This year has been a roller-coaster journey, but it has also been a year of opportunity.
After five wonderful years, this week will be my final week at work before I leave for a new adventure.
It’s a strange to feel equally excited and apprehensive at the same time; and it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to all of the wonderful people that I’ve met along the way.
In a few months, I will take the next – and biggest – step in this this journey, when I board flight AC 857 from London Heathrow flying to Toronto in Canada.
I am taking a working holiday, for the next couple of years to work, travel meet new friends and experience life from a different perspective.
As the countdown begins until I jet off for my new home, I’m creating the to-do lists of all lists to make sure that I get everything done.
So far, I have applied for my visa and booked my flight – I’m coming back to the UK in June for a friend’s wedding, so opted for a return fare. I used ebookers which allows you to compare flight itineraries and prices across a number of the major airlines and a few of the regional ones. I wanted a direct-flight so opted for Air Canada.
I’ve also made some provisional arrangements for when I first arrive, I’ve booked a hotel for my first night, and thanks to an amazing contact I met on Linkedin, I have also arranged somewhere to stay for the first few weeks, to help me ease into Canadian life and properly get my bearings before deciding on where I want to settle for the next couple of years.
The Canadian job market is very different to what I’m used to here in the UK, so my British CV will need some tweaking to make it appropriate for Canada. In addition to emailing my current contacts in Canada for advice, I have also booked some time with a resume specialist to help get me ready to secure employment as soon as possible, after I arrive.
I am networking like crazy via digital channels and social media and have already met some wonderful people who have willingly given their time to answer my many questions.
I also have a long list of things still do:
- Get reference from manager and other partners I’ve worked with
- Make a note of contact details for key work contacts
- Write my Canadian resume (more than one, tailored to job areas)
- Send CV to recruitment agencies in Vancouver, and arrange appointment for January
- Search and apply for jobs
- Send off speculative applications to companies I’d like to work for
- Organize belongings into several categories
- Take to Canada
- Keep in storage in UK
- Keep with Mum & Dad (valuables and items with sentimental value)
- Sell/donate/give away
- Throw away
- Organize storage locker for items to be stored
- Service/MOT Car
- Sell Car
- Request letter of reference from car insurance company
- Cancel car insurance
- Request copy of my driving record (to allow me to exchange my license for a Canadian one)
- Notify HMRC that I’m leaving the country for tax purposes
- Notify bank and credit card companies that I’ll be travelling
- Open a Canadian bank account with HSBC
- Check to see if new bank cards expire soon, order new ones if necessary
- Close any unused bank accounts
- Print off and store final bank statements
- Transfer credit history with HSBC
- Order Canadian dollars/travellers cheques
- Notify mobile phone provider that I’m travelling
- Buy roaming package for mobile phone for first two months
- Book doctor’s appointment and stock up on necessary prescriptions
- Book dentist appointment for check up
- Book optician’s appointment for eye test
- Request copy of health and immunisation records
It’s a daunting list, that seems to change almost on a daily basis, but I am getting there – slowly. All that pales in comparison to planning to say goodbye (even temporarily) to my family and my friends.