Vancouver has been rated as one of the best places to live in the world and don’t I know it. Before arriving to Vancouver I obviously did my research, I booked an Airbnb studio (Airbnb virgin) and looked thoroughly through long term apartments, studios and house shares. SWAP had emailed me a pre-departure guide which also contained tonnes of information regarding accommodation. So I thought it would be a walk in the park. How wrong was I?
Our cute little Airbnb studio comes to an end tomorrow. It is cozy, the bed pulls down from the wall and it has tiny kitchen in the corner. We have definitely grown to love this place. I have browsed Airbnb millions of times, who doesn’t love looking at peoples homes right. I have never booked with them until this trip and so pleased I did. There are plenty of horror stories about Airbnb and personally I wouldn’t book a place without reviews but this was the best option for us. Being a couple I didn’t really want to stay in a hostel. You have no privacy and have to share your space with 8 other strangers. I wanted to have cooking facilities and a place we would leave our valuables without worrying. Airbnb was a cheap alternative to hotels or even holiday apartments. I booked 10 nights, thinking that would give us plenty of time to find something more permanent.
Today marks nine days into our Canadian adventure and we secured a one bedroom apartment. I never thought this day would come. After endless searches, hundreds of emails and plenty of tears we finally saw a place that we liked and had the option of signing a lease straightaway. I have never known such a fast paced property market. I don’t know much, I’ve only ever rented student accommodation but I do know you ring to view an apartment that was posted yesterday and it has already been snapped up. James and I have viewed a handful of properties which is nothing compared to amount I have enquired about. We couldn’t go home and sleep on it, it would be gone by the end of the day so in the heat of the moment we said yes.
Unfortunately we can’t move in until the 1st August which isn’t ideal as we have to leave our studio tomorrow but we couldn’t say no and have another hissy fit over not finding anywhere to live. Something is better than nothing. I was over the moon, I couldn’t believe it. The last nine days have been intense, knowing you have nowhere to live come Friday is scary. Luckily we are fortunate enough to book a hostel/hotel or just get a plane home but we didn’t want that.
I did book a hostel as a back up. I have stayed in hostels before but I don’t think it counts when you have a private room with en-suite bathroom. I booked two beds in a four bed dorm. Hostels have many pros and cons. Socialising, meeting people and low prices is definitely a pro. However they can be noisy, overcrowded and lacks privacy. Obviously it depends what you want from your travels. If I was doing this alone I would have definitely stayed in a hostel from day one. Anyways in the last hour James managed to find another Airbnb studio which had availability until the 1st August, perfect! So no hostels or bunk beds for me, for a second I was ready to slum it and quite looking forward to the experience yet dreading it at the same time. Ok I sound like a princess now, I apologise for that but like I said hostels aren’t for everyone.
In other news James got a job, hip hip hooray. It really has been a great day for us, even if it has not stopped raining. He is now a labourer, well paid and looking forward to wearing a hard hat and hi-vis. We of course had to celebrate with a beer and a burger at The Cannibal Cafe on Granville Street. It was even better than it looks.
Everything is falling into place and I can’t thank my family, friends, James and Maggie/Laura from SWAP enough. They have constantly told us we’ll find something when everything felt impossible. Also a big thank you to Chris who has stayed up way too late looking for accommodation for us and kept James sane, I think he knows Vancouver quite well now.