Tag Archives: Chateau Lake Louise

My A-Z of Canada. B is for Banff

To continue with my personal A-Z of Canada and following on from last weeks A is for Animals, this week B is for Banff.

Banff in Alberta is, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful place in the entire world.

To many skiers Banff is a kind of Mecca so if anyone into winter sports discovered our Christmas holiday destination they would always ask the same question, “Do you ski then?’ to which I always reply “Meh… I fall…a lot!” Quite frankly as a clumsy person I should NEVER be allowed to strap strips of wood to my feet and go on a slippery, steep surface.  Bad Idea.  The last time we attempted a private lesson with some French guy called Marcelle, the language barrier proved to be a bit of an issue and he evidently mistook my explanation of our previous skiing experience.  Five minutes later we were hurtling up a ski lift to a slope well out of our skill level and we all faceplanted as we attempted to get off.  We recovered ourselves and followed Marcelle to the top of a piste which looked to me like it belonged on the ‘Ski Sunday’. Marcelle showed us some funky maneuver we were meant to copy and the next thing I remember is a tremendous pain in the back of my head as I hit the snow and hurtled upside down and backwards down the slope. I realised it looked as bad as it felt when I saw the expression on eldest sons face as he kicked off his skis and attempted to run down the slope to help me.  Luckily the only real damage was to my pride but while the snow shot down my neck and salopettes as I slid on my back I decided this skiing lark probably wasn’t for me!  Nevertheless Banff remains my favourite holiday destination and is far more than a ski resort.  Picture perfect views are literally around every corner.

One of my favourite things to do is snowmobiling, I’m much more comfortable with an engine under me than a pair of skis. 😀

Me & youngest Son on the snowmobile

Ice skating, hiking and generally admiring the views in a stunning location is more than I could hope for in a holiday destination and Banff has it all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The world famous Lake Louise is a 10 minute drive away and it really is as stunning as the pictures in the magazines, even in the depths of winter.

Lake Louise

 

Banff epitomises all Canada has to offer, the stunning natural beauty and warm, friendly people. If it’s not already on your bucket list, put it on. 😀

5 Best Things About Being an Expat

I was inspired by Maria over at Iwasanexpatwife (who is a true expert of all things expat) to write a personal list of the best and worst parts about being an expat.

 

1. You learn something new everyday.

I know this is an old saying but when you start a new life abroad it becomes true.  In the first few weeks it’s a bit of information overload when every sense is bombarded with new things.  The learning curve it at it steepest as you learn huge life altering lessons like how to drive on the other side of the road or where the best schools are.  After a while they become smaller and less significant like discovering some new restaurant or finding a little pharmacy that stocks your favourite shampoo but the learning is constant.  My husband and I would often start our conversation when he comes home from work with “you won’t believe what I discovered today…”

2. You find out who you really are

I’m brave! Who knew? Certainly not me but moving overseas is a sure way to find out about your character.  It was more of a surprise to me than anyone that I didn’t have a complete panic on the way to the airport or lose my marbles during the emigration process. I have discovered that I can actually handle an awful lot of stress and more importantly get through it relatively unscathed.  In our first 18 months in Canada I have discovered all kinds of character traits that I had never acknowledged.  I wouldn’t go as far to say I didn’t know they were there but I just hadn’t taken the time to really think about who I was.

3. You can change everything and reinvent yourself

We you first arrive in a new country no one has any preconceptions of who you are and what you are like, no one there will be expecting you to be the same old person you always were so you have the freedom to be exactly who you want.  I have learned that I being the reliable ‘yes’ person was draining me, I had a tendency to do anything for anyone even if it meant I didn’t have time to do what I really wanted or needed to do, not anymore.  I can say no if something doesn’t suit me and I don’t want to do it.  You can change everything about yourself, what you do for a living and how you live. You have the perfect opportunity to start afresh, put aside what doesn’t serve you and move on.  Forget bad experiences and fear and embrace a fresh start and a new way of life.

 

4. You learn what’s really important in life.

Any contact I have with my family and friends back in England is so precious now, a simple email, skype call or Facebook message means so much more than it did two years ago.   The last 18 months has taught me to really value the relationships that I used to take for granted.

I have learnt how important time is: we have a family dinner together every night now because we’re not inundated with work or commuting for hours. I am more aware of what is happening in the life of our boys more than ever before.

Exploring the city with family


5. You have a whole new part of the world to explore

It starts with learning your immediate area, where the shops are, where the school is and then your horizons broaden into the nearest city and what it has to offer.  Next you begin to explore further afield as you discover new places to drive to on a sunny day or for a weekend break and eventually you are exploring neighbouring countries and new holiday destinations.  Every trip is a brand new exciting experience and if you’re lucky enough to get visitors you get to explore these places with family and friends too.

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom

Chateau Lake Louise, Alberta

So there you have it, my top 5 things about expat life.  Coming up next the five worst things…get the Kleenex ready!