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When going abroad is only a short hop from going under

When going abroad is only a short hop from going under

Old Feb 24th 2004, 4:21 pm
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Default When going abroad is only a short hop from going under

Interesting article in the "Weekly Telegraph" this week.

This article examines some of the reasons why Brits going to sunny climes may/may not end-up being happy.

Although it discusses life in the Med, it could apply to many places.

Quotes include:

"Moving abroad is becoming the suggested salve for directionless souls - especially in Britain...For many, the reality is very different"

"They are undeniably gorgeous places to visit. ...When Britons move there permanently, however,...Far from friends, family and things to fill the day, overseas ennui sets in."

It's not all gloom and doom! Depending on what you like to do you'll thrive or not. It's an interesting read: Telgraph article
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Old Feb 24th 2004, 5:51 pm
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Very interesting read - thanks. I hope I don't fall into the category of "directionless soul"!!

2 years in Australia has been a good experience for our family, especially whilst our children are small, but England is calling us back! It sounds terrible but after a while you stop noticing the blue skies, sea, white sand, I certainly need a more challenging, stimulating living environment.
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Old Feb 24th 2004, 6:37 pm
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Originally posted by Kath
...It sounds terrible but after a while you stop noticing the blue skies, sea, white sand, I certainly need a more challenging, stimulating living environment.
And you don't mean trying to dodge the Box Jellyfish in the the Northern Queensland waters ??
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Old Feb 24th 2004, 7:39 pm
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There is on sadder sight than a Bar full of Drink sodden Ex-Pats- (Whether it be in Benidorm or Bangkok), constantly criticising the UK but secretly wishing they were back.
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Old Feb 24th 2004, 7:47 pm
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Interesting Article Mike, many thanks.

Hope we fall into the "creators and movers" category
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Old Feb 25th 2004, 12:41 am
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Originally posted by Kath

2 years in Australia has been a good experience for our family, especially whilst our children are small, but England is calling us back! It sounds terrible but after a while you stop noticing the blue skies, sea, white sand, I certainly need a more challenging, stimulating living environment.
Substitute the US for Australia and that's how I feel too Kath.
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Old Feb 28th 2004, 7:51 am
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Default Re: When going abroad is only a short hop from going under

This is in total opposite of the original post, coming to a colder climate. I love it here in canada, just as i liked it when i was back in London. Obviously you miss a few things, but that is what a change of environment is all about, we make those choices:

Viewed by many as a safer version of the USA, equipped with all the benefits of the United States - the relative ease of obtaining work permits, low crime and better social security measures, Canada has long been a popular destination with British citizens wanting to move abroad. But what's it really like?

The Advantages

Education: Canada has many obvious advantages for the emigrant Brit. As a single person coming from Britain with a complete academic education you'll find you'll not be lacking in the basics needed to adapt to a new modern society. The education in Canada, linked entirely to the American system and using a majority of American text books, is far more complete than that in Britain. Going to university after 'graduating' from High School is quite the norm, and with student loans and other kinds of public assistance available you'll have more opportunity to progress than you would in Britain.
Employment: For the married couple, with or without children, the availability of good jobs, especially professional, career-based, are quite exstensive. There's always room for one more well qualified and well experienced individual in the three most important work fields: education, health care, and technical. Work outside of these fields is less available, and not well paid.

Environment: Much is said about Canada's climate (8 months good skating - 4 months bad!) but it is still a climate-friendly place to live. The west coast (British Columbia) has a climate much the same as Britain but with long, hot sunny spells, although it does have twice the annual rainfall as Britain does. Ontario has a pleasant climate, as does lower Quebec. All other provinces are prone to arctic-like winters (40c below is not uncommon) with short summers, quick growth spring, and splendid autumns.

Lifestyle: If you have no qualms with American based lifestyle you'll get along famously in Canada. Canadians have a similar American style accent, using most of their terminolgy, expressions, and embracing their interests. Canadian sports are all American - American style football, baseball, ice hockey, with only a token interest in soccer - although interest in soccer (noot called football in North America) is building through 'live' TV games from Britain and around the world. A game relayed on digital TV live from England (Man Utd & Arsenel) captured a bigger TV audience than any other shown in that month last April. Architecture, city planning, day to day lifestyle is virtually American in every aspect. Canadians watch more American TV, per capita, than Americans do! On Canadian digital TV there are 108 channels - only 14 are Canadian, and mostly those are all news stations. Canada actually has a 24 hour a day weather channel. Yeah. Weather - all day long! In a mostly two season country!

Politics: The political landscape of Canada is Liberal - in every sense of the word. Canada is an easy-going, live & let live society, that hinders and hassles no one, and goes out its way to give every small group & cause its big say. There are Conservative parties & governments (Provinces) but even these tory politicians are more liberal than anything close to tory as we know it. There is a sort of, kind of, loosely styled 'labour' political party (New Democrat Party - NDP) but it comes in and goes out as the nation feels it needs to prod its more liberal parties! It is not taken seriously - in the national sense. But politics in general is everything to Canadians.

Overall Canada is listed by the UN (2002) as the best place to live. It offers the working and middle class, middle educated, young modern family the safest environment to live in, in western society. It has a national health system, with university for everyone, and although it has currently 7.5% unemployment it still offers work for all the well-prepared, and the well educated job seeker. There is much to be said for its crime free society (less per capita than the U.K. and way below the U.S.), its laid-back lifestyle, and its quiet, back-water, un-newsworthy worldly existence. Canada also offers the immigrant Brit dual citizenship. After you've lived in Canada a few years, pulled your weight, stayed out of trouble, you can become a Canadian citizen. And you do not have to give up your British citizenship. You are allowed to hold BOTH passports.

