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Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Old Apr 5th 2010, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by oconnorkerry View Post
Bedford area. I have no choice in the matter as that's where his parents are living and he'll be working for them.
I know Bedford well, I went to school there and my mother still lives there. She needs a new daughter as I am here so you can adopt her.

There are some lovely villages around Bedford, the river is very pretty, you can drive to the coast in 3 hours, easy reach of London and MK for shopping. I gather Bedford itself if pretty run down these days, recession and all that. It could be worse!
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Old Apr 5th 2010, 5:49 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by Elaine B. View Post
On the other hand having a little kid may be an advantage most towns in the UK have plenty of mother and toddler groups where you can go and meet other mums

Anyway I better go and start drinking some Buckfast to get ready for another night of pucking and flashin' me tits
That's good to hear. I really haven't met many other mums here and I know there are lots around. Maybe the overpopulation thing would come in handy for making friends.
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Old Apr 5th 2010, 5:50 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by fledermaus View Post
I know Bedford well, I went to school there and my mother still lives there. She needs a new daughter as I am here so you can adopt her.

There are some lovely villages around Bedford, the river is very pretty, you can drive to the coast in 3 hours, easy reach of London and MK for shopping. I gather Bedford itself if pretty run down these days, recession and all that. It could be worse!
That's good to hear as well. Thanks! I would definitely be making many trips to the coast as I've never lived inland. I'm a sea woman.
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Old Apr 5th 2010, 5:56 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by oconnorkerry View Post
That's good to hear. I really haven't met many other mums here and I know there are lots around. Maybe the overpopulation thing would come in handy for making friends.
Seems you need to hear good things about the UK!

Here you go:

http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?topic=3338.0

(Lots of other useful stuff on that forum too.)
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Old Apr 5th 2010, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by oconnorkerry View Post
That's good to hear as well. Thanks! I would definitely be making many trips to the coast as I've never lived inland. I'm a sea woman.
Then head off to Wells-Next-the-Sea in north Norfolk. Buy a Magnum (this is an icecream bar) and sit on the beach to eat it. It's not huge cliffs and waves but it is lovely.

You can also get to Cambridge easily, Milton Keynes is great for shopping, theatres, cinema. They have an indoor ski slope, real snow and cold stuff. Bedford has windsurfing, boating, rowing, golf, bloody golf everywhere. Try not to live in the town if you can. Also avoid Kempston. There are nice spots in both places but it can be rough.
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Old Apr 5th 2010, 6:04 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by oconnorkerry View Post
Hello all,

I'm a Canadian possibly moving to England looking for some advice from those who have done the same except the other way round. My partner moved to Canada nearly 5 years ago with his family, we met and had a son together who is nearly 2 now. His family has gone back and he would like to follow.

I'm not "sold" on the move yet. I love it here in NS, I've never been to England and we can't afford for me to even have a visit before moving there permanently. The visa fees and container would be expensive, not to mention the flights for us and the higher housing costs there. I'm prone to seasonal depression and am terrified at the prospect of not seeing a full sunny day from Nov-May. I'll miss the wide open, unpopulated spaces. I'll miss my family. I would love to have an extended visit in the UK, but I'm afraid I won't like living there. I've dreamed of travelling to the UK all my life but when faced with a permanent move I'm balking.

Do you have any advice for me? When you moved to Canada did you have reservations? Should I just take the plunge? It seems like some of you really love it here in Canada. I sure wish my fiance felt the same way.
Someone once told me not to make life-changing decisions until after 2 years of having a huge event occur in your life, such as major surgery or a baby (you may even be suffering from baby-blues)

We holidayed in Canada then applied for emigration from England. We miss our family, culture and BEAUTIFUL countryside and ease of commuting and not necessarily by car!!! On foot and cycling so much better and healthier lifestyle in Britain. The winters are not that bad, we get gorgeous sunny days in Nov and Dec then spring is sprung in March and all those colourful flowers start to bloom. In Ontario the winters are from Nov to March/April and are so much longer than British ones with no colourful flowers to speak of all green green green and not as nice a shade as UK grass. We find we have to plan everything we do in Canada whereas in the UK you could just go out and not worry about the ice snow and freezing rain - DANGEROUS stuff that no -one warned us about. The food and electric prices in Canada are ridiculously high.
British homes are lovely generally, the wages are twice that of Canadian wages, but the overall cost of living is on a par. Buildings, architecture and restaurants are so much classier in the UK.

Really, you sound very young and should have thought about starting a family with a foreigner without discussing long term plans. Also you have an idea about Britain that is not built on any of your actual experience of it as you have never been there. Try going there and seeing for yourself - many Canadians love it and ask why we emigrated from England to Ontario. As for being a young Mum you can join in toddler groups and meet a whole new lot of friends, your husband has a job with his family and in no time, you'll be able to afford to fly back and see your own family in Canada.
We're heading back this summer and can't wait.
All the best in whatever you decide
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Old Apr 5th 2010, 6:16 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

piece of advice dont leave canada for england for the love of god what as got into you, this once great country is no more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old Apr 5th 2010, 6:36 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by holtyny View Post
piece of advice dont leave canada for england for the love of god what as got into you, this once great country is no more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seemed alright when I went back in October. All my English friends have lovely houses, great jobs, nice families and are thoroughly happy with the place. But then they don't read the Daily Mail or Telegraph and turn specific and isolated incidents and then theorize to generalized social pathologies.
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Old Apr 5th 2010, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by oconnorkerry View Post
That's a scary possibility. I didn't even consider that OH might be able to prevent me from leaving with my son. I don't think he would do that but who knows?
You don't know, which is why you need to think about it. I also recommend going to the MBTTUK forum for some insight into what it's like to be the partner stuck in a country you can't leave cos of the kids.

