I’ve always been one to push myself outside my comfort zone, so when the idea to move to Canada popped into my head (despite the thought of moving to the other side of the world, where I knew no one, absolutely terrifying me) I just couldn’t shake it. It’s been a very long and complicated road here, but I’ve finally arrived and it’s been a gloriously wonderful disaster! One of those “how the fuck did I get here; how did things go so wrong that this is now my life” kind of disasters. So much so that I’m seriously thinking it’s time to cut my losses and get the hell out of dodge. I’m not going to leave Canada, but I think it might be time to spread my wings and see what else is out there, and you know, get some of my sanity back!
So… How did I reach this point after a mere two weeks? That I can’t answer, but I can go back to the beginning. I was sitting on the plane in Gatwick having a mild panic attack and messaging my best mate with texts along the lines of “What am I doing!? I can’t do this, I can’t fucking do this. I need to get off the plane and stay in the UK” but despite my complete and utter terror at the prospect of the journey I was about to embark on I managed to refrain from running off the plane like a crazy person who’s just had their underwear set on fire. After all, I’ve never been one to let fear get in the way of living my life, in fact, being afraid of something generally makes me want to do it more. So I stayed put and eight hours later I landed in Toronto, was given a two year work permit and set loose.
The first week was pretty easy and lulled me into a false sense of thinking I actually had this and that everything was going to be easy. I was staying in a nice apartment in a nice part of town. Getting my SIN, my bank account and SIM was easier than back in Australia where I know how things work and then I even found a new place to live a lot quicker than I thought. But that new place was when it all went wrong. The second I walked in I just wanted to bawl my eyes out and go back to where I’d come from, but that wasn’t an option, I’d signed up for a month and already paid. This was going to be my life for the next month and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it, so I walked across the road to the local pub and got absolutely hammered.
The next day I learnt that my new home had more in store for me than the damp meets last weeks curry meets feet smell that hits you like a frypan to the face every time you walk in. It also houses the resident crazy lady, who likes to alternate between scream singing Christmas carols, singing opera, telling people that only she can see to fuck off, slamming doors and announcing she’s just had sex with herself. That was when I had my first “how did my life go so horribly wrong” moment, with my head pounding from all the alcohol I’d consumed the night before, in my stinky basement apartment listening to someone well and truly off their meds I was wondering how’d I’d taken such a massively wrong turn and ended up here.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve lived in worse, been though worse, endured worse, but I hadn’t expected my Canadian apartment to be on par with the third world counties I’ve been to. When cockroaches crawl out the squat toilet and run all over your freshly washed frypan right when you’re about to make dinner in Egypt you kind of expect that. When you go to take a shower in the house you’re living in in Cuba and get electrocuted, you kind of expect that. When you go to the toilet and come face to face with the rat that lives in your bathroom in India you expect that. But I hadn’t expected to be living my very own ‘Girl, Interrupted’ when I decided to pack up my life, give away everything I owned and come to Canada. But you know what, it’s growing on me; it may not be what I expected, it may not be perfect, I may have crazy neighbours, it may not be in the safest neighbourhood and it may stink, but it’s becoming home. After all, if things went perfectly all the time, life would be pretty boring.
It’s only been just over two weeks, and things are starting to come together. I’m starting to figure out how things work here, I’m starting to make friends and I’ve gotten used to my living arrangements. So maybe I’ll stay, or maybe I’ll leave, I still have three weeks to figure that out, but I’m excited for the road ahead.
So if you’re thinking of packing up your life and moving to a new country just do it, I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? Chances are everything is going to work out just fine, and if it doesn’t, just think of the stories you’ll have to tell! It took me right out of my comfort zone, and it was scary, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. And at the end of the day Australia isn’t going anywhere, it’s only a flight (or three) away and I can always go back. So get a visa, book a flight and roll the dice!