I'm very excited to say that I'm writing this post from Toronto because I live here now! Although there have definitely been some hiccups along the way, we're both really happy to be here and absolutely love the place.
So about those hiccups - well, our first setback was that our initial flight from Sydney to LA was cancelled because there was trouble with the engine, so after 3 hours of sitting on the plane we were told to go home for the day. Apart from being really annoying, it also felt like a major anticlimax. We then had to re-book our connecting flight from LA to Toronto because it was with a different airline, so we were forced into a second layover in Atlanta that we didn't originally have to do. We ended up travelling for over 32 hours and it was just brutal. Do not recommend.
I had tickets to a Nick Cave gig for the night after we landed though, which was the best way I could ever imagine to start my Canadian adventure because he is a perfect angel and I love him eternally.
Mark went to a baseball game and made friends, so we ended up staying out til around 3:30am which was a lot of fun, but combined with all the travel it meant I got pretty sick for the first few weeks. For the record, being sick and jetlagged at the same time is not an experience I care to repeat. Totally my own fault though.
I will also say that moving overseas is not like going on holiday. The main difference is that you can't spend every day doing whatever you like because there's a tonne of life admin things you have to get done, like set up a bank account and go grocery shopping and buy things like clothes hangers so you can unpack and feel like you have some control over your life again.
Mark is working already, so Mon-Fri he has being doing that, while I have mostly been job hunting and house hunting because we need to find a permanent place to rent before our AirBNB booking is up. The housing market is really competitive over here and we've had places that we've been interested in go before we've even had a chance to see them. But I managed to see several places last week and we've secured one and we're so excited about it! We should be moving in in the next week or so, so once we get settled I'll be sharing more about it.
I will also say that I surprised myself by not being right on the line with my luggage. When flying internationally to or from North America you get 2 x 23kg suitcases per person and both of my bags were several kilos underweight.
Admittedly I'd put most of my heavy stuff in my carry on (which was around 11kgs) and had put a few candles and my leather jacket in with Mark's things, but I was impressed with myself nonetheless!
It does help that I could leave behind anything I wasn't 100% sure I'd need because we'll be back home for a few days in September for Mark's sister's wedding, but that's not bad considering I packed up my entire life!
It's funny to think that we moved to Toronto pretty much blind as neither of us know anyone irl who had spent a decent amount of time here, but this city is incredible! If I had just travelled here on holiday it's absolutely a place I would be telling people to check out. There are so many awesome neighbourhoods and each new one we go to is just as cool as the last.
To me it feels a lot like New York but with a way more relaxed Melbourne vibe. We're having the best time eating amazing food all weekend and checking out what the city has to offer (as you may have seen on my instagram stories). I'm sure it's different in winter, but Toronto is so alive in summer. Everyone is obsessed with patios and every bar and cafe seems to have one (we don't really make a thing of them in Australia) and Trinity Bellwoods park is packed every time we go past. I've never seen such long lines outside ice cream shops, and we have Messina in Australia! We keep joking that because winter is so brutal over here everyone is frantically making the most of ice cream eating weather.
For the most part the weather has been fantastic. The AirBnB we're in is a basement apartment which is really common over here, but it doesn't get any sun so we often have no idea what the weather is like until we stick our heads out the door. It's been in the high 20s a lot which is my ideal temperature so I've been loving it.
For the record, Tim Horton's steeped tea is actually really good, especially because a medium is only $1.50 and it's the size of a generous large back home. I'm also happy to report that there are several places that offer poutine with vegetarian gravy and it's delicious!
Although this post is mostly about settling in to life in Toronto, in these kinds of posts I would normally talk about whatever else I've been enjoying lately so I figured I throw this in at the end. Because we had so much flying time on the way over I watched a couple of things I really loved. The first was the movie Lion which Mark and I watched together because the screenplay was written an Australian guy called Luke Davies, who is the author of the novel Candy, which was turned into a movie starring Heath Ledger back in 2006. I loved both the book and the movie, so that's what drew us to Lion and oh man, do not watch this movie if you're feeling even slightly emotionally vulnerable. I cried basically the whole way through the second half, and Mark was in tears by the end too. Along with Dancer in the Dark this is probably the most heart-wrenching movie I've ever seen and it left us both speechless.
After an hour or two the guy sitting next to us mentioned that he saw us watching it and we got to talking. He said that it tore him apart when he watched it for the first time because he has a son the same age, and he's watched it 5 or 6 times since. We didn't really know anything about it going in except the basic plot and who the screenplay was written by, so I'm not going to ruin anything, but if you're emotionally prepared for something intensely moving and beautiful, this is the one. On a less hectic note, I also watched the entire series of MARS which is soundtracked by my One True Love Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. It was beautiful and gripping and I thoroughly enjoyed it.