Canada: One Year In
Today is Valentine’s Day. It’s also the day when we landed in Canada to start our life anew. How time flies eh?
So how has it been after one year? Before I move on I just want to greet my lovely wife, Tia, (and all the people out there who believes in this expensive non-holiday) a Happy Valentine’s Day.
One year flew by so fast. We caught the tail-end of last year’s horrible winter but we kind of adjusted to the cold this time around granted that it wasn’t as cold as last year. Still, doing okay outside in –20’s temperature means we adjusted fine.
We spent a lot on house items and clothing in our first year but thankfully, we had the budget for it coming here. We’re spending less now although there are still some pieces we could use in our place but nothing immediate.
I was able to go full-time permanent on my job as an Elearning Designer last November which meant we now get 80% coverage for dental care and prescription drugs. I’m really grateful for my job considering that I hear a lot of immigrant stories where they had to do manual labor or entry-level jobs for a year or two before finding a job that they really like.
While the pay isn’t as good as we want it to be considering the position, it still allow us to live comfortably on a single income. We can’t save a lot for trips or plane tickets though and we have to make do with our single bedroom apartment which we have since we moved here. Can’t complain with the company as well which has a relaxed low-stress culture allowing me to spend quality time with my family when I get home.
Callie’s adjusting great. She is more tolerant to the cold than we are. She has this weekly hour-long story time session at the community library which lets her interact with other kids her age. And she’s not bashful at all acting as the big sister in the group trying to impress her teacher. I just feel bad at times that I can’t bring her back home at this age for her to spend time with her little cousins. :|
I do miss the Philippines some. I miss my friends in the tech and media industry, I miss the events, the traveling, the food. I just can’t find the same taste of sisig or lumpia shanghai here. We do have some inexpensive ribs, prime grade steaks, and lobsters here but still… I want some good lumpia shanghai! BTW, Tia’s been amazing trying out new recipes and updating her menu. My taste buds approve!
We found a suitable church. Every Nation (Victory in Manila), not CCF since the local CCF is a bit far from our place. But it’s all good, lots of Filipinos to fellowship with and ask for support. We joined a small group as well.
Can’t really complain anything about Canada aside from tax and expensive haircuts. It’s true that Canadians are generally polite. It’s common for strangers in an elevator to greet each other, or bus drivers to wish you a nice day when you get off. And being a nation full of immigrants, I can only count in two fingers instances of discrimination… or I’m just lucky with my workplace.
I can say our adjustment went well. Thank you God and to our friends here who helped us settle down.
So what’s next?
For our second year, we’re focusing on saving some more to move to a bigger place. And if budget permits, maybe explore some more, do some traveling in nearby places.