Before we jump into my conversation with Erica. I wanted to let you know that she’s launched a new boudoir photography business. You can find her on Instagram at @societeaco
Ashley: Today we have blogger and influencer Erica Teasdale with us. Erica is all about self-love, positive body image, travel, fashion. She aims to inspire us all to live our unapologetic lives and selves, Erica, thank you so much for joining us today.
Erica: Thank you for having me.
A: Now Erica and I have met what was that like 2019?
E: Yeah. Or maybe just the beginning of 2020 around there though, right before COVID.
ERICA’S CORNER OF THE INTERNET
A: Yeah. At a event held locally. So Erica and I both live in British Columbia. What made you want to jump into this (social media) world and want to help people sort of be unapologetically themselves.
E: I actually didn’t set out to start into this (social media) world. I had a really bad experience with a doctor and I’d been fighting some medical issues for quite a few years and I went to Instagram and I just used it as a diary. One day I did a very vulnerable post and it kind of went way further than I anticipated. I was getting like, you know, 70 to 100 likes before. It would be mainly my friends and family then all of a sudden this post was being shared and I had people reaching out, having similar experiences, same experiences. I realized by sharing my story, it allowed so much connection and I felt less alone. And then in that process, I was like, okay, I need to continue to share my story so that if it inspires myself or inspires somebody else, like that’s kinda my goal. Every post that I make even to this day, if it helps one person that’s all that matters and that one person can be me. So it kind of just took off from there.
A: Which is really fantastic when you can actually find social media to be a positive space or to try to be that because it can be such a, a mixed bag of things. Like you really are authentically yourself and really will put it all out there, which I think is why people appreciate your corner of the internet so much.
E: Oh, I appreciate that.
BODY POSITIVITY AND PLUS SIZE FASHION
A: Do you find lately, because I know that there has been such a push and a movement with body positivity. Do you think it’s still harder for larger people to be accepted? Or do you think that there really is a shift coming or that’s happened?
E: I feel like that, I feel like there’s so much duality in my answer. So I think that there’s not been a big enough shift. I think a lot of it has been to save face, especially in the branding side of things. I think brands say that they’re going to extend their sizes and we’ve seen it to be. True for a temporary time, or maybe they’ll go up to a 1X or 2X
A: and I hate when there like that. It’s like we even carry at 10 and it’s like, that’s not that that’s not anything.
E: I feel like there’s brands where there like we’re extending our sizes and that’s a different statement than saying we are inclusive of all sizes because a size 20 is not inclusive. I also think that there’s a shift in cancel culture, call-out culture and conversations. And it’s weird. I don’t know if it’s the side of Tik Tok that I’m on or I even see it in Instagram sometimes is that the body positivity movement was created by fat black LGBTQ women or self identifying women. And it’s been changed over the course of time. So there’s the people who believe that it should be for everyone. There’s people who believe it should be rooted in where it started. That definitely made me uncomfortable because my body’s changed a lot. I’ve been everywhere from a size 24 to a size 14 over the course of the last three years up and down due to some medical issues, not diet and I think the space there’s a lot of grumbling going on and it’s, I think it’s going to be good. I’m just cautious in the meantime of where we are currently.
A: I definitely agree with that. I think that it is really hard because like on one hand, say for like the brand perspective, I know that there’s smaller brands out there that. As much as they want to be more inclusive, that there is that cost aspect to it. I know Birch Hill Studios in Vernon kind of went through this and I think they included up to 3x or potentially 5x but then they were kind of talking about, you know, the cost and the production side of things that I think sometimes that can be why maybe more brands don’t jump into it or don’t jump into it as fast. And then the marketing of it is so crazy too, because it’s like, they’ll go, oh, we’re size inclusive, but only on the website. And maybe if you’re lucky on page 26 of search results, will you see somebody that isn’t a size zero and I know I have a 14 year old daughter that she’s in that awkward phase of every single, you know, bump of cellulite or every new stretch mark really sends like a ripple effect of, oh my gosh, is it just me? And is my body just the one that looks like this? So I think that more brands and campaign and PR people need to realize that every body. Really does need to be reflected regardless of color, regardless of how they identify and really just, you know, show those dimples, show those curves, like it is really beautiful and important for everybody to see that and they need to be able to try on clothes,
E: Like a hundred percent,
A: And as much as I love ordering things online, sometimes clothes can be really difficult because every single size fits differently. And I don’t know about you, but reading size charts just seems like a bad math equation to me that it’s like trying to actually fit your body into the size things. Sometimes isn’t as easy as just measurements.
