1. Where are you from originally?
2. Where do you live now?
Halifax, Nova Scotia
3. What first attracted you to your new home? Did you try anywhere else on the way? Did you move for work or for lifestyle?
We were first attracted to Australia but would have had more difficulty getting in and realised in all likelihood we would have to live off our equity for the first year or two while I became a student. That put us right off so that’s when we looked at Canada.
We never really looked at many places within Canada as the Maritimes appealed to us immediately. Having always lived in a coastal town, I love being so close to the sea – and believe it or not the beaches here are gorgeous. We spend many days in the summer on the beach.
We spent one week here in 2007 (May), doing a reccie, we had job interviews lined up with RBC which went extremely well. We knew straight away we would be really happy here. In many ways it reminded us of home.
We definitely moved here for the lifestyle, Maritimers take a very laid back approach, it’s a much slower pace of life and we find the work life balance is exactly that. Less stressful, less people, (less than a million in the whole province) less traffic, I could go on for a long time!
4. What kind of property do you live in now? Will you stay here? What’s your ideal place to live in within your new country?
We live in a large 4 bed detached house with a basement which also has 2 acres of land. We could never have afforded something like this in the UK in a million years, especially not with the land. But when we moved here the cost of housing compared to the UK was unbelievably cheap and we left just before the crash in the housing market. We will stay here for now but it has always been a dream to build so we will see.
5. Are you speaking a new language? If so, how did you learn?
No new language no but a lot of new phrases and different words for things. Eg. Hood/Bonnett, trunk/boot, highway/motorway etc. Still learning some…Both the children are in French immersion at school though, all their lessons are in French so they will be bilingual.
6. What do you do for a living? Where do you physically work from? Do you work with clients/customers back in your home country or your new one?
What do you do for a living? Where do you physically work from? Do you work with clients/customers back in your home country or your new one?
I now run my own social media company and work from home. Most of my clients are in Canada but I have some in the States and some in the UK.
7. Do you work online? If so, what is the internet connectivity like? What software do you commonly use on day to day basis? What would be your top tip for online working from your new country?
Yes all my work is done online. The internet is good. Connection is high speed. My top tip for online working in Canada is get on social media. It seems to be picking up slower here than in the UK and probably the States (for business)
8. Are you paid in your new home currency or in pounds/dollars/euros? Do you exchange money often? If so, what service do you use?
I get paid by UK clients in pounds to a UK account which we still hold. CAD for Canadian clients and USD for American. We also have a (US) dollar account. I also do some work for itrade $. I don’t exchange money often but if I do I use RBC.
9. Do you have children? If so, how did they adapt to the move? How are their schools? Are they bi-lingual? Are their good future career opportunities within your new country?
Yes, 2 children, they adapted amazingly well. Jumped straight in and never looked back. They are both doing school in French so yes they will be bilingual graduates. Yes the future career prospects here are really good, especially for bilinguals. Plus we are so close to America that there’s every chance they may end up studying in Uni there and working there.
10. Did you bring any pets with you? Or leave any behind? How did this work out?
11. Is your life better than it was before? If so, how?
Yes our life is better. Our lifestyle is better, much less manic, more laid back pace, less stress. Bigger house, more spread out housing, fresher air, brilliant summers (we have a pool) and really cold snowy winters (we have a hot tub), 4 proper seasons, lots of reasons.
12. What are the best things about living in your new country? Has the move been good for the whole family?
The best things are the different things, like ice skating on the lakes in the winter and swimming in them in summer. We do have lovely summers, and the snow is amazing in the winter, snow diving from the hot tub is cool – Canada deals with it well (snow) so things rarely grind to a halt. The beautiful scenery, lovely beaches. Less population, less traffic.
13. What are the most challenging things about moving to and living in your new country?
Most challenging things – landing in a new country and not knowing a single person. Takes some time to start growing roots again and establish friendships anything like you had in the UK. Even finding a decent hairdresser can be challenging. It all just takes time, and then eventually you realize that you feel at home. It took me at least a year to be honest.
14. Are you here for good? If so, why? If no , why not?
Yes we are here for good. The opportunities it gives our children alone would keep us here but we have no reason to go back to the UK. We miss family and friends obviously but I get back once a year so am lucky that way. It’s only a 5 and a half hour flight.
15. Any partings word to people thinking of moving to your country?
Parting words for people thinking of moving to Canada. It really is absolutely beautiful and a wonderful place to bring up your children. So much open space. Someone once said to us, go for it, better to regret the things you did do rather than the things you didn’t. Worst case scenario – if you don’t love it you can always go back. Best case scenario – you will love it as much as we do!
Bex emigrated to Nova Scotia from the UK in 2007 to live the Canadian dream. Following a successful career in banking she now runs her own Social Networking business. A real fun lover and addict of all things social.