This has been the worst kept secret, largely on my part because you can’t get me there fast enough (and it wasn’t really a secret)…but I’m moving to Canada. Yay!
It’s been a long time coming. I almost mic-dropped about 9 months ago after some job contract dramas and an unhappy+stressful living situation. But relationships have always mattered to me and jumping ship and moving another 12,000km from ‘home’ didn’t give me time to leave well. That is, not running away from problems, having others get used to the idea + time to say goodbye and making good decisions about boring stuff like insurance, housing, banking rather than just winging it. (Although there will still be a lot of that!)
I’ve officially given notice to work and I have a schedule so it’s time to press ‘go’.
Unlike the last time I moved away, I’ve given many more of a heads up. If we haven’t spent time together lately, grab yourself a sparkling H2O, Pinot Gris or Noir or a big fat scoop of Messina Gelato and settle in for the conversation we would of had together.
Think of this as my FAQs – because it really is.
As one friend pointed out, it’s essentially a cold Australia. And it’s true. But it has mountains – mountains I can climb in summer and ski down in winter. I want to experience seasons and a winter where i won’t sweat when it’s finally cool enough to wear my largely aesthetic coat collection.
Aside, I’ve always wanted to live overseas for a while. I’ve been out of school for 10 years now and 30 is now not too far away on the horizon. The original thought was Denmark or Norway, before its interior design took over the world. The Scandinavian world has a permanent home on the best liveability scales: education, healthcare, gender equality. Though many faults also, I wanted to know why. But with a bit of research I realised my language skills, or lack thereof, would hold me back significantly. Perhaps a cop out, but I pretty much got through 2 years of German classes from songs and flicking the exam back and forth hoping to figure it out comparing the English-Deutsch and Deutsch-English. I’ve decided, as ethnocentric (and perhaps egocentric) as it is, I’m going to focus my efforts of nailing English only.
So next on the list was Canada.
Where in Canada?
Vancouver. I’d have more job prospects in Toronto, but I spent 10 years living a 6 hour drive from snow, and another 2.5 where it was easier to fly to New Zealand than get to the snow covered hills of NSW/VIC border. Toronto is too far away from mountains. But you never know, I may end up there for the second half of the adventure. I do like me some big cities. We’ll see.
Have you been to Canada before?
Yes. Twice. But not for long. I visited in 2008 for a weekend (from Seattle). We went to the aquarium to see the blubber whales. And again in 2012 for about 10 days split across Toronto (and Peterborough – hey Jen!) + Vancouver, on my 6 weeks travelling through North America.
Do you have a job?
Well that would make it less of an adventure! No. I have started to put out some feelers out but I’m likely going to need to wait until I get over there. I’m keen to stay in marketing within travel / tourism. But again, adventure.
When do you leave?
Short answer: June.
Long answer: I finish work end of May, and start a month of annual leave…which will consist of moving majority of my stuff back to Sydney, a couple of weeks to say hello+goodbye and go to the dentist. I ship off 18 June for a couple of weeks of travel before settling down in Vancouver.
For how long?
I’m thinking ’til about 2020 at this stage – somewhere between 18months and 2 years. I have a 2 year working holiday VISA.
Do you know anyone there?
I’m from a large family and I’d struggle to find a corner of the world we don’t know someone. I have some family in BC and Toronto. But largely, no. I’ll be on friend hunt again.
And after Canada? Sydney or Brisbane?
I have a 2 year plan and about 2 x 15-20year plans. And the latter has more to do with world domination or making a big family really fat. Translation: I have no idea.
I like Brisbane, particularly its laid back outdoor lifestyle, affordable living and 300 days of sunshine.
But I don’t like to lock myself in. My goal in life is to love God with all my heart, with love invite others to experience the joy of a restored relationship with the Creator God + seek to serve him and his church. I tried to do that in Sydney, I have been trying to do that in Brisbane, I will seek to do so in Canada and what ever comes after that.
How do your family feel?
My parents have encouraged us to pursue everything we put our minds to. They’ve also moved a certain sister to 4 cities in 8 years. I’m sure they’d love to find out where their children will settle so they can start research retirement, alas. For the moment they’re more excited for a holiday to Canada under the guise of visiting me.
Are you going to find Canadian man to marry?
Look, i’m sure there are easier ways to find a husband than moving 12,000km away. I’d be lying if it didn’t cross my mind. But I also really like Australia. If I’ve learnt from friends, marriage across countries complicates things.
Another aside…a treat indeed! I don’t talk about this often, or perhaps not in public pixels on the inter webs, but I have always hoped that my life involves sharing it with big fat family (I really love cooking!) I always thought my mum was an ‘older’ mum growing up — and she was 30 when she had me. I laugh at the thought of that now! 10 years on from school, I was going to have a house, a chubby baby and kicking butt in my career. But here I am – a 27 year old Christian lady – putting me at the upper end of the eligible Christian + unmarried spectrum with a strong attendance record at baby-faced Christian weddings. It is hard to not be swayed by the (let’s face it, counter-)culture that surrounds us. I had thought that maybe my near 3 years in Brisbane may have involved a significant relationship and put my back on my unrealistic perfect family + career goal. Alas, it hasn’t. And I’m absolutely okay with that – better than okay really. My time in Brisbane and my life is way more than seeking for a significant other. And Canada will be the same.
But if that happens in Canada, sure. We can look back at this musing and chuckle. Strong. Independent. Loves Jesus. I’m sure there are few of them across the Pacific.
Do you want any contacts for people in Canada?
Yes. If you have a friend / friend of friend in Vancouver, I’d like to have someone to have a drink with once I settle down.
If you have a friend in marketing/professional services, I’m keen to understand the industry a little better. Applying to jobs is different in every city, particularly countries. Recruiter or not? CV formats etc.
When can we see you before you go?
April is a collection of friends + family visiting BNE. May is largely vacant at the moment and will likely involve packing up my awesome apartment + enjoying the last of my time in the Sunshine State.
I plan to be in Sydney from 4-18 June. I’ll probably organise some kind of drop-in drinks thing. I’ll keep you informed.
Beyond that, follow @DiscoverCanada @HelloBC or @VisitAlberta and I’ll see you where the sun shines a little less.
How was the Messina? The vino? I’m off both at the moment, so I would probably be giving you envy eyes if I were with you.
Shoot any other Qs you have and I’ll answer them. One of the hardest things about moving away is losing touch with people I wish i could spend more time with. I hope this helps you feel a little more included in my life. Comment. Email. Facebook. I’m on all the channels. Tell me your news!
BONUS Question not because of the number of people who have asked it, but rather the number of times a few people have asked it.
What about bible college?
It’s crossed my mind. If I were to study, Regent College is the kind of theological study I would do it at. I’m not saying no, but it would also be my entire house deposit…and I’m not quite ready to give that up yet. I need more convincing + vision for what women in the conservative church can do with a theological degree…mic drop and with that I’m out.