Oh dearest reader you’re still here after all of this time? My my you should have just gone and read something else as nothing to interesting has happened other that a few small life changing events! so before we get endowed in the dance of you first I shall take the biscuit and jump right in!
I have been in Squamish for just over 6 months and I have to say it’s been a rollercoaster and one that I wanted to keep riding over and over again but I could never quite put my finger on what made the ride so enjoyable was it the loop de loop at the mid point or was it the climb in the beginning allowing the ride to go full force and give you the thrill of existence or was it the ending where your adrenaline is still pumping though your veins and the endorphins run like a river through the soul? the answer is that not one part is the best part, but combined it makes the whole experience a fulfilling one and leaves a taste in the mouth that keeps you coming back for more as I found out.
Now I could spend hours upon hours of both mine and your time however I think that is better in a different form that of the spoken english language so what I’ll do is explain why Squamish has made such an impact on my life in such a short period of time.
My first few weeks in Squamish where lets say hard, it was the first time I had volunteered somewhere I was surrounded by people who at the time seemed very sporty and into their fields and friendship circles but looking back they where great people I just didn’t see it at the time as I forgot that everybody in this hostel was a traveler they aren’t just living day in day out they are there on their adventure just how I’m on my adventure and by speaking to one another we would have allowed ourselves to combine our experiences and create a whole new adventure slash friendship circle as shown in Chapter 12. But yes it did take some weeks to start to come out of my own shell and speak to others I still haven’t mastered to art of speaking to others but I’m 100% confident that those skills have improved 10 fold and they just keep getting better and better!
Well god dammit Ciarán you just went and left a blog post half finished didn’t you and now you want me future Ciarán to finish it don’t you? Well I can’t and won’t I can’t pick up on a story from over half a year ago so I hope you enjoyed chapter 13 a half arsed adventure tune in next week for chapter 14 – Edale Home away from Home.
Well there we go dear reader it’s been a year of on off writing and I can confirm I think it’s been a success, I have learnt and met a lot of people along the way who knows if they still think of me because I think of them. I have done my fair share of dumb stuff whilst being away from home and in no particular order lets start a list
- Made piss bombs on a frozen lake
- Drank copious amounts of alcoholic beverages
- Climbed ice mountains without ropes or crampons
- Climbed vertical faces in the rain with no ropes
- Said dumb things
- fell in love
- one night stands
list done turns out it was significantly smaller than expected… but it’s all things I haven’t done back home so any experience is better than no experience. But really my time in Canada has been the greatest decision of my life I know that some people back home weren’t pleased with my decision but it’s my life not theirs and I shouldn’t be concerned about what others think there is nothing that can be done! but back to how it’s been the greatest decision, it’s because this is where I gained my independence and started to become who I am, now yes to those who haven’t left their home that sounds ridiculous but it’s true being around people you have never met allows you to be seen in a whole new way and it’s great there is no judgement and everybody is accepting of anything and everything. And that’s what traveling is all about, being you and accepting the world for what it is (yes I know I sound like some earth loving sensei) and on a side note physical items mean nothing and that has stuck with me in the past few months, these items don’t bring me happiness its the experiences and the tales to be told that bring back those memories for life and take you back to the best times of your life not some dumb phone you bought, it doesn’t bring happiness in the long term just in the first few weeks and then it’s a tool and you don’t tell people about the item you had years ago it’s just not a thing unless you make it a thing.
I digress, over the past year I have met a lot of people and unfortunately contact has been lost with some of these people due to being all over the country it’s hard to keep friendships going across the world, the people I do still keep in contact with are now seen as my best friends and I enjoy speaking to them regularly in other words if I FaceTime you at least once a month then we are besties…
Over the year I have been asked a lot of questions some more than others but the most common question is “do you miss home?” and in short the answer is No I don’t miss home, but as a longer answer of course your going to miss the place you grew up in but at the same time as a species its in our blood to explore and live and breath in new lands and as of writing I couldn’t see myself living back in the UK as a vacation I would enjoy that I want to travel in the UK now I have found a new love and passion for exploring my home a sense I never got whilst living there. and right now I want to live here in Canada I see this place as my new home. and yes I’m living the dream and loving every part of it.
