Week 6: Lots to do…so little time!

IEC Canada Working Holiday visa application delays:

Before I get down to the update on our own situation this week, I just wanted to acknowledge my brothers from other mothers who are still waiting for this IEC visa approvals and perhaps make an attempt at allaying your fears. (As you know, we already got ours – na na na na na!!)

Seriously though, it seems that delays with the applications seem to be getting longer and longer. Every forum or Facebook page I go onto is full of people worried about how long the whole process is taking. In fairness to International Experience Canada it seems they are doing the best they can and they will work through the backlog. They have been smashed with huge numbers of applications from Ireland and the UK since the IEC Canada 2012 quotas were announced in December and there have been some issues with people entering the wrong number format for applications as well as some issues with barcodes. IEC have now published a short note on their UK and Irish sites saying that some delays are possible. I guess what I’m trying to say is “Chill the beans”. If your application is in, they will get to it and you will get that visa.

At the time of writing Ireland still has 3,961 Canadian working holidays for 2012 and the UK has 3,406. Loads to go around!

So back to the blog…

Lots to Do……So Little Time

Madness is all I can say! Between going away parties, MTB races, The Australian Pink Floyd, dinner with the parents, the Run-a-Muck Challenge, packing, looking for jobs and tying up in work…….and only 2 weeks to do it all. We have a busy schedule ahead of us.

Jobs in Vancouver:

Much to my dismay, I figured it was time to start looking for a job in Canada. I had forgotten how mind warping job hunting is. All the forms that have to be filled out, all the cover letters that need to be written LL. I’m kind of hoping someone will just come up to me after our snowboarding holiday in Whistler and offer me loads of money to start a job the following Monday (if only life was that easy). I may bring my guitar with me and go busking on the streets of Vancouver, maybe someone will pay me to stop singing!!!!!! I’ll have a more detailed update on the job hunt next week and will be sure to pass on any decent sites or companies I come across.

Extra Money for Canada:

I put my car up on Adverts.ie today and a few other things in the hope of raising some extra cash. I also need to claim tax back as I didn’t work a full year last year (was in Northern Ireland until March) and won’t be working a full year this year which means, I am paying too much tax i.e. my tax free allowance is spread over the whole year so I will be entitled to some money back. I’m sure Taxback.com will be able to sort it all out for me once I get the finger out.

Insurance for Canada:

Finally this week, Ruth did a bit of research into backpacker insurance and presented them on a nice excel sheet for me:











Wintersports cover


Mountain Biking & Wintersports cover


Mountain Biking & Wintersports cover


Mountain Biking & Wintersports cover



Mountain Biking & Wintersports cover


Multitrip.ie seems to be the best value. We will have to compare the breakdown like for like to see if one is offering less cover. Insurance is definitely something to take time to consider. The last thing you want out in Canada is to find out you’re not covered for something, before being hit with a substantial bill.

Biking Blitz:

The first mountain bike race of the year took place in Wicklow today. The Biking Blitz, run by Biking.ie. Ruth and I decided to have a go of it to see how legs were after a long winter. I went for the Super Pro category which was 2 laps of the 14km circuit in Ballinastoe and Ruth did the Baggy Shorts category which was one lap.

Unfortunately, about 20 minutes into the race my tyre literally exploded, it was so loud I nearly fell off the bloody bike……………………..

All was not lost, I got back to a delighted Ruth who came 5th in the girls and beat 44 men in the baggy shorts category. She’ll be quicker than me if she keeps improving at this rate. 🙂 🙂 This race has just given us a taster of what is ahead of us in Canada.

So the next couple of weeks are going to be jam packed with fun and excitement. We have already entered holiday mode and we’ll be trying to see as much of our friends and family as possible. It’s getting so close now I can almost see the fluffy white snow that has been dumped on Whistler the last week or so. Let’s hope it snows again between now and then to leave some nice “POW” for us to destroy.

Tune in next week for our going away party, packing, and more on Job hunting.

Until next week,


The Loose Moose.



  • Gemma says:

    Did you check out ACE insurance? They cover skiing/snowboarding, though you have to pay a higher medical excess. Not sure about mountain biking!

    If you’re into mountain biking, have you thought about heading over to Vancouver Island? Cumberland is a pretty well known Canadian destination biking, and there is good trails at Mount Washington during the summer (when the ski lifts finally shut down and they manage to clear the 4+ metres of snow….). I don’t bike and I absolutely love it here.

    • The Loose Moose says:

      Hey Gemma,

      Thanks for the tips. We havent tried ACE, I will do later though. the cheaper the better!!

      I have seen that there are some good races on in Vancouver Island, So we might try get over to a couple. Mountain Biking at Mt Washington and 4 meter of snow?? Where do I sign 🙂 :-). I havent heard about that, will have to look it up. Thats what I can wait for in Canada, The endless mountains and places to go!!! How long have you been over there?

      Thanks again for the info.

      The Loose Moose

      • Gemma says:

        Hey! I’ve been in Canada for over four months now, most of that spent on Vancouver Island working at Mount Washington. We have over 5 metres of snow now, biggest snowpack in Canada, 2nd in North America 😉 Pretty insane! The big biking event here is the BearClaw, definitely do a google for that.

        Just seen on your budget breakdown that you went with ACE in the end – glad that worked out for you! They should be giving me a commission I swear…!

        Hope things are going well for you

        – Gemma

      • The Loose Moose says:

        Hey Gemma,

        Mt Washington sounds cool, we might have to make a trip there soon. I just looked up that bear claw, It look pretty cool. I cant wait to get back on my bike!!! Thanks for all the tips keep them coming.

        Whats the work like out there in Mt washington?

        As for the commission, Ill buy you a pint if we cross paths:-)



      • Gemma says:


        Looks like you’re having a good time in Van. Not a city person so being out here on the island is great for me 🙂 Mount Washington is pretty great; it’s more of a locals hill than Whistler for example – there is accommodation to stay overnight but most people come up on a day trip from all over the island, from Victoria it’s a four hour drive for example. I’m lucky in that in my job, the ‘winter’ season runs from August to April, since we have to do a lot of pre-season work. So I’ve just got to find something to do during the summer!

        Good luck with job hunting,


  • Paul Earley says:


    I was wondering if your flights to Canada were direct. I’ve been looking for direct flights from Ireland to Montreal or Ottawa (have a job in Ottawa starting in May). We’re flying out next week for a week to explore where we’ll be living etc but have to fly with air canada through London then direct. adding 1 hour flight time and 4 hours stop over time to the journey. Any suggestions on direct flights?

    Love the blog, very helpful


    • The Loose Moose says:

      Hey Paul,

      Air Transat fly direct to montreal and are supposed to be the cheapest.


      Enjoy your holiday next week, Might see you in the Airport, Were off in 12 days!!!!!!


      The Loose Moose

  • Kate says:

    Hi! By any chance do you know if I can apply to IEC with my polish passport although I never lived in Poland? Thanks!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *