When I wake up this morning I realize that it’s already my last day in Vancouver for now. Tomorrow morning I’ll take an early train to Seattle to meet friends and a few days later I’ll fly to my grandparents in Montana. So tonight I’ll have the challenge again to pack my backpack, but for now I decide to first go to downtown again. As I walk outside around seven AM, I feel it’s colder than yesterday. When I look up I see many stars in the sky. I don’t think I’ve seen them here before and it tells me that it’s probably going to be a clear sky day today. I’m excited about that. At the bus stop I make some small talk with a man who is also waiting. He recognises my accent and tells me that has lived in the Netherlands for a year. The early bus is not so crowded and I have some time to think. The few minutes talking with that man about the Netherlands made me realise that I don’t miss the country so much, but more my family and friends. I’m starting to really like Vancouver, despite its many rainy days.
I work for a couple of hours in the coffee place and then get an e-mail from Amtrak that my train tomorrow is not driving, but that they’ve arranged a bus instead. I’m very disappointed by this, because I was really looking forward to that train ride along the coast. Now it’ll be a long bus ride instead. I’m glad I didn’t book the train ride on the same day as my flight, else I would be more in trouble. A while later more stress is added as I find out the busses won’t go early to the train station tomorrow morning. I had assumed it wouldn’t be a problem to get to the train station at 6.30am. As we often say with programming: assumption is the mother of all trouble. I consider my options. There is no Uber in Vancouver and from what I read online is taxi quite unreliable. In worst case I could go to the station tonight with the last bus and stay there for the night, but that doesn’t sound so appealing because it’s a cold day. I consider getting another Airbnb close to the station for tonight, but there aren’t any cheap ones available on such a short notice.
I am a positive guy, but I also have my limits. Right now I feel like I’ve had enough. I text with a friend about and she says “you sure have the wind against you on this journey.” and that’s exactly how I feel now. I decide to call my host and ask if it would be possible for them to drop me off at the station tomorrow. She tells me she’ll call me back on it. I hope they’re willing to do it, that would be perfect. I go on my way home, get some Mexican take away food and catch the busy commuter bus to North Vancouver.
Yesterday I called with a friend back home and she reminded me that she had said before that it’s hard to move to a different place. Back then I underestimated a bit, but she was right. You run in lots of small challenges when you’re in a different place, even if it’s a western country. It aren’t life-death issues, but many things that are different than home like traveling with public transport, doing groceries and being alone. But as I write this down in my mind I hear my grandma saying: “You are never alone.” I am looking forward so much to next week to see my grandparents again. If only I was there already. With hindsight I would have chosen to rent a car instead of going by train and plane to them. It’s about a 15 hour drive away, so I could have done that in two days. I mentioned that to my grandma yesterday, but she pointed me to the fact that you never know what the weather will do in this region, so it might have been challenging to driving if a snow storm would come up. There’s nothing I can do about it now anyway. I hope the train or bus will bring me tomorrow to Seattle and that my flight to Montana on Tuesday will go easy.