A Working Holiday Permit is drawing young Parisians to Canada
Our guest blogger, Virginie, came to Vancouver, Canada in 2009 with the Working Holiday Permit, and she’s still here! Here are her tips to prepare your travel insurance, choose activities and get ready for the adventure of travelling and working in Canada.
When I was a kid, I loved watching travel shows and documentaries like Lonely Planet or Les Explorateurs. Those daring enough to travel to faraway places always made me dream I would do the same. I remember one day watching a show about a French couple who were so happy they moved to Canada; the magnificent Canadian landscape paraded across the TV screen in the background. That day, my desire to travel -and eventually live abroad- was born.
In 2009, I made my decision. I’m leaving! Yeah, but where to? Canada? I thought about it over and over, and hesitated over the Canadian winters; it’s so cold there! I decided not to dwell on stereotypes. I poured over maps, studied geography and researched the seasons, culture, people and lifestyle. I looked at photos and I came across images of Vancouver’s Seawall and Stanley Park. I imagined myself settling in for a while. I read various articles from bloggers, globetrotters, adventurers and other French expats in the great Canadian West. I noticed that it’s common to take a road trip from province to province, or that it only takes a few hours to go from the city to an island, a rainforest or the mountains!
These days, many travellers like sharing their experiences on the web. There are so many easy and accessible resources offering a gambit of advice, especially when it comes to travel insurance. Be forewarned: in a new country, you’ll feel like you want to expand your wings; you’ll feel a type of energy and courage that will make you want to try anything! In BC, for example, there are almost too many outdoor activities. In summer, there’s paddle boarding, surfing, kayaking, and hiking (watch out for bears!). In winter, there’s skiing and snowboarding, (but watch out for falls!).
All these activities are exciting, but an accident or injury could happen at any time. Without the right insurance, such as Visitors to Canada Insurance offered by TuGo, your trip can quickly go from excitation to lamentation! One of my friends broke her finger surfing in Tofino. She was happy that day that her travel insurance took care of her x-rays and other medical costs. Talk about an unexpected expense that could have ruined a weekend at the beach!
After a few months of intense reading, I was ready! I put together the paperwork and applied for the Working Holiday Visa to Canada as a “PVTiste”, a.k.a. someone with a Permis Vacances Travail (PVT). I knew which neighbourhoods were good, which employment associations to call for French speakers, I looked up network groups, and I even found travel insurance that would cover me for the whole year.
Four years and a permanent resident card later, I don’t regret my choice! I love living in Vancouver. I speak English fluently. I’m always making beautiful encounters and discoveries of culture and nature, and in doing so, I’m discovering myself.
When your travels are well prepared, travelling is such a beautiful part of life…
Virgine arrived in Vancouver from Paris four years ago with a Working Holiday Permit. Today, she’s a permanent resident who loves exploring the great Canadian West by kayak, by bike, by car or by wandering on foot.