Three days ago we landed in Vancouver and we have been discovering beautiful British Columbia ever since.
A lot has happened, because once again we decided to travel NOMADS style.
It all started when we put out a question on our Instagram account (I know right, bad, bad, bad ;). We were just toying with the idea of visiting BC and were trying to figure out what the best way was and what the costs would be. Canada is quite an expensive country so we decided to ask our followers if anyone knew anyone who would rent us their camper for a month to keep the costs down. A bit later we got a reply from a guy from the USA, saying that he was willing to lend out his selfconverted Ford Van FOR FREE for a month!
What was even more impressive was that he was even going to drive it from Seattle to Vancouver to pick us up and leave it with us, while he would take the train back. For us that was the sign to go and book our flights. And so we did.
So, a couple of days ago we were on our way to the airport in Brussels to catch our flight, when suddenly we realized that we hadn't applied for the eTA, the document you need to get into Canada. I quickly filled in the three requests and luckily got an almost instant positive reply for Val and my daughter Fenna. Mine, however, was not coming through..
We need to change flights in Switzerland, so I decided to gamble it and fly over there hoping that my eTA would come through before our flight out to Canada, which was only a couple of hours later.
In my dispair I tried another online service from the US to get my eTA approval. It was 85 USD instead of the 7 CAD, but I thought anything was better than having to book another flight and staying in Switzerland without my daughter and girlfriend for who knows how long..
I was able to send out the request just before take off in Brussels, but wasn't sure I was going to be able to join my family on the next flight.
Two hours later, when I landed in Zurich, the eTA hadn't come through yet and I only had an hour for my next flight. So, I thought that was it. I was already looking at the places to sleep in Zurich and trying to figure out what my next steps would be, when suddenly I got an SMS saying that the eTA was approved.
I only had about half an hour to catch my next flight, but the people from the airline where so kind to inform the people from the checkin that I was doing everything I could to make it on time.
And I DID!!!
Never been so happy!
The 10 hour flight itself was quite comfortable, the crew passed by almost every hour to ask us if we wanted to drink something and they were very kind to our three year old.
When we arrived in Vancouver we had to contact the guy from the Instagram van and we both hoped it wasn't a hoax. But sure, he was there waiting for us and he drove us to the city centre near a supermarket so we could get some groceries. He handed over the keys and that was it, now we are driving around in a van of a complete stranger in Canada.
Thank you social media and human kindness!
Well, that was it for now and I will try to keep you up to date. Many stories still to come, including seeing our first wild bear.
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