I've been back in Canada for just over a week and am settling in to this so called “New Life”. This includes learning to drive, re-igniting my love and dependence for the gym, finding a job, finding a house, finding friends (so much finding) and much more. The first thing I've noticed is that I have a lot more motivation to improve myself and my life. I've come back from an amazing 34 day trip to a magical country and it fueled my passion for not just traveling but many other hobbies that I haven't touched for a long time. A lot of this is quite hard while sharing an apartment with your in-laws with limited space and while I'm exceedingly happy here I'm itching to find a place to live so that I can dive into these many hobbies that I'll have so much more time for now that I've moved out of the big town.
I've set 3 priorities for myself to get started here; Get a job, learn to drive and get in shape. I joke that these are in order of importance but will most likely happen in the opposite order.
Getting a Job
I've landed in Rossland in the slow season which means that there are about 2-3 job postings a day for Rossland and the neighbouring town of Trail and at the very most one I am qualified for. I've set up some ground rules for myself;
I don't want to go back to serving unless I have to.
While I'll be applying for every job I find remotely interesting in Rossland, I reserve Trail for higher paying, career furthering jobs. Going down to Trail to be a minimum wage sales associate isn't going to cut it, especially since I am still learning to drive.
Finding a job that is location independent but still well paying and interesting would be ideal.
I'm strongly considering figuring out a way to work for myself and still make decent money.
Given that I've only been back for a week and I still have decent money in the bank I'm not too worried. I also have a nice savings buffer for a down payment on a prospective house. I'm definitely itching to get working and making money again but for now, I don't want to accept a job that would make me miserable.
Learning to Drive
I have to give this one to my father-in-law, I had to renew my learners license as it expired on the day I left for Japan. Last Monday I was heading down to Trail in order to apply for a temporary job and he nudged me to go take my knowledge test and apply for the new license. I hadn't even thought about doing it so soon but followed his recommendation and had no problem passing the test and renewing my license. Now that I actually have a car and time to learn I've had lots of time to practice and I've been driving every day but one this week. Again, thanks to my father-in-law I feel comfortable jumping in the drivers seat whenever I'm going with anyone anywhere. Rossland has proven to be an ideal place to learn how to drive. There's barely any traffic and there are a lot of empty roads to practice on. I'm hoping that another month or so of regular practice will have me ready for my test. I must say, taking my license in Canada rather than Sweden has proven a great economical advantage. I have an ex who spent around 5k (CAD) to get his license and so far I've spent $50 (getting your learners cost me $25 and since I had to renew, I've paid it twice). Once I am ready for my road test it's another $35 and if I pass I pay $75 for my license. Even if I have to take the road test again I can still keep it under $200. That's a huge financial difference!
Getting in Shape
Even writing this I can feel the soreness of this mornings workout slowly setting into my body. I've always preferred heavy lifting over any other form of exercise at the gym. I've gone 3 times this week and I hope to continue the trend. Once I've used up my 10 session punch card which I paid $52 for (about the same as in Vancouver) my hope is to move on to a monthly or even full year pass depending on the ease of access to the gym. I've been depending on my in-laws for their visits in order to drive down. Of course, once we have a house it'll be easier for me to access the gym on a regular basis.
I've never been the kind of person who buys a gym membership hoping that the fact that I spent so much money on it will get me to go. I'd rather “waste” some money on a punch pass to ensure that I get in the habit of going on a regular basis. I also am not very good at working out at home. I have some weights but none heavy enough to compare to what I use at the gym. Sure, I hope to one day have a home gym with a barbell, power cage, platform, bench, dumbbell tree (adjustable dumbbells are fine too I guess) and some lovely bright Eleiko weights (I'm a snob). I do know full well that the cost of setting up this home gym will equal at the very least 3 years of gym memberships so it's something where I'll have to weigh (yes!) my options heavily.
At this point I'm already excited for what working out is doing for my body and endorphins. My partner will often point out how much happier I am going to the gym during times where I'm particularly depressed. While I've definitely had days where just getting out of my seat have been torture my increased appetite and energy have both been big enough boosts to keep going.
All in all this first week has been extremely motivating and happy. I am still settling in and I've had some HUGE doubts that I will address in a later post. For now, since I have the condo to myself for the next 6 hours I'm going to settle in to doing some light sewing and get back in the grove of that while also using up some of my huge fabric stash.