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Just passed four years....my reflection.

Just passed four years....my reflection.

Old Oct 30th 2015, 5:06 pm
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Smile Just passed four years....my reflection.

...and to celebrate, my first post, ever!

Started viewing this forum back when my OH and I committed to a move here (we moved on an inter-company transfer, obtained a 3 year working visa, and got our PR in 2014). Now 4 years have passed - in that time we have began to put down longer term roots here, including buying a house (our first, ever!) and adopting a giant but ever so lovely cat.

It's been a hard 4 years at time, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for people that do this type of move solo. My OH and I moved when we were each just turned 25 - he had never stepped foot in this country and although I had - once!- it wasn't even in the province (Ontario) that we settled in. We have no family here, no connections and I felt that very much in the first year. My OH with his company transfer went straight into work where as I had to scramble to find us somewhere to live and find myself a job. Although things fell into place for us quite quickly, I realise now that was extremely lucky. Job hunting here is hard. Having no Canadian experience is hard. We were dismissed from several rental applications because of a lack of Canadian credit, we had to buy our first car here in cash because of our temporary permits. Much of this whole process is hard and challenging and it strengthened our already solid relationship by being there for one another. I personally do not think I could have done it, and stuck it out, alone.

What I have learnt in the last 4 years reflects the ups and downs we have had. I have found it very difficult to make meaningful friends (as quite an introvert I found it difficult to be outgoing and put myself out there). It has happened but it has taken time, and I have had to accept that my friendships here will not mirror my friendships from back home, but that's OK. I have learnt that many Canadians are just as big hearted and caring as their stereotypes portray.

I have also learnt that I will never stop missing England - primarily my family and everything I miss out on by being here, but I don't regret the move. We hope to have a family one day and I can't think of a better country to raise he or she in. We have a beautiful house that we could never have dreamed of owning in the UK and a wonderful lifestyle. We both earn significantly more (I am in the administrative side in health care, he is an IT consultant) than we did in the UK, and can now afford to both save and plan for the future, as well as travel and indulge in luxuries that we would never have considered in the UK. I understand what we traded off for this, but I wouldn't change it, and thankfully our families accept and understand that we made this move for a better life for ourselves and our future family.

The winter is challenging when unknown, but now it doesn't phase me. When you are prepared and have the proper 'equipment' you just get on with it. Summer is beautiful and hot - I really adore the seasons here and it's one of my top "this is better than England" comparisons, even in the very depths of winter.

Other differences I didn't expect: the banking system (apart from a few hiccups that were the banks fault with our mortgage, banking here has been excellent. Banks are professional and helpful, and we were set up with accounts and credit cards on day one), the high quality of food (pleasantly surprising), the difference in home quality and building styles (not exactly a negative but took a bit of understanding!), car buying (being with a car guy we've had 3 vehicles in 4 years....in the right place it's a good experience, but there's definitely bad places here too...), the work life balance (in both our experiences it's not a beers after work environment here in our offices - people are focused on families and socializing outside of work with non-colleagues much more than we experienced in the UK), and people thinking we are from Australia (I'm a Yorkshire girl?!!). On the work point, perhaps just our experience but we both felt very 'young' in our workplaces (and several people have made comments to that effect too, so I don't think it's just us being paranoid)- we've both worked hard and have good degrees under our belt, but it seemed odd for many that we were our age in the positions that we have (for context, my OH works with a large group of people in parallel positions across the country, and he is the youngest by at least 15-20 years. I think it is a good thing he doesn't look baby faced as I think regardless of competency and experience that would have really worked against him. I think we are both good at talking the corporate talk and again both got lucky with our jobs, but its undeniable too that experience really counts here.

Most of all, I've learnt that England no longer feels like home. It feels like a little holding pit of lots of dear things to me, but home is not the feeling I get when we go back. I think this is because too long elapses between each visit back, and so much changes in that time that we feel detached from it in a way.

Sorry that this was long and wordy. I guess in summary I would say - happy and no regrets, but always some lonely and sad days.
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Old Nov 2nd 2015, 6:33 am
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Default Re: Just passed four years....my reflection.

