In just a few months I would mark 3 years journey living in Canada. The day I left Noi Bai Airport feels like just yesterday, whenever I looked at Google photos scrolling up and down on my phone, memories hit me..
I believe everyone who came to Canada or to another country to spend their lives would have more than one reason, and those reasons vary. They are very personal, depending on stage of lives, personal values and financial situation as well as life aspiration.
I have my own reasons, for sure..
Why did I decide to leave?
But I didn’t leave Vietnam because I was unhappy. I didn’t leave because I was living a miserable life or craving for anything in particular. I didn’t flee for any political reason.
In fact, I was in a good stage of life. I was free, freer than any year I ever been. I was having a remarkable job with a remarkable team and a good boss, in a top multinational firm.
I was able to travel when I wanted and could afford whenever my heart was called to.
But there was a nagging feeling, looming inside my heart.
I was bored. I felt that I was comfortable with everything (of course that is relative, but you get the idea)
Also, deep inside, I didn’t truly feel content and fulfilled.
It’s not because of external circumstances or money.
I guess if I really had to put it into words, I didn’t feel I belonged to my country.
Simply because my own values do not resonate with my culture.
Also, as an Introvert, I was suffocated, I very much needed personal space, somewhere I can spend my time alone but it’s something very hard to find in Vietnam, with a population of 100 million and the size of one-third of Ontario
I was not comfortable with the culture of having no personal boundaries and no respect for privacy
Besides, it was hard to be in a culture where women more often than not are still considered less equal than men. Women are identified with roles: mother, caregiver, wife yet they are expected to go out and make money just as the same as the husband.
The education system is not ideal to raise a child. Being a part of it has taken a long term impact on me and it takes me so many years to find my own voice to speak up – if it weren’t for the US education, I may not have the level of critical thinking I have today
That is when I decided to take a leap of faith and find a way to go to Canada.
My journey to Canada
People often praise Canada as a dream land. Many are mistaken with that perception and think once we can land there, our problems evaporate.
Sadly that is far from truth.
My journey to Canada seemed more smooth and less costly than others because I was able to land a job in Toronto before I came there
However, it was not a rosy path, of course, yet I considered myself somewhat still more lucky than many other people who have to spend tons of money to come to Canada via education route (50-100k), or fake marriage, or PNP program where you had to promise to live in some provinces – essentially they do not have the freedom to move in first two years.
Canada is not heaven, far from it. (But it’s a story for another day)
Leaving your home country for a new place- regardless of how great it is perceived by many- takes courage, brave, determination, because the process of paperwork, of uncertainty, is not only grueling enough, handling everything on your own also requires another level of strength, especially more mentally difficult for a mom being away from her son, like I am.
I am not here to paint a bleak picture for anyone who wants to start a new life in Canada or anywhere
On the contrary, I want to be here to cheer you up and encourage you.
I didn’t fall in love with Canada at the first sight.
But Canada gives me a sense of freedom, security, a sense of home that I really long for.
Here in Canada, I know that I am safe if I want to voice any problem
I know that I don’t have to worry about saving for my kid’s education because it’s all free and more importantly, kids are treated with respect, and raised into confident adults, who are confident with their own opinions.
Their voices will not be ignored or dismissed like mine was…
I know that if one day I got sick, I won’t have to save a huge sum of money to go to the hospital.. I won’t have to know someone in the high places to get the treatment that any person should have..
I can start planning for my life, personally and financially..
All of these were getting clearer and clearer by day.. I didn’t fully grasp it in the first day I set foot in Canada, but after more than two years, I know that I am in the right direction
I’ve found a country that respects people and ensure we have some certain safety net, which enables me to live a more simple life, a country where I am not defined by my wealth, by my social status, by the hustle and bustle, or by any material possession that I need to acquire.
While I love my country, I wasn’t able to find what my heart calls for back then.
That is not to say I won’t ever come back to Vietnam. I believe I will. It’s just not now.
What should you prepare for the journey?
If you want to find a way to live abroad and find better opportunities, I give you all of my support. Know that it won’t be an easy journey. (it could be, for people who have deep pockets and won’t have to worry about finding a job to pay bills).
The first few months, or the first year where you have to deal with paperwork, settling in, get used to a new culture (even how much you think you know it, you don’t), adapting to a different kind of English, there will still be some kind of culture shock altogether with homesick.
But be assured that it will get better after it gets to rock bottom.
Some take months, some take years to feel very comfortable in a new place. Research says it could take 2 to 5 years for a person to call a new country home.
Sometimes you will ask yourself “why do I have to do all of these”
Sometimes all you can do is packing things and going back to enjoy the easy life and social status you once had before..
Sometimes you will have to bottle up all of your emotions to deal with life and have no one back home to understand what you have to go through enough to sympathize.
But that is a part of growing up and stepping out of the comfort zone, and the price of Transformation
We humans have great adaptation skills.
You will find a way, one way or another, to build a fresh life. A life that may not be like what you envision, but could be better in many ways
And if you set your eyes to Canada, work for it. I believe Canada deserves all of the efforts you are putting through.
But before that, please do sit down, just by yourself, or with your partner, to work out clearly the WHY.
Why do you want to leave? What do you expect? Are you willing to put everything behind and start a new life, possibly from the entry-level? Would you be fit for this lifestyle and culture ?
Your WHY would help you carry on your journey and not give up
and then, start a plan. Work on it.
And I may see you in Toronto, who knows?
If you are lost and confused and want to have someone to walk you through the process of getting to Canada, I could be that someone and a few click away.Hi there. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to check out my other blog posts. If you like to have a 60’ coaching on Personal Finance or other topics, please do check out my services and Book an appointment in the Menu. If you like my blog, you can forward this post to your friend, or buy me a coffee here: