12 years

Toronto Skyline

During January, I will be posting (tentatively) one post every day as part of the #bloganuary challenge
Today’s Prompt: Write about a challenge you faced and overcame.

Since it’s gonna be my Canadian Birthday on the 16th (12 years here there) I’m gonna talk about immigration. I think it was a challenge that started way before I actually moved to Canada with all the preparation, years before, studying French 5 days/ week / 2 hours each day for 2 years to get extra points in the process, all the preparation to apply, the actual process that takes forever (it’s even longer now), the interview, all the stress when you kind of put all your eggs in one basket. To me, staying in Brazil was never an option. Not being accepted in the immigration process was also not an option. And even tho I spent years researching, planning and executing the plan, there’s always the human factor. It’s not a math test.

And ALL that was only the beginning.

The real deal starts when you get there. I need to say that I was lucky enough that everything went absolutely well for me, but even though, it’s challenging. You are in a new country, speaking a language that is your second or third one. You don’t know anyone, you have no connections, you have no references. You have no credit.

Everything is different. From the brand of coffee you were used to buy to the ticketing system to use the public transportation.

Of course, being from Brazil several of the brands we have in Canada I was used to have there too, but not everything. So, you are alone, and you need to find a place to live, a new job, a new bank. You need to learn how to move in the (gigantic) new city (Toronto has about the same population Recife has and it’s way easier to move around but it’s also way bigger in terms of area).

I had one person I knew from high school (and his wife) living in Toronto who said I could stay with them until I could find a place for myself. So I stayed with them for about two weeks, rented a basement and went job hunting. I found a job in a couple of weeks (the fact that I used to speak 3 languages helped), and I had to commute for 3 hours everyday.

But things worked out. It was challenging, it was part luck, part being in the right place, part hard work, but everything worked out and that was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

So, cheers, to 12 years of the best life I could ask for and many many more to come.

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