Two months ago we learned that our initial visas will be more like a visitor visa than a student visa, making them easier to get but requiring frequent renewal, and limiting privileges. That means we can’t get a national drivers licence until we are done learning the national language (roughly a year). So we were advised to get an international motorcycle license before leaving Canada, since motorcycles are the main method of personal transportation there. Unfortunately March is not a good time to learn to drive a motorcycle in most of Canada, including central BC, with all the snow and ice and sand on the roads. So Dawn and I started studying for the written exam and passed it April 1st. But the soonest we could take our skills test in Clearwater would be the middle of May – too close to our mid-June departure, especially when we have to wait another two weeks minimum after passing the skills test to do the final road test! Then once we have the official motorcycle licence we need to finally apply for the international version of it.
So I called five different towns within 4 hours of Clearwater and was able to book an earlier appointment at each one. (They are further south so spring comes earlier and the motorcycle tests as well). I was finally able to book a skills test in Salmon Arm (3 hours away) for the middle of April, saving us 5 weeks. Dawn and I made a day trip of it and both passed the test. Then we were allowed to book the road test, as early as May 1 (today), but the soonest opening was May 22! We found that we could book it just as early here in Clearwater, which is not only more convenient but much simpler – with a small selection of familiar roads and no traffic lights!
Dawn does not like motorcycles but she is being a good sport and driving well (no surprise). A friend’s 400cc dirt bike was a little intimidating but it was available for just the right time and has served us well. We now have a 250cc scooter very similar to what we will drive in Asia Pacific. It’s an automatic which makes things simpler for Dawn and gives her more confidence. I will probably have a harder time driving it than she will; a six-foot-two man on a scooter turns heads for all the wrong reasons 😉