Well, dear readers. It’s been a hot minute. Where have I been the past few months, you ask? Just living out a lifelong dream of mine! Let me explain.
My husband and I have always said we wanted to move abroad SOMEDAY. That meant when we had kids. When the kids were older. When we were more settled back in our careers. But then something really exciting happened. Last September, hubs went to a work conference in Mountain View and met a fellow VR developer from Montreal, Canada. They hit it off (or whatever, became bros) and kept in touch via Slack after the conference was over. A few weeks later, the same guy posted that his company was hiring and hubs casually mentioned he would like to apply. After a few phone interviews, they actually offered him the job. “How would you like to move to Canada,” he asked me. UM HELLO, of course, I said yes!
Montreal was actually a perfect choice for us for a number of reasons. It’s on the East Coast, close to hubs’ family. We’re also close to our favorite place on earth and good friends in Burlington, Vermont. They are huge on our favorite sports: cross country skiing and hockey! It’s a bigtime foodie city. They have seasons. There’s an international airport. I could go on and on.
So we just basically went for it. (I’m glossing over the long version and will write another post about logistics of moving to Canada in another post.) The visa process wasn’t too bad, the company hubs works for now offered him a two year contract and hired a lawyer to take of everything. Moving from California, on the other hand, was bad. It took six weeks for our furniture to arrive.
But now that’s all behind us and we’re getting settled, we absolutely love it here. Here are a few thoughts on moving to a new country, if you’re thinking about it.
- Just go for it! I can work from anywhere for my job, which makes it a little easier. But don’t worry so much about logistics and everything working out. If you get the opportunity to live in another country, it is probably a chance that won’t come along too often. Why not throw caution to the wind and try it out? The worst thing that will happen is you’ll move back, but at least you’ll have the experience to write home about.
- Learn another language. I took French in high school and college but basically remember nothing. Quebec French is also its own language in itself and has made for some awkward encounters so far. We’ve gotten by because everyone here speaks English but plan to get a tutor or take some classes soon.
- Meeting people is hard. We know no one in this city except my hub’s colleagues. We’ve been going to some meetups casually and I joined a book club, but I know it’s going to take time to establish a solid friend group here. That leads to my next point…
- Working from home is not a good way to meet people. I’ve always met friends through work. Now that I work from home, I’ve been a bit isolated. Working from coffee shops helps me at least have more human interaction. I’m planning to join a co-working space and some other writing groups soon.
- No regrets. Despite some challenges of being in a new place, Montreal is an amazing city and I truly feel like we’ve won the lottery to get to live here. It’s like the people on House Hunters International always say, if you’ve been thinking about moving somewhere new, the time to do it is now. Not someday when you retire. Just figure out a plan and go. You won’t regret it.
Have you ever moved to another country–how did it go?
Have you been to Montreal — send us all your favorite reccs.