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First big milestone....10 years in Canada

First big milestone....10 years in Canada

Old May 30th 2019, 3:07 am
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Default First big milestone....10 years in Canada

For my 10th Canniversary I thought I would write an extended anniversary edition which turned into a novel lol…..with a small summary section.

So.….. 2nd June 2009 I waved goodbye to my sister, my brother in law and 2 year old nephew at Birmingham airport, it was horribly sad moment, and my heart still sinks today when I think of it. Seven and half hours later I arrived with my oversize overweight suit case at Pearson airport where I was met by my then friend (an expat too) and his Canadian girlfriend…., I was going to be staying with them until I found a job and got myself on my feet…..against my better judgment, that proved to be the case as that friendship lasted just 2 months before we had a huge falling out, I then had to find a room to rent still with no job!….we have never spoken again, its surprising how you find out who people really are when the chips are down, and that they are not friends at all.

So much has happened in the years since then…..I could probably write a book, about the people I have met and the experiences I have lived through! I have had some great times with some great people and also had one of the worst times of my life too…. But through all scenarios I have formed some great friendships, with some good memories, who I now have a shared history with, its given me that feeling of belonging. I think some of them will be life friends now, no matter what happens.

So 10 years on….. I am still so far from where I wanted to be and from where I expected to be, but that’s life I guess, maybe that’s the way its supposed to be for me, some people’s lives hardly ever change, and some people’s lives are in constant change, mine is the latter even though all I have ever craved is stability and a “content routine”….. not a boring one, just one that I can have a reasonable prediction of what I am going to be doing and make future plans to look forward to, although I did have a reasonably stable period for a while, on the whole it hasn’t worked that way….

I have had very few visitors in the last 10 years, and strangely the people who have visited were people I wasn’t as close to when I lived in the UK, some of the close friends I saw regulary in the UK are now starting to drift away. My first family member visited last year, a cousin, we had a fantastic time, she and her husband are still talking about it now! I put a lot of effort in making plans and it paid off, they said they will be back! I have had 2 friends visit, and that’s been it, my two very different worlds have never really crossed over. it used to bother me, but I am ok with it now.

So with all that aside would I change anything that I have done? do I regret my move??? ….no…not at all, I don’t see how I could have done anything different, I love Canada, my main reasons for wanting to move are still here in 2019. There was a good balance of push from the UK and pull to Canada. My push were personal circumstance changes and a feeling I didn’t belong anymore, my pull was Canada’s lifestyle…. I love Canada’s natural beauty, I love its “playground” and love the lifestyle and activities that brings, and as I mentioned I have made some truly great friends to enjoy it with….

Im not sure what the future holds, I want to stay in Canada, I have been happy here, but constant upheaval and instability drags me down, I want to be confident enough in my standing to make decisions and plans for the future. Im keen to put down my roots once and for all if circumstances will allow! I comfort myself with the thought that things could be a lot worse! So I am enjoying the good times in between the chaos and making the most of those!

So my 10th anniversary summary........

Loves, likes and things I have/can do now that I didn’t/couldn’t do in the UK:

1. Climate/the diverse seasons….every season seems defined with the exception of spring- which I don’t find very appealing, but fall, winter and summer all bring something very different and offer differing activities all year round. The climate in southern Ontario is ideal for this as its split into 3 equal portions; winter, summer and the in between periods. It still fascinates me how one spot can go from plus 30degC to minus 30degC in the space of the few months….

2. The outdoors! Canada has one of, if not, THE best backyard in the world:

Camping….waaay better then UK camping where you camp on an open green field with no camp fire! that is not camping!! LOL
Boating….couldn’t afford that in the UK, and limited where I could go anyway, there are so many lakes to play in here!
Snowmobiling….best possible way to enjoy winter. Any spare weekends I go skiing….which is far more accessible here, for the beginner anyway, but usually take a trip to Mont Tremblant once a year which is a great weekend! so winter seems to go by very fast.