The Disadvantages

There are many, and they are all minor, but they add up to a lorry-load of niggly little things that can have you on your way home joining the 8.2% discontented who return to Britain within the first three years. The big one, and the one you must take note of immediately, is: 'do not bring your pride in Britain with you.' Canadians (and Australians) do not like to hear Brits say anything really nice about Britain. If you do you'll get an immediate: 'What the hell are you doin' 'ere then mate', (Australia) or: 'Why the hell come 'ere and start praising the place you just left, eh.' (Canada)!! You'll soon find out it's okay for Australians, Americans, and Scandinavians etc., to praise their homeland and their lifestyle when in Canada- but not if you're a Brit talking about your homeland and your lifestyle. Sadly a lot of Brits look the other way, or even worse join the put-downers and run the old country down. Nothing good to say - then keep it closed.

You'll start doing without a lot of things. There are many food items that you'll not find in Canada, the number one item is tea - as we know it. Black, Indian tea, the kind you're brought up on at home is not readily available. Canada is a one-item one-type country, and they all drink the milder, sweeter, orange pekoe tea. Forget baked beans - as you know them. In Canada it's all US style beans which are overcooked, packed in a tin with a lump of fat, and flavoured with sugar. Everything is 'sweet' in Canada - the pickles, the mustard, and even the cigarettes - Sweet Caporal. There is only one kind of bacon, and that is streaky, which they simply call 'bacon.' Forget full-rasher Wiltshire or Irish back - you'll not find it. Sausages are bland, not like the ones you're used to. You'll never see black pudding, saveloys, or good meat pies again. In Canada it is 'pot pies', round, tasteless things full of bland gravy, peas & carrots. The bread in Canada is made from a different wheat to ours in Britain and therefore comes up very light, full of holes, and tasteless. There are NO toast racks in Canada because their bread just doesn't make toast. Left un-buttered it will go rock hard and snap!

Sports are very American. If you don't like ice hockey, baseball, and grid-iron American style 'football' then you'll have to subscribe to digital TV to get the sports the world plays. Cricket produces an annual put-down on TV (Global & CTV) full of giggling Canadians who think the sport is for fops and played by twits! An Australian national team declined to tour Canada - in case they had too many punchups with the giggling locals! You liked fishing? Coarse fishing? Forget it. It's ice cold, fast flowing, shallow river fishing for salmon only. And not more than a few months a year. Some fly fishing for trout exists, but in boulder strewn, ghostly lookng rivers, a hundred miles from anywhere. A quiet, easy flowing chalk stream is unknown in Canada. Soccer (football) is only a token sport here, not taken very seriously at all. Even Formula One racing gets the 'look at those cars Wayne - all banging into each other' - treatment. They much prefer the US style - akin, but not quite the same.

Brit bashing is not as common as it is in Australia. Any mention on the Canadian TV news about anything British or anything happening in Britain is made with tired, smirky grins, leaving you feeling as if you have come from a third-world country. The monarchy is somewhat of a joke. When Princess Diana died the Canadian government had to force a government official to attend the funeral in London. It tickles their funny bones to poke fun at Britain - never ever at Uncle Sam by the way.

Overall, Canada is no place to emigrate to if you're a proud Brit. If you're ready to be a fence-sitting, prissy-toed, liberal minded, Yank-loving individual who will quickly lose your sense of humour then Canada is made for you. If you are ready to bury your heritage, adopt a new and oh-so laid-back, backpack, water-bottle, power-walking, 'have a nice day' lifestyle, and ready to change the colour of your coat, and give up your British allegiance, and pretend you don't give a damn about Americans while all the time you copy everything they do - then Canada is for you. Canada has a huge mental block about its identity. Tell them they're just like Americans - and they gasp in disbelief. What us, they say. But they'll love you - well, you'll be just above East Indians and just below Chinese, so in the middle of the bottom three most disliked immigrants - ain't bad! And if you loudly disclaim all Britain stands for - they'll love you even more. Can't stand anything about Britain anymore? Then emigrating to Canada might be your best bet.


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Old Feb 28th 2004, 8:55 am
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Default Re: When going abroad is only a short hop from going under

Originally posted by mickj
This is in total opposite of the original post, coming to a colder climate. I love it here in canada, just as i liked it when i was back in London. Obviously you miss a few things, but that is what a change of environment is all about, we make those choices...

mick
That was excellent - you should be a travel journalist

And didn't an American comedian, on visiting Quebec say, while commenting on the French and Canadian influences, "So you're arrogant AND boring!" And didn't he get vilified by the Canadians for that!!

Now how about an article on Australia's 'Canada', ie NZ?

Last edited by MikeStanton; Feb 28th 2004 at 9:01 am.
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Old Feb 28th 2004, 2:40 pm
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Originally posted by JayJay
There is on sadder sight than a Bar full of Drink sodden Ex-Pats- (Whether it be in Benidorm or Bangkok), constantly criticising the UK but secretly wishing they were back.
Yep, seen many on my travels, tucking into pie, chips and mushy peas in some Expat bar!

I lived on Cheung Chau in HK for 6 months and the Expat bar there - Betty's I think was full of them. Lamma Island worse as the yuppie and bohemian's hung out there, so it was tofu and mushy peas!

I still think there is a degree of "Colonialism" in some Expats I have spoken too over the years. That superior attitude and the expectation that everyone should speak English and serve up Pub Grub!

Just my observations - not picking on anyone particular.

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