Stardate 040617 the first day of camp has begun and by first day of camp I mean the first day at the camp which involved in polite terms bugger all. Mostly awkward interactions with my new co-workers and trying to find something to eat (looking back I assume we found food because I’m still alive) after that and a FaceTime with my parents giving them a half arsed tour of the camp and them mocking my “facial hair” which shortly involved shaving and looking like a fresh born baby maybe I’ll send a photo if you ask looking at you Adam… So there we are a Mexican an Irishlady and an Englishman on a dock looking out over sylvan lake we talked about ourselves and discussed what the summer will bring and what bought us to this place. we played some frisbee on the beach and yes I was the super hip cool guy who purchased a frisbee and yes I do still have the frisbee I threw out clothes so I could keep travelling with it! and then all of a sudden in the late afternoon a man stood on top of the path down to the beach and said “do you guys work here” our repose was a rather sheepish “ermm yes” the man responded with “I’m Kendrah’s father” we all though who is Kendrah should we know who she is? **side note she was a counsellor** so we start talking to Kendrah and no word of a lie she scared the living shit out of us telling us stories about camp all the rules what you can and can’t do It was like a weeks worth of information in a span of 4 hours. Looking back I think it helped but I really have no idea! and lets skip forward because I can’t remember what happened!
Stardate 050617 – 010717 the first day of training and oh boy my memory is failing me so I’m going to attempt to condense around a month worth of training into a few paragraphs please wish me luck…
Now this was the first time we worked as a whole team hence the term team building exercises and at the time I wasn’t a fan of the whole team building actives and feeling like a complete tit in-front of others but now I have come to the realisation that nobody really gives a fuck as everybody is in the same boat this took an embarrassing amount of time to realise! but the actives involved some name games, learning about each other and trusting one another and hence the title Low Ropes was the main focus of this portion of training now at the times I wasn’t a fan of the Low Ropes but now I have to say it’s one of my favourite activities it really does encourage teamwork and the trust of others now as all adults its pretty easy to learn and work as a team and control everybody but when attempting to teach a bunch of grade 7s to perform these tasks it turns into a big old shit show nobody listens and this can cause major issues and somebody can get hurt (I’m turning into an old teacher) but with this under our belts we where ready teach and starting to form friendships
Sidenote **mature language** I FUCKING LOVE CANOEING **mature language over** Now I’ve only ever been canoeing once before this “but ciaran how can you love it if you’ve only done it once before 6 years ago” first of who told you it was 6 years ago oh wait I’m the author and asked an imaginary question (did I just break a 3rd wall? yes, yes you did) but really I have just loved the idea of being on a lake paddling away talking about life and taking a nice long day chilling on the water man that is the dream right there! Now to actually take these kids on the water we need to be certified instructors and thats exactly what we where doing fancy that eh. Our instructor was Seb great guy super friendly and enthusiastic the course was only for 3 days and for 1 of those days it was white caps on the lake so canoeing was out the window on that day but we learnt all the strokes and how to recover a tipped canoe thats harder than it looks! and then on the last evening we played some form of tag with foam pieces that you had to pick up with your paddle and throw at another canoe (I do have a short film showing this) ask me to upload it on the internet… and that is canoe training complete I’m now certified by Paddle Canada and get a metric fuck tonne of emails from them **thumbs up**
Being a councillor 101
I wasn’t a councillor so this section is completely irrelevant, instead I was mowing grass and cleaning porcelain like a god damn pro! because I was DR.JAN-ITOR
Operation Summer Part III will be coming to a screen near you soonTM but in all honesty the summer was a complete blast and part III I have no idea where to start so maybe there will be something different maybe A Midnight Summers Dream…
Stardate 120517 It has been quite some time since my last update life has got in the way and by got in the way I mean I fell into a routine eughh I have nobody to blame but myself but I’ve had enough of going through the motions of waking up at 6:30am heading to work grab a Tims *no other coffee franchises available*, answer some IT calls (by some I mean a fuck tonne) have some lunch homemade of course I’m not made of money except on a Wednesday where I like to go to Burger King *other franchises are available* and grab a 2 for $5 deal (not to shabby but it is flabby tehee) get home for 4:30pm watch some TV cook dinner and lunch for the next day and go to bed for 9:00pm. I know what your thinking “whoee ciarán what I life you live eh” Gonna stop you right there and say bad, bad reader that is a terrible thought, Now you see I have become conformable not good I didn’t move half way across the world to work 9-5 or 7:30 – 3:30. I came to experience life now I have done that but not as much as I had hoped, I mean I should have worked in a bar or more hands on but I pursued my future career in IT but not in the good way sitting in a desk in a shirt and tie doesn’t do many people many good (well it does, but this is an exception) So I thought what was my original plan prior to getting work it was to gallivant around Toronto until June and then bugger of and have a fun summer so that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Operation Summer is about to commence!
