New ‘Kids’ on the Blog

Last week we’ve got a lot of Newbies joining our INTERNeX crew. 20 students from Bristol in the UK just arrived! Half of them study sports & fitness and the other half study travel & tourism. They are here on a four week volunteer practicum program in different, super interesting companies and organizations. Each of them will gain valuable work experience abroad while enjoying the few coming weeks of summer (hopefully). They are eager to get as much as possible out of their time here.

Friday, we went on a little hike in Pacific Spirit Regional Park, all the way down to Spanish Banks, to explore the area around UBC, because that’s where all of them are staying. Afterwards, most of the crew went Downtown to do some shopping. On Sunday almost all of them joined us to do the Grouse Grind! It was an extreme hike, but not extreme enough. I’ve heard from Luke that he wants to go either bungee jumping or skydiving while he’s here! Does anyone want to join?


The Brits were not the only newcomers! Jonas from Bayreuth in Germany joined us as well! He’ll be staying for at least 2.5 months doing a volunteer practicum, gaining experience in social media, organizing events, etc. He’s about to start his studies in Philosophy and Economics in Germany this fall. He told me that these majors open a wide range of possible careers for him. One of them could be Politics. His practicum combines fields of ethics and politics which is why he’s super excited to start and see how he likes it. I have the feeling he’s going to enjoy it.

Another reason why Jonas wanted to come to Vancouver is because he’s never been outside of Europe and he was seeking an adventure outside of his comfort zone. Plus, he heard about Vancouvers good weather ;), the vast nature, and the friendly people. In his free time he likes to do calisthenics, exercises that don’t rely on anything but a person’s own body weight, to play his guitar, and to meet up with friends. Maybe he can play us a song at pub night tonight? 😉

I’ll see you all there! 7pm at Sailor Hagar’s in North Vancouver!

Cheers,

Laura 🙂

How was the weekend?

I bet you were lazier than some of us this weekend, because let me tell you, we took on quite a challenge, but we made it!

Sunday was the day. Equipped with lots of water, snacks and some caffeine we were optimistic to reach our goal: Hiking the Grouse Grind.

I mean, I’ve read about it before, heard from others how hard it was, but really I didn’t believe it. I got proved wrong. It turned out to be one of the more challenging hikes I’ve done so far. Not that I’m a professional, but I thought I’d be fitter. 😀 The hike is about 2.5 kilometres long and has an elevation gain of 800m with a total of 2,830 stairs! That’s pretty tough.

The hardest part for me was the beginning, because you go up and up and up… and there seems to be no end. Then, finally a sign! It tells you that you reached the 1/4 mark. Pretty demotivating to me. But it turns out none of us is a quitter, so we kept going, reached half way and kept going! From that point it was clear, there’s no way back down now.

On our way we saw a lot of people struggling, which made me feel a little better, because I knew I’m not alone. Of course we also saw people passing us with such lightness, but I told myself “they’ve probably done this many times before”. I also think the actual challenge was not the hike itself, but the fact that you want to be faster than others. You try to pass people, or at least not lose sight of them. You try to make it up the mountain in less than the average time of two hours, which makes the hike even harder than it already is.

After seeing the 3/4 mark I felt motivated to reach the top. I could feel I’m in the homestretch and I increased my pace. The feeling of finally reaching the top was incredible. Since the weather was very cloudy, the view was very limited, but at least the air was nice and cool, perfect for a workout like this. After everyone arrived we had some food and drinks at the Chalet before we went exploring the mountaintop a little further.

We tried to spot the two grizzly bears Grinda and Coola, who reside at Grouse mountain, but they were asleep. On our way back down with the gondola we got lucky and had an amazing view over Vancouver. All in all, I’d say it was a pretty successful day.

Would I do the Grouse Grind again? – Maybe.

What about you? Have you done it? Or is it on your list? Was your weekend active? Or lazy?

Tell me more about it next Pub Night, 7pm at Sailor Hagar’s in North Vancouver! It’s only a short walk from the sea bus and has a beautiful view over Downtown Vancouver. Plus, it’s a real neighbourhood pub, as Canadian as it gets. 😉

See you all there!

Cheers,

Laura 🙂

New ‘Kid’ on the Blog

Another week another addition to our INTERNeX crew. Please welcome Anouk. She is from Germany and stays with us for 7 weeks.

As a child, when someone asked her about her dream job, she explained that she’d like to have a different job for every day of the week. It shows she has a fair amount of interests.

After finishing her high school diploma (Abitur) in Germany she’s done a lot of different practicums to figure out what she’d like to do for her career, since she realized it could be difficult with 7 different jobs during the week. 😉

One part of her journey was going to Namibia for three months and working at a wildlife rescue. In Vancouver she’ll be doing something very similar, with birds. She loves working with animals, but she figured out, that this is something she’d rather do in her free time, not as a full time job. Her other interest is something completely different: the film industry. In Germany she already had the chance to work on a project and she said that she really enjoys the diversity of the job. There’s no real routine, it changes all the time. On top of that she gets to work with creative minds on interesting projects, which creates a great environment. Before she focuses more on her career, she wanted to travel some more, that’s why we are lucky to have her here. 🙂

Canada was always on her bucket list, but over the years she kind of forgot about it. When she was deciding on where to go, her first choice was Peru, but then she remembered about Canada and changed her mind. One reason is the vast nature. Further, she loves the winter and snow. Technically wrong timing, but if one goes high enough on a mountain, one probably finds snow. 😉 I’m sure she’ll enjoy summer here just as much.

