Just after graduating Highschool in 2013, I set out to make a dream come true. I applied for a work permit for Canada under the IEC initiative (International Experience Canada).
I promptly got my work permit, and after making some money, I boarded an airplane to Toronto.
The day was the 17th April 2014. My family brought me to the regional airport in Hanover around 9am. From there I into Canada via Frankfurt am Main, where I met the rest of my travel company.
As we arrived in Canada around 2pm est, we had a quite turbulent 8 hour flight behind us and because of that didn’t do much except for exploring Toronto a bit and settling in in our hostel room. (We stayed at the HI at 76 Church Street, and I really recommend that hostel).
The next few days we did some more exploring (we visited a lot of landmarks like CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame and Toronto Island).
We also got our formalities sorted out. The next week (it was Easter as we arrived).
We then visited Niagara Falls, but then our ways parted.
After that I had some dum lazy time in Toronto and spent a few days in Ottawa.
I then started my first job in June.
I wwoofed on two separate farms in Ontario, but I definitely liked the Wilde farm the most.
There I learned quite a bit about permaculture and a responsibil lifestyle.
I had the time of my life.
But I also needed to make some money, so I started working in an Algonquin Park resort (Arowhon Pines). It was nice there and I met a lot of nice people there.
Since I already had a volunteering assignment for September, I left Arowhon on my 20th birthday.
Since I wasn’t able to find accommodation in Toronto, I rescheduled my planned trip to Montreal.
I had a few nice days there and in Ottawa (again).
Then I started my volunteer assignment. And I must say that I had a blast at TIFF 2014. I met a lot of interesting people, like Sindi, Ana, Rebecca and upside down Jason.
That really was the best time of my life.
After visiting Niagara Falls again (to take the boat) and WWOOFing again on that Wilde farm, I returned to Arowhon.
I stayed until the end of the season (Canadian thanksgiving 2014) I spent some time in Kitchener with some friends. We also visited Oktoberfest.
In November I then took the greyhound bus from Kitchener to Vancouver to work in Blue River. That was a 3 day ride for a bargain of $175.
And I would do it again.
But since I had a few days left, I enjoyed Vancouver. It really is a beautiful city.
After a few days there I left for Blue River to work a season with MWHS (wiegele.com).
I made a few friends there and worked a lot. But I left at the end of March to travel a little more.
I went back to Vancouver, spent a few days in Nanaimo and Victoria and I had a great time again.
I also visited New York City, but that’s a different story.
From there I took the megabus back to Toronto, Canada to finish of my year abroad and to make ends meet. I closed my bank account and quit my phone contract, because I had to leave Canada on the 16th April 2016.
But what I remember the most about Canada isn’t the landscapes or cities I enjoyed. It’s that true north spirit, the kindness of the people and the friends I made up there.
I will definitely return one day. In fact, I’m hoping for a foreign semester there (maybe at the University of Alberta) near the end of my bachelors degree phase, but before I actually have my B.Sc.