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Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

Old Apr 12th 2014, 7:15 am
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Default Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

A lot of people have been asking about moving out of Nova Scotia recently. I have thought long and hard about it, as a lot of it is quite subtle and may not be picked up until you have been here a few years.

It is starting to drive me slowly insane living here! It is potentially a huge subject with many facets but I will try to explain and be as honest as possible. Please before you shoot me down in flames, remember this is my unique outlook/experience (okay, well most of my friends too....) and not everyone will have the same viewpoint.


I have been here for 4 years now. The first two were great with lots to explore and lots to do. Practicalities/legal stuff,paperwork etc. took a lot of time to sort out, and we were still in the honeymoon phase. All good

We are both professionals and were happy enough to take a wage drop until we had 'proved ourselves' and taken extra exams Etc. Well, we are now at the 'top' of our pay bands, and still incredibly skint! The cap on wages here is so low! Overtime is a norm, and we now work harder than ever. With our high taxes and hugely inflated professional body fees and union fees, our money goes nowhere and we have had no spare money for anything since we arrived. There have been few weekends away but no proper vacation for years..... and no possibility on the horizon. So what is it all for I ask myself? What exactly are we knocking our pans in for? If I could afford to get away now and again, it wouldn't be quite so bad here....it is just the feeling of being broke and trapped that gets to you! Cabin fever!

The kids were happy enough to begin with, but now that we have driven as far exploring in every direction as far as comfortably possible, they are bored silly. They do the normal clubs and sport etc, but are lacking from new and stimulating experiences! I might add that there are a huge amount of clubs/activities for little people but mine have outgrown these.

The education system is sweet and fluffy with soft shoes and classes on how to be nice to each other, but really academically it is pretty lame. My youngest is one of the top of the class, and frankly her writing and spelling leave a lot to be desired! (we have been told this does not matter by the school!)

Our word is slowly turning orange with the disgusting water from our well despite spending fortunes on specialists and treatments. My clothes are orange. My dishwasher is orange and all my clothes have turned orange. I am beginning to resemble an oompa loompa! I know we have just been unlucky on that front, but it is frustrating to throw so much money to try to fix it. The people in the street, say...'oh, yeah, its been like that for years' I might just as well get an orange jumpsuit from the prison and be done with it! At least I will have the matching orange undies to go with it! (can I just mention that I know the problem is high iron content amongst other things, but we have have more new filters and tanks that hot dinners!)

People who have just been here a few years still seem to enjoy the new experience, but truly there are only so many beaches/views you can enjoy repetively. Some will argue that the beaches are so lovely, but really I am done looking wistfully to the horizon and being happy with that every weekend. My brain is screaming out for something else. There are also only so many pumpkin people you can go to visit without feeling like ground hog day. By year 4, self harm is becoming a more entertaining option!

It is such a shame really. NS has a lot to offer with regards to low traffic, friendly people, lovely scenery, lovely big house plots and all the things we hoped it would be.(before we truly realised how quickly our brains would start shutting down)


My colleagues seem to manage a holiday to either Cuba, Mexico or the Dominion in Feb every year.(yes only ever one of these places!! Mustn't be too adventurous or venture out of an all inclusive!) As far as I can see, they claim they get this money from their 'tax back.' So far despite our best efforts and claiming for every breath we take, we always end up with a piddly amount. Also, most of my friends and colleagues have cottages that they spend all summer at, so as soon as hockey season is finished and they all appear again, they bugger off for months. (just the NS style of life.) Nice if you can afford it! Boring for the few of us left behind though. How do they all afford these skidoos, speed boats etc when they seem to have careers plowing snow etc? I am perplexed!



When we escape (sorry move) I will miss my house and my acres of surrounding woods, but really the thought of a whole new world out there to explore is calling me...and I feel I am festering here! Anyway....just a vent!

I am sure some of you are asking 'why on earth did you move there when you know it is isolated and there is little to do. Well, I can honestly say, I was looking for a quieter life. That's were hubbys job ended up, and I honestly thought it would be great to live quietely most of the time but break it up with exploring other places... what more can I say? The balance just never happened. With all the research we did, nothing could have prepared us for the expense! ( we have found that with the depopulation going on in NS at the moment, things like our union and professional body fees have sky rocketed as there as now so few of us to contribute. It just gets worse every year.)

