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 080317 I was attempting to write this yesterday as a 3 month update but I thought this is a good time to reflect on my life at only 20 I feel that I have seen and done more than others my age maybe it’s due to never going to University or maybe it’s due to my un willingness to conform to standards as much as I want to my mind just wants to do its own thing this can cause issues as I tend to gaze into space and people have noted this and they always ask what I’m staring at the answer is nothing It’s just that I can’t close my eyes otherwise people will thing I’m just sleeping I’m not sleeping i’m dreaming with my eyes open… I digress once more I have started to question what I’m doing with my life what do I want to do where do I want to be in 5, 10 ,15 years and the answer is I don’t know. I don’t know what I want to do, see, learn or work I have no set path I suppose that can be seen as a good thing but in this world I beleive it’s a bad thing as I should really consider getting some fancy paper with letters on it but then what use is that i already have 4 years of work experience in 2 fields engineering and IT I suppose right now they are an asset but in 10 years time it will either be so Mr.Stokes you have 14 years of expericnece in real world but none on paper why? Once again the answer would be I just don’t know right now…
Back to reflection as I sit in a vegan cafe again I some how just keep finding them after I ask for milk and the barista always scoffs *fuck me alright I didn’t know, I like cow juice sorry!* I look around and listen to the gentle guitar background music I notice some paintings on the wall attempting to figure them out, But I know deep inside I don’t know anything about them and I’m just using them to keep my mind busy as I’ve had a lot in there recently more than usual Taff knows about it. and I said to him it’s a story that I want to keep to myself but at the same time I want to share. I can dish out a little hint it’s due to me being to intouch with my emotions I develop feelings far too fast and have flash backs and flash fronts about my current future and past experences I can feel them it’s both great and horrible my pulse increases the tension increases I’m reliving the same moments over and over until somehting can take it’s place alas this time its been 4 days and I’m still seeing this vividly. I’m sure eveybody has these thoughts but I feel that most don’t discuss them or even think about them I’m almost too concious of my concious. man that felt pretty good to write.
Overall I feel that my life has been pretty great I’ve met some amazing people and I’ve left some amazing people I have my best friends at home, I have my drinking friends, ex co-workers and others but what’s it all for do they think about me as I do them? that’s the problem we are too busy wanting to know about others whilst we know nothing about ourselves. Take 10 minutes and just stare your mind will eventually fill in the blanks and you’ll be at peace just don’t think too hard you don’t want to put manufctured thoughts they are already there. you just have to let them come out.
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.
Star date 010217 Operation:Toronto has taken place and has been in action for 1 month and the challenge has been harder than expected moving from a Rural town in the middle of Derbyshire to a multicultural heaven of over 2 million people was quite the difference even the Halifax transition period didn’t assist as much as I though it would of! However my job hunting went significantly better than expected! I planned to get a job within 2 months that was grossly exaggerated it turned out to be closer to 2 days (that sounds good and yes it is but it was a shock!) So I had to see the sights in a shorter period than expected a week but In hind site that was plenty of time to see the “big” things ROM, CN Tower, Aquarium, City Hall yada yada yeta… and STEAM WHISTLE BREWERY (hell yes) that is single handedly the greatest tour! $20 for a tour and 3 beers hell yes! But back to the issue at hand the transition between country and city…
I grew up in a small town/village in the middle of the UK population of my village was around 6,000 people and the town close to 22,000 now that could be considered a lot but in reality it’s a very small amount of people! I was a mere walk away from rolling fields and forests here it’s a concrete jungle that I always dreamed of but as they say never meet your idols it always brings disappointment and this was no exception. I wanted to do things meet people do activities, they are all there but everybody wants to do that you go somewhere it’s full, busy, heaving! now I’m not the biggest fan of confined spaces full of people (looking at you TTC) but I can deal with that as I HAVE to do that. but choosing do to that (pardon my french) fuck that… so yes technically i’m to blame for not taking part but that’s not who I am I like to be with a small group of buddys chatting away having a few beers but that isn’t a thing here in the city it’s all disco tech dancing not chatting! (yes I was born in the wrong time era) But I have decided to power on through. I spend time with my housemates we cook together chat over beers watch movies living the simple life (I like that) But I think I will only spend a few months here until May I think and then I will move some place smaller I’m not sure where a small town/city nothing big no Vancouver as a vacation sure but to live no can do… maybe I’ll go back east to PEI spend more time near the coast or maybe head over to Alberta time will tell but until then I shall try to enjoy my time here save some money and continue living the dream. and living the dream is hard I’m not going to sugarcoat it to myself it’s been a change I’ve had to adapt push my boundaries but I will make me a better person I hope and with time and effort I will be able to enjoy everything through the hard times and the good times.
