February Update

Three Months Down

We have only one month left on our contract and time is starting to fly. Here is my penultimate update from Sun Peaks before we move on to our next adventure.
Since arriving in this ski resort we have been blessed with the amazing opportunity to explore the four beautiful mountains which surround the village. During the past month in particular, we have discovered lots of hidden gems that you probably wouldn’t see if you only came for a week.

The picture above is taken from a treehouse located a 5 minute hike off track. You take the first left off of the East Village Ski-Way and up to an opening in the trees where this platform stands. It could easily hold 10 people and there is something which I am pretty sure is a barbecue covered in snow a few metres down the hill. I assume that this area is used a lot more in the summer when Sun Peaks turns into a mountain bike resort after the snow is all gone.

The views are stunning and you can see all four mountains in one view. This includes Orient Mountain on which it sits. To the right foreground is Sundance. Just behind Sundance (which looks like the same mountain) is Mt Tod. The left is Mt Morrissey and I have no idea what the mountain in the far distance is but it’s not part of this resort.More of a platform than a treehouse. 1 bed with a view, bills not included.Recently, I have been going deeper into the back country with Masaru. His 20 years of snowboarding experience and infectious personality make it easy to follow him down some of the hardest runs. Since he gave Shelley one half a day lesson, she has been turning very well and is smashing up the blues with a lot of enthusiasm. I get to go out a lot more than her because of work schedules and I have now completed my first double black diamond.

The first hike to the run was about 20 mins up from the top of the crystal chairlift. Clare, Paul, Alyssa and myself had not been to this side of the mountain before and had no idea what to expect. Our tour guide Masaru led us up the hill. Even though it is in the -10s, when you are wearing lots of layers and carrying a snowboard it gets very hot and sweaty. 

We got to the first black run called Skunk. It was a tree run with a lot of untouched snow and it took less than 10 seconds to whizz down which made the hike up feel like it was even longer. We traversed and hiked a little bit further before we made it to the double black diamond – Offset. It was like a chute, very steep but delightfully deep snow so falling down was never a problem. Paul sat in front of me near the bottom of Offset.Snowboarding 3-4 times per week has been an amazing way to spend a pandemic. I always count my lucky stars for being here and have to pinch myself sometimes to make sure it isn’t a dream. Work has also been great, learning a new trade and getting free food on shift makes the evenings very enjoyable.

Lots of people have asked me “is there even a lockdown in Canada?!” because of what I’ve been reporting. It sounds like most of the country is either in lockdown or at the bare minimum a rule of six for social gatherings like the UK was towards the end of last summer. Most other ski resorts in the country have had huge outbreaks of COVID and lots of businesses have had to shut but Sun Peaks seems to be holding strong with only 5 known cases which have all been contained.

I am very hopeful that the rest of the world gets the pandemic under control very soon. I’d love to be able to share some of these experiences with my friends and family and I don’t want to feel like I am having a great time while the rest of the world isn’t.

Life would be very different for us if we didn’t drop everything to come here in November but it is definitely one of the best decisions we’ve made. And what is even better, next month we’re going on a road trip around BC.

New Year Challenge Results

And that’s a wrap!

The most recent instalment of the Nomad Trainer 6 week Challenge has come to an end and I would like to take some time to celebrate how amazingly well the competitors did.
Back in December I started advertising for the 3rd round of home workout challenges I have been running since the first lockdown. The first few had yielded some excellent results but I really wanted to make this one the best yet so that people could shake off the demons of 2020 and make some positive lifestyle changes for the new year.

The challenge has been run in the past through a Facebook group where I would add everyone who signed up in and I posted the Workout Of the Day (WOD) for the following day which they would aim to complete and would post a selfie or a video in the comments of that post to prove they did it. The workouts are scalable with beginner, intermediate and nutter levels so that people can choose how hard to push themselves.

This time was no different, except I spent a lot more time planning, programming and filming all of the WOD videos before hand which I put into a PDF which could be used as a guide. This meant I was also able to include people who do not use Facebook. I still posted the vids on the group so people could interact and share in the accountability aspect of the program.

Many people who have done my challenges have told me that seeing other people doing the workouts motivates them to do it themselves, more so than a regular personal program. This is what I find to be the most important ingredient for success because more activity on the group tends to correlate with better results.