Stardate 230217 I have been working for 1 month and within that time I have become ever closer with a female companion, It was an instant sense of belonging and sense of this is it ciarán your here in a strange new land go get her… alas writing this I have lost those feelings almost loosing that sense of friendship maybe I’m just over complicating things who knows it is me after all! but in a nutshell maybe I’m just naive when it comes to women or maybe I just watch to many sitcoms take JD for example I like JD his personalty his ego man I wish I was just an ounce like that but at the same time it would take away from who I really am somebody who wants to be somebody else… But back to the topic tonight was in french terms a “shit show” my lady friend asked if I would like to play some tennis after work with her and her cousin sure why not whats the worst that could happen **find out next time on This Is My Life** but seriously it led me to write a blog update that’s either a terrible thing or a great things as it’s bypassed speaking to Taff since he’s in Dubai and I don’t want to dull the mood… So there I am waiting for the next train to Finch (subway station in toronto) and over the tannoy *delays on line 2 please make your way to the surface for shuttle busses* so I texted lady friend and said
Heyo delays at st.clare
Yeah this is a shit show
I’m going to head home
And yes that is my actual text I was partially relieved as my gut really didn’t want to go play tennis but my goddam gentleman parts got in the way I mean for my age thats a damn fine thing but for a social awkward, self conscious young adult its a pissing nightmare. anyway back to the station so lady friend replays saying that she is at the surface come up and see me… *fuck* is my initial thought but I’ve had this sudden urge just to try things to get a good story and yes It did work this time thank you past me. so I find lady friend at the bus station bare in mind that there is around 300 people waiting for a handful of busses well done TTC *slow clap* so I make some small talk not my finest moment but I got a laugh *score* and lady friend informs me that she invited an old work college (sure whatever I don’t care *winces*) and lady friend says that we are going back to friends house OK I say I start reading my book as I’m kind of in that I don’t want to be here anymore but I don’t want to be rude and leave so yeah that’s an issue of mine I suppose. so we arrive at friends apartment and it’s like something from one of those American sitcoms where they have a really really modern and nice apartment but they work as a dishwasher or something along those lines not dissing dishwashers (looking at you Casey Neistat) but this put me in an uneasy mood I can’t explain why it just did (I do know I just don’t want to write it down) (I’ll tell Taff about it when I speak to him miss you Taff xoxo) But we ended up watching some utter shite program I have no idea what it was about I completely zoned out I did a JD tilted my head to the left and just started to day dream I was in my happy place (thinking about how to write this blog) and then it dawned on me I was chasing something that wasn’t going to happen I was wasting valuable resources on something that I no longer wanted I no longer have an interest in lady friend it just hit me like a tonne of bricks I don’t know what triggered it but It finally happened I was almost set free I got up and just said “yeah I’m going home” and then lady friend said she was also leaving so we walked to the subway station and parted ways I just sat on the train and continued to read my book somewhat please with what I had achieved not much to the outside but to me it felt significant and after typing this out it seemed oddly un-climatic as is life children life isn’t like the movies life is what you make of it and what I made out of it is don’t go chasing a feeling that is only one way (like running up an escalator thats going down) it’s going to be damn hard and it’s not worth the hassle just go around and take the stairs and you never know maybe the next chapter will be there.
Well I have settled into my new place here in Toronto, It’s nice plenty of room to move big enough kitchen bathroom you know the standard things. Alas I have one gripe I’m the only english speaking person here now that’s strange and I mean it would of been nice to know before but I suppose that’s all part of the adventure! I have explored the surronding area (ish) there isn’t a lot within walking distance (depentand upon walking distance) the underground is a 10 minute walk so not too far but enough. on the topic of undergrounds it’s old school compared to the London underground no contactless barriers just loose change and NFC enabled cards (I should get one of those $3.25 for one journey will start to add up. Anyway I took the underground to Queen a station next to the Town Hall oddly pleasent but compared to the old Town Hall it reminded me of an old school english council flat from the 80s when concrete beasts was concidered “futuristic” alas nobody was there maybe it’s because it’s a Tuesday or maybe people are at work and aren’t interested in Town Halls who knows. But the people I did meet where so busy like eveything was rushed, comparing to Halifax where everybody was friendly nothing felt rushed the little granny at Timmys was so pleasent compared to the out of country student who was doing it because they have to (sorry for the sad outlook it got to me) I suppose that is the issue with living in a City I hope to get over these emoions and start enjoying the city on the other hand I’ve been here for less than 48hrs and they say Rome wasn’t built in a day and that can be said for my outlook on moving. before I left Halifax my mind was in Toronto but my body was there alas it’s now vise versa my Body is here but my mind is in Halifax.