Anyway, it is just something to think about. Financially it is not easy here. Right now, I have a choice of getting frontal lobotomy to cope with the boredom and lack of money or do my jolly best to escape (even saving for the move is stressful and will take a while)

So,for all those who have been asking why people are leaving NS....here is my two penneth worth! Please feel free to discuss/rip me apart
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Old Apr 12th 2014, 10:09 am
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Default Re: Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

anders101

I'm not going kick you when your down, I dont belive in that. Can you still get away from Nova Scotia ?
I like the bit about the oompa loompa's, you've still got the English sense of humour which is most important at times like these, but your showing you age though, thats from the old 1970's version.
It seems the major factor in you prodicement is the lack of a pound note, sorry dollars, but aint that the same for a lot of people ?
If you can make the move to a bigger city you will probably snap out of it.
Chin up, there's always someone worse off or orange than yourself .
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Old Apr 12th 2014, 10:34 am
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Default Re: Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

Sorry for your mis-fortune but some of that had me in tears of laughter.
Whatever your job is, change it to comedy scriptwriting, 100 times funnier than the dross that gets churned out here.
I wish you were my neighbour.

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Old Apr 12th 2014, 12:53 pm
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Default Re: Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

Originally Posted by anders101 View Post
A lot of people have been asking about moving out of Nova Scotia recently. I have thought long and hard about it, as a lot of it is quite subtle and may not be picked up until you have been here a few years.

It is starting to drive me slowly insane living here! It is potentially a huge subject with many facets but I will try to explain and be as honest as possible. Please before you shoot me down in flames, remember this is my unique outlook/experience (okay, well most of my friends too....) and not everyone will have the same viewpoint.


I have been here for 4 years now. The first two were great with lots to explore and lots to do. Practicalities/legal stuff,paperwork etc. took a lot of time to sort out, and we were still in the honeymoon phase. All good

We are both professionals and were happy enough to take a wage drop until we had 'proved ourselves' and taken extra exams Etc. Well, we are now at the 'top' of our pay bands, and still incredibly skint! The cap on wages here is so low! Overtime is a norm, and we now work harder than ever. With our high taxes and hugely inflated professional body fees and union fees, our money goes nowhere and we have had no spare money for anything since we arrived. There have been few weekends away but no proper vacation for years..... and no possibility on the horizon. So what is it all for I ask myself? What exactly are we knocking our pans in for? If I could afford to get away now and again, it wouldn't be quite so bad here....it is just the feeling of being broke and trapped that gets to you! Cabin fever!

The kids were happy enough to begin with, but now that we have driven as far exploring in every direction as far as comfortably possible, they are bored silly. They do the normal clubs and sport etc, but are lacking from new and stimulating experiences! I might add that there are a huge amount of clubs/activities for little people but mine have outgrown these.

The education system is sweet and fluffy with soft shoes and classes on how to be nice to each other, but really academically it is pretty lame. My youngest is one of the top of the class, and frankly her writing and spelling leave a lot to be desired! (we have been told this does not matter by the school!)

Our word is slowly turning orange with the disgusting water from our well despite spending fortunes on specialists and treatments. My clothes are orange. My dishwasher is orange and all my clothes have turned orange. I am beginning to resemble an oompa loompa! I know we have just been unlucky on that front, but it is frustrating to throw so much money to try to fix it. The people in the street, say...'oh, yeah, its been like that for years' I might just as well get an orange jumpsuit from the prison and be done with it! At least I will have the matching orange undies to go with it! (can I just mention that I know the problem is high iron content amongst other things, but we have have more new filters and tanks that hot dinners!)

People who have just been here a few years still seem to enjoy the new experience, but truly there are only so many beaches/views you can enjoy repetively. Some will argue that the beaches are so lovely, but really I am done looking wistfully to the horizon and being happy with that every weekend. My brain is screaming out for something else. There are also only so many pumpkin people you can go to visit without feeling like ground hog day. By year 4, self harm is becoming a more entertaining option!