The challengers were also provided with tailored nutrition guides including the calculated calories and macronutrient portions I believed suited them best. They were encouraged to ask questions and share ideas in our Facebook group chat.

Working remotely in Canada, I was not sure how well it would work being 8 hours behind. However, the team really showed initiative and put the effort in to ask and answer each others questions, motivate each other and also enjoy a bit of banter. 

This amazing group of people have mostly never even met each other, but the fortnightly zoom catch up calls were a great way to reinforce motivation and build team spirit. Everyone had the same goal of improved health and fitness and all of them wanted each other to succeed.

6 weeks on since the challenge began, it has finally come to an end. I am very grateful to the members who have given me consent to share their fantastic results.
Katy and Liz lost 4kg and 5kg respectively. Liz is the lightest she has been since giving birth!Daniela, who came 3rd last time around, climbed above the reigning champ Victoria into 2nd place.But the winner is… Samantha! She put everything into this challenge and was an incredibly motivating and inspirational character. Well done for doing every single WOD and only dropping 3 points!Congratulations guys!
It was such a pleasure coaching this amazing group. I miss waking up to people pushing themselves and sweating at my dispense already, even though it has only just finished. These guys really put the effort in and should be very pleased with the way they have started the New Year.

Another honourable mention is for Tom, who lost 4kg and plans to continue doing the WODs by pulling one out of a hat each day, good luck matey!

My next one won’t be starting until May as I am finishing my contract at the ski resort at the end of March so I need to be prepared for that. I will be aiming to make the next challenge the biggest and best one yet so please send me a message if you are interested.

January Update

Hello friends,
It’s been a little while since my last blog. To be honest, I was put off writing because I know how bad the pandemic is hitting the UK and other parts of the world at the moment and I didn’t want to come across as insensitive by sharing about my adventures. My goal is just to let people know what I have been getting up to and if you don’t like it feel free to unsubscribe at the bottom of the email. I won’t be offended if you do do as I know getting lots of emails can be tedious.

Snowboarding
I am smashing up the blue (intermediate) runs and have done nearly all of the ones in this resort now. I’ve also done about 4 blacks, 1 of which was called Spin Cycle which was horribly steep, thin and mogully (bumpy) and it was like going through a washing machine. I have done a few small jumps gaining about 1/16th of a seconds worth of air time, I will share a video next time I do a good one. We have a new friend called Masaru who has 21 years snowboarding experience and he has been teaching us some new tricks. The other day he took me back country skiing and he did a front flip off a rock drop which was absolutely sick.
Kitchen
For the first 6 weeks I had only been doing dishwashing and the cold station, but recently I have been given a few shifts doing vegetables on the quieter nights. I much prefer this as it is real cooking and on these days I am in charge of preparing the vegetables and starches to go with the mains, as well as cooking them to order including dishes like: mushroom risotto, seafood tagliatelle, gnocchi to go with chicken and fingerling potatoes to go with the salmon. The mash potato we use as a side for the steaks is about 90% butter and cream and it is delicious.

Exercise
Apart from snowboarding I have been regularly training at the local gym and I have hired a PT to coach me on olympic lifting. This is something I have wanted to learn for a while in order to improve my strength, power and to learn a new skill. My coach is a professional skier with over 10 years experience as a coach and I am learning a lot from her style of teaching. I train with her once per week and I have 2 other sessions to do on my own. I think it would be a good experience for any coach to have a coach themselves and it is enlightening to be the client rather than the PT this time. 

Mindfulness
Shelley and I have been doing an online breath-work meditation course by Michael Bijker. It is about 10-20 mins each morning after our daily stretches, utilising different breathing exercises which build into a full meditation practice and we are finding it really enlightening, you can check it out here. We have also been going on walks and listening to audiobooks, currently Jay Shetty’s ‘Think Like a Monk‘, which is about a guy who went to live in an Ashram to become a monk and how he has translated his learnings into a modern western lifestyle.

