About a minute after we finally decided to go to Fernie, with the whole family, the thought of travelling with two kids under 4 started to dawn on us. For those of you who don’t know, Fernie is just about on the other side of the world. Have a look at this map:
Not only are we going to the other side of the world, the cheapest flight we could get was through Frankfurt in Germany. If all goes well we will land in Calgary (YYC) after 26 hours of travelling, which would still leave us with a 2.5 hour drive to get to Fernie. To make things more interesting, Fernie does not have a public transport system.
So we had to decide whether to hire a car for the five months or buy one. It turned out that it will be about half the price to buy a car, insure it and then sell it again before we leave. So we decided to buy what they call a truck, something like this:
I have always wanted a big Truck! ;)
It sounded like you need this sort of car to survive in the snowy mountain side.
Another challenge we had was deciding what we would do with the kids while we are on the Ski instructor’s course. There are some great kinder garden options in Fernie, but they are very expensive by South African standards. There is a great FREE early learning programme, but the kids must be accompanied by an adult.
It didn’t take us long to decide to take a nanny along to make the whole trip a little easier.So Eunice Vermaak gets a chance to go see Canada first-hand, and we get some help with the kids. Hopefully this will at least give one of us time to take a break here or there on the 25+ hours of travel.
After what felt like 10 visits (actually 6) to the Canadian High Commission we finally got the kids and nanny’s visas today! That was a mission at the commission! We had to kill 10 trees to submit all the papers and please explain why we need a nanny, but now it is all done and we are flying on 26 November!
Why Fernie? It all started on our ski trip to Meribel, France in March. I had announced my departure to the Private Property Management team the Friday before going on a weeklong ski trip. While in France I began to do some research around ski resorts and ski instructor training.
I come across www.nonstopsnow.com and this video: (its 12min long, but watch if you have time, it is worth it)
So we decided to both do a ski instructors course, Ankie a 5 week level one course and I will be doing an 11 week level two course. Since we needed to be there for at least 11 weeks, why not make it the entire season? We could not think of a reason either, so after settling on taking a nanny with to look after the kids we had to settle on a resort.
The more research I did the more I started to like Fernie. It is actually a small mining town with about 5000 people living there, and over the past few years have become more and more popular as a winter sport destination.
Since we would be taking the kids we wanted to inspect the area first. So we did a trip half way around the world to go and check out Fernie and hopefully find a rental property for the season. We immediately fell in love with the town, but rental properties turned out to be in short supply. Mostly it seems as a result of an increase in mining activity in the area.
But with help from a local rental agent we got this lovely place for Dec to May!
There is more than enough space, so book a visit now! Before it is too late!
If all goes according to plan we will get this Visa’s for the kids’ tomorrow morning and then the final big hurdle will be cleared for our dream holiday. It has been a bit of the challenge to convince the Canadian High Commission that we have no plans to immigrating to Canada. After about 5 visits to the consulate I will go and pick up the passports tomorrow!
Our plan is to capture through post and allot of video’s as much of this trip as possible. Last week was Sarika’s second birthday so we decide to make that the first video in preparation for the trip to Fernie. Here you go:
I will try and load some more post about Fernie, the ski courses and much more in the 36 days we have left before we go! This is Going to be EPIC!