Recce Trip

Old Feb 9th 2012, 7:14 am
  #16  
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Originally Posted by RANDY1888
Really?
Yes, really. Almost without exception. That's why I have always thought that the UK was more expensive than Canada, or the US for that matter.

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Old Feb 9th 2012, 7:26 am
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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
Maybe that is the case but as I said NS has different weather depending where you are.
Personally I have seen more blue skies and sunshine here than I ever did in England per year
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 7:36 am
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Originally Posted by Howefamily
Maybe that is the case but as I said NS has different weather depending where you are.
Personally I have seen more blue skies and sunshine here than I ever did in England per year
Pffft the Maritimes cant even make it into the top 10 lists for hours or days of sunshine in Canada.
http://www.currentresults.com/Weathe...est-cities.php
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 10:07 am
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Exciting stuff eh, next month

We did our recce last year, albeit Hamilton Ont, but most of the principles are the same.

It's near impossible to not treat this as a holiday. It's cost you a lot of money to get there, and it just feels wrong not to do some touristy things, but then again, this could be the place you're going to spend the rest of your life, so you may as well have a look around at what's available for your days off.

Firstly: TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS!. You only have a few weeks, there's no way your brain will hold all the info, lol. Video would be even better. Digital cameras mean you can just keep snapping away all day.

With regards to housing; We went over on our recce with this big Canadian idealistic dream of the house we would buy, with a budget of up to 350K. After some realistic chats with a couple of my Facebook buddies in Ontario and Nova Scotia, I now realise that this is over stretching, and that we should lower our expectations considerably for the first few years. I've now set a budget of 250K and have found plenty of houses that would still be far better than what we live in at the moment.

The problem is not with the amount we could afford on a mortgage, it's all the initial start-up costs that we chose to ignore, but for a better quality of life you must not ignore them. Thanks Monique ;-) After a few years when we are settled and no longer noobs, we can look into the big posh house.

As has been said already, forget about constantly translating Dollars into pounds when you buy things, it's just doesn't work like that. It's really based on how much you get paid and how expensive the areas is in which you choose to live or frequent. We made the mistake of nipping into Wallmart for some munchies for us and the kids as we thought Wallmart would be cheap. That little trip cost us $76, and all we got was some crisps, some juice and some sweets.

We had the good fortune to be staying with a Canadian family in their home, so we got a better idea of what things actually cost, and where NOT to shop (Wallmart) lol

If you are looking at areas to live, make sure you stop the car and get out. Go for a walk and if you like a place, come back in the evening and do the walk again. A place will change considerabley in 5 hours or so, as when you first visit an area, chances are everyone's at work so you're not getting the real buzz from the place.

We only encountered one hostile when we were over, and that was in Montreal, so we're not that bothered. Don't really like the French, never mind the fake French ;-)

Your recce will only just scratch the surface, but for us it was enough to confirm that it was going to be worth all the hard work to get there.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 10:55 am
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Default Re: Recce Trip

We did a recce trip to NB in Feb/Mar 2010. PR granted Dec 2011! The recce trip, as has been mentioned by others, was manic.

Due to the time elapsed since the recce, we are going back to NB over Easter, to activate the visas, but equally importantly to take the kids (11 and 9 yrs) to see the place, and also for our own purposes.

The thinking/dreaming stage has passed now. We are now at the doing stage. Our life in the UK is, at the moment, comfortable, settled and pretty decent if we are honest, (which at this stage we are having to be). There are many who are better off, there are many who are worse off.

When we started this process, property prices were bouyant, and the GBP/CAD exchange rate was much much better, so we thought we'd have a decent pot of cash to by a decent house, put some aside to tide us over whilst we got work, a large lump to set up the business we want to develop etc. That is most certainly not the case now, and the pot is significantly reduced. This is a further added pressure.

That being so, we hadn't legislated for the expense of this further trip across to NB, but as the OH pointed out, we are potentially going to tear up over 40years of life over here to move to a place we saw for 10 days or so, 2 years ago. Put like that, the magnitude of what we are contemplating, and what we could lose, hit home.

I will gladly spend the £5k or so (though I could do with keeping that if we are to move to Canada), to be sure, (or as sure as we can be), that the decision we make is the right one. Spending that money could potentially save me/us tens of thousands of pounds, not to mention stress, rows, upset etc if we made the wrong decision.

The message - make sure one of you, or someone you know, forces you to really, and I mean really look at what you could lose if you go and it doesn't work for you. I had lost sight of that under the minutiae of progressing the application.

Mind you, the prospect of owning a 5.7litre growling pick-up truck, and a playing in the snow with a ski-doo appeals to the kid in me! Must try to suppress that and be a grown up...... I am sure the financial reality of such juvenile attitudes would kick me in the wallet and bring me to my senses again, if the OH didn't stop me first.

Best of luck with the recce and whatever you decide to do.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 12:06 pm
  #21  
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian
Pffft the Maritimes cant even make it into the top 10 lists for hours or days of sunshine in Canada.
http://www.currentresults.com/Weathe...est-cities.php
well I am very happy with the weather here (except Spring!) so the rest of Canada will be somewhere fabulous to visit
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 12:35 pm
  #22  
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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
Hey, don't knock Yarmouth! I've only been here 5 months but so far I like the weather better here than back in Sussex UK!

