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Decisions, decisions...

Anyone else been through this?

Have I made the right choice? Homesickness etc.

Anyone else been through this?

Postby emperor_penguin » Sun 10 Aug 2008 16:24 GMT

Hello all,

I'm making a seperate post elsewhere to ask for advice as to my options for a possible emigration to Canada, (I don't want to make work for the moderators who are clearly doing a sterling job!). This post is going to be quite long, and for that I apologise, but I really need to get all this out of my system and look for a bit of moral support.

My situation is that I am 21, have just graduated with a first in medieval history from a UK university, and have wanted to move to Canada for a long while, since I was 13 at least. (I know that sounds young, but that's how much I love Canada I guess!!). From my point of view, it seems to me that the U.K can offer little to me that Canada can't, and (and I hope here others can empathise) I shudder at what I see here in the UK. Apart from the obvious things, like the yob culture, its the entrenched selfishness and enshrinement of a "greed is good" culture over here that makes me feel like the UK is no longer somewhere I want to belong to.

Add to that the fact that, if Government announcements are to be believed, I'm likely to be working till I'm 70 with little hope of a decent pension (assuming it isn't legally robbed as has already happened to some over here thanks to governmental mismanagement) and the fact that I can't see myself ever being able to pay off anything but the most tiny of motgages, plus a huge cost of living that will probably get worse as I take on more financial commitments, voting with my feet seems to be the most sensible option. After all, I take the attitude that if you don't like something, and you have the opportunity to change it and escape from it, to not do so would be foolhardy.

The final straw for me came earlier this year when my uncle in the North of England, who was just getting back on his feet from a major surgical operation on a life-threatening condition, was attacked by a group of yobs outside his post office. They started by waterbombing him as he was queing up outside, and when he asked them politely to stop, he was set on by a gang of 30 or so, and beaten to within an inch of his life, and his car smashed up while he was robbed. He is paralysed in his right arm, can't walk unaided and will need significant care for the rest of his life. None of the gang were caught, predicatbly.

This seemed to confirm everything that most depresses me about the UK, and I really worry for the quality of life of any future children I have, raising them in the UK. What's wrong with people here? The UK just doesn't seem to have a majority of people living in it anymore with a social conscience; at the very least there's a worrying societal breakdown.

So, from then on I set out to research how to make my dream a reality. I've been researching about immigration for the last few months, researched various provinces, and read up on Canadian history to try to gain an appreciation of Canadian mindsets and mentalities, cultural references and the like. I've always loved Canada's natural beauty, I constantly hear about the warmth of Canadians and their devotion to simple things we don't see much here in the UK any more (like politeness!), and it has always seemed like a place I could fit into. Over the years, the more I've seen, the more I've wanted to emigrate.

My problem is that my girlfriend of 2 years whom I've known since childhood, love dearly and can see myself marrying, simply doesn't want to go, and keeps telling me point blank that everything will be just the same as the UK anywhere else, despite having never even looked at living abroad, and knowing virtually nothing about Canada of many countries abroad. She's just incredibly pessimistic and cynical about it, and it gets me down. Granted, she says that if she were to have children, she'd want to be close to her family when it came to raising them, but when I point out that another country would offer them far better opportunities, she just shoots down the idea without even considering it, despite the fact that I know that many many people, for example on this board, are emigrating for exactly those reasons, family life. Try as I might to convince her that there are many, many places in the world where things can be better than the UK, she doesn't seem to want to believe me, and ignores all the evidence.

I know that opportunities don't come twice, and I worry that if I give in to her I'll end up never leaving the UK and trapped in a country I feel miserable in because there will come a time when it's too late to emigrate; we could have too many financial commitments etc.

I'm saying this honestly; if it wasn't for her I would have put in the paperwork to emigrate long ago, but I knew back then that I loved her and didn't want to leave without her. The thought of emigrating, never mind doing it, and leaving loved ones and friends behind is an emotional rollercoaster in itself, never mind the thought of splitting up with your significant other and going through the whole process alone. I just feel terrible, really torn up inside about this, and I'm just wondering whether any of you folks here have been through the same? I'm feeling really, really guilty, yet part of me just wants to go for it before it's too late. Do you think I'm being selfish, or should I follow my dream? Are my sentiments about the UK misplaced, do you think I'm being rash or sensible?

The biggest question of all perhaps is this; is it better to emigrate to Canada sooner in life (as I suspect) or later, and do any of you who've made the move regret not coming sooner?

