So I’m working for food and board at a ranch resort somewhere north of Saskatoon now.. Not for long just a month or so before I then head over to Ontario for another similar set up.
After a year of waiting and nail biting I finally received my Canadian 2 year working holiday visa. I was one of the lucky/unlucky folk on the ‘we’ll see’ waiting list.
In November 2015 I finally received my letter of invitation! It couldn’t have come at a better time because my current situation, work and health was not going anywhere nice. You know when you really need that one nice thing that just helps you remember a bad situation is just temporary? That was it for me. I’m sure in the future I’ll get all philosophical and dedicate posts to random wonderings.
At Christmas I quit my job, moved back to my fathers empty house and planned for Canada. Very soon I realized I had no plan.
So I allowed myself three months. I first booked a ticket to Quebec City because I’d love to go there! But to do what? I haven’t got enough disposable income to be a tourist, I need a job. I began applying from the uk for teaching work (my usual path) but most replies were polite “you need to be here, dear” so gave up on that. Then I thought about resort work but, it’s kind of mid season when I was applying and to be honest I’m not a skier at all. I love the mountains but I need to do something which either inspires or challenges me, or I won’t do it. At least, I won’t fly across the pond to do it immediately. So no to that.It’s not easy to move abroad without a job when you’re so used to moving abroad because of a job.
I thought about what I like doing, what’s a current interest of mine. I tend to really get into something until I wear out the topic and move on to something else.
It was China, Asia, Asian things, food, culture, people, instruments, history and language. So I moved to Taiwan for 3.5 years, learned the language, made Taiwanese friends, lived with a Taiwanese man until I decided to leave again.
I’d visit Calgary where my father lives, I’d listen to the radio, go to the stampede and local rodeos. And eventually I began to enjoy country music. I visit Texas twice (due to a Japanese friend moving there), travelled alone and with other people, went to country bars, hiked the rolling hills and bought a pair of second cowboy boots.
On my 29th birthday I bought myself a Banjo.
My time in England was spent planning Canada whilst taking Banjo lessons.
So I figured why not apply to work in a ranch over the summer?
Might as well take the next step. This all sounds quite easily flowing but you’ve got to imagine a lot of ups and downs, visits, relationships in between 😉
And eventually I found a nice couple who are willing to teach me ranch skills and self sufficiency in Saskatchewan and another who will help me learn gardening and farming.
It won’t be easy. And I’m sure ill stay awake every night in that first week (starting tomorrow) will a rifle in my hand without the faintest idea of how to use it (unless it’s for selfies).
But I hope to grow and physically become strong so that as I continue my wanderings across this beautiful yet kinda dangerous planet. I can do so with ass-kicking confidence.