So, are you like freaking out? You leave in less than 2 months!

I love Ottawa in summer. People think it’s a boring city but I have so many things to do. Every weekend there are at least 2 or 3 festivals, and I’ve been making lots of fun plans with my friends. Plus at least once a month we head down to Toronto/Newmarket to see Steve’s family and friends, plus my university friends. If you ever looked at my calendar, you would be way more likely to say “Wow, how do you fit so much into a day?”, than “Wow, you live in a boring city, looks like there’s nothing to do.”

Plus, now that I know I’m going to be moving in a bit over a month (yikes!), I have a ton more things on my plate! Trying to fit in a social life while you’re moving, working, and planning a new job abroad is tricky business! It’s a good thing I’m so organized! 🙂

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Left: Doors Open Ottawa, an amazing weekend where you get to check out all the places around town you’ve never seen before. We went to the Parkdale Food Centre where they provide food supplies and cooking classes to people in need in their community.

Right: My friend from Toronto (who was in Ghana with me in 2014 – we both worked for EWB) was visiting Ottawa for the weekend in May, so we went to check out the Tulip Festival!

Working Hard, and Playing Hard!

I am currently working for the government, which I have to say is an excellent summer job.  You make decent money, never have to work long hours (unless you want overtime), and do important work in the community.  I really believe that the census is an important tool that the government uses to make decisions. Believing in the importance what you do makes it a lot easier to do my job when I get an angry respondent or I’m really tired on Monday mornings. Working in Ottawa also gives me the chance to see my friends, attend lots of events (this summer I’m attending weddings, baby showers, funerals, bachelorette parties, and TONS of festivals), and feel at home.

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Left: There was a massive sinkhole in downtown Ottawa, so one afternoon we got to go home early – woohoo! Right: It’s summer, and the boys are drinking craft brews, so I decided to check out some new coolers too. Did you know that Snapple makes fruity, alcoholic drinks?

What’s left to do?

TONS! I mean, a totally reasonable amount, I guess…

We’ve already done a lot… Like filled in tons of forms, got a police background check, attended a training webinar, got medical clearance, signed up for a training workshop, started looking for someone to sublet our place, etc…


Who doesn’t love to-do lists right? Well, Steve doesn’t, but I certainly rely on them to keep me organized. I have about 5 sheets of paper on the go with lists of things I have to do before I go. Thankfully you can see that I’ve completed about half of the items already.

But still have a lots left to do… we have to do 5 days of training in July, get flights booked and visas sorted out, learn to speak Spanish, pack everything up, sublet our place, sell our car, fundraise $ for the org, and say goodbye to all our friends. It’s doable, but it definitely takes up a lot of our free time!

Apartment poster

P.S. This is our lovely 1-bedroom. If you (or someone you know) is looking for a furnished place in Ottawa for 1 year (starting in August), please send me a message (or comment on this post), and I can send you more information! 🙂

You must be stressed, is there anything I can do to help?

Thanks all.  I’m actually okay, I think I can handle it. I’ve moved before on much shorter time frames. It’s always stressful, but I can manage because I’m super organized. Plus, I know at the end of the day, at least I’m fortunate to have enough money saved up that I can put extra stuff in storage if needed, or pay for extra luggage, or things like that.  There are a few things I can’t do on my own though, so if you could help me with the below items, it’d be much appreciated!


  • Send any friends who are looking for a place in Ottawa in my direction. It would save us a lot of time and money if we don’t have to pay rent while we’re away or move all our furniture.
  • Consider attending my Absolute Comedy fundraiser in Ottawa on July 27th – It’s only $15 for a night of laughs, and you’ll support a great organization. Sign-up on Facebook or contact me for tickets.
    • If you can’t attend because you’re out of town or busy that night, but you still want to support us on our journey, consider donating to our fundraising page. For every $1 we earn, the Canadian government will give CUSO $9 to support the amazing work they do in communities around the world!
  • If you live in Toronto or Ottawa, make yourself available when we’re in town! We’d love to see you all but we only have so many weekends left. Otherwise you may not see us for over a year… and we’ll miss your beautiful faces!

Check out my previous blogs about my upcoming move to Bolivia:


About Amanda

Hi, I’m Amanda! Originally from Ottawa, Canada, I am currently living with my partner (Steve) in Sucre, Bolivia for the next year. I work in the unique space between industrial design and international development – but what does that even mean? I’m passionate about working WITH marginalized communities in a way that utilizes design to improve the lives of different types of people around the world. I have worked, studied, traveled, and researched on every continent (except Antarctica), and most recently I lived in Ghana, Bangladesh and Nepal. I love exploring new cultures and learning more about myself along the way.
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