Dealing with homesickness, anxiety and financial issues
Leaving everything behind to go discover a new country sounds like a great idea on paper—freedom! The chance to start a new life! Wild adventures!
However, things don’t always go as planned. You may feel lonely, frustrated, disappointed and even homesick. It happens to many WHP holders and the rest of the story depends on how you deal with these moments that are part of the experience.
If you’re feeling lonely, list all the places where you could potentially meet new people, for instance cultural and sports events. Registering for various activities is also a great way to be active and meet people with similar interests. Check out dance lessons, photography clubs, fundraising events, etc. Basically, go out and have fun!
PVTistes.net events are also a great way to meet travellers who face the same challenges and experience the same ups and downs as you. It’s also an opportunity to network!
Reducing your money stress
You did make a budget but you also assumed you’d find a job within the first weeks or month or your trip, and you’re still waiting for a call back from prospective employers.
Would you consider entry-level jobs outside of your field? Temp positions? Casual work? At this stage, the most pressing issue is getting a paycheque as well as Canadian references and work experience in Canada.
Remember, it’s easier to find a job when you’re already employed. Besides, what you need now is money and a confidence boost—your dream career can wait a few more weeks, time to get back on your feet!
Taking a reality check
If Canada keeps on disappointing you, take a reality check on your own attitude. Don’t be too harsh on yourself but acknowledge that you may be stuck at stage 2 of culture shock.
Remember that people will be friendly if you smile and project a positive attitude. You’re the newcomer, you have to take the first step. Be curious, open-minded and ask questions instead of criticizing everything. Spend less time comparing Canada and “home” and more time understanding how you can enjoy what Canada does best, whatever it is for you.
It’s okay to spend time with other travellers even if they aren’t the “true Canadians” you came to see. Get out of the “us vs. them” mindset—it doesn’t matter who you hang out with as long as it makes you happy! Remember, the world is a big network and Canada is a diverse country. Who cares if most of your friends are backpackers or foreign students!
Finally, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. No one judges your WHP experience, everyone lives a different adventure and they are all valuable.
Changing your plans
Canada is a big country and not two cities are alike. If you feel miserable in your destination city, try another place before deciding that Canada sucks!
Sure, you will have to move, find another job, another apartment… but it may be worth exploring a different part of the country if you feel you’re not happy with that place that looked so great on paper. You may want to consider other options as well, like a WWOOF experience in a rural setting—who said you were a city person, after all?
Throwing in the towel and going home
Just a few weeks or months ago, you said goodbye to everyone and you joked you may not even be using your return ticket. And now you’ve run out of money, you’re feeling depressed and your adventure didn’t match your expectations—you’re gonna use that return ticket earlier than planned.
You didn’t fail. It’s okay to feel disappointed and frustrated but you have nothing to be ashamed of because you did travel and you did try something new. Not all experiences are positive and once you digest yours, you’ll probably realize that you did grow. Would you have regretted it if you hadn’t tried the WHP experience? If the answer is “yes,” then it wasn’t a waste of time and money!
Main articles about the WHV to Canada
Step-By-Step Guide to International Experience Canada Work Permits
Introduction to the Canada Working Holiday permit
Guide to Working Holiday in Canada (free download)
16 Good Reasons to Apply for a Working Holiday Visa
Globe WHV insurance policy highlights
The duration of your insurance coverage directly impacts your WHV
15 Tips for a Successful WHV Experience
The Working Holiday Visa Adventure as a Solo Traveller