Laura reflects on a week of tourism in the Canadian city of Toronto…
In this job, a week of annual leave is a valuable thing and I wanted to spend my recent week off doing something amazing. So I arranged my flight out to Toronto one week early, packed up all my belongings, grabbed my boyfriend Chris and set off for a week of tourism in my new home.
Taking off from Heathrow was a weird experience; knowing I wasn’t coming back to the UK for another 3 months was a daunting prospect but also an incredibly exciting one and I feel so lucky to have a job that’s willing to make that investment in me. That feeling of luck continued as I arrived into Toronto and was introduced to my apartment and the surrounding area – including a swimming pool, gym, restaurants, bars and even an ice rink just around the corner.
We spent our days doing what tourists do: we went up the CN Tower (previously the tallest building in the world) to see the sights of the city from above; we travelled to Ward’s Island, a small island just off the downtown shoreline of Toronto; we skated on the harbourfront at sunset; we visited High Park and the zoo there; we went to the Ontario Science Museum. We even managed to fit in a trip on the Greyhound bus down to New York for a packed full day of sight seeing, which was amazing.
Aside from the sight-seeing though, the week gave me an opportunity to get to know my new home and work out practical things like where to shop (it’s so expensive here so that’s a key bit of information to find out asap!), how the subway works, whether getting a mobile phone is viable, setting up internet etc. Having that time to acclimatise was incredibly useful for me. I was even able to schedule a meeting with my new line manager to have a quick introduction and see the office (which was also great for my boyfriend who appreciated the opportunity to see where I work and learn more about what I do).
I’m now in the Quark office for day 2 of my placement and things are going well so far. Much of my time has been spent in meetings to get an introduction to what we do and what I am going to be doing, and my line manager has spent time bringing me up to speed on the basics of finance (much needed info – finance is my weakness!). We’re even going out for lunch together today which is really nice and I feel really welcome already.
Just got to work out what amazing adventures to fill my spare time with – bank holiday next weekend so I’m thinking a road trip may be in order…