How is life in Calgary? It’s filled with work, food and hockey. In the picture above, Fredrik and I are at our first NHL-game ever – sitting in row one!
Time goes really quickly, that was more than a week ago! I’ve been in Canada for five months already, and Fredrik for more than three. For the last two months, we’ve tried to settle down in Calgary. You might remember that we found an apartment and that I found a full time job. Shortly after, Fredrik found a job at the same restaurant I’m working in – we’re not only partners and best friends, but nowadays we’re also co-workers! Here’s a quick update on how life is in Calgary, from our point of view:
So how is life in Calgary? Let’s begin with accommodation. We started out by renting a beautiful loft in a house own by a woman with two super cute dogs (we seriously fell in love with them). After about a month, we moved down to her basement instead for the same price. It was just as beautiful, but more private.
We stayed at her place for about two months in total. During these two months we also did some house- and dog sitting in return for free accommodation for about a week – such a good deal! But finally, after these two months, we decided to find something new. She is selling her house and since Fredrik and I both work in the same place now, it just seems smarter to live closer to work so we don’t have to take the bus everyday – so we just moved a couple of days ago! We’re now renting a room 900 meters from work, which is just perfect.
And here’s a funny coincidence – we just found out that the girl we’re renting from is the niece to the owner of the restaurant that we’re working in. What are the odds and why does these things always happen to me? Crazy!
It wasn’t too hard finding work here in Calgary, if you have the right attitude and are open to all kinds of jobs. I was offered two part time jobs before finally finding a full time job. It’s important for us to work full time since we want to save money for our future travels! Fredrik didn’t have a hard time coming in for interviews either, but in the beginning he didn’t have any luck with his potential employers – they where a bit more hesitating about hiring someone on a Working Holiday Visa than my interviewers were, probably because he was looking for more specific jobs at first. If you’re in Canada on a temporary work permit, I’d say that it’ll probably be easiest for you to find a job in the restaurant or hospitality industry!
How is life in Calgary for us when it comes to food? Well, I can definitely recommend working in a restaurant when it comes to saving money on food costs. A typical day for us right now looks like this:
- We wake up around 8 a.m., get ready for work and have breakfast
- We’re at work between 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Free lunch at work around 3 p.m.
- We get back home around 8 p.m., have dinner and go to bed
As you see, we don’t spend much money on food and not on much else either since we’re pretty busy all day! I didn’t know working in a restaurant means food is included (it’s not the norm in Sweden, but usually you get a discount on it) but it seems to be very common here – which is great for us. It means more money to put into travelling!
Other than that, we’re a bit sad that dairy products are soo expensive here! We love milk, yoghurt, cheese… But at the moment that is more like a luxury thing every now and then. Compared to when I backpacked alone through Europe last year, I’d still say we eat way better than I’m used to as a backpacker. We try to think smart and buy big packs, things on sale and short-dated products to freeze – so far it’s all been within our budget!
Lastly, how is life in Calgary when it comes to spare time?
As I just mentioned, we both work full time and sometimes different shifts – there’s actually not too much spare time at the moment. We do have two days off per week, never in a row, and we try to do something fun on these days. So far we’ve been to an NHL-game, visited downtown, been to Zoolights and just explored the area we’re living in. For future days off, I’m excited to visit Nose Hill (a huge park close to where we live), go to the library and -the thing I’m looking forward to the most- rent a car to go to Banff and Jasper!
Now you know where we are and what we’re doing – at least for now! That’s the great thing about being a backpacker, you can just grab your bag, buy a bus- or flight ticket and leave whenever you feel like. Who knows, next week we might not even be in Canada anymore!
Although, we plan to stay as long as our visas are valid, we haven’t even been to BC yet!
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