Hey guys, so it’s been a hot minute since my last post!
Between moving back home and applying to jobs, I haven’t really found nor made the time to post on here.
So if you caught on to the first line, yes I’ve moved back home (to the UK). My time in Canada (just over 2 months) was very short-lived but I honestly enjoyed every single moment of it.
So just a little back story for those who missed my life update, I moved to Canada back in August on an IEC visa, also known as a working holiday visa, which I’ll explain more about later.
The main reason for me moving back home (aside from being extremely homesick) is due to the fact that I didn’t take into consideration just how long it would potentially take to find a job. I wasn’t that well informed before I made the move which is a bit of a bummer because if I was then I most probably would have still been out there living my best life.
Which got me thinking, surely I can’t be the only one who has had this experience. Following on from that train of thought, I’ve decided to write a few blog posts on the things I wish I had known before jumping ship, as the amount of information you have available to you can really make or break your experience.
With that being said, if anyone has any specific questions regarding IEC visas or would like me to cover anything in the upcoming blog posts then please leave a comment below or drop me an email via my contact page 💕
Back in February, I completely went off of meat, something I never thought would happen to me. Since then, I’ve been adjusting to a vegan diet. The first few months my diet was a mess, pretty much all I would eat is chips… yes chips, everytime I went out to eat my order consisted of …yes you guessed it, chips.
That was until I discovered vegan food festivals which pretty much changed my life. The first one I attended in London was called ‘Vegan nights’ which was completely mind blowing, I was introduced to so many different foods including deep fried cauliflower (don’t knock it until you try it)!
So, when I heard that Vegandale festival (a vegan north american annual food festival) was coming to Toronto, well you know that your girl had to cop a ticket and check it out.
Location, Location. Location
This years Vegandale festival took place in the grounds of fort york, leaving ample amount of space for a variety of food stands & a stage.
Whilst the food I tried was amazing, think; vegan spicy calabrese pizza, chocolate almond ice cream & mini pancakes, there wasn’t that much creativity in comparison to what I had seen at ‘Vegan nights’. However the atmosphere was one to be reckoned with, the weather (a comfortable 26 degrees) paired with the amazing DJ & entertainment (including a push-up competition) made Vegandale a festival to remember.
Veganism for the masses?
Vegandale is a food festival for everyone, ticket holders are allowed to bring their dogs (& pigs, yes someone actually brought a pig) Plus you don’t even have to be vegan to attend.
The price of food on-site was actually also quite reasonable, which in turn helps to bridge the gap between vegan food and affordability. A common myth I often hear is that it is way too expensive to be vegan; This I agree with to some extent but attending festivals such as vegandale have really turned this argument on it’s head.
Overall it was a fun event…different but interesting and insightful all the same.
To conclude, I’ll leave you with some of the pictures I took 🙂
It definitely has been a while, can you believe that my last post was on July 1st?? nearly a whole 2 months…
Well, in the past couple of months a lot has changed which has sadly taken up the majority of my time, meaning that some things (including Adina’s universe) have had to take a backseat.
But all that matters now is i’m back and i’m better.
So lets get into the actual update.
Completed a year long digital media internship
Honestly, this deserves an honourable mention. Being my first real job after finishing University, I had no idea of what to expect or even how to conduct myself in a corporate environment. I didn’t even think that I would be able to last the full year for various reasons, but I did & I’m beyond proud of myself. I may not know exactly what I want to do, but it’s a step in the right direction
Ok so this one may come as a surprise as I didn’t really vocalise it to anyone, for no other reason than uncertainty. When I applied for an IEC visa for Canada, I wasn’t in a good place mentally and what does Adina do when things don’t seem to be working out? run away. Anyway, skip forward to almost 2 years later and I wasn’t 100% sure I even wanted to continue with my plans of moving. However, I knew that I would probably regret it if I didn’t, so here I am 🤷🏾♀️
Almost 2 weeks in and trust me the homesickness is real. I’m not too sure how long I’ll be staying out here, but i’m beyond grateful to have been given the opportunity regardless of how things pan out.
I was super nervous to be flying on my own, so naturally, when I landed in Toronto, It completely slipped my mind to let the immigration officer know that I needed to activate my IEC visa. This is basically a document that allows you to work and live in Canada for up to 2 years.
** I’ll either create a video or a post on here with more information on how to apply for the IEC Visa**
After around an hour of stressing & fighting back the tears, after being told by the immigration officer that I wouldn’t be able to activate my visa. I managed to sort it all out and leave the airport with my 2 year IEC.