6 Week Challenge
The current team are nearly 4 weeks down on the current Nomad Trainer January 6 week challenge and they are absolutely smashing it. It has been a great to coach the group remotely and I love to see how my clients back in the UK are getting on with their daily workouts and nutrition tasks. I am so pleased to see they are all getting on so well and asking questions, motivating and having banter with each other on our group chat before I have even woken up – and most of them have never even met each other. I have been asked already by some of them when the next one is starting and this one hasn’t even finished yet. I think these guys are going to get the best results yet and I can’t wait to share what they have achieved in a few weeks time.

Future Plans
We are trying to work out where to go from here as our contract for the ski season runs out on 31st March. Our first choice would be to go west and live and work on Vancouver Island which is highly regarded as the best place in Canada. A few surf towns called Tofino and Ucluelet are grabbing our attentions and they seem to be where the majority of people from here plan to go. However, because of its popularity, accommodation and jobs are hard to come by in these places. Another idea would be to head south and work at a vineyard in Kelowna, Penticton or Naramata. Alternatively, we could go east and go and work at another lodge close to Emerald Lake and Lake Louise. We haven’t considered going north as we fancy some warmer weather after leaving here. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and please do get in contact if you have any questions or would like to share with me what you are up to. I try my best to reply to everyone who sends me a message and it would be great to catch up!

Healthy regards,


Matt

2 Weeks in Sun Peaks

Eat, Sleep, Snowboard, Repeat.

Adapting to our first fortnight in the second largest ski resort in Canada, here is a summary of our experience so far.
Our studio room has served us well so far. It is convenient that we are a short walk from all the shops, restaurants, bars and cafes, as well as the chair lifts and the gym, not to mention being a 2 minute walk to work. We are lucky to be living here and not in the normal staff accommodation at the Burfield which is 30 minutes walk down to the West side of town.

Looking out of our bedroom window we can see 40m tall conifers climbing up Mt Morisey and icicles hanging down from the edge of our roof which get bigger every day. Somebody said they are likely to reach the floor at some point. Quite often we hear the jingle bells attached to the snowplow which we mistake for Father Christmas. 
We get ready to go out snowboarding at around 9.30am. I have been going more often than Shell because in her first week she was doing 9-5 but now she doesn’t start until 12 and we have both been improving every day. I have been up to the top of Mt Tod and completed the 5 mile run back down to the village twice. I’ve also been up Mt Morisey to do ‘The Sticks’ but I most regularly go up the Sundance chair lift to do ‘Homesteader’ or ‘Rambler’.

The difficulty levels are different to Europe – green is easy and blue is intermediate, while black is still the hardest level. The names of the runs are often representational e.g. ‘The Sticks’ is through the trees and ‘Homesteader’ is the fastest route to the ski village. I will let you know when I take on ‘Intimidator’ for the first time. Some of the bars name their cocktails after the runs, with the stronger cocktails named after the harder runs. I have been improving my toe turning and I am getting more confident with my speed. Here is a map including all the runs, pink lines are the chair lifts.
One or two hours a day is enough and we go back in time for Shell to go to work. We have a bite to eat and I do some work on my online program. I then go to the gym at around 1pm for an hour to do my bodyweight training plan. I am currently focusing on handstand, muscle up, planche, bridge and back lever at the moment and hopefully I will master a few of them by the time we leave.

I get home and have lunch before starting my shift in the kitchen at 2.30pm or 3pm, I have never been a chef before but so far I am really enjoying it. There are 6 of us working in the kitchen: The head chef is Richard from Toronto, he is very chilled and has a dry sense of humour. Kimsley is the sous chef, she has a funny French accent even though she is originally from Milton Keynes and doesn’t speak French. There is another Matt who is from Aberystwyth in Wales, he is a Liverpool fan so I don’t like him very much at the moment. Clare is a Scottish girl who loves snowboarding and yoga, she already has permanent residency in New Zealand and is applying for it in Canada as well. Finally we have Paul, who is a 21 year old Canadian guy from Kingston, Ontario. He is by far the most polite and friendly person I have ever met – a true Canadian. 

They all have a lot more experience than me working in the kitchen but they are very understanding and patient with me as a beginner. I am working mostly as a dishwasher but I am also doing food on the cold side where the main roles are to prepare appetisers, salads and desserts. There is a lot of prep work to do at the start of the shift and I have found that once somebody has shown me something once I am quite capable of repeating it. 

