Bonjour à tous!
I’m writing this post on the bus from Montréal to Sainte-Agathe des Monts.
My blog over the next 10 weeks will be a means of documenting my Canadian adventure, working as a Camp counsellor at a bilingual summer camp in Quebec.
This is my first time travelling alone somewhere so far from home and I won’t lie, the past few days have been difficult, unsettling and I feel like I’m 10 years old. Then again, the sadness of leaving Manchester after an amazing year and the 16 hour journey to actually get here didn’t help my mood a lot. I won’t bother thinking again about the stress of immigration interviews and work permits. Massive cities are exciting and full of opportunity, but going solo can seem daunting and overwhelming. However, a 31 year old German traveller I met in the hostel changed my perspective on this. On his 7th month of his latest trip around South America, North America and Canada, he told me to “embrace it” and be glad I have a job lined up. This guy is the definition of a “rogue traveller”. With no set plans, he travels where he feels, seeing where he will end up. He arrived with no clothes, instead he picked up cheap ‘wavy garms’ from South America, looks for work where he goes and of course parties, hard.
I woke up this morning with a new sense of enthusiasm and decided to explore a bit with friends I made in the hostel. Even the thought of sharing a dorm at the start made me feel uncomfortable but just like so many have told me, “embrace it Victoria” and I’m so glad I have because I’m now ready to make the most of this amazing opportunity. I’ve spent the past two days in Montreal, sorting out admin and finalising details for being able to work, but I’ve also been able to explore the city a bit. The weather hasn’t been amazing, but it doesn’t take away from its charm.
Montréal is pretty, artistic and the old town reminds me of European cities. You’ll find maple syrup products everywhere and the maple syrup ice cream is a must. I haven’t yet tried the classic delicacy of “Poutine” (fries with cheese and gravy and other toppings) but I’ve been advised it’s also a must!! I’ve been enjoying speaking French and although the accent was alien to me at the start, I’m starting to pick it up and I’m excited to see my French improve over the summer.
Quartier des Spectacles, the entertainment district, boasts summer music festivals and there’s just such a feel-good and welcoming vibe from the city and the people. Everyone I’ve met so far have been friendly and helpful and I can only hope this continues.
M Montreal is where I have been staying and I couldn’t have chosen a better place to help me feel comfortable in this new city. The jacuzzi on the roof has nice views of the city and the bar underground is a good place to socialise.
I will be back in Montréal on my days off from work, to experience in depth more of the city’s culture as I’ve had only a taste of what the city has to offer!
For now, I’m off to Camp and I’ll see what it has in store for me…