I made my decision to go and work in Canada over a year ago. It was something I had been thinking about for a long time, I turned 30 in the summer so this was my last year I could apply.
Although this decision seemed simple, it wasn't just me that this choice would affect. Matt and I have been together for just over 4 years.
When I first approached Matt with the idea of going to Canada for at least a year, he wasn't against the idea but wasn't exactly excited either. It took me a bit of time to win him over to the idea completely. Looking at things like ice climbing in Canada and how good the snow is for skiing out there definetly helped.
Something that made it a bit harder for Matt was his age. He is 2 years older than me so he was already past the age limit for a working Holiday Visa. For a British person anyway. Matt however has Irish heritage, he has some Irish grandparents, must be where he gets his ginger beard from.
If you are Irish you can get your working holiday visa until you are 35. So we began the long process of turning him Irish, after the Brexit vote. Why is that important, well once Brexit was voted for the number of people applying for Irish citizenship pretty much tripled. That meant the process went from being around 3 months to just over 6.
Matt was applying through his grandmother on his dad's side, so he went about gathering all the necessary documents. One member of his family was keen on family history and so was able to send Matt most of the documents he needed.
The first snag he hit was finding out that his grandmother had un-officially changed her name when she got married. Her birth certificate had a different first name to her marriage certificate and there was no paperwork saying this was an official name change. However we hoped that as her death cert had both names on, that would be enough to tie the names together.
He sent the paperwork off in February and we didn't hear anything until the June. He received and email to say that we hadn't sent in a death cert, it was just a registration of death and that they needed more proof that the two names were the same person. The death cert was easy to sort, just order it on-line, the extra proof was going to be more tricky. Family to rescue again, a copy of a British passport application was found and it had both names on it. So it was July by the time this was all sent off and the start of another waiting game.
By the time he got his confirmation of registry of foreign birth so he could be Irish it was drawing very close to the time I was due to fly out to Canada. Yes I was going to head out there without him and without knowing if he could follow me. It was a massive relief to both of us when he received that registration cert. With that in his hands we drove up to Liverpool on our next day off together and ordered him a passport.
I had to leave at the start of November because I had booked my flights and I had a job starting at the end of November and I had to sort out many adult things once I got to Canada. Matts passport hadn't arrived by the time I left and it was really hard leaving him, knowing that he still had to apply for a visa. Our Irish friend who I was flying out with had got her Visa relatively quickly but there was no guarantee of when Matt would get his. It could take months!
Ever the optimist I knew it would all work out.
Matt made it out just before Christmas which was great! Best present ever!!
It had taken a bit longer than we hoped to get the visa sorted but at least we were now out here together.
I am working in a resort in a relatively small town so the next challenge was to find him a job. This was much trickier than we hoped as the resort I was working for didn't require any extra staff. Matt eventually got a job at Tim's! Although not his ideal work we have been able to match up our work patterns. That means on days off it has been adventure time!!
For me giving up a good job with good pay to go on an adventure far away form all our friends and family wasn't that hard. I love change and the challenges it brings, I'm not that worried about stability.
For Matt it is the other way around, he prefers the stability and it had been a challenge for him to give it all up to follow me to Canada. I definitely owe him several now and I feel very lucky to have such an amazing partner to share this adventure with.