3 Friends.. I had some great friends in the UK, and I am still in touch with some of them, but I am amazed how many true friends I have made here, as I have no family of my own, they have become my family, and I don’t know what I would have done without them. It seems here everyone just wants to pitch in a help each other out, its how things are done, I didn’t find that as much in the UK, maybe the odd exception. I had good friends I spent time with, and talked and exchanged advice with, but our lives were very secular, everyone looks after themselves, which is fair enough, but I find it different here in Canada.


The not so good…

Most annoyances I have learned to live with, it’s a different country after all, where you must adjust and embrace, some you even get used to, but my two pet hates that irritate me beyond belief…..

1. Vacation - or severe lack of! what a joke, even Canadians think its bad! A decent allowance of vacation is key to quality of life….and its simply not available here. Vacations are advertised all the time…I don’t know why, no one can take time to go anywhere, unless you have been lucky enough to be at one company for 30 years, in today’s unstable employment climate (especially manufacturing) who gets that chance! I find it very unfair and archaic.

2. Highway driving – The standard of driving on the main highways here is bad. The 401 is a free for all, I constantly see every trait of bad driving I can think of, the police have their priorities wrong, and seem only interested in ticketing people for 20kph over instead of doing something about the dangerous and very poor standard of driving!

And a couple of light hearted pet hates…..Stop signs and traffic lights!! Give me yield/give way and roundabouts any day!! lol

What do I miss from the UK…
My remaining family - Just chatting with my sister, my two young nephews for sure, an aunt, cousins etc I stay in touch, but its not the same.
Some friends – I am glad to be still in touch with some, but some are drifting away now
Some aspects of British humour - Although I have to say most of my Canadian friends are pretty good with that, so don’t miss out on too much
Cask ale – or the standard British pint, you can get it in Toronto at a handful of places, but its pretty rare.
The British pub - The atmosphere and ambience is unbeatable, still really miss that, nothing like it, I think its woven into British culture.
British Chinese - Canadian Chinese is very average, so don’t really bother with it anymore, I have got pretty good a cooking my own now.
Springtime - The brand new vibrant lush greenery of another new year and the song of the blackbird, beautiful time of year in the UK.

So in the big picture Canada is where home is, its been a series of peaks and troughs, but I still enjoy what Canada has to offer. Ironically on my 10th anniversary (just by coincidence) I shall be on a camping/canoing/chilling out/fishing trip, staying in an old log cabin, with no running water, no electricity, and cooking over the fire in the middle of nowhere in Algonquin Park with 7 other friends….you don’t get much more Canadian than that!

Cheers
Paul.

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Old Jun 1st 2019, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: First big milestone....10 years in Canada

Yay! Congratulations on ten years in Canada. You might have had some serious ups and downs but you've made it through them all and you will deal with anything else that might be thrown your way.
Enjoy camping and let's catch up when you get home.
Take care and don't get eaten by a bear...
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Old Jun 2nd 2019, 4:53 am
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Default Re: First big milestone....10 years in Canada

Originally Posted by Paul_Shepherd
Cask ale – or the standard British pint, you can get it in Toronto at a handful of places, but its pretty rare.
And probably ice cold?

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Old Jun 3rd 2019, 3:57 am
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Default Re: First big milestone....10 years in Canada

Congrats for sticking it out! The tough times are harder when you are on your own!
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Old Jun 4th 2019, 2:58 am
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Default Re: First big milestone....10 years in Canada

Originally Posted by DandNHill
Yay! Congratulations on ten years in Canada. You might have had some serious ups and downs but you've made it through them all and you will deal with anything else that might be thrown your way.
Enjoy camping and let's catch up when you get home.
Take care and don't get eaten by a bear...
Im back!! I dodged the bears! weather could have been better (pretty damn cold for June) but great weekend! some fantastic food was cooked too! Thanks for your well wishes!


Originally Posted by shelley748
Congrats for sticking it out! The tough times are harder when you are on your own!
Thanks Shelley748.... yes it can be tough on your own, as you have to make all the important decisions, there is no one to bounce ideas off... . I have stuck it out through the tough times as the reasons I left the UK and came to Canada are still here....I just remind myself of them through the tough times.