Star Date 301116 I have now arrived in my new home for the month, I now obtain a VISA that allows me to stay in Canacda for 2 years that finally put my mind to rest I can now focus on the next stages of this adventure! so this morning I woke to my now new home I felt disorientated almost like I had forgot what had happnend maybe thats what happens when you start over again! However it was raining so it felt just like home! I headed to the shower had some ceral called EDGE (what a wierd name) and then put on my jumper raincoat and headed off for a walk to the local shopping complex or something along those lines! I was the only person walking turns out everybody here drives even if it is only a 5-10minute walk anyway I went to a very well known coffee establishemnt Tim Hortons other coffee esablishemtns are available… turns out they only sell black drip coffee AWESOME! the server seemed odly satisified when I spoke almost like a trance so I’m
going to say that my smooth british voice is a thing people will notice but not talk about. So I took my black coffee to a nice corner and watched the world go by whilst listoning to how the locals speak it varies by age so the younger people have a very subtle accent whilst the elderly have a brouder accent that doesn’t suprise me in the least. after a few moments of that I logged onto the WiFi let my mum know that I was safe and settling in that filled me with ease and I’m sure my mum was happier after that. After my morning coffee I headed to the local bank to set up a meeting for a Canadian bank account and that’s going to be Star Date 011216. However this will not be posted until 011216 as
the place I currenlty reside doesn’t have WiFi. Status update I’ve been enjoying listoning to the Tri-Force podcast and Lukes Good playlist thank god for being able to download music and podcasts! Currently off to a local grocery (supermarket) to grab some supplies did you know that you can’t buy beer or spirits in a place that also sells food, that was a surprise also your average person will drive from one store to another even if it’s a 30 second walk now that is the biggest cluture shock, my dad said it was the same when he was living in America and it was one of the reasons why he came back to the UK, hopefully when I live in Toronto it will be differnt again but only time will tell I suppose. So me and Kyle headed off for the grocery store and on the way went to see the ocean now I’ve seen the ocean many many times but this was differnt it was a cold almost storm like condidtions overcast smooth stones insead of sand. And knowing that my hope was about
5000miles away felt strange it felt homely but at the same time I felt like I was home. after our trip to the ocean we headed to a meat market I can say one thing meat is crazy expesnive like double price to the UK and maybe half the amount of meat but what can you do about it… we then headed to the local Sorbys (Tesco) grabbed the basics bread, vegtables, salmon blah blah… cooked some sausage in spagetti was pretty great had a few beers and then we reminised on our time in Thailand looked back on the photos and shared our stories and relived the moments that caused a friendship to be born.
Star Date 291116 I’m currently sitting down in the depature lounge at Boston Airport, I can tell you one thing I now understand TSA jokes a lot more. I also understand why the American imigration system gets so much guff. 50 questions to collect my bag and I’m not even stopping in the country I’m mearly passing through to the land of great Canada! I had to explain how the Visa worked and that I don’t have a job lined up I’m spending christmas on holiday jeez. Anyway after 15 minutes of that I had to collect my bag carry it down the
corridor and check it back in (what a system…) I mean when I went to Thailand I went via Doha no issues no bag checking no passport no security bliss. But now i’m currenlty sat in a lounge waiting around for 3 hours tried to buy some water they don’t accept my
homeland money so I had a walk around debating whether or not to ask a stranger to convert GBP to USD but I have yet to ask time shall tell I suppose. Time has passed and I report I haven’t asked anybody to exchange money. I decided to go to Dunkin Doughnut to grab a coffee, I ask if they accept GBP they don’t do you accept Apple Pay? yes great went to pay *Card Declined* fuck I decide to try and just use plastic and she said just swipe here, (blank look) “swipe?” I swipe my card transaction successful I was both super confused and very concerned swipe not insert no contactless man the UK has ruined me. However super cheap coffee $1.19 for a small latte wow pretty nice coffee I might add.
