Recce Trip

Old Feb 9th 2012, 10:19 am
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Default Recce Trip

Hi ,

We are heading to Halifax for our recce trip in March and obviously want to get the most from it, we have loads to fit in, bank, prospective employers, houses, etc. I was wondering if anyone has any tips or advice of things that we may not have thought of to research to give us a realistic view of Canadian life, and the real cost of living. If i'm honest i think my rose specs may be colouring my thoughts and with a family I know its not the best outlook. We have been reading posts on the forum and some have been quite depressing whilst others have been very uplifting. We are both prepared to work hard and take ourselves out of the comfort zone to fit in and make friends once we settle, but we want to get it right for the children, we are just an ordinary working family who don't have an abundance of savings so we want to make what we have count. Sorry for rambling on.

Thanks everyone.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 12:05 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Originally Posted by Macbarflan
Hi ,

We are heading to Halifax for our recce trip in March and obviously want to get the most from it, we have loads to fit in, bank, prospective employers, houses, etc. I was wondering if anyone has any tips or advice of things that we may not have thought of to research to give us a realistic view of Canadian life, and the real cost of living. If i'm honest i think my rose specs may be colouring my thoughts and with a family I know its not the best outlook. We have been reading posts on the forum and some have been quite depressing whilst others have been very uplifting. We are both prepared to work hard and take ourselves out of the comfort zone to fit in and make friends once we settle, but we want to get it right for the children, we are just an ordinary working family who don't have an abundance of savings so we want to make what we have count. Sorry for rambling on.

Thanks everyone.
Not sure how old your children are, but we really did a lot of research into schools before we went over. Not sure about halifax, but in Ontario they are very strict on catchment areas, so we found it better to look at house prices and houses in the catchment areas for particular school. Apparently with some schools you have to move schools if you move out of catchment area.

We spent ages and tried to select several schools (we have primary and senior to consider) which in turn reduced the amount of houses etc we looked at. We also got more of a feel for the areas we had selected. A recce trip is usually so short, you really struggle to fit everything in.

Good luck
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 12:39 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

The problem with recci trips is that you are in "holiday" mode for most of the time. I dont know anything about Halifax, the job situation, schools ect, but I would say when you come over, look long and hard at what is around you think about looking at it for the rest of your lifes, dont brush over the things that you think are not too good. When you are far away from home, and home sickness comes to you those little things all of a sudden become enromous.

The grass isnt greener over here, its just a different shade, think long and hard before walking out of jobs, uprooting your children, and your lifes.

I dont mean to be negative, I make no secret of the fact that I dont like living here, I just wanted to get across what a big upheaval it is and the amount of money you will get through in the first year will make you hair curl.

Good luck with your recci

Waiting for the "dont slam the door on the way out" possie to arrive...................
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 12:50 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

TBH visiting Halifax in March could be off putting to some
If they do their homework and have realistic goals they will make a decision.
Yes we have read numerous pitfalls of recce trips, promises etc but others have succeeded. They should search the threads or use the Wiki then try to sort out the wheat from the chaff so to speak.
Actually Halifax is rather a nice place when its not foggy
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Thanks everyone,

I should have said we've been thinking of this for 7 years, but more seriously for the last 2 years. We have 4 kids in total but 2 at uni age who will join us later if we decide to make the move, one is 13 and one is 5. We've done some research and we think the schools are tied to the area you live in, we've also did the job research and it is possible. Your right though you can't tell really from a recce as it is short, oh goodness, i'm beginning to wonder how we'll come to a decision!! Over here in Scotland the prospects for our kids growing up are bleak at best so we're hoping the opportunities that seem to be available in Canada are really as good as they sound, we know we'll need to work hard if not harder than we do here, and realise the first year will be a struggle but we're hoping that we can make it work. It is a big gamble, how did you all make your decision or did you just go for it?

Last edited by Macbarflan; Feb 9th 2012 at 1:40 pm.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Well according to Alex Salmond once you receive your Independence then everything will be rosy in Scotland
Yes we all had different reasons for coming and some of us just went for it.
Many are married to Canadians so some decisions were easier and cheaper than others.
Thinking and doing are completely different.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 1:56 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

It is very hard making the decision. My hubby is Canadian, so that makes it a little easier (lived in Halifax before I dragged him over here )

We struggled to find a place to settle on - Halifax would have been a great choice as hubby knows it, but I really don't fancy the weather - fog etc. It is lovely though.