on the other hand, you might love it and the OH might be begging to come back after a few years
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Old Apr 5th 2010, 6:38 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by fledermaus View Post
They have an indoor ski slope, real snow and cold stuff.
Do you have a second job selling ice cubes to Eskimos?
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Old Apr 5th 2010, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by Alan2005 View Post
Do you have a second job selling ice cubes to Eskimos?
Yeah, I thought that was kinda sad tbh. Sorry Fled
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Old Apr 5th 2010, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by oconnorkerry View Post
Do you have any advice for me? When you moved to Canada did you have reservations? Should I just take the plunge? It seems like some of you really love it here in Canada. I sure wish my fiance felt the same way.
No, because I didn't think it would be a permanent move. BOth the OH and I talked about heading back to Europe, which is where we met. I hadnt' spent longer than 2 weeks in Canada before I moved here as a PR. I had no/low expectations, honestly. I thought there was snow 6 months of the year and everyone had sled dogs.

I do love it here but I went through bad culture shock in the beginning and used to whine constantly about how much canada sucked but I also knew that I liked it, which sounds contradictory, but that's how it was. However, once I got past the shock, it just 'works' for me on a lot of levels, but I wonder if it's also because a. I had low expectations (I did NO research before coming) and b. I thought we would leave if we didn't like it - the OH was up for that. I was also in my late 20's so probably easier to adapt, who knows.

So I guess my advice is to be prepared for the worst. The only thing that gives me pause is that you sound very close to your family. I am not close to mine at all. If you are close you may well find it a lot harder than I did.
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Old Apr 5th 2010, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by Alan2005 View Post
Do you have a second job selling ice cubes to Eskimos?
Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
Yeah, I thought that was kinda sad tbh. Sorry Fled
lol, no second job but it is true about MK and the snow dome thing and I thought it might make a Canadian feel at home if they could stand the freezing cold and look at snow all year round.
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Old Apr 5th 2010, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Hiya.....

I have lived in four different countries and now have good friends in all of them!

How things turn out will, to a large extent depend on your attitude going into the situation. IF you just sit at home you will have a miserable time....However, if you grit your teeth and go to all the mom and tot groups that you can you will make friends and things will get easier. Having a child certainly helps. When you go to the parks make an effort to chat to other mothers. Some will be totally unfriendly but others will be better. In the UK the local churches often have little playgroups. It isn't fun to walk into a place and know no-one - believe me I have done it. BUT you simply have to do it and that is all there is to it. You have to accept that you will have to go outside your own comfort zone but hopefully not for too long.

You could also take a look at www.canuckabroad.com Maybe you might find some expat Canadians to meet up with....

England is different. The houses are small, the traffic is crap, a lot of the people are hugely unfriendly BUT....The culture is amazing, the countryside is beautiful, and a lot of the people are fantastic and sooooo funny!! Go for it and at least you won't regret never having done it.....

Good luck with everything
Lisa
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Old Apr 5th 2010, 7:08 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Many of us on this site may not be the best persons to ask as we're the ones that wanted to move away from the UK, all for various reasons.

Personally, I think the UK is a beautiful place; it has a bit of everything, coast, mountains, rolling hills etc etc. Unfortunately the UK has many problems now that, for us, made us feel it wasn't a place we wanted to raise our children any more. I allow my children far more freedom here in Canada than I would have ever have done so in the UK.

To be honest, I'm not over familiar with Bedford (driven through a few times). I'm sure much of it is very nice and I don't mean to offend anyone that lives there, but it isn't a place necessarily recognised for its beauty as say the Lake District, Cornwall or the Scottish Highlands etc.

Having a young child will, I think, help you meet people; it certainly has helped me when moving over here. You will meet other parents through parent and toddler groups, pre-school etc etc. You just need to make the effort sometimes.

There are differences in culture which take some adjusting to.

And yes, there's the weather. You do get sunny days in the winter time but I think it's fair to say you will get more grey and wet days than you will sunny ones and that probably applies to the summer too!

Personally, I wouldn't even contemplate moving to another country without first having a couple of visits. I know some people don't visit first and I think they are very brave. I came to Canada twice before we made the move over; once in the summer and once in the winter.

I know people have mentioned the scenario of you moving over, hating it and wanting to return home with your child and your husband refusing to allow you to remove your child from the country. In the UK, I worked for the Family Department of a solicitors office and we had some similar cases. Although there's no hard and fast rule, in most cases if the matter went to court, the wife was granted permission to return to her native country if it was considered in the child's best interest - ie. support of extended family etc etc. There's never a certainty but there's always the possibility!

It's true what others have said too about the housing in the UK. Property is very expensive and compared to what we have experienced here in Canada, generally much smaller. There are some parts of the country that are somewhat cheaper but I would imagine Bedford to be quite high due to its proximity to London.

If I had to choose between Beford and NS, I certainly wouldn't choose Bedford.

I wouldn't advise you not to go because you might absolutely love it over there. However, just give it some serious consideration. I know you said finances don't allow but I really would try to go for a visit first to get a feel for the place. A visit first will cost you a lot less than moving over, hating it and moving home!

Well I wish you well with whatever you decide and, if you do make the move, I hope you will be happy there.

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