So, after road tripping across the breadth of Canada, I have arrived in Montreal. My original plan was to stop in Quebec City, but after speaking to various people on my journey, Montreal seemed like the better option for me. The general feedback was that Montreal had more going on and was more anglo friendly.
I arrived into Montreal at night, under the cover of darkness I arrived into the city without really knowing where I was or what I had let myself in for. This isn't the first time I have done this; Sydney, Antigua, Vancouver are all cities that I arrived into with little planning, just a goal of staying and getting by. The plan is always the same: find a place to live and find a job, as soon as possible.
With Montreal, I had added some additional objectives:
- Make money just through photography.
I spent the last year working in the photography industry in Lake Louise and I had done some freelance work back in Manchester. Here in Montreal, I wondered "could I get by just using my camera?" Could I use everything I had learnt in the past few years and make a living here?"
- Learn conversational French
I have been listening to various French tapes, playing on language learning apps and generally been banging my head against the learning to speak French wall. I just want to be able to speak and conversation with people in another language. I failed to reach that goal in Spanish, entirely my fault and I will go back to Spanish at some point in the future. But for now, French, could I finally break that barrier I reach a point where I could get by without my native tongue?
The first steps
I was very familiar with greyhound coaches now, almost too familiar for someone who doesn't work for the company. I had booked a few nights stay in a hostel called M Montreal. It was recommended by a guy I spoke to in Toronto, proclaiming it to be one of the best hostels he has ever stayed in. Reviews on the internet would agree, so much so that M Montreal was apparently voted the 8th best hostel in the world. First impressions for me were good; a modern clean building, friendly helpful staff and surprisingly cheap. I was actually surprised overall how cheap accommodation in Montreal seemed to be, especially compared to the outrageously expensive Sydney and Vancouver. This would help relief the pressure of finding a job as soon as possible.
It is times like these I wish I could look into the future. Just a glimpse, a brief window into the life of Future Mike 3 months from now. I wish I could read my blog post titled "Montreal - Day 90" just to know what is in store for me. Have I just embarked onto a path to ruin? Will the language barrier be too great to overcome? Is the Montreal photographic community already oversaturated? Or will I find myself effortlessly conversing in English and French and find my photographic calendar full of work? Perhaps Montreal will morph into something completely different, like how Vancouver morphed into Lake Louise.
Regardless, it all starts from here. I will give it a go.