I am back in England and although I am enjoying being home and seeing my loved ones I can’t help but want to be back in Vancouver. I’m stuck in a weird limbo right now, waiting to start a new job, lots of free time on my hands but no money. Money is what I need to start my visa to get back to the place I miss so much. I follow thegoodquote on Instagram and was reminded to “never give up on something you really want. It may be difficult to wait, but it is worse to live with regret”. I am struggling with the waiting but I’ll get there eventually.
So what better way to spend my time than write about my final two weeks in Vancouver. It really does seem like a lifetime ago now. I remember those two weeks going so quickly. Always thinking to myself to take every little thing in because I don’t know when I’ll be back. So after getting back from the Sunshine Coast I basically ate my way through my final weeks. Eating is a common ground with the majority of my friends, so what better way to say bye than eating together at my favourite restaurants.
With a beach day planned at Jericho, Cassie and I arranged to meet at 33 Acres Brewing Company for brunch. If I see avocado on a menu, 9 times out of 10 I will order it. So I went for the avocado smash, basically fancy avocado on toast with an iced latte on the side. Fueled up and ready to go we headed to the beach for a day of relaxation. The seagulls provided great entertainment and the views from Jericho didn’t disappoint. We had dinner at Chickpea. This restaurant is the bomb. I never thought I’d be one to order vegetarian/vegan food but two of my favourite restaurants are meat free. You just simply have to go to experience it in all its glory. Don’t forget to order the chickpea fries. Oh my goodness, they are out of this world. I am salivating at the thought.
I ate more and more salad rolls, knowing full well I won’t be able to find them in England. I have actually had one since I’ve been home but I’ll save that story for next time. I had donair poutine, killing two birds with one stone. Donair Town is my favourite donair spot in Vancouver. I drank Milano’s coffee and had Cup Sushi on my lunch break. Milano’s became a Starbucks alternative whilst at work. Hedgehog mocha for the win. Cup Sushi is like a Poke place. Raw fish and fresh ingredients all placed in a big bowl to enjoy. It’s never busy and the lady is so lovely. I hope it’s still there when I return.
I tried to sell my bike, well I didn’t try hard enough. Believe it or not, well my family will tell you I used to hate biking. Since owning a bike in Vancouver and working in a bike shop I’ve become a little cyclist. The thought of selling my beloved bike hit me hard. I became attached to Marilyn the Marin and only wanted the best for her. So knowing I want to go back to Vancouver, my good friend Rachelle kindly offered to babysit Marilyn in my absence. I miss you Marilyn and I miss you too Rachelle. I hope you are regularly wiping the cobwebs off her.
I worked my last ever shift at Spokes. What a place. The customers were challenging, the majority of them were arseholes. But I will always remember the nice, friendly ones. My coworkers made those shifts bearable. Sometimes after working just 10 minutes I was ready to leave but my work besties never failed to put a smile on my face. They became my family in a way. I have so many awesome, life long friends from that place so I can only say thank you for that. Hopefully that is the last time for Spokes and I, although I have already said that before and I somehow ended up back there.
Vanessa and I introduced Rachelle to the best chicken wings you’ll ever find in Vancouver. Phnom Penh chicken wings are devine, don’t knock it until you try it. You’ll be describing them as devine too. Crispy, garlicy chicken wings and so affordable. You can’t go wrong. Surprisingly, I didn’t stuff myself on chicken wings so Vanessa and I went for gelato at Bella Gelateria. I’m pretty sure they’ve won awards for their ice cream. It’s something else ladies and gents.
I met James for breakfast at Denny’s (I secretly love this place). If you’re a friend or family member or even followed my blog from day one, James is my ex boyfriend. We came to Canada together so it only felt right to say bye to him. We went our separate ways last September and we stayed in touch. I have no regrets and I do wish him all the best. Although maybe I’m a little bitter that he got to stay and I had to leave. Damn you James and your dual citizenship. I’m not jealous, I promise.
I threw a deportation party at Sunset Beach. I wasn’t technically being deported, I left when I should have. Sunset Beach is definitely one of my favourite places to be in Vancouver so I thought it was a great location for my farewell bash. My friends kept saying Vancouver is sad to see you leave because the sun didn’t grace us with its presence. The weather was shit so I was utterly surprised to see so many of you amazing people turn up and wish me all the best. I couldn’t have asked for a better circle of friends in a country I didn’t know very well. The party went from a windy, cold beach to a small group of us doing shots in Capital. I can’t forget about the karaoke Jeremy and I stumbled upon after. I don’t think Sunday’s are the right night for disco dancing so we went to the next best thing, a karaoke bar. The other 6 people in the bar kindly let us singalong with them. FYI, I’m a terrible singer. I think that was a pretty good leaving party, thanks to everyone who contributed to making my night one to remember (even though some parts are still a bit foggy in my mind).
I finally managed to attend the infamous baseball night at the Ryden/Zimmer household. I know I bailed too many times so I’m pleased I got one night in before I left. The food and beer was greatly appreciated after feeling a bit ropey from the night before. You guys know how to entertain. I’m glad we can discuss the baseball across the globe. I do wish we could have squeezed one last sunset bbq in because I miss Anja’s specially sliced weiners. Don’t forget about me.
I spent my last full day running round like a headless chicken. I had brunch with my favourite Spokes girls at Red Umbrella, obviously Daisy couldn’t come (you were extremely missed). I took my beloved Marilyn to North Vancouver with Rachelle. I accompanied Rachelle on the ever so important shoe shopping. It was actually really nice to do something normal and forget about the fact I was flying home the next day. I had coffee with Jeremy and last but not least dropped off all my unwanted homeware stuff at my best Irish pals, Lauren and Lenny’s. We ate pie together for my final dinner and had all the laughs we normally do when we hang out.
I flew back to England on the evening of the 28th June, almost 4 weeks ago (sad face). I had a bit of time to squeeze last minute goodbyes in. I met Cassie at Matchstick for my favourite mocha. I did some last minute packing and dropped off a lot of unwanted clothes at the Salvation Army thrift store. I hate packing with a passion. Why can’t you just take what you want with you wherever you go. I hate being restricted to x amount of bags and weight. I think I did pretty well to fly home with one suitcase, a snowboard bag and a backpack. I met Rachelle for my final supper, even though it was lunch time. We went to Bells and Whistles and stuffed our faces with burgers. Then I dragged her to the airport to help me with my bags. Thank you so so much.
Goodbyes are difficult. I wasn’t expecting to love this place so much. I always thought I’d be happy to return home after the two years. Canada has my heart and I will return as soon as possible. So it is not goodbye but see you soon. I think I wrote the exact thing two years ago when I left the UK, how times change. I also don’t mean this in any offence to the people I care about in England. You aren’t the reason I’d rather be in Vancouver. I’d take you all back with me if I could because it’s bloody awesome and I know you’d love it just as much as me.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about my emotions just yet. I do want to write about that soon. I just want people to understand how I’m feeling because it isn’t easy coming home from a two year holiday. It doesn’t mean I’m miserable or not enjoying seeing my loved ones. Of course I love spending time with my family and friends who I’ve missed dearly over the two years. But I want to clarify a few things and hopefully help people who are in the same boat. I had a few friends who returned to England after their two year working holiday visa so I had some idea of what to expect. Maybe I can help others too.