It is hard to believe that it has been 10 months since that cold night in April when I first landed. A lot can change in 10 months, but also, a lot can remain the same. Relocating your entire life is an important life decision and I am sure that if I had stayed maybe my life would have taken a different trajectory but what I remember is that for the 3 years leading up to making the decision to move, almost everyday started and ended the same and then I realized that I had settled, I had decided that I was okay with where I was and if uninterrupted I would be comfortably continue my life in the same way for the next 10 years. So I made the conscious decision to change that.
It has not been easy and that’s all right because I did not except it to be. Here is what has happened since my last update.
- I took my driver’s test and now have a full G driving license. If you are from a country with English as the official language and with your license in English, you can do this within your first 3 months of arrival or three months from when you first get employed. If that period passes, you have to start the entire process from scratch and no one wants that.
- I accepted a new job offer that allows me to work in communications. The new role is full time 35hrs a week and that leaves me a bit of time to work on my creative projects.
- I set up two additional revenue streams that don’t interrupt my regular work day, one is an Airbnb listing downtown, the other is offering business support services.
- I moved into a new apartment.
- I was able to get my provincial health card confirmed – you need a lease for this to confirm that you intend to stay in the province.
- Purchased a preowned car. It is not a bat-mobile as I had hoped but it is a Subaru and I am okay with that – for now.
- Registered my design business with the Registry of Joint Stocks – You can complete this entire process online. Prior to completing that registration, I was still taking on small projects and you can do that legally with your personal name as long as your revenue does not exceed $30,000 a year.
- Finally got set up with a dentist after nearly 8 months. Dental care is expensive, Dal Dentistry is not as expensive but there is a bit of a waiting period to get accepted and even then, once you are accepted as a patient it takes another few months to be assigned a student and have your first evaluation. I did the first evaluation in September when they assess if they can take you as a patient, then in October I was assigned a student, in November, she did the first check, in December they broke off for the Holidays and in January I finally had a cleaning done. My advice for anyone moving to Halifax, unless you have insurance to cover a regular dentist, register at Dal as soon as possible to avoid going months without a checkup.
I still do not have an assigned primary physician but I know people that have been on the waiting list for almost two years. Fortunately, I am in relatively good health and if I stop having late night ice-cream parties, drive at the posted speed limit and keep warm in the winter. I should be able to avoid a hospital visit for a long time.
With just a few months left to mark my first year in Canada, my goal now is to focus on setting up my design consulting business. Part of that includes finishing the entrepreneurship class I now take in the evenings, learning as much as I can from other people in the industry, retooling with new tech and software and of course remaining focused during this process.
There have been so many opportunities for me to get impatient or frustrated with the process but it helps to remember why you started and to know that as long as you don’t quit, things can change for the better. Unless you have some horrible illness, in that case, you will probably die.