The appetisers include braised pork belly, baked brie and an antipasto platter. The salads are the caesar salad, mixed salad with maple dressing, roast beet and chevre salad (pictured below), and a crusted goats cheese and mixed salad with fruit tea dressing. Desserts are chocolate brownie, apple crumble, creme brulee and Grand Marnier cheesecake. 
The restaurant is a steakhouse and the smell of meat lingers in the air. I watch carefully while Clare prepares the steaks, seasoning with salt and pepper, massaging them until tenderised and then cooking them partly on the grill and partly in the oven depending on the cut and the customers cooking preference. The steak cuts are new york striploin, ribeye, sirloin and tenderloin. We also have chicken, lamb, ribs, salmon and bison on the menu.

Matt and Paul do the veg and carbs to accompany the meats. They pre-roast seasonal veg which gets fried in butter before service. The gnocchi is also fried in butter and goes underneath the chicken which in my opinion the most appetising thing on the menu. The mash potato is extremely creamy as are the seafood tagliatelle and mushroom risotto dishes. The presentation on the plate is then done by Kimsley and Richard who also prepare the sauces such as bearnaise, peppercorn and red wine veal jus. As you can tell, everything is very rich and it all looks and tastes amazing.

We have to wear masks for the duration of the shift but you get used to it after a while. It helps to stop me from nibbling on everything in sight because the smells are so tantalising. Luckily, the hotel owner Mario – who has a knack for popping up out of nowhere – said to us that we are allowed to eat a free meal on shift as long as we don’t pick the most expensive things on the menu which is fair enough. The other day Kimsley made a massive stew with all the offcuts of steak which we combined with the leftover mash to make a ginormous cottage pie. 

My shifts generally finish between 9pm and 10pm. This is because it is very quiet in the resort and we assume that if COVID wasn’t around then we would be doing longer hours. Over 30 hours for me is good going round here at the moment and lots of people are doing multiple part time jobs. Shelley has been struggling in housekeeping to get hours because there simply aren’t enough people checking out. Strangely, we might end up getting more people come to stay in the resort because Whistler and Big White have both had outbreaks of the virus, so hopefully people might divert their Christmas vacations to Sun Peaks instead so we can get more hours.
Our days off at the moment are on Saturday and Sunday, probably to keep the most experienced people in the kitchen on the weekend. We sometimes walk down to the West side of the village through the woods, where there is a nice deli and a yoga studio which is currently out of use. The other day I hired out the studio for a few hours to do some filming for my next 6 week online fitness program which starts on 4th January.

If you would like some information about the program or any of my other personal training services, please do not hesitate to message me to book a free online zoom consultation. There is a 25% discount if you sign up for the challenge before Christmas and it could be a great present to a friend, family member, partner or even yourself to get a head start on your fitness in the new year.

Sign up here.

Today is our last day off until Boxing Day, we will both be working on Christmas Day and possibly New Years day but that is to be expected in hospitality. We will be missing our families but Zoom and WhatsApp will provide us with a virtual Christmas experience. It is sad to hear that the UK is going into a full lockdown over the festive period but keep positive and stay safe, look forward to the future, it’s going to get better. Understandably we are also not allowed to meet inside with other households or have parties here, but I will be on the slopes on Christmas morning tearing up the snow on my snowboard. Sorry to rub it in.

Merry Christmas and best wishes.

Arrival to Sun Peaks

Snow’s it going? 

We finished our 14 day quarantine and now we have moved on to our new home for the next four months in Sun Peaks, BC. 
When we finally got out of our Air BnB like moles returning to the surface we were surprised (and a bit annoyed) to see a beautiful panoramic view of the mountains. A sight to behold for anyone even when you had only seen the inside of a flat for the last fortnight.

We spent the first day out sightseeing in Vancouver including a bicycle tour of Stanley Park where we saw a family of racoons hanging out on a tree. In the evening, we went to meet an old colleague for dinner at the ramen noodle restaurant Jinya and then went home to sleep before our flight the following day.
The flight was a short 45 mins in a dinky little plane with propellers and less than 20 passengers. The views from out the window were stunning and it was just miles of mountain ranges, lakes and snowy peaks. We landed in Kamloops at around 14:45 where we were greeted by our (slightly eccentric) driver Gordon who took us on another 45 minute journey up to Sun Peaks ski resort.
 
