MONTHLY #2 JUNE: PREPARATION FOR A JOURNEY
The Month of June
The month of June flew by incredibly fast. We had so much stuff to do and so many things to arrange especially in the first half of the month, that before we knew it, June has ended. And the last week of June we finally set off for new adventures.
Work and Travel Visa
As you might know, we spent the past year in Canada, doing our Work and Travel Visa and the year deserves a short summary. We've already had an abroad experience when we worked and traveled to New Zealand for more than a year but it was four years ago, and a lot has changed since then.
Right after we finished university, we arrived in New Zealand, and our primary motivation was to make just as much money to be able to explore the country we've always dreamt about to visit. We gave up all the comfort, slept in the car for good portion of a year, worked hard on a vineyard but enjoyed our time more than we could've imagined.
Year in Canada
The year in Canada was a bit different. We were four years older, gained some work experience back home but still were willing to start over again to push our limits a bit further. In all aspects, the second experience was much harder than the first, carefree one. First of all, we decided to settle down from the beginning, we haven't traveled for the whole year (which was probably a thing we missed the most) and focused only on work we were overqualified for, but grateful we found it and kept it for the whole year.
City of Calgary
City, where we decided to stay was Calgary, and over the year we've heard countless time a question, why Calgary. For us, the reasons were purely practical. Firstly, we preferred to stay in a bigger city (Toronto seemed too big, Vancouver too expensive, French-speaking cities were out of the question); secondly, if we hadn't found a job in Calgary, we could've quickly moved to the nearby Rocky Mountains and look for a seasonal job. Thankfully, we succeeded as we didn't want to work in the mountains (even though the surroundings is stunning) and pay high rent or sleep in staff accommodation (it just doesn't suit us as we prefer to have privacy).
To be honest, Calgary as a city didn't enthrall us. It is certainly interesting to visit for a few days, but after some time, we found it too cold (believe us, this winter was not fun), too flat, it doesn't have the feeling of the lively city and is unfriendly for people without own transport. But don't take us wrong. Calgary is a great city to live in, it's one of the sunniest cities in Canada, and it has a photogenic downtown. Now you might wonder why the hell we came here when we could comfortably sit back in Prague and enjoy our everyday life. And maybe this is the answer. Sometimes, we found it too comfortable, too undemanding and that's why we wanted to get out of our comfort zone (again) and experience something new - to live in a diverse city, get familiar with the North American way of life and meet new people.
But let's get back to the month of June. As we were preparing ourselves for our South America trip, we finally booked flight tickets to Bogota, Colombia, did a lot of gear shopping, planned a rough itinerary, tried to write as many posts as we could, and got three vaccinations shots.
But what was the most important, we finally began to travel again. The last week in June, we've rented a car and started our 14-days trip around the province of Alberta and British Columbia.
As our trip overlaps into July, so far we've managed to visit Lake O'Hara (the place you must book months in advance only to get a chance to get on its shore there) and the Banff National Park area.