My love for travelling sparked since I was young. Living in Estonia and having all of the relatives scattered across the world had its perks as we would then have a reason for travelling and exploring new places. However, the countries that I have visited were all within Europe so I started to perceive travelling overseas as a very distant reality. When I turned 18, I have started my degree in Psychology in a small town called Winchester. My university wasn’t too far from where I have lived with my parents so I decided to live at home and commute to my university. I picked up a part-time job working as a healthcare assistant in a nursing home and life just sort of became grey and dull.
Then one evening, I was sitting with my friends over dinner and we started talking about Canada and how my friends’ relatives live there and how they would love to go back and see them. Then a good friend of mine and I just looked at each other and casually said “We should plan a trip to go there!”. Later on, I went home and told my parents how me and my friend would like to go to Canada and they just went, “yeah, sure”. Now I’m thinking about it, I bet they really didn’t think I would actually make it there. I mean, how can a first year undergraduate student can afford to go to Canada of all places? I decided, since I was only studying a few days a week, that I would pick up some more shifts at the nursing home that I was working at. I was doing night shifts, late 6 hour shifts or whole 12 hour shifts just to save money and have enough to book flights and go to Canada! So it came to booking the flights and we had found some tickets for around £700 for a return flight ticket with Air Canada, which actually seemed pretty reasonable. Then, we started planning our activities throughout our 3 week trip. My parents started to worry how I am going to afford this trip so they opted in to help but I refused and told them that I want to pay for my own big trip.
So June 10th came, we said our goodbyes to our families and boarded on a plane to Canada. Me and my friend had to pinch ourselves several times as we still couldn’t believe that we were going to Canada.
We landed in Edmonton as my friends relatives lived near the airport. We visited the most beautiful and magical places such as Jasper National Park and Banff National Park in Alberta. We saw bears casually walking across the road, we saw deer and elk enjoying the sun not far from the main roads. The mountains seemed never-ending, lakes were icy turquoise colour and there were so many beautiful sceneries everywhere you looked that it was hard to take everything in.
We then flew over to Vancouver, British Columbia. This city is probably the one that I could move to any day. It has everything that you would ever want to have in a city. It’s vibrant and diverse. It has skyscrapers, several beaches, mountains and wildlife. But the purpose of visiting was Vancouver was actually to go whale watching. We were told that sometimes people don’t get to see whales on their expedition so we shouldn’t put our hopes up. However, we were sure the lucky bunch.
We were fortunate enough to see 2 humpback whales and killer whales who were just couple of metres away from our small powerboat. Being almost starstruck after seeing such greatness swim past you, I couldn’t even process in my mind what was happening let alone pick up my camera to take photographs. Seeing the programs about whales or reading about whales didn’t do any justice to their actual real life magnificence.
That’s definitely on my list of things to do if I ever have a chance to go whale watching again. Here are some photos of Vancouver.
As hard as it was narrowing down photos of Canada considering having to go through all of one thousand of them, the places of the photos that I’ve uploaded left the biggest emotional print on me.
The whole trip cost around £3,000 which included hotels, flights, food, a bit of shopping and excursions. For all you shoppers out there, a good place for shopping was definitely West Edmonton Mall which is actually 10th largest shopping centre in the world! We were also lucky that we could have stayed with my friends’ family who were able to drive us around the national parks. This definitely saved a lot of money. My parents still called me everyday to make sure that I had enough money but I didn’t want to accept any help. Now, I’m beyond proud to say that being a student with a part-time job working as a healthcare assistant, I was able to have my dream trip, which I will always remember and keep close to my heart. I hope that one day, I will definitely come back and explore more of this beautiful country called Canada.
P.S. As this is my first ever blog post, any feedback would be appreciated. I hope you enjoyed reading this as I enjoyed writing this.
P.P.S. For those who are interested, the photos have been shot on Nikon D3100 18-150 lens.
See you next week xo