After a busy final day in Toronto, it was time for me to head home. Via St John’s….
Me and Nyssa had a bunch of post camp chores to do, and I had to close down my Canadian bank accounts ready for my return to the UK. I would be bringing some money home with me for university, as well a bunch of Nyssa’s clothes, ready for her to come over in September. We also managed to squeeze in one last drink with Jenn and Romina, before a late night packing session.
I awoke before dawn, and after a tearful parting with Nyssa I made my way out to the airport. My journey included a 12 hour lay-over in St John’s on Canada’s eastern most shores. It’s a new place for me, so I headed out of the airport into town for one last little adventure. To see up close the scenery we all see from the plane, when we’re flying between Canada and the UK.
I sorted my things out after I landed, and headed down into town to take a walk up Signal Hill. It’s probably the biggest tourist attraction in St John’s, and gives a great view over the city and the surrounding coastline. I did a loop up the hill and then along a path that runs bellow the hill along the sea cliffs.
It was a really nice bit of fresh air and stretch my legs after the first flight, and there was lots of opportunities to learn a little bit about the historic port town, which has played a part in the foundation of modern Canada since the 1700’s. Nowadays the ships entering this harbour are much bigger and modern, they come from the Grand Banks oil fields, which form a key part of the cities economy. Looking at them on the quayside was a potent reminder of a world which I may soon go back into, in a strange way it felt like I was already transitioning into the next chapter of my life. Old knowledge was coming back, stuff that would come in handy when I get to university.
As I made my way back up to the airport I knew I wasn’t leaving Canada forever, Nyssa and the friends I’ve made on this journey have changed my relationship with Canada entirely, but I felt it was definitely the beginning of something new, something I was excited to get started on.
At this point though I think some thank yous are in order. For their help on this trip I’d like to thank:
Michelle Renee and her family
For helping me settle into Toronto at the very beginning of my trip, and making me feel welcome when I had no immediate family and friends in the city.
Mike St.Eve and all the lifties at Whistler Blackcomb
For their support and the opportunities they gave me during my time as a lifty. I was very humbled to receive my I.C.E nomination, and thoroughly enjoyed working at Whistler.
The Canadian Immigration and Citizenship service
Well if they hadn’t changed the rules, I simply wouldn’t have been there for 3 years! So thanks CIC! Oh and I suppose the border force were nice at least!
Jon Chesnut and the Mountain Greeters at Lake Louise
For their support during my time there and, being able to help me see Nyssa at a very important time for us. Also thanks Phil for being a great room-mate!!
All my colleagues at Edgewalk and the CN Tower
All my fellow Guides, Grounds Crew, Imaging Agents, and Booking Agents! They’ve been a true second family to me while I’ve been in Toronto, including those that have left and I’ve been luckily enough to stay in contact with. I will try to stay in contact with as many of you as possible.
For encouraging me to starting writing this blog in the first place. The process of writing it has been really rewarding, and it’s been a great way to keep my friends and family up-to-date on my adventures I’ve realized that it will be amazing in later life to look back through and help me remember the trip for years to come.
Chris Hall, Jenny Pullon, and Rob Ng
For hiring me, training me, and mentoring me as an Edgewalk guide. Without them taking me on I wouldn’t have had the amazing opportunities in Canada that I’ve had, and without their mentoring I would have been so successful as a Guide.
Jocanta Sowden, Andrew Ross, and Jenny Pullen
For their references that I sent in during my Masters application. Without them I would not have had such a strong application and may not have been accepted at Portsmouth.
My Friends back home in the UK
For sticking with me during my years away from home and keeping in touch. Especially those who invested much time and money to fly over and let me drag them up a mountain, or for many miles around Algonquin Park, or up my very tall tower! Or all of those things combined!
For being the best girlfriend I could ever have dreamed of meeting, for loving me despite my flaws, and hopefully because of a couple of them. For being an unwavering source of support through my difficult times, and for giving me some of the best times of my life, with many more to come.
And Finally my family, especially my parents
With my parents support my trip would simply not have been the huge success than it was. They were always available to talk to on the phone and message, and I know for sure that they would have moved heaven and earth to get me home, or come over if I was in need. And that’s before all the practical assistance! They always insisted on bringing me too and from the airport, they forwarded mail, they were always willing to help me out with money, Uncle Phil even stored my snowboard for 3 months, and then he and my mum and dad got it to the airport and brought it home on they’re own trip! I felt homesick much less than I thought during the course of the trip and this was no doubt because I felt always supported, despite being thousands of miles away.
So there you go, I’ve completed my “trip”, made it safely back to the UK, and am now wading through my positions getting ready for my next chapter in Portsmouth, and my 30th birthday! This doesn’t mean the end of this blog though, I’ll still add things if I think they’re interesting, and helpful to anyone thinking about visiting Canada.
Thank you everybody!!!