The views on the drive up were sublime and Gordon pointed out all the different mountains and told us their names and some histories about them. We asked if there were any moose or bears in the area and he said they were rare but deer, mountain lions and coyotes were slightly more common. There is also apparently one fox that lives in the resort who is not afraid of humans.

We arrived at the resort at around 4pm and our new boss Silvia at Sun Peaks Lodge showed us to our new home which is a fantastic hotel room with a kitchenette and king-sized bed. We couldn’t believe how nice it is and when she left us to unpack our things we jumped around the room in excitement. 

Later on that evening, we walked around the village and enquired in a few ski shops about hiring some gear. We got measured up and rented snowboards, boots and helmets for $50 each until 6pm the following day. We went out to a pub across the road from our hotel and had dinner out. The streets are really quiet still because the season hasn’t officially opened yet.
The next day we headed to the slopes to practice snowboarding for the very first time. We went up the carpet lift on the smallest slope and managed to fall over spectacularly every time on the way down. We stopped to have a break and a late breakfast before attempting the slightly bigger ‘rabbit slopes’. We tried to use the button lift but fell on the first few attempts in front of some of the smallest kids I’ve ever seen on skis, who made us look very amateur.

After a few successful button lifts up we actually started to get the hang of it! We both made it down a few times in a row without falling and it started to click, I convinced Shell to go up on the chair lift which carried on for 15 minutes, a lot further than either of us expected. We followed the easiest route down and fell over loads but it was good experience, when we got to the bottom I decided to go back up and do it again.

That evening we got a supermarket delivery from Kamloops which we ordered before arrival and then went out to give the gear back. I decided to buy a Salomon snowboard and clips, a pair of K2 boots and a helmet for a substantial fee but it will save me a lot of money compared to renting.

Our bodies are aching so bad but it is so worth it to be here. I start work on Sunday morning at 10am for my first day being trained up in the kitchen and then my following shifts are 1.30pm starts meaning I will get plenty of chances to do a few hours of morning snowboarding.

Maybe I will become… The Snowmad Trainer?

Healthy regards as always,

Matt

Quarantine Routine

When we arrived in Vancouver we had to quarantine for 14 days were not allowed to leave our Air BnB. Here is a breakdown of the routine I developed during our time in isolation.

6.00am Wake up
I have been a relatively early riser for a few years now since working in the fitness industry. The heated floors in our flat make it much easier to stay up after getting out of bed.

6.30am Morning Rituals:
We have been doing these since the start of lockdown and they really help give me structure to my morning. I like to tick each one off in order and move onto the next ritual to start the day right.
– Pawanmuktasana (10 min stretch sequence)
– Bioenergetics (5 mins of body shaking)
– Cold shower (2 mins, the water is really cold here)
– Breath-work & meditation (20 mins)
– Journalling (5 mins)

7.30am 30 minute Yoga Flow
We generally follow either Breathe & Flow or Cat Meffan on YouTube but sometimes we change it up. This morning we did Kundalini yoga with Brett Larkin for the first time which was weird but interesting.
Shelley practising lotus pose
8.00am Coffee and Breakfast
After nearly 2 hours of activities it’s time to chill out a bit and I check my phone for the first time of the day. It’s good to catch up with all the banter from my WhatsApp groups to make me feel like I am still in touch with my mates back home.

Breakfast is always oats, coconut milk, peanut butter, seeds, blueberries, banana and honey for me (Shell is sweet enough already apparently).

9.00am Fire Up the Laptop
Time to start work. This mostly includes emailing, planning and programming. I have set myself a number of goals to complete by the end of quarantine to do with my online training business. They include:
– Plan and film all workouts for the 6 week challenge I will be running in January (more info to come on that soon).
– Create a PDF for the challenge so people can have all the information in a handy document.
– Set up a landing page for The Nomad Trainer.
– Write an itinerary for when I will be working on Osea Island for summer 2021.
– Plan future social media content.
– Write and send my weekly blog email (like this one).