I apologise profusely for the length of this post, and would be very grateful for any and all guidance people could offer. This is an emotinal minefield at the minute and I need to make the right decisions, never mind the fact that even if I do apply, it will take about four years minimum most likely to get PR status; to my mind time is of the essence...

Regards,

Emp.
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Postby Kay » Sun 10 Aug 2008 16:50 GMT

Hi Emp

Welcome to the forum. It's a real dilemma, but you're not alone. It's not unusual for one spouse to want to leave and the other to stay. Is there any chance of you and your girlfriend having a holiday in Canada together? She might then be more likely to see the advantages of moving if she'd seen the place and what it could be like to live there.

Sorry I can't help much - and I don't live in Canada - but I do sympathise and wish you well.

Of course, as you're aware, it's not a quick or easy process to emigrate to Canada anyway. You could start the process and see how you feel a year or so down the road.

Personally, I think your girlfriend is being selfish - she should at least consider the idea of emigration and discuss it with you. If you are thinking of having a future together your overall aims and objectives need to be compatible. I think you should go for your dream, but that's easy for me to say. But you're only 21, why make commitments now that will affect the whole of the rest of your life? Imagine the regret you might feel in 20 or 40 years time if you're still in the UK and never tried to achieve your dream.

Good luck!
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Postby carolinedraper » Sun 10 Aug 2008 17:06 GMT

I have to agree with Kay (mind you I usually do), your wants and needs in a life long partnership have to be along the same lines, somethings can be compromised on others cannot.

I was all for emigrating back in 2001 but knew hubby was not ready, and so although I talked about it with him, and we both trawled the internet together looking at houses, it was always, a "nice idea" or "maybe one day", and I was happy with that compromise as at least he was discussing the idea.

Then soemthing happened, just a small thing that normally would not have even been noticed, but it made him say he was tired and cried. It was then that he had had enough and that was that.

We have 2 kids and third on the way. We love Canada and love the upbringing our children are having. We would not swap it.
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Postby Graeme » Sun 10 Aug 2008 21:19 GMT

Hi Emp:
I moved to Canada in my 20's and have never regretted it, looking back I can't see how I could have made a better decision. I was back to the UK this year and again it was brought home to me how difficult life has become there for the average Joe. My wife was a little reluctant at first but now wouldn't live back in the UK either, I guess some of that depends on where you live in the UK, but generally life in Canada offers more opportunity and a more secure future.
You may also find that even though the woman you are with now is the love of your life that may change, especially if your ultimate goals are not the same. You are young, the future is ahead of you, make your plans and if you find she doesn't fit into them then you will have another decision to make. Just because you've been with some one so long, doesn't mean you have to stay with them, there's plenty more fish in the sea, and the girls out here seem to love the British accent anyhow.
Good luck.
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Postby anon7656 » Sun 10 Aug 2008 21:25 GMT

Hi EP,

Don't worry my friend you are not alone.
I am in my mid 30s, been with my wife since Uni aged 20, 2 kids and all that......

As many on here will know I am desperate to get out the hell hole that the UK is becoming, however much like your girlfriend my wife thinks that nothing would change and refuses point blank to discuss moving to Canada(or any other country)

Like Caroline I am waiting for "something" to change that but it may never happen....I have also toyed with the idea of doing a A-Team style "BA" on her(you may be too young to remember that) but not the best(or legal) idea!

So I drop it in every now and then, take my chances when bad news hits the UK to tell her how much better a life we and kids would have away from the UK and hope that one day she will just crack!!

I think your options are much, much wider than mine. Not meaning to sound callous but you are young, unmarried and no kids....not the best situation but you do have that option which many like myself do not.

I wish you good luck, keep us up to date with your progress and if you come up with a sure fire way to convince your other half do share!!
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Re: Anyone else been through this?

Postby jessica » Sun 10 Aug 2008 23:39 GMT

emperor_penguin wrote:After all, I take the attitude that if you don't like something, and you have the opportunity to change it and escape from it, to not do so would be foolhardy.


yes yes yes

So, from then on I set out to research how to make my dream a reality. I've been researching about immigration for the last few months, researched various provinces, and read up on Canadian history to try to gain an appreciation of Canadian mindsets and mentalities, cultural references and the like.


good for you!