E: Yeah. And also too, like you can go in, I have three pairs of jeans from the same company in the exact same size, and I literally laid them all out and they are different measurements, the jeans themselves before I physically put them on my body and that makes sense, the manufacturers just making them and maybe, you know, slightly off in the, I don’t know what it’s called stitching. And then it creates a little bit extra room or whatever. That’s still can be the difference of somebody fitting that size or the next size up or the next size down. That can be overwhelming too. And then also like return policies, shipping expenses of that. I also think too, it depends on what kind of clothing and manufacturing that each brand has, like, I know my girlfriend, Karly at @yourgirlKarly, she has a brand called shop Confidence Club. She launched it, she manufactured the line and it goes up to a five X and right away, she was able to offer small to five X because it’s her brand, it’s like sweatsuits and lounge wear. It didn’t cost anything additional because she’s in charge of everything. But then I have a friend who runs a local store and she was saying when she was shopping, she’d love to be able to carry the shirt that this brand carries for a size medium and for a size 2X to be able to come in and shop together. But the manufacturer of this clothes only goes to an XL. And then this one goes from 1x to 4x. And they’re similar, but they’re not the same. And then does that create division? Is that weird? And that leaves like her as a store being uncertain because she doesn’t want to make anybody feel excluded or make anybody feel like, oh, well you can’t have this exact item because you’re a plus sized person or you can’t have this because you’re a standard size person. So it’s like, fear as well, I think to again, to cancel culture and also not wanting to make anybody feel bad about themselves because we already get enough of that.
CANCEL CULTURE AND CLICK BATE
A: Well, and the problem is too. It’s like even just explaining that, like from the manufacturer, I can get this really cute option in these sizes. And only this and these sizes, let me put them both out. Cancel culture, definitely would come in, even if they’re not affected by it. Just to have something to complain about. Like I do definitely agree that in some context, let’s cancel the, you know, Harvey Weinstein’s of the world. Yes. But it’s like for each individual one, it’s a small issue that isn’t some like global, horrible, racist, bigoted sexist thing that it’s like, we do have to start giving people the benefit of the doubt and take the case by case basis.
E: And there has to be room to grow and learn and change.
A: Yes versus you made one mistake you’re done forever. Let’s burn you at the torch basically
E: Yeah, exactly. And just letting people share their side of the story. Recently, I see this quote going around where it says, if you believe the story you were told, you’re already looking for a reason to believe it. And like, without hearing my side kind of thing. And I was like, that’s so true. Like I see it in so many different aspects in this world. Maybe because the pandemic, I feel like more people are angry and there’s more keyboard warriors out there in general and people are bored and trying to take their anger out somewhere
A: and we would even add on top of all of those things, which I totally agree with. It’s also, our attention span is so slow or just not what it once was. I know if I see a headline for something I’m more likely just to read a headline versus diving into a full article. And I feel like a lot of people make their judgment off the headline, which again, it’s like a clickbait that headline give me 25% true on whatever it is. It’s like a big game of telephone. So it’s like, I read this part of the headline. What part did you read? And then you kind of put the story together instead of being able to read the whole factual big picture aspect of it.
A: And I think too many of us actually believe the things that we read on the internet and a lot of the case it’s not the whole story or it’s not a true story or everybody wants to rush to put something out first and don’t necessarily care about it being factual. I can just imagine the brands that have been buried over the last year. Like COVID things aside just by the court of public opinion.
E: Yeah. It’s the same thing with sharing information, like news things that are coming out. COVID related things at the beginning of like black lives matters, even you can share, but you have to fact check your resources that you’re sharing. You have to like deep dive and also you have to worry about your own mental health, like as a creator, as a brand, I know that they have people, different people in different departments, but even then there’s still people at the end of the day. And we all have a capacity and using our voices to elevate causes or awareness. Is important, but it’s also important to make sure that it’s factual and that you’re not burning yourself up.