Last edited by DandNHill; Feb 9th 2012 at 12:36 pm. Reason: Spelling!!!! D'euh!!!!
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 1:14 pm
  #23  
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Lookout for OPEN houses on a Saturday or Sunday, usually between 12pm. till 4pm, these are houses that are for sale and you can just walk in and have a nosey round. May give you a better idea of the living standards in Canada. And some ideas for your new house in were ever you land, land.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 1:48 pm
  #24  
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Default Re: Recce Trip

We had a slightly unusual and very fortunate experience of our "recce", in that we were able to take a 3 month sabbatical and move to Canada to live in as Canadian a way as we could. The kids were only young and so we took them out of school for a term and they did home learning. They were enrolled for ice skating lessons and we joined the local "home learning" group, the library, and I bought a fishing licence. We made some lovely friends - many of whom we are still see regularly now. Although not working (apart from the schooling thing), we tried to lead as normal and routine lives as we could. The kids had play dates, we had people over for dinner etc.

Even with this huge advantage we had in trying before we bought as it were - nothing could prepare us for the adventure, anticipation, fears, elation, despair, gratefulness, of the actual experience of immigration. It's something you either want to do or you don't. It's not entirely about money, or family, or the weather, or the area you choose - it's all of these things. Some of our friends said "oooh, what do you want to go there for?"; others said "oooh, what a wonderful opportunity for you and your family"; some were totally ambivalent.

All I can say is that for us, we take each day for what it is, and so far we have enjoyed almost all of them. Nothing is perfect in life and Canada per se is not the answer to whatever we might have had issue with in the UK, but for us the quality of life we enjoy and the quality of life our children will hopefully continue to enjoy as they grow up, is more than compensation for the doubt, the money, the stress and the anxiety that are inevitable consequences of such momentous move.

I hope you make the right choice for the right reasons - your reasons - not someone elses. If it's right, there's a good chance you'll make it work. If it's not for you, that's fine too.

We're all different and judge/value life and what it has to offer in very different and personal ways.

Happy deciding!
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Originally Posted by Howefamily
Maybe that is the case but as I said NS has different weather depending where you are.
Personally I have seen more blue skies and sunshine here than I ever did in England per year
That's because you'll pay more attention to your new surroundings (haven't you only been there 6 months or so?). Facts have nothing to do with your personal perception.

The point is, NS isn't as foggy as many people say, Vancouver doesn't rain as much as people will lead you to believe, and the UK isn't dreary all year round.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Originally Posted by DandNHill
Hey, don't knock Yarmouth! I've only been here 5 months but so far I like the weather better here than back in Sussex UK!
Oh i'm not knocking it at all. Weather doesn't affect me one way or the other. Just pointing out the lack of difference in total hrs of sunshine each year
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 7:53 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Originally Posted by el_richo
That's because you'll pay more attention to your new surroundings (haven't you only been there 6 months or so?). Facts have nothing to do with your personal perception.

The point is, NS isn't as foggy as many people say, Vancouver doesn't rain as much as people will lead you to believe, and the UK isn't dreary all year round.
Ummm, Glasgow is, trust me.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 8:48 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Well guys, that makes for some very interesting reading an thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Dave and Ailsa I live in Wishaw not far from Glasgow and its dreach and dreary most of the time. I think my fet are getting cold like many of you say due to the magnitude of it all and like someone said what we could lose after 40 years of building a comfy life. Our property here is never going to sell for what it was worth a few years ago and our money pot isn't enormous but that aside hard work will pay off and i'm sure if we have the right attitude it'll work. We've already lowered the price range of the house we're looking at as we'd rather buy something cheaper than b struggling with a mortgage. Thanks for the shopping hints also and i will make a point of visiting these as i think this will benefit us greatly. When/if we make the move the think in $ not £'s will be hard to do but as we'll only have $ to live on the £ will have to go out the window. After reading all your info folks i realised very quickly that the first 2 years are going to be very difficult financially but hopefully won't break us. We're just an ordinary family with a very ordinary life and wage so what we're looking for is the same standard of ordinary life with the benefits of a more family orientated place with more scope for the kids, to enjoy them more.

Thanks so much keep the info coming. Oh did anyone do all the paperwork on their own, I'd rather keep my £'s than pay a consultant if its do able.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 9:45 pm
  #29  
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Default Re: Recce Trip

Originally Posted by el_richo
That's because you'll pay more attention to your new surroundings (haven't you only been there 6 months or so?). Facts have nothing to do with your personal perception.

The point is, NS isn't as foggy as many people say, Vancouver doesn't rain as much as people will lead you to believe, and the UK isn't dreary all year round.
we have been here nearly a year and I always pay attention to my surroundings wherever I am. I love England and I love it here. Where are you, out of interest?
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 9:58 pm
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Default Re: Recce Trip

We live in Scotland, where its cold and wet in th inter and hot and wet in the
summer.
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