Hello and welcome to BE!

What a wonderful journey you have both been on - very pleased to hear that you feel settled, happy and are enjoying life.

I hope you will stick around on BE, there are meet-ups every so often in Toronto if you can get there and have a hankering for chatting with a few Brits. I know you would be most welcome!

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Old Nov 2nd 2015, 12:10 pm
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Default Re: Just passed four years....my reflection.

An excellent read. Stick around.
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Old Nov 2nd 2015, 5:03 pm
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Default Re: Just passed four years....my reflection.

Congratulations! sounds like things have worked out well for you both! Another two satisfied British immigrants to Canada, that don't complain about what they have left behind, but embrace and love the new life they have stepped into.

Nice to hear of your positive experiences, I like the way you described your "old home" England as a collection of things you hold dear to you, but no longer feels like home, i can relate to that, very good way of putting it.

Hope things continue to go well for you in your "new home".

Paul.
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Old Nov 3rd 2015, 1:56 am
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Default Re: Just passed four years....my reflection.


What a nicely considered and well thought out post
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Old Nov 4th 2015, 6:08 pm
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Default Re: Just passed four years....my reflection.

Yes, great post indeed!

I understand the missing the UK bit but also it not feeling like home when you go back. I have the same. I miss it greatly (and have no living family there), but when I go back, I don't feel part of it, even though I know it.

S
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Old Nov 5th 2015, 5:08 pm
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Default Re: Just passed four years....my reflection.

Yes, a lovely post where you expressed many feeling I share. I did not leave the UK because I disliked it. Sometimes people just end up in another part of the world. I love lots of things about the UK and I love lots of things about North America especially Canada. Good luck with your future plans and keep the forum "posted". We would love to hear more from you.
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Old Nov 5th 2015, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: Just passed four years....my reflection.

What an amazing post, I hope you stick around and contribute more. Thank you especially for your second to last paragraph describing how you feel about England, a place holding many things you love dearly but no longer home. I have struggled to explain how I feel about the UK ever since we moved here and you summed it up perfectly.
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Old Nov 6th 2015, 1:49 pm
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Default Re: Just passed four years....my reflection.

Originally Posted by itsasmallworld View Post
Yes, a lovely post where you expressed many feeling I share. I did not leave the UK because I disliked it. Sometimes people just end up in another part of the world. I love lots of things about the UK and I love lots of things about North America especially Canada. Good luck with your future plans and keep the forum "posted". We would love to hear more from you.
I absolutely agree with everything you have written here. My OH has always been keen to move to North America but that's not something we shared. I love the UK and would never say I disliked it - it's just very, very different. I feel very fortunate to have been given such a fantastic opportunity and have everything work out pretty well.

Thank you everyone for your encouraging and very sweet replies. Reading them has just made my day! I'll definitely been sticking around. It's very nice to know other people genuinely understand your experience.
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Old Nov 8th 2015, 8:09 pm
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Default Re: Just passed four years....my reflection.

Having lived in Canada for nearly 20 years I can say its a fantastic place to bring up kids ,ours were 3,5 and 7 when we came .We have done things we could never have afforded to do in the UK with a young family and met some lovely people . I wish you well in your journey .
We are thinking of returning to UK as we now have 2 of our children there .The winter is getting more difficult for us and as retirement looms the ease of traveling in Europe is a pull to go back .I do not regret moving here all those years ago when we were younger but as our parents grew older it became much harder to leave them when we returned from visits .
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Old Nov 15th 2015, 3:01 pm
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Default Re: Just passed four years....my reflection.

Great post tigerone, we also share many of your views..especially people thinking we are from Australia but also feel burlys post
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Old Nov 16th 2015, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: Just passed four years....my reflection.

Good post- recognising both the trials and the rewards.
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Old Nov 20th 2015, 2:23 pm
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Default Re: Just passed four years....my reflection.

Congratulations on your 4 years and heres to many more! Great post!
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