Canada is one big country. 🇨🇦
This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
Moving from New Brunswick to B.C. was a big decision that I made because it meant travelling to the other side of the country, as far from home as I could get while still being in Canada.
It has been a crazy adventure filled with incredible hikes, days spent exploring new towns, and stunning ferry rides. Now I'm settled into my new home, and I've definitely learned some lessons along the way.
With more people moving within Canada and exploring the country, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the things I wished someone had told me about the best way to move across the country before I made the journey.
It Will Take You Longer Than A Few Days To Pack
Procrastination got the best of me.
Week after week I would think to myself "I leave soon, I should really start packing." And I never did.
Moving dates creep up fast, and when you're moving across the country you need to be organized. We had to have a yard sale to get rid of all of the furniture because it was so expensive to ship.
In retrospect, I would have got to packing way sooner.
Finding A House Virtually Is Tough
My roommates and I started to get nervous when we still didn't have a place to live and our flights were a month away.
Finding places online, applying to them, and getting in contact with landlords is a bit overwhelming. Then you have to set up virtual showings and Wi-Fi basically always lets us down.
Make sure to do lots of research on your neighbourhood, since you can't go and see it yourself.
We were lucky and found a place we love in a great area, but we were super nervous that it wouldn't turn out that way.
The Cost Of Shipping
I tried to purge my closet, I really did.
Shipping costs were still high though, and unfortunately unavoidable. I went with Air Canada Cargo and luckily everything arrived safe and sound.
The First Week Is Hectic AF
I made three trips to IKEA in the first week. That pretty much says everything you need to know.
It's all unpacking, putting things together, and organizing. You are literally setting up your entire life, so it gets really crazy fast.
Make sure to schedule time off work and keep your calendar empty from seeing people so you have a chance to run around.
If you're starting a new job (like I did!) make sure to take some time to get settled in first. That was the best thing I did!
You Should Give Yourself Time To Adjust
Before I moved, I had a super long list of everything I wanted to do. Moving far away means that there are tons of new activities, restaurants, and destinations. I wanted to see and do everything as soon as I landed.
I booked a camping weekend in Tofino for my second week here, which was incredible but I was really busy, too. I had to remind myself constantly that I can't see everything I want to in the first week, or month, or even year.
You've got to give yourself time to settle in. Don't forget to relax, because you're not just visiting.
I recommend making a calendar with all of the things you want to do in your new home, so you're not in a rush to do them and you still get to explore everything.
It Will Feel Like A Different Country
The other side of the country might as well be the other side of the world when you're talking about Canada.
Because Canada is such a massive country, a new place can feel like a totally different climate with a diverse range of people and activities. The culture as a whole here is strangely different, in a way I wasn't expecting.
You'll Get Lost A Few Times
My first few weeks were filled with wrong turns and people honking at me. It takes a while to get your bearings in a new area.
I can finally say that I know how to get to my gym without Google Maps now, which feels like a huge accomplishment for some reason.
It's Not So Easy To Go Home For A Visit, Or Even Call Home
Again, Canada is HUGE.
I've lived outside of the East Coast before, but it was always a quick plane ride home. Now though, it's an expensive ticket and a whole travel day.
This also means a time difference — for me, it's four hours. It's way harder than I expected to coordinate Facetime calls back home to the family. It makes visits that much more special though!
It Will Be So Worth It
Moving across Canada has been the best choice I've ever made. It's an amazing way to experience something new and push yourself completely out of your comfort zone.
They call it Beautiful British Columbia for a reason, and it hasn't disappointed.
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