I.e. The Set-up
15.09.2010 - 15.09.2010
For one reason or another, before I left I never really gave much thought to writing a travel blog whilst on my Canadian adventure. Now I am here however, I feel that there is a lot that people may want to know about how I am spending my time in this beautiful country. I will, of course fill you in on the details in later posts, for now however I thought I'd get this site set up and give you some insight as to why I chose to some here in the first place.
The first thing I should probably mention is that I will, as far as I am able, upload lots of pictures for you to see and ogle, they will however only be a small sampling of those I actually take, that way, if you want to spend hours going through the thousands of photos I will likely take when I get home, you can, otherwise you can just check here for the highlights.
Now, with that said, let me tell you a little about myself (although somehow, I figure that if you are reading this you probably already know a fair amount about me anyway, and if you don't, hi!)
I am a 23 years old Englishman named Jonathan, but most everyone I know calls me Jonny, which is good, because I have come to grow quite fond of the shortening. I recently graduated from the Universoty of Nottingham with a 2:1 in Computer Science. Now, as many of you may know, that wasn't the plan when I started uni in 2005. I originally began studying Physics with Theoretical Astrophysics, which was, in all honesty, very, very interesting, it was also very challenging however and as such I ended up dropping out of the course at the end of my second year and transferring to Computer Science, the natural progression 80% of failed physicists make, as far as I can tell at least.
Fast forward another 3 years and I am exiting university after 19 years in full time education with no idea what the hell I want to do with my life. Let's review my options briefly shall we?
1) Get a job- Now, whilst this, for many is the natural progression after one leaves university it was far from desirable for me. Apart from the fact that the economic downturn of late has made it all but impossible for graduates to get anything but the most basic jobs I did not like the idea of starting a career at 23 (regardless of the fact that I had no idea what I actually wanted to do.) 'So don't start a career' I hear you cry, well, there's my other problem, I didn't simply want a placeholder job either. Simply getting a job any job to make some money to live off of seems to me like a waste of a year of my (let's be honest, all too short) life. So, jobs were out of the question. Next.
2) Get on a Graduate Training Scheme. Now this is the next logical exit point from uni. Get trained to do one job well. Now there were problems here too. Firstly they are hugely competitive, and, as we mentioned in point 1, with fewer graduates being able to get an actual job, even more were turning to this avenue of continuation. Secondly, the only, and I mean only one that even remotely interested me was The Forestry Commission's scheme... which required you to have a full drivers licence... which for one reason or another, I don't have, and couldn't possibly get before their application deadline closed. Excellent. Next
3) Get a PGCE, or, in other words, train to become a teacher. Now, this did, in all honesty, at first glance look appealing. Train to teach I.T. to people, how hard can teaching people how to use Word be? Then I met a few people who were doing it and they, how shall we put this lightly? Put me off. Let's leave it at that, teaching kids is a bastard of a job to do in the best of conditions. For now at least this is being put to one side, but who knows whether I will return to it in the future. Oh, and also, if I'd done this it would have marked a full 2 decades in full time education for me. Yeah. No thanks.
4) Go travelling. Now we are getting somewhere! I know a few people who have done this, most notably my good friend Michael Gravenstede, who spent 9 months skiing in the Alps, and Clare Déry, who is currently teaching English in Tokyo. Her blog can be found here. They made travelling sound very appealing, and combined with the number of people I know who have just done general holidaying in exotic far off places I decided to go for it.
So, with the decision to go travelling made the next question was 'where to?' For me there was no choice, it would be Canada or New Zealand, if you havn't worked out which one I picked by now, well, let's just say I haven't seen any Kiwis yet.
So that was it, I applied for a scheme through BUNAC, who helped me with my visa, and on the 15th of September 2010, feeling shattered and drained I arrived in Vancouver via Air Canada flight AC855, my first time stepping on soil outside of Europe, exciting. This then, really is where the adventure begins, but I'll save that for another entry. I will attempt to keep this updated as much as possible, if there is an internet connection, I will let you know what I am doing. Have no fear!