- Canadians love the British accent…… A lot.
I don’t think I have ever said more than one sentence to a Canadian before being interrupted with an excited:
“I love your accent!”
“Wow, I could listen to it all day!”
“I wish I could record it and play it every night while I fall asleep”
(All things that have actually been said to me.)
- It’s true what they say. Canada is really really really cold.
OK so I did (kind of) understand what I was getting myself in for when I decided to move to Canada and plenty of people warned me. I must have received 15 pairs of gloves for Christmas before I left. However, it is SO much colder than my poor English soul could have imagined. When a “feels like -15” wind hits you unexpectedly as you walk down the street, it takes all you can muster to not scream out loud in public and cower in a ball covered in frozen tears.
- Canada is the ultimate destination for space, nature and beauty.
Yes, England is beautiful. There are rolling green hills and incredible historical landmarks to enjoy – But you have to be a borderline millionaire to truly own decent living space. If you are earning the average wage in the UK, you have to contend with the greyness of English buildings, sky, roads and pavements as far as the eye can see, paired with the delight of your bathroom window basically touching the next house’s – Canada definitely wins!
With a population just a fraction of the UK, and so much more space, I feel like detached houses are easier to attain, with spacious back yards and trees, trees, trees. I feel like the air is cleaner to breathe, even in the cities, and I cannot WAIT to explore further West (particularly Banff) where nature truly is winning.
- Canada, eh.
Canadians really do say ‘eh’ a lot. They don’t know they’re doing it and most of the time deny it, but it is a fun game to point it out every time they do.
*Be aware, ‘eh’ing is very addictive and I have definitely started saying it now too.
- Language Barriers: The struggle is real.
Since living in Canada, I cannot believe the difference in our two nations’ vocabularies. I knew the obvious ones: trousers vs. pants, queue vs. line, suncream vs. sunscreen, holiday vs. vacation, knickers vs. panties… But there are SO many more!
I have lost count of the embarrassing times I have said something and been met with confusion and then absolute mockery.
I have begun to understand how dated and ridiculous some British words are. For example, ‘dressing gown’ – Really? (For Canadian readers, this would be the ‘house coat’). Who do we Brits think we are, the duchesses of our living abode, wearing our house gowns gracefully sipping our tea? When I’m wearing mine I usually have my hair scrapped in a messy bun, shuffling around the house half asleep whilst spilling my cereal down myself. Definitely not glamorous.
- I make Canadian drivers angry.
So I thought that a speed limit meant just that: A limit. The maximum speed you are allowed to go up to. Turns out if you dare to drive at the speed limit in Canada, you will soon have a line of about 10 trucks angrily glaring at you through their windows and overtaking you as if you are a blind 80 year old driving at a snail’s pace. Lesson learnt.
- Canadian food is great!
OK so no other world food can replace the giant English Yorkshire Pudding soaked in gravy covered in roast beef at the all-you-can-eat Toby Carvery, however I have been pleasantly surprised at how amazing Canadian food is! As soon as I got off the plane at Toronto Pearson, I instantly had Canadians recommending maple soaked peameal bacon, poutines, swiss chalet chicken, beaver tails, timbits, Kraft dinner, butter tarts, caesars and more. My waistline is definitely not thanking me but my stomach definitely is – YUM.
- Not all Canadians are winter sport stars.
I may have had a small meltdown before arriving in Canada, thinking that I was going to be the weird English girl who couldn’t do a backflip on a snowboard. The thing is, not all Canadians are sporty… (Shock!) I have met some who are exactly like me and would prefer to sit in the hot tub, drink beer and watch the skiers fly past. I definitely feel slightly ridiculous now that I stereotyped them so badly. (Note: They can definitely all ice skate like pro’s though compared to my Bambi on ice impression but I have time to get better at that!)
- Cottage season is the best thing ….. ever.
Ok so the traffic gets crazy with cars loaded up with paddle boards, towing boats and bikes – But this means it is cottage season! All that snow and misery was worth it because now it is gloriously hot and families can head to the houses on the lake front (‘cottages’) and ultimately relax with their loved ones. This is probably my favourite thing about Canadian life so far. The fact that I only ever had decent sunbathing and swimming time in England when I went on vacation abroad for 2 weeks a year, and now I can go kayaking and float around in a natural lake whenever I like throughout the whole summer, is incredible. Canadians, you got it pretty good.
- You will always feel welcome and loved in this great country.
Ever since I arrived just 6 months ago, I have never once felt isolated or unwelcome. Every Canadian that I have met always has a smile on their face, full of consideration, tolerance and kindness and I have felt so at home and at ease. I am so far from my family, friends and all that I have ever known, and this has made it all so much easier for me. I will always be grateful to Canadians for this.
Thank you, Canada, for an amazing first 6 months!