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So when does it "get better"

So when does it "get better"

Old Apr 4th 2019, 7:42 pm
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Default So when does it "get better"

Been here 3 years. Still waiting. Waiting for the feeling of disconnection, unconnectedness to go away.. It's still not home. Still want to go home. But, no simple solution to that. My wife and young kids like it here. I'm stuck.
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Old Apr 4th 2019, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: So when does it "get better"

Varies by person, some may never feel like Canada is home.

I have been in Canada since 2004, and I don't consider it home, it's just where I am living, home is still the US.
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Old Apr 4th 2019, 7:56 pm
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Default Re: So when does it "get better"

May I suggest a trip? Say route 66 in a dodge caravan?

(sorry )
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Old Apr 4th 2019, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: So when does it "get better"

Originally Posted by no good name View Post
Been here 3 years. Still waiting. Waiting for the feeling of disconnection, unconnectedness to go away.. It's still not home. Still want to go home. But, no simple solution to that. My wife and young kids like it here. I'm stuck.
You are looking for something that I don't think you will ever find in Canada .... the sameness of being in your hometown in the UK, the same people, the same friends, the same foods. You and your family emigrated for a reason. Has that reason been meet? Do you have the better home? Better employment? More leisure time?

It is difficult to 'let go' of the emotional connection you had with the UK. And no one says that you need to. There is truth in the saying that you can never go home again. If you returned tomorrow, it will be different. Your friends will no longer be there for you as they once before. They have moved on without you. Your family will be happy to see you, but they, too, have settled into a life that doesn't include seeing you daily, weekly, monthly.

I moved three years ago and when I am now will never be considered home in the same way that my former residence is home. I've made some friends. Extended myself and have been accepted by some and rejected by others. I know that the food stuffs that I long for are not available to me here and when I visit my former home, it is starting to feel alien.

I try now never to compare the two places. They are as different as night and day. The culture is not my culture and never will be. I can accept it for what it is, someone else's way of life, and I can adopt some of the nuances of the culture but it will always be foreign to me. And yet, I enjoy what I have. My home, my few friends, exploring new places, etc.

Hope you find your way out of your discontent and start finding that life isn't as bad as you think.
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Old Apr 4th 2019, 9:30 pm
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Default Re: So when does it "get better"

I'd say it takes a few years to settle down. And of course some people never do. It took me a good few years. Fairly early on I realized I was undergoing culture shock which is a recognized phenomenon with distinct stages. The Canadian government has written about it although in relation to Canadians living abroad:

https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/livi.../culture-shock

I could relate to what is described.
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Old Apr 4th 2019, 9:30 pm
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Default Re: So when does it "get better"

Took me 4 years. I hated the place. Wanted to leave in disgust and never return.

I found joining a group and investing in my social life to be of huge benefit. I also bought a vehicle which allows me the freedom to go out and hike, which was something I simply didn't do much . The season change also helps.

I only go back to the UK in the winter when things are generally a bit crap. I do still get romantic notions of going back to the UK but for me now, the balance has fundamentally shifted.
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Old Apr 4th 2019, 9:36 pm
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Default Re: So when does it "get better"

I think, as someone pointed out in another thread, this sort of question needs to be rolled back to why you left the UK and why you came to Canada in the first place. In my case, I came over for my wife to spend time with her elderly parents and get to know our nephews. However, we should still have done an in depth analysis of our UK life and what we expected from Canada, what would make the move a success and what would make it a failure. We are now in the position where we are retrospectively chatting about this as she has started to voice some issues with living here. Thing is, this now has to work the other way. It is not a simple case of just going back and if you (general you) do so, I imagine you could be in for double lashings of discontent and disconnectedness, especially as some friends will have moved on.
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Old Apr 4th 2019, 10:21 pm
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Default Re: So when does it "get better"

We've lived in Canada now for 50 years, plus 6 months ................ we came because OH got a job that he thought would be rewarding, but we only came for 2 years initially.

We came on a whim ........"Oh, look at this job ad. It looks interesting. Shall I apply?" Within 4 months we were applying for our visas for Canada. The contract was for 2 years, renewable, but became a permanent offer after 4 years.

We had little money, no furniture, slept on air mattresses on the floor of our unfurnished rented apartment for about a month before getting a credit card and buying a little furniture.

We felt at home almost immediately. It was helped by the fact that I got my perfect job 6 months later, and OH really enjoyed his, but it was the culture, the life style, the friends we made ............ everything was almost exactly what we were looking for.