A: There’s this shift that we have to have an opinion on everything or be experts on everything. I really do try my best to be always learning and do better, whether it’s from an anti-racist standpoint, supporting gay and trans rights, but I really try to be authentic in whatever I’m sort of putting out there that it matches both my persona and my private life there are really so many fake performers ship influencers in the social media space. It’s really shocking. Or maybe not shocking to some, I don’t know, I won’t name names, but I used to frequently see this one person at media events all the time. She was always such a sweetheart to me privately. It was during the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder and all of the protests. I saw her sharing the content from somebody who had posted an extremely problematic all lives matter meme and when I gave her the heads up that the content that she was publicly sharing didn’t necessarily align with that person’s messaging, she unleashed on me that the message really should be all lives matter so that it includes her as well. That was the first time that I had really personally known somebody whose public persona really didn’t match her personality. I don’t know about you. I grew up in a really small town where I could barely name geography . Let alone be an expert on all of the individuals issues . Those, you know, have to be part of the internet things where if you don’t speak out on them, it’s either that your now that you’re against them just by being silent and listening and taking in the voices of the people that really should be speaking on things which I is really stressful and really hard because it’s like you do want to support everybody and you do, want to give everybody else their voice while not, you know, having to be the loudest.
E: Exactly. I actually had a really good call last year with Anna Mullins. She’s in charge of Unapologetically Her and she it was right after Woman’s Day, last year, and she’s a huge advocate for women in everything in life and business and an interest in general, she said, Erica, I didn’t make a post for women’s day. And I was like, how come? And cause we were talking about me feeling burnt out about posting and feeling like I had to post all these things. And she said, because I wasn’t feeling it and that’s my brand. And I talk about it every day anyways, because it’s genuinely my core value. And I know that. And if I were to post today, it would be performative. I was like, holy crap. That is so mind-blowingly true, we have to be cautious as well when we’re sharing, because if you’re doing this to be performative, to check a box, to get it off your list, and you’re not doing anything to absorb the information or anything, or to make a change, or maybe to reflect on what your role in whatever the situation is, then what was the purpose?
A: Which is like mind opening.
E: Yeah. Stayed with me clearly. Cause we’re almost at a year later,
A: Sometimes it’s something so small to almost let yourself off the hook or give yourself permission to think about things in a different way
E: I know personally for me, I do secret Sunday every Sunday where people can anonymously tell me. First date, horror stories, hookups vent sessions, whatever they want to tell. And then I usually throw it out to the audience so that people can just feel less alone in the situation. Are we sending good vibes or love out to people? And it’s all anonymous, which I think allows people to genuinely tell their truth. A few months ago, I think it was in the summer. Actually I had to put up a hard boundary that I would not talk about COVID because every time I share a secret and it’s so wonderful, I get people messaging me, being like, oh, I’ve been through that or here’s my story, or here’s my experience. Or I actually am super against that. I can’t believe you posted that and that’s totally okay because that gives conversation. Yeah, different perspectives. I’ve learned a lot from different things. It also is very overwhelming because COVID so stressful for all of us. And I already have my own limitations and then people would trauma dump their experiences or their beliefs on me, which is exhausting. But then I had people mad at me because they’re like, you’re silencing us. . This is my platform. This is my house. I’m not saying we can’t have a conversation about that. I’m saying I don’t want to invite the world into having a conversation about this every Sunday, because it’s exhausting. So sometimes like at Christmas, this year with the new variant and a bunch of people getting it, I’ve posted a few of them because I think. It was like, one of them was just like, you know, I got COVID for Christmas, Merry Christmas to me. And I was like, oh, so many people did. You’re not alone. This isn’t a
A: it’s almost like an embarrassing thing to admit that you have it. And it’s literally the flu. Like it’s not, yeah. It’s a weird concept and saying that you have at it.
E: Yeah. I think people, especially in the beginning felt a lot of shame. I think more people are talking about it now, which is why I had no issue sharing it. Cause it was like, well, so many people got it and you’re not alone. There’s no shame in getting it because like it’s, I mean, if you’re going around licking everybody, then I mean, maybe you should be a little bit ashamed, but other than, you know, if you are doing what you’re supposed to do and you got it. Like there’s no, there’s no stopping it. We didn’t judge people for getting sick prior. And so I think that’s kind of it. And at the end of the day, it’s just having that boundary.
A: I think as like a consumer and somebody reading it without having to see sort of the backside of it, I think it is just kind of nice to have sort of that break because COVID really is everywhere. And you can really only talk about it so much before it does become like. I just, I need something else, literally. Anything else that it does give you funny topics and serious topics, but they’re not gross. Like I know some other influencers that’ll do it and it’s like, I don’t want to know, you know, that you hooked up with your uncles grandma’s friend, then the different things. Like some of them are just like, I literally have to scroll through them and I’m like, gagging. Like I can’t. So I do like that yours is like a fun little mix.
E: Yeah. People can tell me whatever they’d like, and there’s weeks where like, if one person puts something in that kind of starts the theme for the week which is cool. And then sometimes it’s just like, yesterday was just a random mix. And I was like, okay, this is cool too.
A: Do you put your own in and then just kind of make it seem like it’s other people’s at all?
E: No, I actually, no, that’s not true. I did once, but I admitted that it was mine because I’m pretty open to begin with. And I feel like sometimes, like if somebody posts something, I’ll be like, oh my God, I identify with this. Or I’ve done that. Or I’ll share my personal experience on the slide right away, but I’ve never submitted my own secret and kept it a secret maybe I should?
A: What do you think your most like shocking one that you have seen is?
E: Ooh I’m not sure. I feel like everyone’s version of shocked is different. I genuinely do forget most of the time,
A: Which I think is good. It’s a good that they don’t live in your head rent free.
E: No, there’s people that like when they share things. I’m pregnant. And I can’t tell anybody, like I’ll randomly think of them. Then a few weeks go by and I check in on them. Or I had somebody who posted that they were really down because they were getting ghosted on apps, like dating apps and it kept happening. So I just checked in on them. So like, I’ll think about. From a place of like, oh, I should check it on that person versus a, oh, I can’t believe they told me that because,
A: Oh, for sure. I think if you had a judgmental mind about it, it wouldn’t work. I think the fact that you are authentic and it’s like a welcoming space is why it works.
E: It’s also my secret talent in real life. People love, like, they’ll sit with me and within 15 minutes they’ll be like, oh my God, I can’t believe I just told you that. And I’m like, It’s fine. I’m not going to tell anybody. It’s my secret talent.
A: That’s a good talent to have
E: Which is why I brought it online. Cause I was like, oh, this is great. This is so on brand for me
A: I think is why your corner of the internet works and why so many people will gravitate towards you because it is that warmth and that comfort and that like safe space without it being like a judgment zone.
E: I appreciate you saying that.
ERICA’S VERSION OF SELF-CARE
A: Now, switching it up a little bit. I know self-care and especially self care and COVID times has become almost like this annoying, buzzword where people are kind of slapping it on everything. What do you find for you personally, self care looks like, or what are some of the things that you like to do to like unwind or have Erica time?
E: Something that’s like, it sounds so ridiculous. But I had to really work through this recently that I don’t need to earn my downtime. I need downtime every single day and that can look completely different. Day-to-day what can fit into my schedule. So every day I schedule a block. In my planner, I’m a paper planner, girl don’t judge that states that I have to do something in that time. And I usually pick it in advance. So it could be watching a TV show. Like it’s so bad that if a TV show is live on TV, like it’s cool and trending right now. I won’t watch it because I won’t remember to watch it next week and then I’ll get behind. And then. Unless I’m sick. I won’t sit there and binge watch it. And then I get behind and then everyone’s talking about it, like, well, you watched it before, and then I get overwhelmed. And I’m like, well, now this is, this is stressful for me. And so I just won’t do it. It sounds ridiculous, but like, that’s just the way my brain works and I get anxious about it. Netflix is my jam because I can pick it up and stop and go whenever I need. Every single morning I drink 24 ounces of water before I do anything else. Just because I, again, struggle with. Remembering to drink. I drink a lot of water, but then also there’s days where I don’t. So just starting the day off with that. And then I do the five minute journal. I was attempting to do journaling prior, but I really struggled with it. And the five minute journal is consistent. It’s prompted and it’s less than five minutes sometimes. So it’s easy and done and it can be fit into anybody’s schedule anywhere. So if you don’t have one, I highly recommend it. And then I turn, my phone off and I get into bed at midnight, even if I’m not tired because I struggle with sleeping. So that’s, even if I just sit there, that’s fine, but I have to do it because I get out of routine. I’m not going to lie sometimes. I, I don’t do well at it, but that’s the goal.
