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so, how hard is it to move to Canada?


ktgrok
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I grew up in Atlanta but we now live on the IL/WI border, and have for 20 years.  It's not really just the cold that bothers me. It's the pushing a full grocery cart through a parking lot before the snow is done, or at least before the plows have gotten here. It's the slushy mess that lasts for months. It's the endless putting on of hats, scarves, gloves, coats, only to get hot when you get to the theater, store, or wherever you're going.  It's the short days (but the summer is awesome because it's light by 5 AM!). It's the dreariness.  We hire our driveway plowing done but there's still sidewalk shoveling. And car scraping...even if you have a garage, it's going to snow while you're out and you're going to be scraping your car. 

 

I'm lucky that it's usually only bad like this from December through February. Or March.   North of us is more brutal. Not for me- it's just too hard. 39 months until dh can retire and we can move back to the southeast. Not that I'm counting. g

 

I'm always late to everything at the beginning of the winter because I forget to factor in the scraping.  And then there are the times that we just can't go because I forgot to plug in the car the night before.  I didn't even know that non-electric cars got plugged in before moving this far north.  The things I've learned.  I'm sure that I've given some people a good laugh a couple of times  :D

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I'm always late to everything at the beginning of the winter because I forget to factor in the scraping.  And then there are the times that we just can't go because I forgot to plug in the car the night before.  I didn't even know that non-electric cars got plugged in before moving this far north.  The things I've learned.  I'm sure that I've given some people a good laugh a couple of times  :D

 

What do you plug in and where? Serious inquiry.

 

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A huge benefit about moving to Canada is that our universities are really cheap for residents compared to the US. Southern Ontario is very mild, the farthest south of the country, housing is pretty affordable well outside of Toronto, and there are lots of colleges and universities. We had friends move here from CA and the well insulated houses in Canada made being inside much more comfortable than their houses in CA in the winter.  If you actually look on a map of North America, it's quite surprising how far south Southern ON is - the same as the northern CA border. No wonder our friends didn't have that much of a problem with the weather.

 

The darker winters aren't great, but the long summer days, where you can actually be outside all day without burning to a crisp are amazing!

 

 

Edited by wintermom
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What do you plug in and where? Serious inquiry.

 

 

It's called a block heater and is usually in the cylinder block. The plug sticks out of your front grill and you plug it in to a regular outlet. The further north you go, the more common it is to see electrical posts in mall parking lots, etc, so people can plug their cars in while they go shopping. There are two main benefits: first, it stops the oil from getting cold and thick (not really freezing, but unable to move properly through the engine to lubricate it), and second, it means that when you get in to the vehicle yourself, your car's heater will actually be giving you hot air right away instead of blowing cold air on you for the first few minutes while your car warms up.

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Block heaters don't actually specifically heat the engine oil. :)  The most common kind heats the engine coolant which would then keep most of the engine warm.  By keeping the engine a bit warmer, everything will function more smoothly (and yes - the oil will be a bit less viscous :) ) and it won't be such a drain on your car battery when you go to start the car.  I would also think that the slightly increased temp in the engine block would create an environment where it's warm enough for the spark at ignition to actually ignite the fuel/air mixture in the combustion chamber.  You can buy specific heaters for the engine oil but if you're using the right kind of engine coolant for subzero temps, the normal block heater will work just fine.  It does allow the interior of the car to warm up a bit faster once you start driving but trust me - if I don't go out and start my vehicle 10 minutes before I go somewhere, then those vents are blowing ice cold air at me for at least the first 5 minutes of the drive. :D

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Block heaters don't actually specifically heat the engine oil. :)  The most common kind heats the engine coolant which would then keep most of the engine warm.  By keeping the engine a bit warmer, everything will function more smoothly (and yes - the oil will be a bit less viscous :) ) and it won't be such a drain on your car battery when you go to start the car.  I would also think that the slightly increased temp in the engine block would create an environment where it's warm enough for the spark at ignition to actually ignite the fuel/air mixture in the combustion chamber.  You can buy specific heaters for the engine oil but if you're using the right kind of engine coolant for subzero temps, the normal block heater will work just fine.  It does allow the interior of the car to warm up a bit faster once you start driving but trust me - if I don't go out and start my vehicle 10 minutes before I go somewhere, then those vents are blowing ice cold air at me for at least the first 5 minutes of the drive. :D

 

True story about the first winter we were here and how we realized just how cold, cold really is  ;) We had made a Costco run and dd refilled her coke before we left.  On the way home dh had to make a stop at Walmart. We were out of the car for maybe 10 minutes.  Dd's coke froze solid while we were inside  :svengo:

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now that is advanced coldness.... :huh:

 

Well, since I don't live in the nice, mild southern ON I have to deal with the colder temps. It's a relatively short winter here, though, but it can drop to the -20s and -30C, then quickly rise to just below freezing and rain. The spring, summer and fall are all wonderful, though. 