Currently sat in the departure lounge again waiting for my flight only 20 minutes to boarding hurray! they called my name for a check of paperwork call of the tannoy “Cierra Stokes” sounded like sierra I went up and said Hi Ciarán Stokes, the guy seemed very confused saying that people back home can’t pronounce my name so I’m buggered here oh well just call me Orange Thunder! Boarding time had finally arrived walked down the shute to the plane and it’s a propeller plane. I was both super excited and super nervous as I had never flown in a propeller aircraft so we taxi to the runway pretty smooth but at take off it felt like the whole plane was going to shake itself to pieces however when we reached cruising alititude it was pretty smooth until drinks where being served (turbulance alawys hits when food/drinks are being served) So there I’am grasping my drink so it doesn’t go anywhere but after that spat all was fine came to leaving the plane I sneezed and 4 people said bless you and that’s when I knew I had arrived in Canada.
I’m currenty 2 hour away from landing in Boston USA and decided to continue working on an old web project I had started over a year ago when I wanted to travel and see the world after coming back from South East Asia. my basic HTML and CSS are slowly coming back to me but it’s starting to make sense (thank god) so after findig this HTML file I picked up where I left off and thought I should satrt from the begining of how I’ve ended up on this flight. Ignore all HTML & CSS comments I moved to Blogspot because I’m lazy sue me…
It all started off on Star Date 111215 in a hotel in central Bangkok I had just arrived to my room to find what at the time was just a voice coming from the bathroom, I lay down on the bed and my first words where “I’m Shattered” and at that moment I realised my roomate wasn’t from the UK his reaction will always stick with me the look of confusion on his face will always stick with me. He responds with “Shattered?” I respond “you know Knackered”, once again I was greeted with this look of confusion I correct myself and say “you know tired”. FINALLY he understood and at that moment I knew that we would become very good friends I can tell you one thing I was not wrong!
Over the next 10 days I had single handedly the greatest time of my life and knew that I was finally happy with myself and what I had accomplished after spending time up in Chang Mai and living with the local in the forests to rafting down the river for an ungodly amount of time and with a palm full of blisters, Nothing a beer could resolve and I can say one thing within those 10 days I had drunk more beer than I have in my entire life. Alas all good things must come to an end mine and Kyles trip together had come to an end and we went our sperate ways I headed south towards Malaysia and Singapore whilst Kyle explore Thailand just a little more. We exchanged contact details and have stayed in contact ever since. (I will write about my South East Asia trip in another chapter)
After arriving back in the UK in January I was informed that Kyle would be visiting London for a few days my eyes lit up with excitement (It’s like guylove from Scrubs) We all met in London for the weeked we had good food and good beer there is a story about Guinness that can have a whole chapter… It was nearing the end of our meetup and Kyle pops the question (not marriage) would you like to come to Canada. My heart both felt full and felt empty it’s a big thing to respond to so as a sensible young adult I slept on it and after seeing what my options where I agreed. It didn’t seem real, something seemed off but looking back now with 1 hour away from landing in Boston it still doesn’t feel real I can’t beleive I’ve left my job my family behind I knew this day would come eventually but I still can’t belive it and I hope that this feeling never goes but it will it will sink in sometime soon. maybe on Star Date 251216 2nd christmas away from home maybe I can spend this on outside of a Hospital (another chapter right there) And that’s how ended up moving to Canada.