A: Well, and that’s a good discipline. I’m so terrible for my phone being one of the last things I look at and one of the first things I look at.
A: Do you have an actual alarm then? Or do you still use your phone is an alarm clock.
E: So I have a apple watch and I actually don’t get any notifications on it after 12 o’clock. So it has a sleep mode thing, and it only will go off for an alarm and then two emergency contacts if they call. Because why would anybody be calling me in the middle of the night? So it has to be an emergency. It vibrates and that wakes me up, which is also great. Cause you’re not waking up to a beeping interuption
A: I actually always on silent, the little sounds drive me bonkers. Like I just can’t.
E: And when I’m in public and people have it on I’m like, are you. Psychopath, like, how do you do that?
A: My daughter has hers on and I’m like, as soon as she comes anywhere near me, I’m like, you need to turn that off. Like, if we’re in the car, like I literally can’t it’ll cause an accident.
E: I feel like it’s so different. Cause like when I was younger, we always downloaded the 99 cent ringtones and you played the whole thing cause you were so cool with it.
A: was the same way. Like who’s going to get assigned to this song and try to find the newest stuff. And now I’m like life is so loud and there’s so many more people around you. And so many more like distractions that I just have to control my environment and make less noise. I definitely agree with not feeling like you have to earn your downtime. I think that with hustle culture, there’s been such a movement of, oh, you have to be busy or you have to do these things. And so we did really feel like, okay, well, if. If I’m not going to be super busy for five minutes, like I have to be super busy the rest of the day. And I think that that’s such bullshit and I really am happy that that movement is going away because hustle culture is terrible for us. It was terrible for our mental health. It was terrible for our overall health. Whether it’s sitting down to watch your favorite show or whether it is just taking a half an hour to yourself every morning. I think that that is so important. I honestly don’t know how we lasted with live TV. Like I just finished watching Yellowstone and I was a little bit late to the game for it. It was kind of annoying in the sense that last season was every single week. I remembered just because I’ve binge-watched in this pandemic, literally every single thing. So I was kind of down to live TV.
A: How do people do that every week? Or remember what happened the last week? I’m the same way. I just want to watch it all at once, usually in two days and then move on to the next.
E: Same. And there’s only one exception to that rule, which has big brother,
A: Yes Big Brother is so good but just the American one for me. Sorry.
TIME IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CURRENCY
E: And like the, hustle culture, phenomenon, it was so bad that like people were using as a marketing tool. Like, do you have a side hustle? You don’t want to make extra money. You couldn’t use an extra $50 in your pocket. It’s like, maybe I need an extra 50 minutes. I feel like there’s so many people talking about it too. And I think that’s the one good thing about COVID is that it really made us all sit back and realize what we wanted versus what we didn’t want. I see so many people changing careers, so many people moving, so many people looking to garden, so many people picking up new hobbies, new tasks. I know I have switching mindsets, working on personal development because we’ve had the time and you had to sit with yourself. And you could be your only friend sometimes during lockdown.
A: I’m extremely thankful, my grandmother lives with us and then my daughter lives with me. So , I personally, haven’t had to struggle with the people that can’t see their family or have had to make that choice of whether you’re going to go home for Christmas or things like that. That I just, I couldn’t even imagine the distance from it, but I think that. I definitely agree with you that COVID really showed us what matters, what doesn’t matter. I think a lot of employers really need to take notice because they know they expected a lot more people to be willing to come back to the office. And I’m even struggling with that now that I’m like, why on earth? Would anybody go work nine to five in some building with people that don’t like in a culture that they don’t like when you could easily do your job at home? You know, meetings could really be one email. Like we wasted so much time and energy and I just don’t think people are willing to go and do that again anymore.
E: Just the fact, even if you have your staff working nine to five at home and their productivity stays the same or gets better, then why are you not going to do that? One it saves your business overhead costs. Two, it saves your staff anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour of an average commute, that’s two hours a day. That’s 10 hours a week that they’re getting back and they’re going to be happier, which is going to make them more productive, which again is just going to save you more money. And then on the flip side is if you have really good staff, more super productive, like I have one girlfriend she’s getting her eight hour day job done now in six hours. And her boss is like, as long as you get all your work done, I don’t care. And as long as you’re getting it all done by the deadlines and it doesn’t matter. That motivates her now because she’s like, well, if I do this, then I can go walk my dog for an hour or I can go. You know, do whatever else I need to do and not be punished for doing a good job.