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A huge benefit about moving to Canada is that our universities are really cheap for residents compared to the US. Southern Ontario is very mild, the farthest south of the country, housing is pretty affordable well outside of Toronto, and there are lots of colleges and universities. We had friends move here from CA and the well insulated houses in Canada made being inside much more comfortable than their houses in CA in the winter.  If you actually look on a map of North America, it's quite surprising how far south Southern ON is - the same as the northern CA border. No wonder our friends didn't have that much of a problem with the weather.

 

The darker winters aren't great, but the long summer days, where you can actually be outside all day without burning to a crisp are amazing!

 

Your username strikes me as funny in the context of this thread.  :laugh:

 

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If you live in FL and don't hate the weather, chances are that the weather change will be too much. I live in TN which is much colder than FL. I have frequently felt really, really cold during the coldest part of our winters. Yet it is extremely rare for our cold to actually be dangerous. On average, we stay above 30*F all winter. The average January low temperatures in some parts of Canada are as much as 60 degrees colder than our average lows! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature_in_Canada

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I would seriously spend no less than two winter weeks in Canada before taking so much as Step One. Having lived in Florida all your life, I can't help but think you will be shocked senseless at how cold cold can be. :)

 

And how dark "dark" can be.  Higher latitudes have longer summer days and shorter winter days.  We live Seattle-ish and moving here from Colorado, lower latitude and 360 days per year of sun (even if it is cold).  The differences here were shockers to me and my dh--me for the short days and him for the lack of sun.  

 

I'm not kidding:  in deep winter, at this latitude, the sun is down (DOWN, DARK) by 5:00 and it isn't light until 8:00 in the morning.  Yes, you get it back in the summer (reverse the numbers) but it was a shock to me.  

 

I like it here, and I am especially glad not to shovel my weather anymore.  But it was an adjustment.  Some people can't make that adjustment.  

 

NB:  My dh was born in Canada; he is now a US citizen with no interest in going back.  

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Something to note about colleges vs. universities - the term "college" doesn't mean the same thing in Canada as it does in the States.  Here, if you told someone your child was applying to college, they'd assume that the child was entering a trade school.  Colleges here cannot award degrees of any kind - only diplomas and certificates.  We also don't have anything like the associates degree that you have in the States.  If a student was planning on studying for a bachelor's degree (4 year degree), then he or she would go to a university.  In our university programs, we also don't tend to have a year or two of general courses like you do in the States.  If you are accepted to university to study science, for example, you pretty much hit the ground running and your first year courses would be all math or science (unless you chose to use your few electives to take arts or humanities courses).  We don't really have courses like freshman composition.

 

We also don't really have much in the way of dual enrollment or that type of thing.  Since our first two years of university aren't general, I guess it doesn't really work - at least, I've never heard of dual enrollment programs being available.  Because colleges are mostly focused on teaching trades or on very specific programming (nursing assistants, pharmacy technicians, etc.), dual enrollment wouldn't really work there, either.

 

Just some things to think about. :)

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If you've never experienced real winter, it can do a number on you. I grew up with real, snowy winters. I live in MD now and their winters aren't brutal compared to further north. I've NEVER 'gotten used' to it. The cold is bad, but the dark is worse. The sun set before 5 p.m. today and I think it's still technically fall. It really is depressing. Your mood and energy levels can dip like you're living with low-grade illness all the time. I guess some people don't feel this way, but it's VERY common to feel sluggish. Happy lights help, but you have to make yourself park by this overly bright light regularly to see any benefit. When you're homeschooling and fighting the urge to hibernate, you don't always set aside the time.

 

The benefit is your heart will sing in the spring because you survived. This Panda I'd baaaad at winter. I try things . . . they help . . . but it's survival mode for months :-(

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Hm... I probably shouldn't mention the cold streak we had 2 years ago.... we were colder than Mars! My kids took part in an outdoor winter scouting competition that was about 6 hours outside, and it was WELL under -40..... I may have to see what it was exactly. Now I should mention that most of the groups did NOT participate because it was extreme weather.... but our group did and my kids did. Anyway just to say that the difference between Florida weather and Canadian weather would be huge. And as mentioned, working standard daytime tyoes of hours can have you not seeing the sun much in winter.

