You’re Making Anna Angry!

27 11 2008

a500953437_10323_2046From reading my last post, you would have read that I JUST received my Working Holiday Visa to the UK.  You know the one I had to shell out $400CAD for? The one that let’s me work only 12 months out of the 24 its valid for?


As of November 27, 2008, the following changes have occurred to the UK Working Holiday Visa:


new visa allows the participants to work full time for the full 24-month duration of their visa (whereas the old WH visa only allowed participants to work for 12-months of the 24-month visa) 

new visa has dropped in cost to $210 (it used to be approximately $435 CAD) and SWAP will drop the registration fees to reflect this change.


Can this not have happened 2 weeks prior? I would’ve had an extra ~$300CAD in my wallet to show for it too!  Why would SWAP not have said: “Anna, things are about to change if you wait 2 weeks.”


Not that this is gonna deter me away from trying to work the full 24 months illegally, but I would’ve had a cleaner conscience because of it at least! (Not to mention some more $$)

Regardless, what’s done is done and I’m gonna have a ‘smashing’ time.  Incredible Hulk pun not intended.


UK Visa-nization & Random Ramblings

19 11 2008

photo-11Its official. I have my UK Visa! WOOP!  See (really bad) picture to the left.  I also took the liberty of covering up my important information.  I know there are creepers out there! I’m watching you!

I was also given a guide to the UK.  It’s thick.  You can hurt someone with it.  For real.  It goes into setting up your National Insurance number, getting set up with a bank account, which hostels are good, etc.  It also mentions that non of these things are easily done.  And I quote: “…the NI offices are often very busy with not very pleasant waiting areas.  Take a good book!” *Sigh*  I have a feeling my first couple of weeks are going to be hectic just trying to settle in.  Not to mention there are still so many things to organize on this end.  Like reference letters, resumes, travelers cheques, bank statements.  All the small things that you don’t really think about or remember about until they all pile up and you have no time left to complete them.

Also, I am trying to find a Credit Card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.  Nomadic Matt recommended the Capital One MC.  Which is great, except that it doesn’t apply to Canada.  Boo.  I think my best bet will be to just set one up upon arrival.  Thoughts?

So, my Visa only allows me to work for 12 months out of the 24.  However, I’ve never been one to conform, so I’m just going to keep working until they tell me to stop. *Smirk*

Another thing that really freaks me out is finding my way around London.  I’ve never been too great with directions and have relied heavily on others for this sort of thing.  I see a lot of random alleyways and sketchy buildings in my near future. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best here.

Lastly, I want to extend a huge thanks to Geoff from Itinerant Londoner who has been sending oodles of helpful emails to guide me along my way! Thanks! 🙂

Can You Pass The Popcorn, Please?

12 11 2008

504005235_1f00929efc_mI am a movie buff.  A big one.  Owning over 500 DVDs and working at a video store, you can understand that I like to be up-to-date with my movie watching.  Quantum of Solace is opening this weekend, and you better believe that I’ll be at the cinema watching.

Yesterday I was having a conversation with one of my friends in England, and the conversation went much like this:

Me: “Have you seen _____”

Friend: Nope, never came out here.

Me: “Ok, have you seen _______”

Friend: Nope. Never even heard of it.

Me: “Grrr, ok how about _______”

Friend: “It’s not coming out until next year”

Me: *cry*

Catastrophe.  Other than the new Bond flick, which England released a week earlier than Canada, the movie release dates are so so soooo far behind – in both the cinemas and out on DVD.  Not to mention, they don’t even get some of the movies that Canada would!

Thank goodness for illegal downloading and torrents, eh? What would we do without them.  BUT! It is not the same.  I want to be able to go to the cinema and see movies like the Dark Knight on a big screen with surround sound.  I want that theatre experience of sharing popcorn and playing air hockey with a group of friends.  I even want that annoying person who will inevitably sit directly behind me and kick my seat until I turn around and tell them to stop.

Patience is a virtue.  I do not possess this virtue.  I will end up downloading the movie and then going to the theatre once it is released and watch it again.  

The sad, sad truth is that I will miss movies more than some of the people I’ll be leaving behind. Ouch.

Reality Bites

8 11 2008

im_alive_02Good news.  I’m alive.  

Bad news.  It’s all starting to sink in.

The honeymoon period of my love affair with England has ended, sort of.  It’s all starting to sink in.  The fact that I may not be making snow angels this winter, and the fact that my mom will not be brining over home made food when my fridge runs dry.  

I purchased a one-way, non-refundable ticket to London, England for January 14th, 2009.  I’m going.  There’s no turning back, and I’m scared.  The reason I have not updated my blog in the past weeks, or even read other people’s blogs, is because I’m a wuss.  I didn’t want to read about other people’s adventures while I sit curled up in the corner of my room breathing into a paper bag.

The fact is, I’ve bought my ticket, I’ve bought my travel insurance, I’ve bought my travel backpack (a Deuter – thank you Barry for your help), my rain jacket, my visa and in return I’ve sold my sanity.  I remember being so excited for this trip, and I know somewhere deep inside I still really am, but it’s being clouded by fears and anxiety.  Reality – I won’t have a job.  I won’t have a place to live.  However, despite all of that, I STILL somehow know that it is the right decision for me to make.

Anyways, enough with that.  Now you all know why I have ignored you all for the past few weeks.  Now I promise that I will spend the next few hours sitting on my computer updating myself on all your blogs and adventures.  Before I ramble on further about my past few weeks I would like to give a BIG shout out to Matt from Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site (you know why buddy, and p.s. we won)

So, what have I been doing the past couple of weeks? Working. Sleeping. Spending money I don’t have (another thing that makes me anxious). Watching WAAAAY too much Battlestar Galactica (don’t diss it if you haven’t watched it…the show is liquid cocaine). Catching up with friends.  And that pretty much sums it up.  Not a bad gig.

My best friend is now home from South Korea.  Unfortunately, for me anyways, she is leaving again in December for a long time.  She loves it there, and I don’t blame her.  On the bright side, the tickets to Seoul from London are cheaper than from Toronto.  

Thank you all for checking in on me! I’m alive, and I plan on being a better blogger.  I promise.  I just need to get to England so something exciting will happen 🙂

Looking for Anna?

7 11 2008

She’s not here…well ok, thats a lie….she is.  Come back tomorrow for an update.