I find it really helps me to tell people my goals so this is why I have gone into so much detail as it makes me feel more accountable to achieve them.
Hard at work
11.30am Walkies
We are not allowed to leave the vicinity of our Air BnB by law so we have been walking up and down the alleyway next to the entrance. It is about 20m and is not very exciting but I just put my headphones in and listen to my current audiobook Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, the autobiography of the creator of Nike. 

12ish Lunch
It took a while for us to get our first supermarket delivery of food after three consecutive nights of takeaway deliveries. Now we finally think we have exactly what we need. Yesterday, Shell made a delicious traybake of butternut squash, kidney beans and falafel with hummus and spinach.

1.00pm Study Time
Back to the laptop where I have been studying a Corrective Exercise Specialist course I purchased towards the end of the first lockdown which I never got round to doing. It is a substantial amount of reading and note taking which I think will take me longer than quarantine to complete.

I also have to finish a FOODSAFE certification so that I will be eligible to work in the kitchen at our new jobs starting in December but for some reason I am not allowed to start the course until Wednesday.

2.30pm Walkies Again!
I like to break up my studies with a second walk and another chapter of Shoe Dog. The chapters are roughly 30 mins each so 1 hour of walking adds up to around 6000 steps for me which is pretty good considering we are stuck in a confined space. Shell prefers to walk in circles in doors, we feel like crazy people.
Scenic walking route of Vancouver #0
3pm More Studying
You might think I am a nutter for pushing myself to do all this self-development but I feel like I have good momentum at this point. As I said the CES course is quite long and I want to get as much of it done as possible while I have the time. I also use DuoLingo for learning languages on my phone if Shell is using the laptop, she is also studying, setting up a landing page and writing blogs.

4.30pm Strength Workout
I am following the same strength program I made for my online clients:
Monday – Push
Tuesday – HIIT
Wednesday – Pull
Thursday – HIIT
Friday – Unilateral 
Saturday – HIIT
Sunday – Rest

The only equipment I have is a resistance band and household items like chairs. For more information about my online home workout programs please shoot me a message and I would be happy to organise a free online consultation with you.

6pm Dinner
After a busy day we treat ourselves to a hearty meal cooked in our fully functioning kitchen.

6.30pm TV time
We have been so disciplined with television, not turning it on at all (except when football is on) until after dinner makes it feel a lot easier to relax and chill out in the evening. We have been watching (and loving) Cobra Kai on Netflix and have binged through season 1 already. It is a late sequel to the Karate Kid (1984) with the same actors nearly 40 years later. It is easy watching and quite funny. We already finished the docu-series We Are The Champions which is hilarious and next up will be Queens Gambit.
Home for another 7 days.
8.30pm Reading
You must think we are right nerds by now but getting an hour of screen-free time before bed is great for sleep. It also helps that everyone in England is fast asleep by this point so there are no social media distractions. I am reading The Body by Bill Bryson and I am hoping to finish it by the end of quarantine if I continue at the rate of 1 chapter per night.

9.30pm Evening Meditation
Shell usually falls asleep around this time and I feel like I still have enough energy to go and sit alone in the kitchen and reflect on the day and give some positive affirmations to myself. Then I go to bed feeling very accomplished and sleep until I wake up and do it all again the next day!

Travelling to Canada in Lockdown

Hi friends, you’ll be glad to hear that we arrived safe and sound in Canada after a 14 hour journey. After leaving my mums at 11am, here is a run down of our experience.

How we got from London to Vancouver

When we got to the airport it was eerily quiet, with barely any travellers and not much going on. We didn’t have to queue at all to get our bags checked and we were glad to get rid of them after packing and repacking several times during the days leading up.

Security was quick and easy and once we got through to the other side we were relieved that the stress of getting over the first hurdle was behind us. They had asked us a few questions but we had all the relevant documents in a file (thanks to Shell) which helped a lot. 

We did not have to provide a negative COVID test, all they did was check our temperature just before we got on the plane. I had been wondering whether anxiety might raise my body heat, sort of like when you start sweating when you are about to speak in public for the first time. The thermometer gun lit up green and we were free to board.

