Moving abroad is an exciting thing to do, and it comes with a big learning curve. Things that you didn’t think much about at home now have to be relearned in your new country. Its a roller coaster of a ride with all the ups and downs that come with the experience. The best thing to do is jump in and keep on moving forward with you plans, there is no better experience for learning about a place and yourself than to live there and emerge yourself.
A lot of English people I meet want to know why I would move abroad to England from Canada. I have been fascinated with other cultures, and England for as long as I can remember, it started with a read along book I had about black cabs, a car with flip down seats – so cool. Next came the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana, I was very young but I remember that morning and the excitement of it. What a country; it comes to a standstill to see a prince and princes marry. A country that has princes and princesses, fascinating. To solidify my fascination of all things British was the arrival for the summer of 2 Scottish girls in the neighbourhood… such cool accents.
England is part of the commonwealth, the back of the both the Canadian and British coins have the queens head on it, English is the main language in both countries, the governments have very similar in set ups, so a lot of things are familiar. Yet so much is fascinatingly different, there is so much history in England, old is 2000 years old not 200 years. Houses are mostly made of stone and brick, not wood, cold is -1C, not -10C, the fashion, music and TV are all so different.
Making the Move (if at first you don’t succeed…)
I finally visited England for the first time in 1998, at this point plans for a working holiday were under way so I was on a bit of a recce. After 3 days in London I decided it might be a little intense for me! In the end things with the working holiday didn’t go quite as planned, and I didn’t end up living in England. Over the next 8 years and many more visits to England I learned how to enjoy London (treat each neighbourhood like it’s own village, avoid Piccadilly and Oxford Street if at all possible!).
In 2007 I found myself planning to move abroad to England, this time around I wouldn’t let my plans go off course. It was fast moving, I sold my house, applied for the visa, bought the plane ticket and 7 weeks later I was in London! No job and just a bed in a very crowded hostel. I was so excited with all the possibility ahead of me, all the experiences England had to offer and the adventure ahead.