It is such a shame really. NS has a lot to offer with regards to low traffic, friendly people, lovely scenery, lovely big house plots and all the things we hoped it would be.(before we truly realised how quickly our brains would start shutting down)


My colleagues seem to manage a holiday to either Cuba, Mexico or the Dominion in Feb every year.(yes only ever one of these places!! Mustn't be too adventurous or venture out of an all inclusive!) As far as I can see, they claim they get this money from their 'tax back.' So far despite our best efforts and claiming for every breath we take, we always end up with a piddly amount. Also, most of my friends and colleagues have cottages that they spend all summer at, so as soon as hockey season is finished and they all appear again, they bugger off for months. (just the NS style of life.) Nice if you can afford it! Boring for the few of us left behind though. How do they all afford these skidoos, speed boats etc when they seem to have careers plowing snow etc? I am perplexed!



When we escape (sorry move) I will miss my house and my acres of surrounding woods, but really the thought of a whole new world out there to explore is calling me...and I feel I am festering here! Anyway....just a vent!

I am sure some of you are asking 'why on earth did you move there when you know it is isolated and there is little to do. Well, I can honestly say, I was looking for a quieter life. That's were hubbys job ended up, and I honestly thought it would be great to live quietely most of the time but break it up with exploring other places... what more can I say? The balance just never happened. With all the research we did, nothing could have prepared us for the expense! ( we have found that with the depopulation going on in NS at the moment, things like our union and professional body fees have sky rocketed as there as now so few of us to contribute. It just gets worse every year.)

Anyway, it is just something to think about. Financially it is not easy here. Right now, I have a choice of getting frontal lobotomy to cope with the boredom and lack of money or do my jolly best to escape (even saving for the move is stressful and will take a while)

So,for all those who have been asking why people are leaving NS....here is my two penneth worth! Please feel free to discuss/rip me apart
Your post hits the NS nail squarely on the head! We got out last July after 5 years in NS and it was the best thing we ever did!
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Old Apr 12th 2014, 2:05 pm
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Default Re: Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

Replace Nova Scotia with BC and that is how I feel about this province. I am not a professional but for all intents and purposes am making the most I can reasonably expect to find in this province for my job.

Plus the province wont be happy til they have every last dollar you make....
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Old Apr 12th 2014, 2:59 pm
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Default Re: Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

Someone somewhere in rural Saskatchewan is reading this and going pffft.
BC you have the coast and mountains and a more temperate climate and an abundance of weed to get you through the difficult times.
NS you have the coast as well and again a more temperate climate and when things get tough you have a chat with Alexander Keith.
What has Saskatchewan got?
Sure between June and Nov they can dress up in green and wear water melons on their heads and shout Go Riders Go. They can watch their dog running away for days as they see it running west towards the Rockies or if its a dumb dog running east towards Winnipeg.
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Old Apr 12th 2014, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

I suffered with depression towards the end of last year, and I think living in NS was a major contributor to it. Having moved away, I feel much better, but I 100% know what you're saying. Agree with pretty much everything you said.

Good luck with your future decisions.
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Old Apr 12th 2014, 3:56 pm
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Default Re: Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

I think the idea of wanting to live the more laid back lifestyle or live rural in any province is one thing but when you live it you quickly realize the lack of amenities or job prospects is not really what you wanted at all.

It's not the fault of the province either because you moved from the hustle and bustle of a major UK city and now find that eg rural Nova Scotia doesn't quite match up. That's going from one end of the scale to the other and would apply to rural living anywhere in Canada.

I have been going through a bit of a fed up stage myself. I have some health issues so that doesn't help but having been to Vancouver and Ottawa within the last 12 months I quite fancy living just outside a major city again and having the choice of all the amenities they have to offer. I am going on vacation to Calgary/Banff on vacation in a few months. Mr Cookie works out west but doesn't want to live there. This year NS had a long cold winter and I think we got a taste of a typical Albertan winter so I can't blame him. BC is on my radar though and to be honest I like Halifax - travel up and down there regularly

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Old Apr 12th 2014, 4:06 pm
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Default Re: Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