 

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It took two years for a girlfriend to get canadian PR. Her canadian aunt sponsored her and her spouse.

 

My friend migrated to Calgary, Canada. He is a network storage specialist (escalation engineer) who work from home and flies often to customer sites.

 

In our university programs, we also don't tend to have a year or two of general courses like you do in the States. If you are accepted to university to study science, for example, you pretty much hit the ground running and your first year courses would be all math or science (unless you chose to use your few electives to take arts or humanities courses).

That is what is attractive to hubby and me since we are used to the UK style. Hubby is eyeing Nova Scotia for vacation, Niagara Falls -> Montreal -> Nova Scotia/Halifax -> Waterloo (U of W, he was an exchange student) -> Toronto.

 

ETA:

I grew up in an equatorial climate. I was thinking Australia since hubby has aunts and cousins there but did not ask him how winter is like down under.

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My husband is from Montreal. He wouldn't go back if you paid him. From one sunshiney state girl to another, trust me, you wouldn't survive. You can't grow up in the kind of weather that we have and adjust to a lifetime of Canadian winters. You just can't. 

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My husband is from Montreal. He wouldn't go back if you paid him. From one sunshiney state girl to another, trust me, you wouldn't survive. You can't grow up in the kind of weather that we have and adjust to a lifetime of Canadian winters. You just can't.

This isn't entirely accurate - I was born and raised in San Diego with only a few breaks to other climates, including the aforementioned UK. And yet I've lived happily with zero SAD in Alaska for 12 years. I don't mind the sunshine but not everyone responds to dark and cold as badly. I hated enough things about California that anywhere near water was an improvement.

 

Katie, it sounds like you WOULD have an issue with the weather. Don't underestimate it! That stuff wears on you after awhile.

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Going from California to Devon (Torquay), which would be considered one of the more beautiful and warm parts of England, I can say it was pretty brutal on much of my family because of the dreariness and clouds. It was very similar to Juneau or Seattle in terms of rainfall and clouds. We actually prefer living further north in Alaska because it is more dry and thus more sunny, Torquay was drizzly and varying shades of overcast most of the year, but never warm or cold enough to get to the prettiest parts of the season except in the dead middle few weeks of summer.

 

I wasn't impressed with real estate or the quality of life there either, but I was also a kid so I could have been seeing things through those glasses. Even with a ridiculous salary and benefits, my parents couldn't wait to get back to California.

 

I think you may have just mapped out your next two long vacations :D. Definitely test drive these things for yourself, because what drives someone else crazy might not be an issue for you!

I live in Devon and it's one of the wettest and greyest parts of the UK but people tend to forget because they view it as a tourist destination. There are parts of the UK that are sunnier and drier. The south east mostly is and has more distinct seasons, but you can't get past the fact we have short winter days even in the south. It's currently getting noticeably dark at 3:30pm. That won't suit everyone of you're not used to it.

 

Parts of Devon and Cornwall are some of the most deprived in Europe but it has pockets of wealth and second home owners that makes property expensive and life for locals can be difficult when it comes to finding places to buy or rent on a local low income and it's also quite a low opportunity area. Lots of the rest of the UK doesn't have these problems and I often feel that I made a mistake moving back to Devon.

Edited by lailasmum
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I live in Devon and it's one of the wettest and greyest parts of the UK but people tend to forget because they view it as a tourist destination. There are parts of the UK that are sunnier and drier. The south east mostly is and has more distinct seasons, but you can't get past the fact we have short winter days even in the south. It's currently getting noticeably dark at 3:30pm. That won't suit everyone of you're not used to it.

 

Parts of Devon and Cornwall are some of the most deprived in Europe but it has pockets of wealth and second home owners that makes property expensive and life for locals can be difficult when it comes to finding places to buy or rent on a local low income and it's also quite a low opportunity area. Lots of the rest of the UK doesn't have these problems and I often feel that I made a mistake moving back to Devon.

Just remember in just a few days we will be getting noticeably more light every single day! When we first moved here I hated the darkness in winter and found the light in summer a bit inconvenient also. Now I love both. I embrace the dark with cozy craft projects and my books. Lots of community activities happen also so the social calender is easy to fill up also. Currently mid 50's and sunny.....pretty good for someone living north of Hudson Bay. Yesterday was wet and cold but overall the weather isn't bad, I am saying this as someone who has lived in Florida for a good chunk of my life. Bugs and extreme heat aren't great either. Cold in Florida means the heat pump doesn't work well. Trade offs.

