Moving to Canada wasn’t my idea. It was my boyfriend’s. Melbourne was pretty awesome as far as I was concerned: we played in a band that was experiencing moderate success, I’d recently joined a women’s footy team (up the Renegades!) and we were blissfully spending the remainder of our 20s going to gigs, eating great food and hanging out with friends.
But then we arrived in west-coast city Vancouver, and now I know why he was so insistent. So, a mere 10 days in, here’s why I’m glad I moved to Canada.
#1 Visas are ageist, and I’m not getting any younger
This was a purely administrative point, but it still played a critical role in why I decided to move to Canada. Like Canada, many countries in the Commonwealth offer easy-to-obtain, cheap working-holiday visas for people under 30. Once you surpass that age, they get increasingly difficult to secure, unless you have citizenship or sponsorship. So we seized an opportunity that might not exist in, ahem, just a couple of years.
#2 The unprecedented natural beauty
All over Canada you can marvel at the natural world. Vancouver sits on the ocean but also at the base of snow-capped mountain; is dotted with vast, clear swimming lakes; turns lush green in summer, and abounds constantly with wildlife. I’ve always grown up in the city, but there’s something mesmerising, exotic, and completely irresistible about being surrounded by the pristine natural world, and Canada has this in spades
#3 Moving my work overseas was an important challenge
Finding work overseas demands boldness, persistence and flexibility. As a freelance writer, it requires me to find suitable places to work, people to interview, publications to pitch to and colleagues to be inspired by (or at least grab coffee with). I believe these challenges pay dividends in terms of resilience and are always good for building a network of diverse, life-long contacts.
#4 For culture’s sake
I love music in Australia. I love art, and reading and food. Ok, and beer. Experiencing all those things overseas diversifies and expands my tastes, knowledge and increases the volume of people I can enjoy them with. I am always intrigued by this when I travel, but it’s kind of on steroids when you commit to living in another city for an extended period of time.
#5 To get some bloody perspective!
Living in Canada very quickly made me reflect on a whole range of things. My work, my home, the things I like doing, the things I don’t like doing, politics and my future; to name just a few. The humdrum of full-time work and life at home doesn’t always allow for that, so I’m grateful for an opportunity to regularly contemplate issues and ideas close to me, but also much bigger than me.
And to think, I’m only 10 days in.
Image Sources: Unsplash, Wordvirus, Tourism Vancouver