Leaving didn’t hit me until the day. I spent so long concentrating on having enough money to last and having somewhere to stay that I didn’t stop to think how I would be alone in a different country half way across the world. But I stayed true to the deal I made with myself and I still never gave this much thought even when I was on the most horrible flight of my life. I’ve been struck by how I haven’t been homesick much and I think this has to do with staying in the hostel for my first four weeks. It may have drained my funds but The Cambie was my saviour in staying connected with people. And it also gave me a free breakfast consisting of a muffin and a coffee/tea. May not sound like much but when your skint it can make all the difference.
I stayed in an all girls dorm of four. Sharing a room was not desirable and really started to get on my nerves but it was probably paramount in keeping the loneliness at bay. Humans are naturally sociable creatures and having a constant stream of people to speak to and just be around meant I didn’t have time to worry about being alone. I met so many people, some just in passing and others on a more permanent basis. In the short time I have been here I have found myself with a strange extended family of fellow travellers.
Making friends has been easier than anticipated. I quickly realised that everyone is in the same position so simply asking ‘will we swap numbers’ has been met with a positive response. It is a bit strange having to be so forward and sometimes I do feel a bit paranoid – what if they think I’m being creepy? Or they don’t want to be friends?- but then I get over it think one person thinking I’m a bit of a creep is better than being alone.
The first week was spent mainly walking. Walking around Downtown. Walking to Kitsilano beach. Walking around Chinatown. Walking to the space centre. Fortunately I met a lovely German girl named Selina and we teamed up for a day when the sun was still out and did all of the above. So having someone to walk around with was welcoming after being on my own for the first few days.
The market is all dried food, dried fruit, vegetables and dried seafood. The result = it smells.
After walking all day I went to the Macmillan space centre in the evening, I got to see a star through the telescope and found the space centre humour most amusing!
So that was my first week in Vancouver. The weather was amazing and I managed to see quite a bit of the city before I gave in to The Cambie pub and the call of Canadian beer.