My problem is that my girlfriend of 2 years whom I've known since childhood, love dearly and can see myself marrying


My first husband was like that.

Sorry to be blunt and yes, cynical, someone else said it above, you are so young. As you said too, it takes four years to apply, heaven knows what'll happen then. As someone else said, you are at a perfect age and time of your life, young and free from ties.

I know that opportunities don't come twice, and I worry that if I give in to her I'll end up never leaving the UK and trapped in a country I feel miserable in because there will come a time when it's too late to emigrate; we could have too many financial commitments etc.


If you don't at least have a go, you will regret it. My parents-in-law said exactly the same when they found out about our plans, they didn't go way back whenever "because of his mother". And boy, do they regret it now.

Maybe I'm the odd one, but emigrating isn't a stress, I don't miss my folks at all. I miss hedges and badgers and silly stuff like that.

I don't think you're being selfish. I say go for it. If you plan to go through the long process then you've time to start planning where to go, start learning french (opens up lots of job doors) and planning helps with the culture shock too.

Also, you can apply; it takes four years, and then you have a year to take up your visa. You only need to pay one of the fees up front so if you do change your mind, have you lost too much? And if you take your time, then 'er indoors may come round or at least, have thought about it.

Of course, it's not all good here, the driving's terrible, people are rather materialistic and narrow-minded, but on the whole, life is MUCH better.

My husband says: at the age of 21, he was offered a job in Texas, umm-ed and ah-ed and went and had the time of his life. After 6 months it fell through and he found himself back in the UK a much wiser person. Then he got a job in Ohio, he was there for 2.5 years and again the job fell through. It's all enriching life experience and here we are, forty years old (ack, really) living in Canada, no mortgage, our own detached house, swanky toyota van all paid for - he says, go for it. If you don't you will regret it for the rest of your life. It's unfortunate if your Significant Other doesn't have the imagination to see that this could be a great adventure, nobody says it's got to be permanent. His boss (from Coventry) got his PR, now he's Canadian, but over the last 15 years, he's moved everything back to Britain twice. Nothing's set in stone. At your age, come over. Get a work visa, find a temporary job, PNP and have a good time.


Good luck mate.
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Postby john5655 » Mon 11 Aug 2008 02:39 GMT

Hi emp

I left UK at the age of 22, and am still living away but returning to visit family

every visit is another reminder of why I left

I fully support the views of all those above, but please remember, there's no guarantee you'll like things in Canada, much as many of my contemporaries failed to make the adjustment to life here in Hong Kong

also, seems on the face of it you will not qualify for skilled worker entry without work experience, so why not use another opportunity to visit and work in Canada for a year under the BUNAC scheme?

check it out...
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Postby emperor_penguin » Mon 11 Aug 2008 10:26 GMT

Just wanted to say thanks for the welcome, replies and support. I'll look into the BUNAC scheme as well as getting a temporary work visa; John's right, I currently don't qualify as I need either work experience or a job offer so I might as well kill two birds with one stone and try to get the Canadian work experience employers over there need to see on the CV.

Converting a history degree to something directly useful might need a bit of thought, but I've been looking in to doing research and jobs involving and using research skills, and by this time next year I should hopefully have an MA which might improve my research credentials a bit. But one big plus I have got is that I'm a linguist: granted, my strongest language is German, but while I have a German A level I also have French A/S and I need both for the Master's course I'm doing so I'm positive I'll be able to use them to my advantage in Canada if I get back up to speed (particularly with the French of course).

On the girlfriend front, I've been dropping hints whenever I get a chance for a number of months now, so I'll continue that and see if I can maybe book us some budget flights over there for a break. And then turn on the charm offensive :lol:

Thanks again for the welcome, and I'll definitely be keeping you posted! All the best folks,

Emp.
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Postby Kay » Mon 11 Aug 2008 11:25 GMT

Good luck with it all!

