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Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Old Apr 6th 2010, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by MrsBritain View Post
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
Thanks, your post is encouraging. It's true I really need to see it to make a decision. I'm driving myself and my OH crazy with all the ruminating. I'm not very young, 27, but he is 25 and still in the stage where what he wants now is much more important than what might happen in the future. We did discuss things beforehand although our son was a suprise and he was aware that I didn't want to live in the UK. Then his parents moved back and everything changed.
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Old Apr 6th 2010, 12:15 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Deary me.
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Old Apr 6th 2010, 12:16 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
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
Ha, you're right. He might have his fill after a few months for all I know. I'll check out that forum.
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Old Apr 6th 2010, 12:18 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by Kiwilass View Post
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.
I envy people like you who can make a decision without overanalyzing things. I think I would be much better off if I did less research, but it's one of my favourite things to do. OH wishes Google didn't exist at this point.
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Old Apr 6th 2010, 12:23 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by leepee View Post
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
Thanks for your reply and the link. I think it would help if I met up with some expat Canadians there, I heard there's quite a large gathering of them for Canada Day in London. See, if London was the destination or the Lake District I would be SOLD. Not to mention Cornwall and Brighton (seaside) but Bedford seems so nondescript compared to NS.
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Old Apr 6th 2010, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by TheThornes View Post
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.

I think that's the reason I wanted to ask here - you all wouldn't gloss over everything like some of the expat Canadians will. They don't want to highlight the negative because they're living there now. I'm definitely leaning toward a pre-move visit after reading all of your replies. I would truly love to have lots of holidays there and for my son to know the place his father grew up, but long-term... NS wins out. I'm glad to hear it's not common for a mother to be denied leaving the country with her child, as well. That's a bit of a relief. Now if it weren't for the grey skies and tiny houses...
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Old Apr 6th 2010, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

I can understand what you are saying. My situation is the reverse of yours. I am married to a Canadian who wants to return to Canada and we are coming to Nova Scotia. He's originally from Ontario, so NS will be new to him. I've lived in Canada and I liked it there, but the only reason I am leaving is because I am married to a Canadian. There are things I may not like about the UK but I wouldn't choose to leave it. I am older than you and have children and grandchildren here, but I am hoping that skype, emails and a webcam will help. We do have decent sized houses here and we do get blue skies and sunshine:-) A visit would be good so as to get an idea of what is here and to see it for yourself. I did that, and as I say, I did like Canada. Your partner may come back and decide he prefers the Canadian life. I know I will miss aspects of British life, but I have to give NS a try.
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Old Apr 6th 2010, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by oconnorkerry View Post
I. Now if it weren't for the grey skies and tiny houses...
I think the grey skies bit about the UK is overdone, the weather isn't that bad. Mind you, I am comparing with Newfoundland..............
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Old Apr 6th 2010, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Yes, but here also has its fair share of interesting names - Head Smashed In and Medicine Hat for starters!!

Originally Posted by oconnorkerry View Post
The indoor ski slope sounds like fun, lol. It would be ironic for me to go there since we haven't been skiing here in the past three years and there are two outdoor slopes within driving distance. Will definitely visit Wells-Next-the-Sea, what a name. That's one thing I noticed and love about England - the place names!
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Old Apr 6th 2010, 7:03 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.
We moved from the Bedford area. There are lots of parts of Bedford that are run down and rather shabby looking and there are some very nice areas. There are lots of very pretty villages and several market towns around the area too, lots to do, places to go etc. Not the worst part of England to move to Ask if you have any questions.

Last edited by Piff Poff; Apr 6th 2010 at 7:08 pm.
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Old Apr 6th 2010, 7:11 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by Piff Poff View Post
We moved from the Bedford area. There are lots of parts of Bedford that are run down and rather shabby looking and there are some very nice areas. There are lots of very pretty villages and several market towns around the area too, lots to do, places to go etc. Not the worst part of England to move to Ask if you have any questions.
And excellent if you enjoy Italian food. Loads of restaurants and Italian groceries as there is a large number of Italians in the town.
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Old Apr 6th 2010, 7:13 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by Elaine B. View Post
Hi there

it might be worth checking out the Moving Back to the UK forum to get some advice. I moved to Canada back in 1999 and I'd never even visited before so I understand your apprehension.

FWIW I moved to the UK with my Canadian OH and he wouldn't dream of moving back to Canada (mind you he had lived here for quite a few years before). Oh and we do see the sun every so often so don't worry too much about the weather
No regrets Elaine?
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Old Apr 6th 2010, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by dollface View Post
No regrets Elaine?
Honestly no for us life is so much better back here especially having family around. My OH and I were discussing what we really miss from Toronto and the only thing we could come up with (other than a few friends) was the TTC
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Old Apr 6th 2010, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

Originally Posted by oconnorkerry View Post
Hello all,
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.
Don't do it !!!
People who have come back that we know realise what they have done and are desparate to return to Canada......wide open spaces.

JET
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Old Apr 6th 2010, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: Advice for a Canadian moving to England?

What would happen if you didn't move?

Would he go back to the UK anyway and leave you where you are? Or would he stay with you?

What if you went and absolutely hated it - would he be agreeable to you moving back to Canada?

Personally I think you really do need to try to visit before you make this kind of decision. And you need to discuss the above questions with him as well.
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