One year ago today, I left my parents’ house at the crack of dawn to get on a plane to another plane to Toronto, where I’d successfully navigate my immigration interview and cross the border. I remember collapsing into my hotel room, hoping that I’d find a place to live quickly, hoping that the move would go smoothly, and hoping that I hadn’t just made a massive mistake.
A year later, I can happily say that all went well and if I had to do it all over again I’d make the same decision.
That isn’t to say it’s been easy or that I’ve loved every minute. I feel like this is the part where I should talk about how much I’ve learned and changed living on my own in a new country, but beyond easily converting kilometers to miles and Fahrenheit to Celsius, I’m still the same person I was a year ago. I moved expecting and craving some big change, a fresh start, a new version of me (cue the 2nd Felicity theme song), but really, life is life wherever you go.
Sure, now I know that a toonie will buy you a double double, I finally figured how to pronounce toque (tookie?) and I’ve learned that hockey season is actually year-round. The big stuff, the stuff that matters, is the same. The hardest thing was (and still is) starting and maintaining a new social network. I’ve had some good reminders that new friendships are fragile, not elastic like 10+ year friendships when you can pickup where you left off after months of not keeping in touch. I’ve also been reminded that most people are pretty nice and generally welcoming, so long as you’re willing to put in the effort.
Since I got a promotion at the end of last year I’m on the road all the time and not actually in Toronto all that much. Isn’t life funny that way? I do want to move back to the US soon, but for now I’m happy to just be in one place. Toronto was the 4th city I lived in over the span of one really challenging year, so just feeling somewhat stable is great, but I think the road warrior lifestyle has me craving some real roots. For now, I’m just excited to enjoy another summer in a pretty fantastic town.