As Jess summed up perfectly, we only had a 14 hour stay in Dublin. It was nice albeit a little rushed, however unfortunately it was one of those hostel nights where you experience broken sleep. The beds weren’t particularly comfy, there was the odd drunken yelling in the street outside and of course people coming and going from your room don’t help either. We were used to this sort of thing by now, however it just contributed to the tiredness that we felt from the late nights and early mornings that we had in London.
While our budget for the trip was looking pretty good, we still opted for public transport to the airport. After spending the best part of three months having only ourselves to rely on, it was almost empowering to be able to figure out public transport systems in other countries, and not pay the ridiculous fees that some people do to catch a taxi or an “airport express” shuttle service. While we were waiting for the bus a taxi van pulled up at the stop and convinced three people to come with him for the low price of only 13 Euro each! I think it cost us around 2.20 Euro each to catch the bus to the airport. As it turned out the taxi stopped at almost every stop along the bus route, so it didn’t even turn out to be a faster option.
We boarded our AirTransat flight and received a fairly smooth trip across the North Atlantic Ocean to Toronto. By the time we landed, I well and truly had a headache. It was 3pm by the time we had our bags, and the day was dragging on already. We had gained 5 hours thanks to the change in timezones, which was a lot less than when originally travelling to Europe, but combined with the lack of sleep we were exhausted. That afternoon we drank as much water as we could to make sure weren’t dehydrated from the flight.
We briefly dropped into Toronto, catching the bus and then metro to the city centre. We just wanted to get some cash out, and do a little bit of shopping before starting our new life in Whistler in a few days time. After trying our Mastercard in about 4 different ATMs, we were a little bit nervous. We only had 20 Euro on us. As it turns out, things are a little different here – Mastercards don’t actually work in that many machines. Nevertheless, this scare, combined with the tiredness and the enormity of this city, we retreated back to the airport with our tails between our legs. We ditched the idea of shopping, and just grabbed a bite to eat. 5 tacos for $5!
When we returned to Toronto Pearson Airport we took a look around for what looked like the best place to sleep. We had planned in advance to sleep there since our flight the next day was at 7am. It just didn’t make sense to stay somewhere else only to have to wake up at 4am anyway.
Sleeping in an airport made for an interesting night. I woke up at one stage and there was an Asian man standing about half a metre away from my feet. We both woke probably once every hour or two, moved into another uncomfortable position on the row of chairs that we were on, and then tried again for more sleep. It wasn’t bad enough that I regret it, but it was enough to know that I never want to be homeless. For anyone considering sleeping in the Toronto Pearson Airport, Terminal 3 is the better airport for sleeping in.
The next day we were off to Vancouver thanks to a cheap flight with Air Canada. Taking a domestic flight within Canada turned out to be a much bigger deal than flying between countries in Europe. While going through airport security I was told that I had three knives in my bag. Not asked, told. It was obvious that the mindset is a little bit different over here. After 5 hours of flying we arrived at 9am in Vancouver. Once again we had jumped timezones and we saw and extra 3 hours in our day. By the time we had arrived in Vancouver I was pretty much wrecked. I made a point of drinking as much water as I could on the plane and I still had a headache. Originally we had planned to stay down in Vancouver in a hostel for a few days to get prepared and buy some supplies but by this stage we were exhausted. We wanted our own bed! After ringing our landlord to check if it was okay for us to arrive that day, we jumped on the next bus up to Whistler.
Arriving at our new home was like closure on the backpacking part of our trip. It was done. We could finally relax! We had a shower, cooked dinner and watched some TV. At 5pm we decided to just take an hour long nap. Jess even set her alarm. I woke up at 3:30am, confused. We both slept through the alarm, but kept sleeping until the morning. I think we had around 13 hours sleep – just what we needed.
So here we are, starting a new life. Over the past few weeks we have been doing a little bit of everything. Buying bikes, clothes, shoes, food, registering for all sorts of government numbers, setting up bank accounts, applying for jobs. ..And of course exploring the local area as best we can.