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Settling in Canada.

The Pursuit of Something.

What makes us move across oceans to another world? A world so different from the comforts of our home? Is it a better life? Professional pursuits? The itch to travel and explore? A life partner? Whatever maybe the reason, it takes some courage to pack your home and hearth and move to a new continent. Physically your airplane might take you places. But what about your heart and mind you ask? They definitely take more time to move than a 9 or 16 hours journey. One such journey I embarked on was the move to Toronto, Canada.

The Settling in.

I was lucky to have arrived into my aunt’s cosy home in Mississauga, but the initial days in any new country are challenging. There’s adjusting to the weather, particularly, since I arrived in January in Canada, in the dead of winter. I have fond memories of trudging to the local library and mall to apply for a few interviews and to look around shops. Eventually I landed with my current role and moved close to my workplace. Canadians are wonderfully supportive people. They also have a whacky sense of humour. This just makes transitions slightly easier. I found an airbnb apartment to live not too far from my new workplace and decided to begin my new journey. It was a lot of hard work. New workplace, new culture, new people, and a lot of  paperwork to be sorted. But it was always one step at a time. All this was also to be managed on a tight budget until there were proper financial savings. The first wintry season was indeed adventurous.

The Sleeping with a Smile.

Then came along beautiful spring, summer and autumn, all three seasons  which left me spellbound. Life moved on at a quicker pace. There were tons of travel and socializing. There was a lot of exploring new things Toronto had to offer. Whether it was library language sessions, botanical parks, museums, I lapped it all up. Familiarizing oneself with one’s new home city is vital. A few key pointers to take home: –

– Find a mentor if it interests you. Someone with experience could be a great guide.

– Do some research on Financial saving plans and taxation.

– Join a meet up group where you can meet like-minded people following similar passions.

– Volunteer. It is the best way to give back to your new community.

– Donate. You may realize that you sometimes have too many worldly possessions. Let someone else make better use of it- if it makes you happy to do so.

– Make time to form new bonds. This is really important from the perspective of making new friends while you may miss people from your home country.

– Visit local festivals, parks, museums and get to know the culture of the place. This will help you to understand the new people and also have conversations with locals easily.

– Sign up for a new language course. Nothing is as exciting as learning a new language. It is okay to struggle and okay to feel ‘slow’. All learning is good learning.

– Brush up your knowledge on your work subject matter. Discuss on online forums.

– Find a community center or some recreation center to pursue the sports you like. After all, health is wealth.

All the above need some time and dedication. But if you believe in some things, nothing should stop you really.

Finally, the Arrival.

And finally one year and six months later, I feel a little more ‘settled’ but there’s so much to do and a long way to go. Nothing is constant but change, as they say. Life for oneself and life of the people around us is perpetually changing. But if our roots are strong, it does not matter where we fly.

PS: – This post is dedicated to all the newbies who arrived in Canada between 2017 and now. Stay humble, stay grounded. Embrace the new and always remember the old. Laugh like the Canadians. Laugh with the Canadians. Learn to say sorry more often and learn to embrace all weathers!

Author: Priya Prabhu. Priya is from Mumbai, India and currently lives in Canada. Former Londoner, travel blogger, glass painter, voracious reader, sassy sister, doting daughter and an IT professional best describe as to what she has made herself to be today. In her own humble words – Traveling to 23 countries across the world so far hasn’t changed her values, but certainly changed her perceptions about things. She can be reached at [email protected]


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