Today I am interviewing Alicia of Go Live Explore about her life as an expat in Canada.
What country are you originally from and where did you move to?
I’m originally from Nottingham in the UK, but I moved to Vancouver in February 2015.
What was the reason for the move?
It was a whole mix of things. I moved to Paris for a year in 2012, and it made me realize how easy it is to move your life somewhere else. After coming back to the UK, my boyfriend and I decided we wanted to try somewhere new, so we agreed on Vancouver and that was that! It all just sort of happened. Moving to another country challenges you in so many ways and I think you develop as a person so much from it. Also, the world is a big place! I want to experience as many countries as I can. Why limit yourself to just one place?
What is one thing that didn't surprise you about living in your new country?
Everything fell into place so easily and Vancouver became 'home' almost immediately. I find it easy to settle into new places anyway, but I thought at some point, the reality of moving away would hit me like a ton of bricks. We’re 4 months in and that’s yet to happen! I think travelling takes away that shock factor, so you learn to embrace every new experience and just go with it.
What is one thing that did surprise you about living in your new country?
I was worried it would be hard to make friends, but it’s been easier than I expected. Instagram has become my new ‘social dating’ tool and I’ve met so many people through it. It’s not just friends either – some really great opportunities have come about from interacting through Instagram. It's a really fun way to connect.
How often do you see your family and how do they feel about your living abroad?
My parents have already been out to visit and we have a string of visitors in the coming months, which is amazing. We actually travelled Southeast Asia before flying to Vancouver, so I hadn’t seen my parents in about 6 months. They miss us a lot but they understand and respect that this is what we need to do. I guess there comes a time when you need to be selfish and live your life for you, rather than other people.
Are you learning the language? Is it difficult?
Technically no, but there are definitely some linguistic differences that we’re getting used to. There are British slang words I use and people just look at me with a blank expression. Did you know that they call a ‘beanie hat' a ‘toque’ here? Yeah, some of their words are a little odd!
Do you find you can get your regular foods or have you adapted to the local foods?
Vancouver is really healthy so it’s easy to find the foods I love. The only thing is it’s just expensive! Although saying that, the sushi here is incredibly cheap and also rated the best sushi outside of Asia. I’ve had little difficulty adapting to that!
What is your favorite custom in your adopted country that isn't in your home country?
People embrace the outdoors here so much more than at home. The attitude towards health and wellbeing is so much different, and everyone is into running, or yoga, or hiking, or rowing, or skiing etc. I really love that.
What is your favorite food from your adopted country?
I know this is a bit cliché, but the maple syrup here is just amazing. Of course, you can buy it home, but I swear it tastes so much better just because we’re in Canada. Maple Alaskan salmon is unreal.
What do you miss most about home?
I miss just hanging out with my friends and family. We host regular family gatherings at home and I love that time so much, so that’s probably the thing I miss the most. They’ll always Skype me and and I get involved but it’s not the same as being there.
What is one thing that surprised you that you missed about your home country?
Good teabags! Yes, I know, so terribly British of me. But Tetley tea here just isn’t the same, and you really can’t beat a good cup of tea!
Where else can we find you?
You can find me at www.golivexplore.com, on Twitter @alicia_hq and Instagram @alicia_hq.