A: I definitely agree. And even like adding on the cost thing that you were talking about, even car insurance, they gouge you so much where you, if you have that under 15 kilometers, it’s so much cheaper than if you have to drive above that. And I know I have been lucky enough I’ve worked I work in an admin setting nine to five and I’ve been lucky enough to work at home. Now, granted, I probably work over the set amount of hours that I’m supposed to work in a week. But I’m more happy to log in and, enter different things while I’m watching TV at 10 o’clock at night outside of my working hours, or if, one of my coordinators has a question, they know that they could probably call me at four o’clock, even though I’m technically off.
A: As if I had to go back into the office, I’d be super bitter. I would take every single one of my breaks. I would take the longest lunch hour possible and I would still clock in the second. My shift started and I clock out the second, my shift ended. So I think it’s like just your appreciation and your desire. Really makes a difference whether your company aligns with your beliefs.
A: I just don’t ever, ever, ever want to go back.
TRAVELLING DURING THE PANDEMIC
A: Now I know we both somewhat recently went to California. We both, I think, love traveling and going different places. Have you noticed that traveling was any different pre or post COVID? I guess we’re not really post but pre and during COVID.
E: Yes and no. I feel like it’s varied. So I’ve gone on a few trips since we’ve been allowed. The first one I did was in July (2021). I went to New Brunswick because I am one of those people whose family does not live close to me and my brother had his first kid. So I didn’t get to meet her until her first birthday, which was like in-person, which was really hard to navigate. They live in Canada, but they live in New Brunswick and New Brunswick had such strict rules that you had to quarantine for two weeks. This was pre being able to get vaccinated. You had to quarantine for two weeks if you wanted to visit. And I’m like, okay, well, I’m going to go there and quarantine for two weeks. And then what see them for two days and go home because realistically, who can afford to go for multiple weeks.
E: And so I wasn’t able to go and then as soon as they allowed it, you had to have one vaccination and you had to have you had to like fill out. Kind of like the ArrivedCan app, but for New Brunswick specifically, they had somebody there checking your vaccination record. If you filled out that form if you didn’t fill it out in advance, you had to go to a separate line. This is like a tiny airport. Like it’s like Abbotsford airport, but it’s their international airport there in Fredericton. And there’s lines everywhere because it was new. And that was just like such a wild experience, especially because we are in Canada and Canada, just like wasn’t anticipating that. And then California that trip I felt actually safer going to then like on the airplane, because in Canada, you didn’t have to be vaccinated, except if you’re going to the Maritimes, you didn’t have to test negative. Before you got on a flight where, when you were going to the states, you did so at the time it felt like less of a risk being on the plane.
A: for sure.
E: Not the vaccination, the testing part. But other than that, like just getting your test on it felt nerve-wracking before, but then through the process, it was super smooth and easy. Once in destination California was really easy to find multiple locations to get your PCR test.
A: Which I appreciate your recommendations because I had reached out to somebody else that I had seen that had done the California trip before I went and they’re like, oh, just Google it. And I’m like, well, that’s not helpful. You had given me like actual places that I could go.
E: Yeah because Google is overwhelming. There’s so many things that so many people don’t tell you and like with the guidelines at that time, you had to have it within 72 hours, but if your flight had changed, you had to get retested. Where now it’s, I think currently it’s 72 hours to come back to Canada, but if your flights change for something out of your control, like weather or something, they do give you a leniency it’s less strict. As long as you tested negative. So that was great cause California, I found there was so many options and because it’s a bigger state and there’s a lot of bigger towns, you get your results faster. But Florida was a different situation. So in September before all the snowbirds go down I could not find a PCR test. So between there was three or four places in Miami that would do it, which is nowhere near out where I was, I was a six hour drive away. There was one place to get it done that would do a four hour result but that was a two hour drive for us. I was flying out of Tampa, but I wish I could have gotten where I was around, where I was. We were around two bigger towns, Ocala and Gainesville, and neither of those places offered it. So I had to wait until the day before I left, basically I paid $200 us to get it done. And even this time, like I went for Christmas and I ended up ordering the kit from Air Canada. That was way smoother because again, they don’t have a lot of places cause the snowbirds aren’t coming home yet. I think because the testing is different country to country. My girlfriend was very baffled and she saw Cat and Nat that did a tik tok about how they couldn’t get home because they couldn’t find somewhere to get a PCR test done either. She’s like, I just don’t understand why it’s not at the airport. And I’m like, because it’s not your government’s mandate, it’s ours. Our government requires this kind of test. Your government requires antigen, which is why we can find antigen every two blocks in this country.