Star date 090117 I have embarked on the next mission Operation:Toronto I have had a eye opening experience in Halifax and after spending a month there I can now share my thoughts and outlook on my first month…
First of it was strange being away from home for over a month I know my friends have gone to university but that is only a few hours drive I’m whole flight away! that seems like a long way but in reality it’s nothing I can be home in less than 24hrs if it was called upon (like a spy, by spy I mean a Johnny English kinda spy) I have yet to feel the emotions of homesickness maybe I’m heartless or maybe It’s in my blood to be away from home for extended periods or it could just be that I have a FaceTime call every Sunday I do look forward to that (when I’ve had an interesting week) I mean sometimes It was like oh what have you been doing? “erm I watched TV and played Super Mario Run!” but back to adventure talk! I have seen many new and interesting things from a Lighthouse to a lake WOW, But really everything I have seen is beautiful maybe it’s because I’m easily pleased or maybe I’m genuinely happy with my new life who knows I mean I should but I don’t…
Now for Christmas this is my second Christmas away from home and this year I wasn’t in a hospital so that’s a bonus right!? So we drove up? left? down? Canada to New Brunswick a 6hr drive in the snow we arrived and it was dark at the time I was sad as I wanted to see the view but looking back I’m happy we didn’t waking up and looking out the window took my breath away a lake covered in snow was one of the most beautiful things I have seen It appeared to be endless apart from the coast at the other end which would make it end dammit. Now I know what your thinking where are the photos? well I mean I could show you a photo but I fear that it wouldn’t show the true beauty. But I suppose that’s the issue with photos there is no scale a mountain looks like a hill and a lake looks like a pond… On the topic of ponds back home we call the Atlantic ocean a pond so “America is just across the pond” but here on the lake it was literal America was on the other side of the pond also It was a portal to the past as there is a 1hr time difference that was pretty cool! So whilst in the middle of nowhere I did things I never would of thought of doing… ATV, Skeet Shooting (I’m pretty good *insert trumpet blowing here*), Snow Shoeing, Ice Skating ON A LAKE!, Skiing (tumbling down a hill in style) all new experiences and all of them I wish to pursue in the future! But looking back It didn’t feel real I don’t know if everybody has this feeling but I know that I did those things but at the same time it doesn’t feel real I felt the same about South East Asia I was there I have photos and videos but they don’t feel real anybody can take a photo but few can tell a story. (can I tell a story or just tell my minds story hmmm) But as I write this once again on a plane cruising at a speed maybe it’s the cabin air or maybe it’s because I have no power nothing I can do I can let my mind wonder and instead of thinking about it I can write it down and share this thoughts with some stranger. I digress more I should really be talking about Toronto…
Toronto why there? you ask well I’ve always had an interest in living in a city the busyness the things to do the sights to see it just excites me it’s an adventure within an adventure all the different mini communities within a large one little Italy, Portugal, China new food man I love food! I hope it’s what I have in my mind maybe It’s completely different I suppose I’ll find out in less than 2hrs… But before I settle down I need to catch a train from the airport to the house at a station called bloom? blorg? something B I’ll find it trust me and then 15ish minute walk yay with my life on my back I still find that amusing that I’m attempting to live out of a backpack for 2 years I still think it’s insane but so far I’ve loved it limited cloths is the best no huge decisions of what to wear and I can’t buy anything so I both love that and hate by that I mean I can buy food and water just nothing I need to take with me! But back to serious ish talk I’m also heading to a city for work I mean surely a city will have work dishwashing sure, IT Heck Yeah! I do hopefully have a phone interview in the coming days for an IT job in downtown Toronto (ideal work spot in my head) but only time will tell if I get that position! but for now I’m going to enjoy some music by Lulek playlist “good” I mean says what it does on the tin I Suppose…