Living in the US: This is Montana

It has been almost a month and a half since I packed my life into 2 suitcases (and 20 boxes!). A day after I moved out of my apartment in Ljubljana, Slovenia, I was already on my way to the States with my friend Nina. We came here not knowing what to expect or what is coming next. And to spice things up a bit, our employers were just as lost as we were. The first few weeks have been full of surprises. The good and the bad. So how is everything, you ask.

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I’m Moving Overseas!

I still have to pinch myself, but yes, that is happening! It seems like 2019 is going to be very eventful. And quite life-changing too! Let’s cut to the chase: I am moving overseas soon. Here’s how my next year and a half will (hopefully!) look like:

USA

When I started my current 9-5 job at a travel agency back in October, I had no idea how fast my life will start changing. My colleagues are simply wonderful, I enjoy the work I do (most of the time) and I am surrounded by fellow travelers. Just 2 weeks before me, Nina started her job. I didn’t take us long to connect and come up with many inside jokes. In December we spontaneously decided we could spend our next summer in the USA. Preferably somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Turns out, we will be working in a small family-run hotel in Montana. We start in June and will stay there until autumn! Did I mention we will be living just minutes away from the national park?

At Niagara Falls, October 2015

Canada

It is not a secret I have always been drawn to Canada. I chose my high school program based on the opportunity to do an exchange with Canadians. And those 2 weeks in Fredericton, New Brunswick didn’t really help with my wish to once live there. Years later, I visited Toronto, Ontario for a few days – and again, we all know how that went. On Christmas Eve, I had finally applied for my working holiday visa. I will discuss the whole process a bit more in detail later in a separate post, however, let’s just say it can be quite a long one. The first round of invitations for Slovenians to apply for visa was sent out on January 21, 2019 – on my birthday. I was one of the lucky ones and submitted all my documents just days later. After that, it was a game of waiting. Today I finally found out – I am officially moving to Canada in 2019! Don’t ask me when and where just yet – I will keep you posted and I certainly plan to take you with me. Are you in?

So that is it! I think South America might have to wait again. Or I may be able to squeeze it in… Who knows! I couldn’t be any happier right now, that’s for sure!

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First Time in NYC: What Not to Do

As one of the world’s most visited cities, New York City (NYC) remains an irresistible draw. Often overwhelming, it’s full of surprises at every turn. Here are some advices that will help first time visitors keep a cool head and avoid common pitfalls while discovering the best of what this magnetic metropolis has to offer.

1. Do NOT overplan your trip
We took 10 full days to see everything – and by everything I mean all tourist attractions (Empire State Building etc.) and those less known places. I had a list of all things we must see, however more things were added while there, some were skipped and we never knew more day a day in advance what we were going to do (weather in October can be unpredictable). The main rule was to do 3 things per day – sounds reasonable, right? Not so much. There were days when we did one thing and then those when we had to do five.

First Time in NYC: What Not to Do | The Cheerful Wanderer

Enchanting Brooklyn Bridge

2. Do NOT buy every attraction separately
Get CityPASS and save tons (by the way, I’m not sponsored). Just a little under $80, to be specific.

3. Do NOT skip Staten Island Ferry
It’s free, just avoid rush hour trips because the ferries are packed. Not a good time to take a leisurely ride. We caught one around 4pm and it was great. A different way to see iconic Manhattan and Jersey city skyline.

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How I fell in love with Toronto

“Excuse us, would you have any coins that we could exchange for our banknotes?” we approached a middle-aged security guy in front of some modern looking building. “We need them for the streetcar,” we explained further.  “Let me check,” he said while pulling bills out of his pocket. He went inside the building, leaving us and our overpacked backpacks waiting. “Here,” he poured the coins into my partner’s hands once he was back. “That should be enough for two tickets. Enjoy Toronto!” he smiled. The Canadian wanted nothing in return, he wouldn’t even take our bank notes. And this is how our trip in Toronto began.

How I fell in love with Toronto | The Cheerful Wanderer

Sunrise on our second day.

This is just one of many stories I can share about the kindness we experienced there. Read More

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Canada  ·  Tips

Is Niagara Falls Adventure Pass worth buying?

In October 2015, me and my boyfriend spent a little less than 24 hours in Niagara Falls, Ontario. We arrived from Toronto and spent most of the day on Canadian side, which is better in terms of the view and activities offered, although I liked American side a lot more. It’s greener and more park-like.

Since this was our first time there, we pre-ordered Niagara Falls Adventure Pass before even flying out of Europe, but you can also get it at the Welcome Center for the same price (adult $54.95, child (6-12 years) $36.95, kids 5 and under free). My recommendation would be to buy it there, so you have an option of changing your mind. You need to visit ticket booth anyway to redeem the online ticket.

Is Niagara Falls Adventure Pass worth buying? | The Cheerful Wanderer

Attractions included

Journey Behind the Falls
Hornblower Niagara Cruises
Niagara’s Fury
White Water Walk
+ 2 days of bus transportation throughout Niagara Falls
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