The flight was with Air Canada and lasted 9 and a half hours and you have to wear a mask at all times unless you are eating. One of the stewardesses was seriously on my case about my mask. I had just finished swallowing my last mouthful of food and she came over and told me to put it back on. At one point later on, while I was reading, the top slipped down off my nose slightly, before I had a millisecond to pop it back up she was back telling me to pull it up. 

The plane was less than a 3rd full and everyone on board had a row to themselves which many people used to lie down. I didn’t get any sleep but it was nice to sprawl out though which made up for the discomfort of wearing a mask. 

Instead I watched the films Doctor Sleep and The Good Liar, both decent. I also read from my Kindle, did a few crosswords, listened to music and sorted out all of my files and documents on my laptop into neat folders as well as deleting a lot of useless stuff freeing up some much needed space on my hard-drive.

When we landed it was midnight in London but only 4pm in Vancouver. We felt spaced out as the majority of the flight had been in perpetual darkness except for an hour just before we landed. We had flown over the Arctic to get there rather than flying across Canada so we managed to catch the sunset on North Americas West Coast.

Vancouver airport was seriously quiet. We got our steps in for the day by walking down to baggage claim and then had our final obstacle, immigration. We sat and waited for 20 minutes while an officer processed our documents. They asked us a few questions and then printed our work permits which are valid for 2 years and happily sent us on our way. The relief!

We got a cab straight to our Air Bnb. A comfortable little fully equipped apartment underneath a family home. Unfortunately, we have to stay put for 14 days before we can explore otherwise it’s a $1m fine or up to 3 years imprisonment.

Our plan is to do a lot of yoga, bodyweight training, reading, writing, meditation etc. I do hope this is going to be a productive fortnight but the TV has Netflix built in and I have already watched the first Lord of the Rings film. Any recommendations for films, series or other activities are most welcome.

It is quite cold outside but we are keeping warm in doors, the air is noticeably cleaner here compared to London when we poke our head out the door of our little flat. We are a bit jet-lagged but we are very comfortable and excited about our upcoming adventures.

The Nomad Trainer Returns

See you later Boris! Last year, Shelley and I applied for working holiday visas to live and work in Canada for 2 years. The application was long and it took nearly 2 months until it got accepted in September 2019. We were allowed up to 12 months to enter the country from when the visa was accepted.

 The original plan was to fly to Calgary on 20th July this year and go and look after 12 racing husky’s in a small town called Golden, close to the Rocky Mountains. But when lockdown part 1 hit and continued deep into June we got rejected by the Husky owners and a few other potential jobs and assumed our adventure was not meant to be.
 
Now, in lockdown part 2 we are getting ready to leave in one week on the 17th of November. We will fly to Vancouver where we must isolate for 2 weeks before a short flight to Kamloops on the 2nd of December and then a 45 minute drive up into the mountains where we will be starting work on the 5th of December at Sun Peaks Resort, the second largest ski resort in Canada.

 We only found out in September that it was even still possible to go to Canada on WHV. A couple we lived with in Sydney posted on Instagram that they were heading there to work at a ski resort. 

 Shell did some research and found out that if you have a valid visa, a job offer and somewhere to quarantine on arrival for 14 days then they will allow you entry into the country. We also joined a Facebook group where people like us were posting questions, tips and stories about how to get into the country successfully. 

After surfing the web for a few minutes we realised that there were 100s of jobs going at ski resorts in Canada. We organised a few interviews and within a week of searching we had been offered jobs working in at a lodge in Sun Peaks.

At first, I was going to be working as a breakfast chef but now as the German travel agency cancelled their bookings for the season they will be redeploying me to the steakhouse. I have never worked in a kitchen (which my new employers are aware of) but I always relish the opportunity to try something new. Shell will be doing housekeeping, something she has had plenty of practise in during lockdown ha ha.

We plan to do lots of skiing, mountaineering and yoga so finally after nearly a 2 year hiatus, The Nomad Trainer returns! I also plan to write regular blog emails like this one and will be posting our experiences on my Website, Facebook and Instagram pages.

So now we are almost ready to leave, just one week to go. The flight is going to be 9 hours long and we are very hopeful that it still goes ahead. We won’t feel fully secure that we have made it until we get through immigration on the other side but we are very confident that everything is going to go according to plan