Sunday, April 18, 2010

Giving Notice

Robert and I handed in our notices this week, Robert on Thursday and myself on Friday. Unlike Robert, I had been stressing over the moment I would officially say goodbye to a job I love and tell friends I work with that I will be leaving in a few weeks.

I know it came as a shock, there were a few tears and hugs and a huge weight lifted from my shoulders, I hated not being able to tell the people closest to me about our plans.

I will definitely miss you (you know who you are) but looking on the bright side you will have a place to stay when you come visiting on your hols.

Rob was told by his boss that should he return he could have his old job back, which I thought was very nice of them.

Where it began in Earnest…

In early 2007 Robert and I visited the Emigrate Show at Sandown Park for the first time. So much information all in one hit, but we soon got an idea of what the process entailed and how long it would take. We downloaded the forms and started the process. Calculating our points, based on education and employment skills. We sent off our money order and then waited……Approximately a year and a half.

During 2008 Robert and I took a trip to Alberta, having listened and talked with people at the Emigrate show we believed that Alberta was the place to be. We spent some time with the relocation guys out there who showed us around and also took full advantage of seeing the sights of the Rockies and the Ghost Towns. I loved the whole area, but we were both unconvinced that living in or around Calgary was within our financial reaches. Up to this point we had ruled out Nova Scotia out as a viable option until we got ourselves more established, thinking that the job market was non-existent.

After the year and half was up, we were then told to send all the required documentation, which we had diligently collected over time, the documents included a police check on both of us, birth certificates, marriage license educational certificates, you name it they wanted it. Most had to be copies and notarized and all had to be present and precise.

Then we waited again for about a year, thinking for sure we had balls up somewhere.
During this time we went another Emigrate show and this time thought more seriously about Nova Scotia as a potential home. We found out from Mike and Orla of UK2Nova Scotia that the housing market was way more affordable and that jobs (although fewer) were there.

After the year was up we were asked to go for a medical, more money, and a stressful morning for me later, we were done. We were advised that the waiting time would be another 3 months before we would hear back.

Well it only took around 4 weeks and we had notification through the post that we were to send off our passports for our Visas (more money of course had to be sent).

We were now just one step away from becoming officially Permanent Residents.

The visa is valid for one year from the date of the medicals; you must land during that year or face starting the whole process again. You don’t have to stay when landing but you must land. So that’s what we did in June 2009, we went for one week and landed officially, of course with a ton of paperwork which is required stating all the stuff you are bringing with you and all the stuff that is to follow later. (Making that list was no mean feat I can tell you!)

We had prepped before the visit, CV’s in hand again and networked with people in our relevant fields. We made some good contacts and will wait and see what comes of them.
We also applied for our Residents Cards, which we had sent to our friends, who kindly sent them on to us. Seeing them come through the post was a pretty proud moment. All the waiting and the endless paperwork had finally paid off.

So once the house and the cat are packed up we will be off to start a new life, I am under no illusion it will be easy, and everyday the thought terrifies me, we might succeed, we might fail, but ultimately I would rather try and fail than live a life of regret thinking what might have been!

There’s more to Canada than Toronto

During the 1993 trip dad and I had visited other friends in Vancouver, yet another beautiful city with some amazing surrounding scenery. In between other foreign trips Robert and I returned to Canada, visiting Toronto and Niagara again as well as Ottawa, Qu├ębec and the 1000 Islands, all of which were fantastic. We experienced white water rafting in the Ottawa Valley…Scary Oh yes!

Just in case you are wondering, this is not us! My video is still sadly on video tape!

The idea of living over there was again at the forefront of my mind and really took off when in 2005 we visited Nova Scotia for the first time. We traveled extensively around Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI. I had never felt more depressed leaving a place than when returning home from that trip. I felt that I had found my Nirvana; We fell in love with the people and the Maritimes, but especially Nova Scotia.

That was it, Rob and I were now of the mind that we were going to try and make the dream a reality. We both loved what we saw and the way of life.

Returning in 2006 we took a bunch of CV’s with us and handed them in to job agencies all over Halifax in the vain hope some nice employer would sponsor us to work for them…. Quite clearly we were clueless.

The Seed was Sown…

Way back in 1992 my father and I took a trip to visit family friends in Toronto. It was the first time I had crossed the Atlantic or seen our friends since I was a little girl. Even though the weather was freezing, as it was February, we received a warm welcome and were shown around the sights. As well as the city itself we also went to Niagara, which at that time of year is truly spectacular. After a brief stay I was hooked and all I could think of was getting back there and staying there.

Whilst cleaning out the loft recently I found a copy of the original enquiry letter I sent to Canada House asking how I should go about emigrating, that letter was dated 1992. Of course at the time I had a low paid job, I was living at home with my dad and pretty much zero chance of making it through the application process.

Dad and I returned again that summer on a whistle stop tour of the USA, starting and ending with our friends in Toronto.

The following year in 1993, Robert and I went over and visited with our friends again, by this time they were probably sick of the sight of us!

And then life settled down, and my dreams faded somewhat, but never once did they disappear. I think if you really know me, you will know that once I have an idea I very rarely let it go, and will do my utmost to see it through.

Unbeknownst to me many years back before we had met, Robert had also entertained the thought of heading overseas to Canada. His Mum had visited the country and encouraged his idea at the time, again, circumstances changed for him and he remained in the UK.

Dad and I at Niagara, 1992

The American Falls, Niagara 1992

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