We went back to the UK for a holiday 5 years later, in 1973. There was a disconnect right there and then ............ yes, we saw friends, yes, we saw elderly relations, yes, we visited parts of the UK we had not been to before and some that were old favourites to one or both of us.

BUT ................ we didn't feel at home there, we felt like tourists. The friends and relatives, while glad to see us for a little while, were not really interested in what our life was like "over there" or in what we did, how we enjoyed ourselves, etc etc. In fact, conversations after the first few minutes were full of what THEY did or had done.

We got off the plane in Toronto on the way back, with another 5 hour plane ride to Vancouver ahead of us, and said almost simultaneously "Thank heavens we're HOME".

and that was it.

We went back in 1975, as Canadian citizens and with our Canadian-born toddler. We thought it would be great if we rented a cottage somewhere central to most of our relatives and some of our friends, say on the North Wales coast, and have them come to us while we had a break with the kiddy.

It basically was "No way Jose" .............. not one of them said they would come if we did that. So we had to traipse around the country visiting them, trying to keep the kiddy happy and balanced while we sometimes saw 3 different people a day ........... after all, they all made it plain that they would not visit us in a cottage by the sea but they would be extremely upset if we didn't get to them.

Since then, we've maintained contacts with those that are still alive, but have not gone back for a visit any more often than every 6-8 years. We were last back in 2008 ....... and no desire to go again.

There isn't any food that I miss ....... we can in fact buy a lot of things like Heinz English Salad Dressing, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, HP Sauce, black puddings, imported English food, etc etc. But there are many more much nicer foods than I ever remember having in the UK.

So, we didn't suffer any discontent or longings, we settled within a very short time. Others have it very differently.

One thing we never did was sit there talking or thinking about what we were missing. The pub culture only came up in conversations with folk who would say things like "well, what about the country pub, with its good food?" Maybe yes ................ on a visit, but to return permanently because of that.

Would we go back to the UK ........ no. Not then and certainly not now as retirees.

Would we go or have gone anywhere else than Canada............... possibly, if the opportunity had arisen. Parts of Australia, all of New Zealand, and a few other places were very attractive, there were job opportunities along the way that didn't quite pan out, so we never had to actually make that choice. I love going back to Australia and NZ, where we have good friends and I have a lot of relatives.

Last edited by scilly; Apr 4th 2019 at 10:29 pm.
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Old Apr 4th 2019, 10:55 pm
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Default Re: So when does it "get better"

Originally Posted by no good name View Post
Been here 3 years. Still waiting. Waiting for the feeling of disconnection, unconnectedness to go away.. It's still not home. Still want to go home. But, no simple solution to that. My wife and young kids like it here. I'm stuck.
Sorry to hear this. In which part of Canada are you living, and what was your motivation for moving here?

For my part, I found things "clicked" after about 2 years here when it started to feel like "home" and I felt like something of an outsider when visiting the UK. It is a process that is different for everyone of course.
Are there specific things about the UK you really miss?
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Old Apr 5th 2019, 12:12 am
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Default Re: So when does it "get better"

For me, this will never be home...but I’m not sure that anywhere will. I’ve never been a fitting in sort of person, and have been very perapetetic....that being said...’finally’ after 6 years I’m starting to feel settled. I still don’t like it here...the food is dreadful but the people are friendly - but often appalling - it’s hard to converse with people who feel that they are very much superior, but are basically thick. Look at the the ‘big picture’ your kids are doing well...somewhere you can find the mental disconnect that allows you to find local interest groups that might help...also realize that you are posting at the end of a long and hard winter...it will end...and things will feel better...but not for a bit! It really is a rubbish time of year and you have to dig to the depths to get through it...it took too much effort to get here...don’t give up! It will get better Go back and remember why you wanted to come here.
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Old Apr 5th 2019, 1:00 am
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Default Re: So when does it "get better"

Originally Posted by MillieF View Post
... it’s hard to converse with people who feel that they are very much superior, but are basically thick.
Wow! Is that a Fredericton thing? That certainly doesn't resonate with my experiences.
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Old Apr 5th 2019, 1:33 am
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Default Re: So when does it "get better"

I agree with the others - in truth maybe it doesn't, unless you want it to change. I was lucky, and never really felt at all homesick, though I suffered momentary "episodes" where I suddenly stop and think "How on earth did I, a born and raised Englishman, get here, doing this, at this time? " I still get them occasionally.