E: So she was like, yeah, I guess that makes sense. But also why can’t we just all be on the same playing field? I’m like, well, I don’t really know.
A: I wish that there was a more universal system and every single country did it because it isn’t super easy to find the information. I feel like there’s a lot of false information about it in the sense that even just going to your countries entry requirements. It doesn’t really make sense. And you have to kind of try to, like, I have avoided a PCR test this whole entire time. So I paid a little bit more money to get the NAAT done. It costs me a thousand dollars round trip for COVID tests. So it really is such a cash grab right now when it comes to these. But yeah, finding different tests, whether it’s PCR, whether it’s all the different molecule tests. And you would think that they would be at the airport, if you have Canadian flights going in and out or. Different country, depending on what their requirements are. You think that every airport would just have a testing center.
E: and like, why wouldn’t you want to it’s additional income stream. It’s additional jobs.
A: I did definitely think that it was going to be way more stressful to navigate at the airports. Even when you flew out of YVR and granted, we did have to be there three hours early for a domestic flight, which was a little bit unheard of compared to what we were used to before, but it did take us about an hour and a half to go through all of the different processes. Now in Canada, you can get the antigen test at the airport, which is so helpful. Again, teensy bit more money, but for me, the convenience made it totally worth it. You basically go and you wait for your results, then you get to go to security and then you clear customs and then go to wherever. When we went down there, we flew into John Wayne in Orange County, which highly recommend them. They’re similar to Abbotsford in those like really small airport. I would personally name LAX one of my all time, worst airports to fly in and out of.
E: It is always under construction and the traffic is awful
A: And the signage it loops you around. It’s just awful. So we ended up flying out of Anaheim essentially, and we ended up getting our tests done at City Hall-
A: literally an hour. We had our results within an hour. So it really eliminated the stress. I know a lot of people advertise that you can get the free PCR tests at the pharmacies down there. And maybe you can, but realistically it’s the same as like, if we’re a Canadian citizen and wanting to get a test done that their version of that is for their people to get accurate tests done. So I think sometimes if, if the vacationers are taking up those tests, we’re really taking it away from somebody who actually might be sick and because their government pays for them. We’re also eliminating the chance that maybe that program will end faster if we’re not really using it for the intended purpose, but I was really pleasantly surprised. I expected the travel aspect of it, like the actual flying and getting from point a to point B to be a little bit different. And it really wasn’t.
E: Yeah. And like, the testing, I did take a test a free one through the pharmacy. Coming back from Florida the first time I took it within 40 hours of me leaving. It said results within four hours but again, I was in a very small town. I didn’t get my results back until three days after I got home. So it took a total of six days.
A: A lot of people aren’t talking about that they just aren’t as convenient as the other ones.
E: And like, that’s the thing is like, I then have to stress out about finding another one in the area. And the reason why I took that one is because the guy’s like, yeah, it’s four hours. We send it off, blah, blah, blah. And it was the only testing facility in town, so that’s why we went there and then they said, oh, I don’t have to pay. And I was like, oh, okay. Like, sure. That’s great. And then that’s when we found it like that, just wasn’t going to cut it, but I highly recommend signing up for the Aeroplan program. It’s free to join. You can put yourself on a wait list every time. Like anytime you’re going to go travel it’s the antigen test is still available right now and you get two for $80. They give you two because if the first one doesn’t work you might need to administer the second one. My first one worked. I had a friend do it too. Her first one worked so she actually used her second one in her kit to do her moms and so they have two sitting at home now waiting to go if they ever go somewhere else. I mean, it was 80 bucks.
A: That’s a great deal.
