9 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Moved Across Canada
Planning a move? 🇨🇦
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. over two years ago was a big decision that paid off. Going to the other side of the country meant saying goodbye to the East Coast and embracing the adventures of the West.
It was a wild adventure filled with countless views, days spent exploring little islands, and memories that will stay with me forever. It wasn't without its struggles though, 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 at the start of my journey.
It will take longer than a few days (or weeks) 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 last-minute 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 is eye-watering
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, but it definitely was a hit to the bank account.
Get rid of whatever you can, and try your best to pack light.
The first week is so hectic
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 with likely no community around to help, so it gets really busy 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!
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 also draining. I had to remind myself constantly that I couldn't see everything I wanted to in the first week, 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.
Almost everything feels different
The other side of the country is far when you're talking about Canada.
A new place often means a different climate, landscape, and lifestyle. Being in B.C. was strangely different at first, and it took me a while to get my bearings.
Try to enjoy all the differences, big and small (like less snow!).
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 understand your surroundings in a new area.
About a month in I was proud of the fact that I knew how to get to my gym without Google Maps — take the small wins when you can.
It's not so easy to go home for a visit, or even call
Again, Canada is huge.
I've lived outside of the East Coast before, but it was always a quick plane ride home. Out in B.C. though, it's an expensive ticket and a whole travel day.
This also meant a time difference — for me, it was four hours — which made it way harder than I expected to coordinate Facetime calls back home to the family.
It will be so worth it
Moving across Canada was one of the best choices 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 didn't disappointed.
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