I moved to Canada (Part 2)
(Read part one of the series here.)
I met a Sri Lankan at the Vancouver airport. Asela (pseudonym) was on our flight. He was planning to join my wife's university.
I called him three days later. He was depressed.
Asela had a kid and a wife. He was a marketing manager in a good company. He has had a business in Sri Lanka. He left everything when he moved to Canada. He planned to get his wife and kid after a couple of months.
Now he was stuck in a tiny room, sharing the bathroom and kitchen with strangers and sleeping on an air mattress.
Whenever we hear someone moving to another country, we assume how lucky they are. We can't help feeling jealous when going through their Instagram feed.
But that's only a part of their experience.
The hardest thing about moving to Canada for us was leaving our life behind. The familiarity of our home, the smell of frying garlic, the comfort of the couch, and the dogs we used to greet were suddenly gone.
We had to start everything from scratch.
Finding a place to rent was the first challenge. Over the years, Vancouver has become a hotbed for immigrants. That has skyrocketed the demand for housing.
My wife started messaging renters on the second day.
Sometimes when I woke up at 3.00 a.m., she was still messaging. She probably messaged more than 100 prospects.
We left home early in the morning and came late after checking houses. Some requested credit checks. Some places were far away. Some didn't reach our standards.
That was our routine in the first week. We took the bus. We took the train. Sometimes we walked for miles and miles in freezing cold.
On a rainy Wednesday, we moved to a basement in Surrey.
A few days later, my wife met a familiar face at Walmart. It was Asela from the airport.
He was buying chocolates for the kid because he had decided to return to Sri Lanka.
(To be continued)
Yes, that’s right. I moved to Vancouver. I will capture my experience as a series of posts. You’ll learn what it’s like to move to another country. No filters. I promise. I will share exactly how I feel, the real truth, and nothing else.
If you missed the first post of the series, read it here.
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