We did our recce last year (my landing trip) and it was hectic. We are not youngsters, and I think the move is going to be a great struggle and we are going to have to work damn hard to build up a new home etc. We have no family ties here, which I think makes it a darn site easier - I also moved to the UK from South Africa when I was 20 - so I know how hard it is settling into a new strange country.

It is very difficult getting a feel of a place when you are there for a couple of weeks - when we went over, we also travelled to a few places nearby (that we had discounted) and we were happy with our choice. I can't wait to get over there - I am apprehensive, but I feel pretty confident it is the right thing for our family.

Not easy, but only you can make the decision
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 1:58 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Giggle that made me laugh, can't decide if independence would work at the minute.

I think our minds are made up for the most part, it just like you say thinking and doing are completley different.........I think at the minute its my courage thats in question, now the wheels have started turning and things like bank accounts, housing and employment are within our grasp, the dreams we had are getting a little scary. I suppose i'll need to dig out my thermals and my winter warmers to experience the cold, and snow(I think its still snowy) in Halifax for myself. Might put me off abit!!! thanks for you input today.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Hi.
My wife Debra and I and son of 17 are also going on a recce in March, we leave 24th, to Nova Scotia in March
We have 4 nights in Halifax and then 6 in Truro. We have lots of appointments with respective employers and meetings with friends as well set up. Also going to look at some houses as well. We might even get a bit of sight seeing in as well
It will be very busy but are really looking forward to it and hopefully things will go well.
Hope your trip goes well, will have to swap stories!

John
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Its not foggy all the time here at all. Yes there are some foggy days in spring but spring in NS is a horrible season. Its all brown and rainy still. And quite chilly still too.
Summer though is heavenly, its beautiful here, its hot and humid and the beaches are stunning. Fall is then gorgeous and last year we had warm weather right into the end of October.
We have loads of sunshine and blue sky. I wouldnt focus on fog, theres not THAT much of it.

Having said that, if you are round the areas like Peggys cove, it can be foggy whereas a bit further inland there is none at all. So depends where you are in NS.

This of course, is just one element of being here. Its a thousand times better (for me) than grey and overcast England was on many days in the year
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Originally Posted by Howefamily
This of course, is just one element of being here. Its a thousand times better (for me) than grey and overcast England was on many days in the year
I wouldnt focus on overcast England, theres not THAT much of it. Over the past 5 yrs London UK has had many more hrs of sunshine than Yarmouth NS, for example*



*according to weatheronline.co.uk
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 5:11 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Originally Posted by el_richo
I wouldnt focus on overcast England, theres not THAT much of it. Over the past 5 yrs London UK has had many more hrs of sunshine than Yarmouth NS, for example*



*according to weatheronline.co.uk
London loses out big time compared to most North American cities - even to cities like Vancouver and Seattle which are often regarded as having British style weather.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 5:32 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

I'd suggest a trip around a Supermarket or two to get your heads around food and other comestibles pricing. Do this in the context of "A packet of cornflakes is $5" not, "a packet of cornflakes is $5/1.65=3 quid" (or whatever). Try and understand the costs of things in Canada in $ without constantly relating back to GBP. It's difficult but important to do.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 5:32 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Originally Posted by MarylandNed
London loses out big time compared to most North American cities - even to cities like Vancouver and Seattle which are often regarded as having British style weather.
What does that have to do with Nova Scotia?
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Originally Posted by Atlantic Xpat
I'd suggest a trip around a Supermarket or two to get your heads around food and other comestibles pricing. Do this in the context of "A packet of cornflakes is $5" not, "a packet of cornflakes is $5/1.65=3 quid" (or whatever). Try and understand the costs of things in Canada in $ without constantly relating back to GBP. It's difficult but important to do.
I have found that when I'm in the UK I have to pay a pound for an item that I would normally pay $1 for in Canada.
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