Our journey to Canada started bright and early in my hometown Helsingborg at 8.30am with loading in our 2 bags and guitars into my dad’s car. Matilda had stayed the night so that we the could drive together to the airport in the morning. Our flight didn’t leave until 12.55 but we wanted to be at the airport in good time, just in case anything were to go wrong.After checking in our bags and mixing up the tags (oops) we headed into the departure area to find some food. If you haven’t been to Kastrup before you should know that it’s crazy expensive and the only cheap food you can find is hot dogs, and bland sandwiches. We settled for the latter and then headed to our gate to board our first flight of the day to Iceland where we had a connecting flight to our final destination; Toronto, Canada. The Journey Plan:
Copenhagen → Reykjavik, Iceland (3 hrs 15 min)
Iceland → Toronto, Canada (6 hrs)
The flight to Iceland was smooth – They had a big selection of movies and tv shows on the plane (Norwegian & SAS, please learn from Icelandair thank you) and we watched Everything, Everything which was amazing, and ended just in time for Iceland to appear outside the airplane windows. Talk about a breathtaking view!
Landing in Iceland
Once we had landed in Reykjavik we had some more food (burger & pizza – we’re classy) and were also slightly mindf***ed by the Icelandic currency. The pizza cost 2000 Icelandic Kronor! We then headed to our gate to board the connecting flight to Toronto. On this plane we didn’t have seats together so Matilda headed to her window seat at the front (I’m not bitter) and I to my middle seat towards the back of the plane like the peasant I am.
Although the plane ride was 6 hours long, the time passed quite quickly. I spent it watching another movie (The Guest, meh) and chatting to my seat pal next to me, a lovely lady from Bellville outside of Toronto who was travelling back from Norway. She told me how she had almost missed the connecting flight because she had waited for her luggage and didn’t know she didn’t need to, and then had to sprint across the airport in 10 minutes to make it! I’m glad that wasn’t me…
The whole journey from Iceland to Canada the sky was the most amazing color as we were flying “with” the sunset, meaning the sun never went down. We flew over Newfoundland & Labrador, one of Canada’s more northern provinces, and got to see breathtaking views of the arctic scenery below.
Somewhere above Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
We arrived at Toronto Pearson Airport at 18.00 local time. and then it was time for the thing we had both worried about for so long – the border control and activating our Working Visas! We had both read stories online of how strict they could be and on top of that Matilda also watches a LOT of Border Control. Yeah we were VERY nervous.
Getting Through Border Control
The process of getting a working visa in Canada is quite long and I won’t go over all the boring details, but to enter the country you need to have the following things;
- Your passport (duh)
- Travel insurance for your full stay, in our case 1 year
- Bank Statement showing that you have at least $2500 Canadian Dollars + money for a return flight
- A printed copy of a letter they send you when your visa is accepted
On the plane we also had to fill in a declaration form to say what you are bringing into the country. Matilda advised me, based on her vast Border Control knowledge, that if I was unsure of something, I should always say yes. Since I was bringing one of those small Swiss Army Multi-Tool knives, I checked “yes” on bringing a weapon into the country which later on gave me some funny looks from the staff at the border…
Them, judging me: “YOU have a weapon?”
Me: “err… I thought I did?”
We arrived at the desks where they were going to look through our documents and we were both incredibly nervous; for no reason at all. 5 minutes later after briefly reading through our acceptance letters, we were approved to work in Canada. The guy who I had didn’t even look at either my bank statement or my insurance papers!
Fun fact: It’s stated officially on our visas that we’re not allowed to work as strippers. Dammit.
They then sent us straight to a Service Canada department where we were given our SIN numbers, which is the equivalent of NI numbers in the UK and personnummer in Sweden. We were then sent on our way to collect our luggage and suddenly before we knew it – We had officially arrived in Canada!