Opening a New and Exciting Life Chapter

Moving across an ocean is hard. It’s slightly easier when you know people waiting for you on the other side, but that doesn’t make it any less challenging.

When we left for England, we had no idea what to expect. We didn’t really know anyone on the other side of the pond, and we expected a lot more help from the recruiters than we received. Our first few weeks in England were a blur of panic, trying to make sure we always had a place to sleep before we could get into our apartment (once we managed to find one). But as the months went on, it turned into a journey of discovery. We saw a lot of amazing places and made friends with some truly fantastic people.

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(Our first day in England. No, seriously.)

Unfortunately, England didn’t hold the long-term promise we hoped. For one thing, they treat their teachers dismally. I read headlines now about teachers abandoning the UK in droves and it doesn’t surprise me. They have a lot of unreasonable expectations of teachers. It’s as if they want the public to view teachers as under-worked, overpaid and whiny. But that’s a whole other blog post. England presented other challenges. Our money didn’t go as far, for one. And we lived in a fairly expensive area. We realized too late we had chosen a location too close to London. And there weren’t really options to move elsewhere since hubby had no luck switching jobs.

Don’t get me wrong, we had a fantastic time in England. But we weren’t happy with our living arrangements, future home-ownership prospects, and we hated the work/commute situation. Not to mention the entire immigration process stretched before us (for me for the second time). That’s too many large factors interfering with long-term happiness.

Luckily, when you go looking for opportunity, it often comes knocking. My husband received an amazing job offer that brought us all the way to Canada’s west coast. It meant a longer flight and a lot more to organize, but we greeted the challenge with zeal.

The only thing I remember about our first day back in Canada was how LONG it was. We left London at 7:30 in the morning and arrived in Vancouver ten hours later at about 11:30 the same morning. Sometime around 3 in the afternoon, my brain had some sort of panic about the fact that night no longer happened and we were just dealing with an eternal day situation. Sleep deprivation does weird things to your brain. But a couple good nights’ sleep cleared it right up.

We had little idea what to expect when we arrived at our new destination. To me, the west coast has always invoked images of desert-like climate with little rain or weather deviation. Or Seattle and Vancouver, where I believe it rains eternally. We drove through a few desert-looking towns on our way here. Not very appealing. But we also knew that New Town was a treasured tourist destination both in the winter and the summer (for skiing in the former case and beach-going and hiking in the latter). So we held out hope until we finally arrived in the lake valley where we make our new home.

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(Hello, New Town!)

It is, in a word, wonderful. Full of green spaces and gardens, surrounded by magnificent mountains. The mountains are my favorite, even if they aren’t as spectacular as the mountains we saw in Scotland. All we have to do to be awed is go outside and look up. The mountains wear the seasons each gorgeously, as does the lake. It’s enough to keep my muse alight. It can get oppressively hot in the summer, but it rains a lot in the spring and fall. In the winter it snows, but just a little, and it doesn’t stick around very long. But the snow clings to the mountains, providing that cherished winter ambiance.

We love it.

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My husband loves his new job. We both feel fortunate he found it. We love our new home and its location. We hope to stay here for a long time. We have always said we would go where we had to in order to live our dreams, and we still feel the same way. But we both hope this is the last stop for awhile, the chance to put down roots and really enjoy our surroundings. It’s been a bumpy road, but it’s been worth every moment, especially if we get to call new town forever town.

One Response to “Opening a New and Exciting Life Chapter”

  1. Rachael de Vienne Says:

    I got seriously lost in Vancouver BC once, while attending a conference. But I love the city and BC. The rest of the country is iffy in places, but BC would be a comfortable home.


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