Life In A Northern Town
I never wanted to move to Canada. It was never something that I imagined doing. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Canada. I just never in a million years imagined that I would live here. It is pretty much the opposite of everything that I love about Florida. It is cold, it rains a lot, gas is expensive, and there are too many people in one place.
So why move, you ask. Well, it’s quite simple really: I fell in love.
Funny how that works, huh? You think that you have it all figured out. You know what you want in life. You are just getting into a routine and becoming comfortable with life as you know it. Then, suddenly, wham! Life decides to throw a curve ball at you.
I am not complaining in the least. I found the most wonderful person in the world who fits me and my quirks like a glove. I would move to the North Pole and live in a box to be with him. Moving to Canada seemed like nothing. So it’s on the opposite side of the continent? A small sacrifice for love, right?
Well…in theory anyway. Then comes the reality of the adjustment. You can’t just show up at the border and say “Here I am!” One does not simply go walking into Canada all willy-nilly. They tend to frown on that a bit. But that’s pretty much what we did. After getting legally married, we drove from Vegas to the border and explained our plans to Border Patrol. It was a bit scary. I could see the veins in my husband’s neck throbbing as they made us park and come inside.
To be fair, I probably did a poor job of vocalizing what we were doing. I was at the end of a week long, cross country roadtrip and a little tired at that point. My car was loaded with just the clothing and a few cooking supplies that I could cram into it. And my coffee maker. Can not forget the coffee maker. We had been driving for days, almost run out of gas in Oregon, had our first fight on the side of the road over not being able to find a bathroom, but had finally made it to Canada. I was ready to be home. My new home. With the man that I had married. I was ready to start my new life in a new country.
My husband was a bit better at explaining what we were doing than myself. No, I wasn’t just declaring myself a Canadian and coming on over to settle down and get a job. We knew the procedures and knew what we still needed to get done before I would be able to be a Permanent Resident and get employment. I knew that I would have to leave if my visa expired or I wasn’t approved.
After some deep breathing and collecting our thoughts, we explained that for now I just wanted to enter on a Visitors’ Visa, and that we would be filing for my PR status as quickly as possible. I knew I couldn’t work without a permit, I knew I couldn’t go to school, my husband was aware that he would be responsible for me. We had done our research, we knew what we still had to do. We plead our case as best as either of us knew how. My husband had never imported an American before, and I had never married a Canadian before. This was a learning experience all around.
Sitting in the hard, plastic chairs, waiting to hear the officer’s decision was one of the most stressful experiences of my life. I imagine that there are worse things, but I knew that we had taken a big risk. They could deny me entry, even if I was married to a Canadian. Then what would I do? I couldn’t drive back to Florida, and there was no way I was going to leave my husband. Not when it had taken me my whole lifetime to find him. In my head I was preparing for the worst, writing speeches to the Canadian government that I would surely address straight to the PM if they didn’t let me come in to be with my husband.
The clock slowly ticked and every breath was like a drop of water in a bucket that never filled. I am pretty sure that we both grew a few grey hairs that night. When the officer finally came over and handed my my Visitors’ Record and told us we were free to go I watched the relief sweep over my husband’s face. As we left I’m pretty sure he kicked up his heels a few times on the way to the car and I saw him smiling like a cheshire cat. Nevermind that he was so thrilled he ran over the curb on our way out of the parking lot. We were free to go and start our life together.
So began my new life here in Canada. A life I never expected. I’m adjusting to living in a northern town, but there have certainly been some adventures along the way. I plan on sharing how things are going and what I am up to. I know that it can only get better from here.