Oh Canada!


So who would have thought that I would ever live in Canada?

I certainly didn’t see this coming during my time growing up.  There is so much you can not know about what the future holds and there is no point trying to control it.  Obviously, what you do in any given moment impacts the future outcome, but you definitely can not control this outcome.

My permanent residency began at the start of September 2008 – and since landing, what have I done?  Enjoyed life, that’s what!
I have no idea what pulled me here, but I do have memories of standing on a balcony in Whistler from back in 2005. I had a broken collar-bone and was having a chat with a friends’ father about how I love being amongst the mountains.  I said at that moment, “I want to live here.”   He told me the following…. “Never forget this moment and when you get distracted from achieving your goal, just remember this conversation.” Or something very close to those words.
It clearly worked and so to Ian Seychuck’s dad, I thank you.

So back to Canada

Landing as an immigrant was exciting.   I was at the time in a relationship with a Canadian girl and had the fortune of a place to start my Canadian dream.   From here we moved back up to Whistler where I worked in the village for the Whistler Alpine Guides Bureau.  This turned out to be a year-long position and enabled me to complete an Avalanche course, obtaining my level 1 AST.

My first winter season back in Whistler did not see me snowboarding much at all. I spent time trying to further my career prospects with the Guides Bureau, a futile task that ultimately would lead me away from the company.   I also signed up for an online personal trainer course, which I later lost motivation with.

Mt Currie

In the meantime however, my girlfriend and I moved 30 km north of Whistler to a small village known as Pemberton. It was a great location, very quiet and away from the tourist scene of Whistler. It was like nothing there is in England. I had an amazing view of Mt Currie and the time to do some cross-country mountain biking in the summer months.

As the summer drew to a close, so did my job at the Guides Bureau – I found alternative work in a sales ticketing role for Whistler Blackcomb which went on to be a great 6 months seasonal work.  The Winter Olympic Games were in Whistler that year, which was amazing; although this is a completely different story for another time – With my new job, I received a seasons mountain pass and managed to get about 30 days under my belt on the mountain.  It was my 3rd winter in Whistler, but only the second time I had a season pass.  I was also able to attend free Ski lessons, so as I had only ridden snowboard previously, I thought it wise to use my lessons and get some Ski hours accumulated.  So I can now Ski & snowboard, albeit, the snowboarding is my strongest skill out of the two.

The thing I feel about Whistler though, is you have to be 100% committed to your job or a complete snow freak to really want to stay there.  It is a beautiful place and will always be very close to my heart.  Despite it being the place that initially pulled me towards Canada, I was finding that I was not entirely fulfilled by it.   I was not able to put my finger on it, but I was very unsettled and was unsure about my direction in life. I think traveling and uprooting has this effect on people.  I have met many people along the way that go through this, or are stuck in this feeling.  Constantly changing jobs after 6 months to a year seems to be similar to pressing the reset button on a career.  You end up with a very varied skill set and a plethora of experiences, but if you’re not careful, you will lose a direction and fall off any career path that you may have been on in the first place.

So things appeared to be naturally coming to a head and it was time to mix things up again and make a fresh start.  At the end of the 2009/10 winter season I ended my 4 year relationship with my girlfriend, which was very difficult to do, but I knew this was the only way for me to rediscover who I had become and to delve deeper into where I want to go.  I took a holiday back to England for my 31st birthday, which proved to be a distinct marker in history for me.  I was in England for a month, a friend joined me for 3 weeks and upon our return to Canada, we managed to score a cool 2 bedroom apartment in the Downtown core of Vancouver.

So, now reset button had been pushed, what next?

I always express my intentions to people as I go through life.  Sometimes I don’t carry through with these intentions, or the things I plan don’t materialise, but I find that talking things through with people can lead to all sorts of opportunities.  This is the perfect example:

Due to openly talking about heading to Vancouver and not being sure of what I will be doing there, led me to a conversation with a representative of a company in Vancouver, which ultimately secured me a job. Within 2 months of being in Vancouver I was working again.  I had a part-time job with Intrawest selling all things Whistler.  If you had called the phone number on Whistler Blackcomb web site, you may well have spoken to me.  What a great job, I was able to talk about Whistler and encourage people to visit and taste it for themselves.

The position was part-time and was only giving me a few hours.  I was able to survive though, as I was eligible for Employment Insurance.  This is basically a type of job seekers allowance, or dole.  Now, I am not one to freeload and I like to put in my bit, but the circumstances were such that I would be stupid to not take this opportunity.  I was now able to work 2 days a week and in the other free days, focus on things I enjoy doing.  I was able to spend lots of time on my computer learning different programs, music production, film editing, web design and blogging!! Haha.

Some people may see my past times as a waste of time, just sitting at a computer doing a whole lot of nothing. Sometimes things may seem ‘pointless’, when they are in fact, the complete opposite.  I have read many times before that if you are doing something you enjoy then you are on the right path. You may not be able to see where it is leading to, but have faith in the fact that it IS leading you somewhere.

This video of Steve Jobs (ceo of Apple) accepting his honorary degree is pertinent to what I am talking about here. He discusses ‘joining the dots’. At the time, you can not join the dots going forwards, but you can going backwards. You may not see the relevance of what you are doing at the time, but if you have faith, you will soon be able to join them going backwards.

So, the relevance here?  The time I have been spending on various tasks and seemingly pointless projects has led me to a amazing new job here in Vancouver related to computer sales.  I am very proud of this achievement and for the first time ever I have a job that I feel suits me perfectly.

The one thing that I have taken away from all of this is……

There’s a time in your life where you are pressured by external influences. Be it society, a partner or a parent. It can stress you out, feeling that you have to achieve a certain goal.  You don’t yet know what that goal is, so you panic.  You feel you have to pick something.  I wouldn’t let it worry you too much.  You will eventually come out the other side feeling great.  Just allow things to occur, don’t be complacent though, things will iron out.

It’s comparable to going through a metal detector at the airport. You know you have no weapons, but you are still scared, “What if they find something on me? What if I fail?”.  You can’t fail, there is nothing to fail, you have nothing to be scared of.  Once you get through to the other side you are amazed, you feel like you’ve succeeded.

It really didn’t need to be so frightening, you were prepared all along.

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4 thoughts on “Oh Canada!

  1. Thanks for that mate. So to cut a long story short, you’ve got a job. Great news, I won’t be greedy and ask for an i-pad, but can you get me a free i-phone. Let me know in less than 50 words.

  2. Hi Alan, sorry it took me so long to have a look at your website. Thank you for all that, it is lovely to read it. I am happy you are satisfied with your life . And congratulations to your new job! Last month I gave birth to our son Alexandre. It was the most agazing feeling, believe me… And I am enjoying the montherhood so much. And so is Nabil. So, that is some news from us also. If you ever get to Europe, don’t forget that you can visit us any time, o.k.? Anyway, take care, hugs and kisses… AND …. mange tout…!!!!

    1. Renata – Amazing to hear from you. Great news you have – I am very happy for you – I will head over to facebook and check out some pictures………Thank you for being in touch!

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