It sounds like you need to take a mental inventory of your pros and cons to staying in Canada, and assuming you decide that on balance staying is what you want, then work out what you need to do to make it work for you. Different things work for different people - some take the clean break approach and find new interests and pastimes - maybe skiing or ice fishing, or something else you would never have imagined doing when you lived in the UK, or maybe take up something that reminds you of home (though personally I would think that makes the problem worse, but it seems to work for some people).
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Old Apr 5th 2019, 2:05 am
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Default Re: So when does it "get better"

I don't feel settled here at all. I've been here since April 1981. I had some children here but they've grown up and moved on (one emigrated to Tower Hamlets!).. I've known a lot of people here but they've mostly got tired of the cold and gone home; to the UK, to India, to Turkey, to wherever.

I work with an interesting group of people, no two of the same nationality, none born here. I like the diversity and it's interesting to compare the houses people are saving for; I would never have guessed that Bangalore had higher house prices than Mississauga, but it's not settling; no one is engaged with local, or national, society. I'm typical at work in being able to sustain an argument about Trump or Brexit and having a vague idea that someone hyphenated is stirring up trouble for the hereditary Prime Minister of Canada but not knowing who or caring why. No one is really engaged with Canada. We banter about football all the time, we all know a bit, or a lot, about football but we'd be stumped if faced with a basic question about the NFL or the "Big Ten". Everyone being from somewhere else is a blessing and a curse; it's fun and interesting but without a first language in common there isn't the cultural connection one might have, even with people recently met, in another place.

All that said. I did arrive with nothing and I am able to sustain some spectacular expenses so it all worked out; emigration is essentially about trading family and culture for lots of stuff, innit?
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Old Apr 5th 2019, 2:23 am
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Default Re: So when does it "get better"

Originally Posted by scilly View Post

We went back to the UK for a holiday 5 years later, in 1973. There was a disconnect right there and then ............ yes, we saw friends, yes, we saw elderly relations, yes, we visited parts of the UK we had not been to before and some that were old favourites to one or both of us.

BUT ................ we didn't feel at home there, we felt like tourists. The friends and relatives, while glad to see us for a little while, were not really interested in what our life was like "over there" or in what we did, how we enjoyed ourselves, etc etc. In fact, conversations after the first few minutes were full of what THEY did or had done.

We went back in 1975, as Canadian citizens and with our Canadian-born toddler. We thought it would be great if we rented a cottage somewhere central to most of our relatives and some of our friends, say on the North Wales coast, and have them come to us while we had a break with the kiddy.

It basically was "No way Jose" .............. not one of them said they would come if we did that. So we had to traipse around the country visiting them, trying to keep the kiddy happy and balanced while we sometimes saw 3 different people a day ........... after all, they all made it plain that they would not visit us in a cottage by the sea but they would be extremely upset if we didn't get to them.
I can totally relate. Once you are out of sight you're out of mind for many. I came with immediate family as a late teen and then within 5 years all 4 grandparents had passed and it was up to my parents siblings to be the primary caregivers etc to the elderly parents which I think caused tension and guilt for my parents.

People in Canada think nothing of driving for 3+ hours to their weekend place but try and get people in the UK to travel an hour to see you in your central location...good luck.

Once you emigrate you quickly see who your true long term friends are.
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Old Apr 5th 2019, 2:27 am
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Smile Re: So when does it "get better"

Originally Posted by MillieF View Post
For me, this will never be home...but I’m not sure that anywhere will. I’ve never been a fitting in sort of person, and have been very perapetetic....that being said...’finally’ after 6 years I’m starting to feel settled. I still don’t like it here...the food is dreadful but the people are friendly - but often appalling - it’s hard to converse with people who feel that they are very much superior, but are basically thick. Look at the the ‘big picture’ your kids are doing well...somewhere you can find the mental disconnect that allows you to find local interest groups that might help...also realize that you are posting at the end of a long and hard winter...it will end...and things will feel better...but not for a bit! It really is a rubbish time of year and you have to dig to the depths to get through it...it took too much effort to get here...don’t give up! It will get better Go back and remember why you wanted to come here.
LMFAO spending our first 7 years in Fredericton I could not have put it better myself " it’s hard to converse with people who feel that they are very much superior, but are basically thick" excellent
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