One thing on her bucket list while she’s here: Whale Watching. Who’s joining her?

I hope we all get to chat more at tonights pub night. Don’t forget, 7pm at Mahoney’s at the Convention Centre.

Cheers,

Laura 🙂

How was the weekend?

A new week has begun and I can feel it’s going to be good one.

My weekend recap is rather boring, since I tried to cure my cold. I was resting a lot and couldn’t take part in any cool events, but I know some of you did! Since I haven’t done much, I will tell you about Marcel’s weekend instead. 😉

Guess where he went – Yes, he went to Ottawa. The flights were super cheap, so he decided to check out Canadas capital. From what he’s told me it’s a cool place!

Fun Fact: Ontario just lifted their mask mandate last weekend.

One thing he noticed is that it’s more bilingual than here in Vancouver. Everybody first starts speaking English AND French, and then chooses how to continue depending on your preferred language. For example, they’d say “Hello, Bonjour”, and see in which language you reply to proceed with the conversation. We think it might be because it’s so close to Quebec, the province in which French is the official language.

Compared to Vancouver, summer already arrived in Ottawa and Marcel took the opportunity to cruise around the rather small city, he says. His favourite thing was the view over Parliament Hill with its historic buildings and when I see this picture, I know why. 🙂

More things to do in Ottawa are a free tour through the Parliament building and a visit in one of the numerous museums the city has to offer. He thinks, there’s something for everyone. Since it is a smaller city, you can see all the main attractions within 2-3 days, so it’s a perfect destination for a weekend trip.
Pro tip: Go in summer, rather than in winter. Ottawa is very lush during the warmer months, whereas it can get very cold and grey in winter.

Another personal highlight for Marcel was the fast food chain Harvey’s. It’s Canadas second largest fast food chain, after Tim Hortons, and mainly present on the East Coast. He explained that it’s kind of like Subway, but with Burgers. And now I’m hungry. You might wonder why that’s a highlight, but he told me that he’s doing some sort of challenge, where he’s trying many different fast food chains, that are not existing in Germany, to compare which one’s the best. I already asked him to make a list based on his experience, so I could share it with you guys. 😉

What about you? How was your weekend? Would you go to check out Ottawa? Any plans for next weekend yet?

INTERNeX is going to do the Grouse Grind on Sunday, June 19! Are you up for the challenge?

Let me know if you want to join this workout with rewarding views at Pub Night this Wednesday, 7pm at Mahoney’s at the Convention Centre.

See you there!

Cheers,

Laura 🙂

How was the weekend?

Happy Monday! I hope all of you had a great weekend! I sure did. INTERNeX went to Whistler with a couple of cool people. We were only seven in total, but we had a lot of fun. Let me tell you about it.

On our first day (Friday) we kept it a little more chill. Once we arrived in Whistler we needed to grab some coffee, since it’s been a busy week for everyone. Then, finally we checked in to our condo right in the centre of the village and it was amazing! We had three levels with beds, a kitchen, a living room with a little balcony, two bathrooms (one of them had two showers), a fireplace on two levels, and a private hot tub! Check out our TikTok channel to see a little house tour. 😉 

Of course we made use of that hot tub right away. The water was warm, the bubbles relaxing, exactly what we needed. After being fully soaked with water and new energy, we started our game night with a few drinks and games like “Cards Against Humanity”. It was a great way of getting to know each other better.

The next morning we decided to take a gondola for a hike up in the mountains, but the weather was a little cloudy and apparently most hikes high up are still closed due to the snow, so instead we rented some bikes and explored the lakes around Whistler. It turned out to be a great idea! The weather was perfect for biking and we got to see so much of Whistler in such a short time. We went around Lost Lake, Green Lake, all the way to Rainbow Park at Alta Lake, where we made a short ice cream break, before we headed back to the village. On our ride we had amazing views of the mountains. It felt really nice to be outside in nature. 

As a balance, we later went out in the village to enjoy Whistler’s Night Life. We started with some Burgers and Poutine for dinner, then went on to a few clubs and danced our calories right off again. It’s needless to say everybody had a great time. 

The next morning came really fast and it was already time to check out of our weekend home. Before we had to be back at the bus stop, we took some time to go to the farmers market in the Upper Village, where a lot of local vendors set up cute booths with food, jewelry, art, etc. I don’t know about you, but I love promenading over a market, trying samples, seeing people’s ideas, supporting local businesses that have a personal touch to them, eating all the food from the food trucks… 😉

If you are with me on that, I gotta tell you that coming Saturday (June 11th) there’s the Portobello West Summer Outdoor Street Market here in Vancouver and INTERNeX is planning on going, so if you’re up for it join us! The admission is FREE. So there’s really no excuses to not check out the variety of local vendors presenting fashion, jewelry, art, home decor, skincare, etc., plus there’s going to be lots of food trucks with delicious snacks that you should try. We’ll be meeting at 1pm, at the Indigo on West Broadway.

I know it’s only Monday, but it’s always good to have an early weekend plan, so you have something to look forward to. 🙂

What did you do this weekend? Was it more relaxing, or adventurous? City, or Nature? Long enough? Mine felt really short, but time flies when you’re having fun. 

I hope you have a great start of the week!

Cheers, 

Laura 🙂