 'a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world.' At the moment, we haven't booked anything through them yet, they have so many listings for Vancouver it's mad, so I've set a general budget and sifted through the options, picked out a handful of places I liked and messaged them with our requirements. One big thing is that we would like to open our bank accounts and get our SIN's (sort of like our national insurance numbers) as soon as we arrive, but we would require addresses to do so. So far, quite a few of the property owners have said that yes we can use their address, so now Ian and I just need to go through them and pick one!

During those two weeks it's then on with the house hunt. We're booking out AirBnB accommodation up till the end of May, as most places begin leases at the beginning of the month, so hopefully by then we'll have found somewhere and can hop straight from one to the other. We're going to try and arrange viewings for our first week, it would be lovely to find somewhere quickly so we can relax a bit more during the second week and step up the job stuff.

After that, all I think is left to do is the little things... send a P85 form to HMRC to let them know we're leaving the country, send a form to Student Loans, get my family set up on Skype, rewrite my CV in a Canadian resume style and that's it I guess. I suppose I better start thinking about packing... I'll have to start a new list :D (I like lists, I'm a crazy list person!)

Then finally - the leaving do's! I've set up one for family and one for friends, and I'm really excited for them, I never plan events! Also, it's my birthday a few days after we arrive, so I've got two reasons to party on down!

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