Originally Posted by BristolUK
And probably ice cold?
Yeah! However some places do get it....one place in Toronto brews its own.... through a constantly rotating menu...and they have got it right... cellar temparature (certainly not room temparature like so many north Americans wrongly think) I always pop in there when I'm in Toronto good food too!
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Old Jun 5th 2019, 8:24 am
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Default Re: First big milestone....10 years in Canada

Congratulations on 10 years.


I love spring AND fall here in Metro ............

in Spring, the pale green willow leaves just emerging, cherry trees in full flower on almost every street in most parts of Vancouver, the maple trees along the street where I live, the Horsechestnut trees across the street just leafing out

In Fall, the varying colours of the trees, not as vibrant bright reds and oranges found on the east coast, but more subtle yellows, oranges and pale reds, or the dark red of some Japanese Maples, of the yellow of Gingko tree appearing after most other trees have lost their leaves. The conkers falling from the Horsechestnut trees ............. kids don't seem to play conkers, but many people collect them, polish them up and use as decorations.
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Old Jun 5th 2019, 9:54 am
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Default Re: First big milestone....10 years in Canada

Congratulations, it will be the same milestone for me later this month!
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Old Jun 22nd 2019, 8:16 am
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Default Re: First big milestone....10 years in Canada

Congratulations! I am so glad you are enjoying what this place has to offer and yet being honest about the stuff you miss back home. I wish you many good years ahead.
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Old Jun 24th 2019, 4:22 am
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Default Re: First big milestone....10 years in Canada

Can't believe I missed your Canniversary Paul! Congrats mate!

Glad to hear you survived the bears and the unseasonably cold temperatures... hope things continue to improve for you
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Old Jun 24th 2019, 11:37 am
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Default Re: First big milestone....10 years in Canada

Congratulations! It's good to see someone assimilating here well. It is a more fun playground.
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Old Jun 26th 2019, 5:21 am
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Default Re: First big milestone....10 years in Canada

Thankyou to all that have wished me well and for the congratulations.... 10 years is a long time and as I said lots has happened in that time, not much of which was part of the plan....but this could have easily have happened in the UK as it has here....I do know that if I had never chose to make this move, Id be sitting somewhere in the UK thinking, why I didn't I make that leap of faith!!

Even though life isn't what I wanted it to be, I still feel confident I made the right decision. No regrets.... I know there would be if I had stayed put....its as simple as that really. Always better to regret what you have done, not what you haven't. .
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Old Jul 2nd 2019, 10:38 am
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Default Re: First big milestone....10 years in Canada

I have only just seen your post...congratulations Paul, you certainly have the true indomitable spirit that Brits are famous for. It's a shame you live on the other side of the country as it would have been good to meet up for a 10 year anniversary beer.

Don't forget to get your commemorative tattoo



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Old Jul 22nd 2019, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: First big milestone....10 years in Canada

Originally Posted by Danny B
I have only just seen your post...congratulations Paul, you certainly have the true indomitable spirit that Brits are famous for. It's a shame you live on the other side of the country as it would have been good to meet up for a 10 year anniversary beer.

Don't forget to get your commemorative tattoo

Cheers Danny, I would definitely been up for a beer, if I was over that side, been over there two or three times... probably will again a some point so maybe then! I think I will pass on the tat though! lol


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Old Jul 22nd 2019, 12:37 pm
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Default Re: First big milestone....10 years in Canada

Originally Posted by JamesM
Congratulations! It's good to see someone assimilating here well. It is a more fun playground.

Cheers James, yes Canada has its draw backs, like all places (have I mentioned the no vacation thing?? Grrrrrrrr) but the playground makes up for it in my opinion.....so may things I can do here, that I couldn't do in the UK, its been a great summer so far....and I love winter just as much! well.....almost.
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Old Jul 22nd 2019, 12:40 pm
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Default Re: First big milestone....10 years in Canada

Originally Posted by Siouxie
Can't believe I missed your Canniversary Paul! Congrats mate!

Glad to hear you survived the bears and the unseasonably cold temperatures... hope things continue to improve for you


Thanks Siouxie! yes I survives looking forward to going again.... there has been talk of a fall soiree.....when boating season is over of course! Hope things are ok your end ...
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