Far from home

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly three months since I left the UK, but it is. On July 20th I left Manchester, where yet again it was raining (which will surprise precisely nobody, at all, ever) on a 9 hour flight to Vancouver and then a short hop onwards to Victoria. Starting from scratch has been a bit weird – to put it mildly – and it’s rounded off an even weirder 12 months.

It’s hard to say what the biggest difference between here and the UK is – being a (mostly) English-speaking country tends to lull you into a false sense of things. I’ve so far managed to get used to driving on the right without any major trauma other than spending the first week punching the door with my left hand looking for a gear stick that isn’t there, although turning right on a red still makes me feel like I’m being naughty.

One of the more wonderfully amusing things though is the use of different words and phrases for things. I’ve had quizzical looks using the words ‘hoover’, ‘junction’, ‘car park’, ‘settee’, ‘skip’ and the phrase ‘knocked up’ which I should have seen coming a mile off.

The things that still blow my mind though are a) the scenery and b) just how big the country is. I could drive the equivalent of the the length of the UK and still be in BC, and for someone who comes from a country that you can drive across in a few hours, that’s insane.

The countdown begins

Last week I handed in my notice, and I’ll be leaving C&W Worldwide after nearly 9 years. I joined back in October 2003 when it was still Energis, and 4 jobs later I’m now about to leave.

My last day will be the Friday the 13th of July, amusingly enough for the superstitious. I have the best part of a week off before I then travel to Victoria to start as a Systems Engineer within the Ops team at AbeBooks.

Stay tuned…

Things are about to get very interesting

My last post talked about my then-impending trip to Canada, and I’m happy to say that I made it back in one piece, although I was pretty sick of airports and planes afterwards. Heathrow greeted me with that familiar grey drizzle before my final hop back up to Manchester where – and I’m as surprised as anyone – it wasn’t raining. Victoria was lovely – more so than I expected, and bar a bit of rain one day I seemed to get lucky with the weather. I managed to not break my camera, so there’s a few pictures up on Flickr.

The interviews (yes, plural – I had four!) seemed to go well. I got to meet a lot of the staff, including most of the people who I would be working with, who were all brilliant at putting me at ease and letting me babble on about myself. I left after spending most of the day there with a genuine feeling that it would be a cracking place to work.

After a few more days sightseeing in and around Victoria, I made the return trip back across the Atlantic. The day after I got back, I got a phone call to offer me the job. It was about 6pm, but my body had no idea where it was, so as you can imagine the rambling on was embarrassingly in full effect…

So, I’ve accepted the job, and I’m now ridiculously excited. If you know me, you’re probably laughing at that notion, but I assure you – I did get a bit giddy.¬†Almost a month on, and I’m now in the midst of the unavoidable bureaucratic process of work permits and working out what to do with… well, everything. It’s exciting, anxiety-inducing and downright terrifying all in one go. I’m pretty certain it’ll put ten years on me by the time it’s sorted…

1 man, 6 airports and a 11,500 mile round trip

In a little over two days’ time I’ll be boarding a plane in Manchester on the first leg of a 3-flight trip to Victoria in British Columbia, via Frankfurt and Vancouver. Then, 4 days later I’ll coming back again – this time through San Francisco and Heathrow, and in the process doubling the amount of airports I’ve ever flown from in the space of just under a week.

Many of the people I’ve mentioned it to have said that I’m nuts. They’re correct, but there’s a purpose to all this catapulting around in a metal tube: I’ve got a job interview.

After a handful of ‘phone interviews, an online technical test and a scripting assignment, I’ve been asked to fly over for a panel interview. To say I’m nervous would be an understatement – I’ve not had a job interview at an external company for nearly nine years, so I’ve spent a considerable amount of time preparing for this. I’ve also never been to Canada before – I joked the other day that the furthest west I’ve ever been is Cornwall. Travelled I am not.

It’s a given that I hope it goes well, but whatever the outcome it will be an experience I’ve not had before and may not get again. I’ll have a couple of days to have a wander around Victoria, so the DSLR will definitely be getting a spot in my rucksack.

Fingers crossed…
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