Originally Posted by happyhammers View Post
anders101

I'm not going kick you when your down, I dont belive in that. Can you still get away from Nova Scotia ?
I like the bit about the oompa loompa's, you've still got the English sense of humour which is most important at times like these, but your showing you age though, thats from the old 1970's version.
It seems the major factor in you prodicement is the lack of a pound note, sorry dollars, but aint that the same for a lot of people ?
If you can make the move to a bigger city you will probably snap out of it.
Chin up, there's always someone worse off or orange than yourself .
Hi Happy Hammers, Yes, a lot of my frustration is about being so skint but also as much with being BORED out of my tiny(and rapidly shrinking) mind! I know we could be doing so much better somewhere else. I am not so much 'down' as frustrated. However, as we have plans to move that's keeping us going! A few more coats of paint, then house is on the market..yeeha!

What colour are oompa loompas now then? I am shocked that I am 'out of the loop?' See.... I rest my case. That is how backward NS is.....
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Old Apr 12th 2014, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian View Post
Someone somewhere in rural Saskatchewan is reading this and going pffft.
BC you have the coast and mountains and a more temperate climate and an abundance of weed to get you through the difficult times.
NS you have the coast as well and again a more temperate climate and when things get tough you have a chat with Alexander Keith.
What has Saskatchewan got?
Sure between June and Nov they can dress up in green and wear water melons on their heads and shout Go Riders Go. They can watch their dog running away for days as they see it running west towards the Rockies or if its a dumb dog running east towards Winnipeg.
I have to say, the thought of running around with a water melon on my head seems quite exciting next to dressing up and paddling a huge pumpkin across the lake on a bitterly cold day. swapsie!
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Old Apr 12th 2014, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

Originally Posted by Jericho79 View Post
I suffered with depression towards the end of last year, and I think living in NS was a major contributor to it. Having moved away, I feel much better, but I 100% know what you're saying. Agree with pretty much everything you said.

Good luck with your future decisions.
Glad you are feeling better!
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Old Apr 12th 2014, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

Originally Posted by neilg14 View Post
Sorry for your mis-fortune but some of that had me in tears of laughter.
Whatever your job is, change it to comedy scriptwriting, 100 times funnier than the dross that gets churned out here.
I wish you were my neighbour.
Why thank you Neil. I do try to make my own entertainment to keep my mojo up. It is hard sometimes though. The other day, I decided to talk like Mrs Doubtfire for the day at work.(just to amuse myself and ease the boredom) Unfortunately, no one noticed and all I got was a sore tongue from the effort. I had to take 2 tylenol when I got home!
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Old Apr 12th 2014, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

Originally Posted by anders101 View Post

My colleagues seem to manage a holiday to either Cuba, Mexico or the Dominion in Feb every year.(yes only ever one of these places!! Mustn't be too adventurous or venture out of an all inclusive!)

{
Believe me that is not just an NS thing. I find it all the time here in Ontario. Many people return year after year for their bubble vacations where everything is sanitized and you never have to interact with the locals...just sun and sangria and turn your brain off for a week or two.
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Old Apr 12th 2014, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

I'll jump in with 2c worth here, after 18 months in Halifax.

Yes, there is work in NS - but a lot of it is 'grunt work' in the service sectors that pays just above minimum wage. The prevailing wage rates in NS are quite low compared to, say, SK or MB (both experiencing employment booms).

If you are a professional you will be subjected to the vagaries of the peculiarly Canadian obsession with 'credentialism'. There are diplomas, certificates, qualifications, licenses, permits, professional memberships etc for every type of work under the sun (except the aforementioned 'grunt work'). Some of them border on the ridiculous (Diploma in Office Management? Really?) and no doors will open to you without these credentials - unless you have someone on the inside.

Generally, the Bluenoses are parochial and conservative. Neither of these qualities are bad, in themselves, but they have the effect of limiting, of narrowing, the worldview of those who hold them. As my boss (an American) says, there's a distinct lack of 'big-picture thinking' in business here.

Like many, I find my gaze being drawn westwards. I don't want for much but, honestly, trying to live (even as a single man) on $1600 nett a month is tougher than I had thought.
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Old Apr 12th 2014, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: Nova Scotia is sucking the life out of me!

Replace Nova Scotia with Central Alberta and that's how I feel, I need stimulation and there's not a lot to be had here after 9 years.
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