E: And they mail it right to your house. You just go on your phone, it takes 10 minutes and you get your results. They say within 30 minutes, but I got it within five. And you can do it like day of your flight or the day before, because currently now the rules are it’s 24 hours before you fly to the United States that you have to get tested. But currently we’re also in a situation where it’s supposed to only be essential travel. And then coming home, I also ordered, I think it was the, it’s not the PCR. It’s something similar though. And lamp test lamp testing, same thing. Log-on there’s a nurse that meets you. And that one was $149 Canadian. And I just packed it with that one. There’s always a wait time. I signed up for, and it took two and a half weeks. And then they said, oh, it’s available. I ordered it. It went right away sold out that day. But then the next day I got another email saying. You were on the wait list it’s available. And it was, again, I didn’t need a second one, but and
A: You would think three years in that we’d be able to like buy them in bulk by Costco. At this point,
E: What’s interesting is in the United States, you can with the Omnicrom variant, a lot of places were sold out because my girlfriend’s like, oh, we’ll go to the store and we’ll just pick you up a box and you can take them home. And I was like, oh, that’s such a great idea, but they were sold out, but I ended up going to Walgreens. You could buy a maximum of three. I think I bought three and they were $8 each they’re antigen. But what I like about them as they’re 15 minutes and I have a few friends that are having babies and friends that have little ones. And my one girlfriend, I’m a part of her birthing plan. I’m staying at home right now because we’re on baby watch in the next three to five weeks and staying home as much as I can. I already told her I’m like, as soon as you call me, I’m taking this test and there’s a 15 minute hold time before I can be there. So just know I have to take the test before I walk into your house. She’s really appreciative of it, but I also think maybe she thinks I’m a little crazy, but that’s fine,
A: It’s better be careful than not careful, especially with the baby, but yeah, I didn’t even occur to me to ask or to like look in pharmacies for that when we were down there.
BRITISH COLUMBIA NEEDS TO BE A LITTLE LESS SPECIAL
E: Well, and then also my mom, she lives in New Brunswick. They can buy them there. BC is the only province that they’re not available to purchase readily at like a pharmacy.
A: Which we’re always like the last to get stuff and we just need to be special and different. It’s like, can we be a little bit less special and different. For anything, like, I just, even if you were to say in any other province, but ours, like take a special ed teacher training or dental class or sort of anything like that, as soon as you come to BC, you have to pay to recalibrate your education or something, even if it’s like within Canada, not a different country, like BC is so you know that they always joke that it’s like bring cash, but we really are that province.
E: I had no idea. That’s crazy.
A: We’re a lot. Well, and even if you look at even housing and things like that, compared to our province to everywhere else, it just makes me laugh in some ways that you’ll look at anywhere, sort of like right of Ontario or left, I guess, depending on where you’re standing, but You can get like a McMansion for like under five where you can barely get a parking spot in Vancouver for $500,000 a year here.
E: It’s true. It’s so true. I was explaining this to my Florida fam and they were, just looking at. You, you have to be lying to us. I’m like, nope, let’s Google it. I’ll show you. I will show what is that? I showed them that website, like crack shack or mansion they’re like, well, it’s got to be like $50,000 that looks condemned. And I’m like, oh, it’s like $50 million actually
A: Only that you can’t get anything for under a million here. And it’s usually something that was like previously a grow up or has like a mold and it’ll still be like 1.1 fixed her up.
E: Yes. I was gonna say, we’re lucky in some ways it’s beautiful. It’s the warmest weather like on average. And I mean, we don’t get the hottest summers, but like overall throughout the year we don’t get a ton of snow.
A: Although I think we definitely do get super hot summers. I definitely wouldn’t want our summers necessarily get any hotter then it was last year. I know as far as winter, I’m definitely like a spring/summer girl. I don’t like snow. I don’t like cold. And so I am thankful that we really only do get winter, like every four years.
A: Although I’m hoping compared to like our, what was it like our heat bubble or whatever it was called this summer and then we got evacuated due to floods in the fall. We have, I’ve never seen it before we have like snow, but it’s almost like waves. Like it looks like an ocean wave everywhere here, mixed with freezing rain and ice. We’re on flood warnings again, coming up in the next week that it’s like, if our weather can just normalize a little bit or become less extreme in 2022, I would definitely appreciate it.
E: It’s definitely been a whirlwind.
A: Thank you so much for joining us today. Can you let everybody know where they can find you?
E: Yes, you can find me on Instagram and tiktok under the handle at Erica underscore Teasdale or I have a blog, ericateasdale.com
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