I have achieved the #1 thing on my list “Things to do 2013” and have got a new job! In October I am starting as a Lecturer in Psychology at Keele University.
Obviously I’m very excited to be taking the next step forward in my academic career, and to be moving back to the UK as I’ll be (much!) closer to friends and family, but I am sad to leave Canada as I don’t really feel like I’ve had enough time here….
I think it always takes a little while to get settled somewhere new – in terms of both work and friends – so only 1 year living somewhere feels a little rushed, and somehow never completely settled? In terms of work it was difficult as I had to start applying for future positions, or future grant funding, almost straight away – which it is difficult to muster the excitement for when you’re actually excited about just starting in your current position. The work I was going to be conducting here also took a while to get up and running (as designing experiments, getting materials together, recruiting RAs, etc., typically does); and establishing a rapport with a new supervisor can also take time. But hey-ho, the funding was only for 1 year, I am very glad I got the opportunity to come here, and as we didn’t finish all the projects we came up with together during that 1 year, we’ll just have to keep up the collaboration into the future!
But, I have had a glorious time living here in Victoria, British Columbia, and I just wanted to make a list of all the things I will miss about this lovely city and it’s environs:
- Being so close to the sea. I loved going for a walk through Beacon Hill Park down to the pebbly beach off Dallas Road. Just the view from the top of Beacon Hill across the Juan de Fuca strait to the Olympic mountains was awe-inspiring. I found I missed it when I hadn’t been down there for a few weeks. Maybe sometime I’ll get to live by the sea again?
- The public transport system. (Wow, doesn’t that seem boring after me waxing lyrical about the beach?!). Maybe I was just so pleased with the buses here because of how lacking the public transport system was in Richmond? But it really was so reliable and efficient, and the bus drivers were so friendly 🙂
- The chilled-out West Coast lifestyle. I’ve only lived in one place in America and one place in Canada so it would take an essay to describe all the nuances of how those places and their people are representative (and not) of their respective countries, but Victoria definitely had a chilled-out Canadian vibe going on.
- The lovely friends I have made here. A crazy bunch of misfits from all over the world. You are all welcome to visit me in England anytime!
- The vibrant research atmosphere of CABSSEM. Discussions in the seminars (or at the pub) widened my appreciation and knowledge of so many different areas of research, statistics, and academia in general. Invaluable. And the beer-drinking was pretty good too 🙂
- The noise of the fog horns and seagulls – hearing these while lying in bed in the morning always reminded me that I was living on an island far from home.
- The Canoe Club – the best place for sunset cocktails.
- Moka House in Cook St. Village – the best place for coffee and Sunday relaxy-time.
- Pagliacci’s Italian restaurant – the most fabulous pasta concoctions ever!
- The rest of Vancouver Island. I’m so glad my mum came over and we got to explore the island for two weeks. We didn’t get to see it all, but we gave it our best try! British Columbia is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.