 

Some things cost more here, like petrol and houses. My grocery bill, electric, heat , and water are considerably less for a similar standard of living. A fuel efficient car works wonders on solving one of those problems. The housing situation depends on where you want to be......renting is a good deal some places, buying is generally expensive.

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Make sure you visit first - in winter.

 

I love Canada.  Having literally grown up on the border I consider it my second home.  It pretty much is. Going back home for a visit automatically includes also visiting my favorite haunts in Canada.  But winters...  I fully understand why many Canadians winter in the Bahamas.   :coolgleamA:

I would think this would be a big concern especially since you currently live in Orlando.

 

ETA - should have read the whole thread before responding :)

 

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So..what you are saying is that if preserving my sanity is my goal, moving to such a frigid place might not work. Sigh. 

 

The UK is warmer, right? But gloomy. And from what I'm reading not any easier to move to. 

 

I'm going to seriously suggest Hawaii again... very diverse population... very pretty state... warm year round... very different attitude... easy to move there.  Don't just consider Oahu.  The other islands are even more laid back.

 

It does have a high COL, but so does a bit of Canada.

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Ok, so maybe the UK? 

 

I THINK I'm less scared of cold than I am of gloom and lack of sunlight. That really does give me pause. I'm a sun lover. Not heat, but sunshine. I have been to Wisconsin, in September. That might be the most cold I've dealt with :)

 

(it was actually lovely there, a bit of snow, and crisp.But that's a dry cold.)

 

If you want to avoid gloom, look at the east of the UK - it's much clearer.

 

I wasn't impressed with real estate or the quality of life there either, but I was also a kid so I could have been seeing things through those glasses. Even with a ridiculous salary and benefits, my parents couldn't wait to get back to California.

 

I think you may have just mapped out your next two long vacations :D. Definitely test drive these things for yourself, because what drives someone else crazy might not be an issue for you!

 

You definitely need to accept that some things will be harder and some things easier.  Houses are certainly smaller/more expensive here, as are gardens/yards.

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I had to edit to throw in that Newfoundland would be worth a look just because of the proximity of WATER and the beautiful coastline.  :laugh:

 

Well, I don't know that I'd endorse it.  Weather is crazy.  It's a snow day today - we'll get up to 30cm and we've got winds gusting to 70km/hr.  

 

I've experienced all kinds of weather that I didn't know existed since coming here.  You have to really not mind bad weather in order to survive.  I think anyone who is prone to SAD would not last long.

 

Cost of living is high.  Housing is weird.  You can certainly find inexpensive housing, but there are also a lot of very expensive homes.  Food costs are huge.  So much gets shipped in.  

 

On the plus side, it's a really nice place to raise kids.  We stopped homeschooling when we moved here (very small homeschool community, teen kids who needed to adjust quickly) and our kids go to a Jesuit school that has been absolutely amazing.  

 

The music scene is pretty great here, too. 

 

The other thing that's interesting is that NL didn't join Canada until 1949 - there's definitely a distinct culture here and I bet a lot of people would consider themselves Newfoundlanders first and Canadians second.  They even sing Ode to Newfoundland.  I've heard more Ode to Newfoundland than O Canada.

 

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I've lived in a number of provinces and they're definitely not all dark and gloomy in the winter.  Calgary is actually quite beautiful in the winter.  I just found a link that listed the sunniest cities in Canada, and Calgary is #1.  It does get cold in the winter, but Calgary also gets chinooks, so there are warm breaks.  Housing is very expensive, but I think it's coming down.  Here's the link to sunniest cities: http://www.currentresults.com/Weather-Extremes/Canada/sunniest-cities.php 

 

If you could find a job in Victoria, BC you'd probably be best off weather wise.  It's green all year round and Victorians love posting pictures of flowers blooming in February to those of us in colder climates.  It doesn't rain nearly as much as it does in Vancouver.  It's actually a gorgeous city.  Housing is much less than Vancouver, but still fairly pricey.  It's on the ocean so you have beautiful beaches.  

 

Kelowna, BC is also incredibly beautiful - especially in the summer.  It's dry, so the cold doesn't feel as cold.  It gets a good winter, but usually doesn't get the really low temps you'll see in Calgary.  There's fantastic skiing close by - Big White is a world class ski resort.  Plus summer gets hot and the beaches are gorgeous.  I love Kelowna - in my opinion it's the best place in all of Canada.  Oh, and they've got the best homeschool community in all of Canada :)  Tons of homeschool families.  