I expect you've probably already found it, but just in case you haven't - we have a section on the main site which you might find helpful:

http://www.britishexpat.com/Canada-Wise.220.0.html
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Postby squeekyclean » Sat 6 Sep 2008 00:31 GMT

Hi there, we may be a bit late reading/replying to your posting. But these are our thoughts. We moved here a few months ago after waiting for the gruelling process for our visas to end. We left for the same reasons you listed. We have two young children and were really worried what future they had in England. We didn't want them to be influenced by the youth culture that exists there. The news depressed us and we decided to quit moaning about it and leave. My hubby had asked me years ago. I had refused point blank thinking I always wanted to be near my Mum. Then I had children. It all changed. You start looking to the future, their future. And yes, what on earth shall it be like for us when we are old in England. The tide has turned and it is too late to revert the damage.
There are the same issues here, we feel but to a lesser degree. We sought a time warp. Sometimes that works to our benefit, other times conveniences we were used to don't exist. But we still believe we have made the right decision. We are/have experienced trials and some days we ask ouselves..'did we do the right thing?'. Then something like your email confirms our reasons for moving.
I feel so sad for England/UK the great place that it was. It is terrible that my nan, who always used to say she'd die for her country says she would not give you 2p for it now! The Canadians are more polite and more laid back. The towns less so. But that's towns for you. COuntry living here is affordable and commutable and you get all the benefits of small town/village peace and community. Life can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. You can still become consumed by greed if you chose to take advantage of the 'more for your money' factor here. Not everything is cheaper, by the way!!
We have been greeted by 'true' Canadians, most of whom have said things like 'welcome to our wonderful country, Canada' like they were rehersed. But it was their pride speaking. We found that refreshing and encouraging.
Ask your girlfriend to visit the place out of respect for your dreams. Maybe I'm a little old fashioned but when you become a couple/get married it is to become one with that person. Not to abandon your family but to commit to your partner and their dreams and one day it becomes about your children. Nothing changes your perspective like children. The wait for your visas is dreadful, so apply asap. Once you decide to 'go' that's all you want to do. We wasted a year talking about it. Live life, even if it means having regrets. Be bold and decisive. Life passes by so quickly. Especially once you hit 30!
All the best.
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Postby maia » Wed 3 Dec 2008 20:55 GMT

at age 22, and as long as it's still running, you should qualify to get a year long temporary working visa via the BUNAC scheme - maybe try that route and live out there for 12 months to get an idea of what it might be like? of course, that's if she's willing to compromise... good luck with whatever you decide!!

:)
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update

Postby emperor_penguin » Fri 17 Jul 2009 22:19 GMT

Hi guys,

First of all I'd like to say thanks to everyone who very kindly shared their thoughts with me. Since I last posted a lot's happened. For one, I'm now looking to emigrate to Canada under the skilled worker category as an archivist. In order to do the postgraduate course to become an archivist however, I need work experience, and I've got a job doing that for the next 12 months. And on the lovelife front things have changed too; I've met a wonderful girl who came over from Canada to Britain a few years ago, and she really wants me to go over there and see the country for myself, which I'm hoping to do as soon as I've saved enough money.

All of which leads me to a question (which I hope won't cause the moderators here any trouble, it just seemed logical to post it here, really). I'm wondering whether the work experience I'm doing over the next 12 months will count towards my eligibility to emigrate (i.e gain me 15 points) or not. The ambiguity is that it's 12 months paid work in, and relating to, an occupation in the skilled worker category (archivist), and certainly from a course eligibility point of view I wouldn't be able to take a qualification without it. But, although it's work within one of the professions, I won't be doing it as a qualified archives professional, so I'm not sure whether it would count or not. Obviously I really hope it will, because if it does then by this time next year I'll be eligible, points wise, to emigrate, but I thought I'd ask as I'd hate to get my hopes up. Anybody got any thoughts? Thanks guys, and hope you're all well,

Emp.
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Postby carolinedraper » Sun 19 Jul 2009 02:11 GMT

As far as I am aware you will gain points under adaptability - you may get something under work experience but they will award under adaptability.
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Postby Buddyboy » Wed 22 Jul 2009 14:16 GMT

Emp: In reading this thread, it's unclear if you have yet been to Canada on a visit? Doing so would really put a lot of things in perspective. At least you no longer have another half who wants no part of it. Speaking for me, my wife and I visited Canada and both fell in love with everything about it. We have been here for 34 years now with absolutely no regrets or disappointments. The many reasons we left the UK back than have multiplied over the years. You described them very well.

Good luck.
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Postby mprezza700 » Fri 24 Dec 2010 08:01 GMT

Hi emp,

How has it been since your last post? Have you visited Canada yet?
Everyone's perception is different, but like someone said here, there is crime here too and there are car accidents and there are many many things you may not be able to deal with. Therefore, the deciding factors for moving should be things that cannot be changed, i.e. mentality, climate, multiculturalism etc. and where these things suit you better.

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