‘Ey’ – This was the first thing I noticed upon arrival.
No matter where you are in Canada, (in my case Mississauga and Toronto) I’m telling you, this word will haunt you for days, if not weeks. I’ve been back in the UK for like a month now, yet I can still hear it echoing at night.
Anyway, let me get down to business and give you my 4 things to do on a budget in Toronto.
1. Grafitti Alley
Discovered on my Instagram explore page, Graffiti alley is just that; a small alleyway in downtown Toronto covered from top to bottom in…you guessed it, graffiti. My suggestion would be to go before it gets dark out, as I didn’t notice any street lights & the area seemed to be a little dodgy. The alley was flooded with photographers and models when I visited so I would say its a very photographable (is this a word?) location, just make sure to crop out the garbage bags.
Price = $0
2. Toronto sign – queen street west
You cannot travel all the way to Toronto and not take a picture of/with this sign. As generic as it may seem, it is a great way to pass the time & people watch. just in front, there is a flight of stairs which brings you to a bridge overlooking the sign and the traffic (both people & vehicles) below.
Price = $0
3. Shark club sports bar and grill
Located just outside the Eaton Centre on Yonge Street, stands the Shark club sports bar and grill. The atmosphere combined with the food makes this a good all-rounder, perfect for casual dinner dates. The menu is pretty extensive as far as menus go. I’m a really fussy eater, yet I managed to find a few things that met my dietary requirements. Given its central location and amazing view, it’s surprising that shark club sports and bar grill does not burn a hole in your wallet.
Price = $40 (2 course inc a drink/on average)
4. Niagara Falls
Ok, so Niagara Falls isn’t actually in Toronto, but who would I be if I didn’t add it to the list.
However much it costs is down to you, you could visit Niagara and not spend a penny or you could go all out and break the bank. In my case, the only thing I spent on was souvenirs. (If you’re looking for a souvenir shop, there is one in the Eaton centre which is pretty inexpensive).
The side streets towards Niagara are filled with various excursions such as; haunted houses, 5D cinemas & many more. Unfortunately, I didn’t take advantage of this, but it is most definitely on the cards for next time.
Honestly, I cannot describe just how beautiful the Falls are, the pictures definitely don’t do it justice. It’s one of those things that you need to see in person, even add it to your bucket list if need be.
As I went in September, it was quite cold and misty, so we didn’t spend long and I wasn’t about to risk my cameras getting wet.
If you bring your passport with you, you can always walk across the bridge to New York. It’s crazy to see just how close 2 separate countries really are.
So there you have it, my top 4 things to do in Toronto, wasn’t too sure on how to structure this post so I hope this was ok 🙂
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Canada, it was amazing to meet family members I never even knew I had, and just to experience life as a Canadian.
A trip to Canada has been long overdue, I’m talking years!! September was the month that trip came into fruition. However, it was my first long haul flight alone. If you’re up to date with my blog you’ll already know that I suffer from social anxiety, so getting ready for this trip was definitely a struggle. There were so many sleepless nights and thoughts about me cancelling my ticket, not caring if I were to lose all the money I had saved up.
In hindsight, I was probably being a tad irrational and over dramatic but hey ho, what’s new. With my bags packed (last minute of course), my vlogging camera at the ready and the obligatory panic attack whilst going through security, I was starting to look forward to my new adventure.
A few months prior, I had made a list of everything I planned to do in Toronto, in order to get some quality footage for my vlog. Failing to prepare = Preparing to fail…right? Well not in this case. I had prepared so much that I felt quite annoyed with myself when nothing I had actually prepared for came into passing. On a positive note, that just means that the next time I go back, I have a long list of things to tick off.
Throughout my stay, I was based in Mississauga (Alexa play Break from Toronto by PartyNextDoor) My aunt was turning 50 and throwing a party to celebrate this momentous occasion, so the first few days of my trip were helping to run errands whilst also meeting new family members. This was quite daunting to begin with, but everyone was super nice and welcoming.
Toronto is just a whole new vibe. There are aspects similar to London, as there is with pretty much any city, yet it still felt very dissimilar at the same time. Prior to writing this post I was just going to throw my whole account of Canada in here but it may get pretty lengthy, so I will make a start on a separate post of what I specifically got up to and include some pictures too.
Now I’ve come to the end of this blog post, i’m not too sure what my intended purpose was, but at least it gives both you & I a feel of what is to come 🙂