 

Southern Ontario (outside of Toronto) has much less expensive housing, but I'm not a big fan of the weather.  Cold winters and hot sticky summers.  

 

 

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Just remember in just a few days we will be getting noticeably more light every single day! When we first moved here I hated the darkness in winter and found the light in summer a bit inconvenient also. Now I love both. I embrace the dark with cozy craft projects and my books. Lots of community activities happen also so the social calender is easy to fill up also. Currently mid 50's and sunny.....pretty good for someone living north of Hudson Bay. Yesterday was wet and cold but overall the weather isn't bad, I am saying this as someone who has lived in Florida for a good chunk of my life. Bugs and extreme heat aren't great either. Cold in Florida means the heat pump doesn't work well. Trade offs.

 

Some things cost more here, like petrol and houses. My grocery bill, electric, heat , and water are considerably less for a similar standard of living. A fuel efficient car works wonders on solving one of those problems. The housing situation depends on where you want to be......renting is a good deal some places, buying is generally expensive.

Don't think I've seen the sun in weeks it's been that gloomy flat white sky when it's not raining. I actually prefer crisp cold but I think this winter will be warm wet and stormy again.
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Southern Ontario (outside of Toronto) has much less expensive housing, but I'm not a big fan of the weather.  Cold winters and hot sticky summers.  

 

Um... having lived in FL for 6 years of my life and having grown up across the border from Ontario, the part I bolded is going to make someone from FL laugh.  It just doesn't get hot and sticky in the summer comparatively.  Yes, there may be a handful of sort of hot days, but... absolutely nothing by comparison.

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Don't think I've seen the sun in weeks it's been that gloomy flat white sky when it's not raining. I actually prefer crisp cold but I think this winter will be warm wet and stormy again.

So far we have had more wet and gusty than last year. Last year was exceptional....generally warmer here than Florida. Really odd. The sun is no longer out but still warm today. Lately we are sunny until 11 than overcast. I have two loads of laundry out so I wouldn't mind a bit of wind to dry it. ;)

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I'm going to seriously suggest Hawaii again... very diverse population... very pretty state... warm year round... very different attitude... easy to move there.  Don't just consider Oahu.  The other islands are even more laid back.

 

It does have a high COL, but so does a bit of Canada.

 

I'd probably love it. 

 

But my issues are more on a national level....healthcare, gun control, the celebration of ignorance that I see in politics, xenophobia, etc. 

 

But maybe I would feel better in a smaller town where at least I felt safe personally, if not as a country. 

 

I grew up in a town where we never locked our cars or front doors, at least not during the day. Sure, maybe at night when going to bed you locked up the doors of the house, but that's it. We walked to parks as small kids, lots of community spirit, etc. Living in the Orlando area is nothing like that. And it wears on me. Add in the stuff in the news and I'm just finding myself reaching a tipping point of some sort. 

 

So, if someone can reccomend a country with socialized medicine, a culture of respecting education/science, and say, not a mass shooting every freaking day, that would be great. One where I won't turn into a Katiesicle :)

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So..what you are saying is that if preserving my sanity is my goal, moving to such a frigid place might not work. Sigh. 

 

 

 

Probably not.

 

I grew up in NJ, which gets cold and can be quite snowy in the NW corner. Just moving to a mountain in PA was a big shift for me.  I get pretty close to hermit status for 5-6 months of the year (though it's been mild so far this year.)  My dream is to have a homestead, but I'm seriously afraid of all of the outside winter time that would require!  We're one of the few local families that don't ski, because BRRR!!!  I read a Canadian friend's FB posts and they make me grateful to be here in May and September.

 

I would (and have, a little) entertain the idea of Canada, but with a lot of reluctance due to the weather.  I know that a decade of 6-month "winters" has not toughened me up enough to handle a "life goes on" culture in a seemingly endless winter without lots of tears and a HUGE adjustment period!

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I'd probably love it. 

 

But my issues are more on a national level....healthcare, gun control, the celebration of ignorance that I see in politics, xenophobia, etc. 

 

But maybe I would feel better in a smaller town where at least I felt safe personally, if not as a country. 

 

I grew up in a town where we never locked our cars or front doors, at least not during the day. Sure, maybe at night when going to bed you locked up the doors of the house, but that's it. We walked to parks as small kids, lots of community spirit, etc. Living in the Orlando area is nothing like that. And it wears on me. Add in the stuff in the news and I'm just finding myself reaching a tipping point of some sort. 

 

So, if someone can reccomend a country with socialized medicine, a culture of respecting education/science, and say, not a mass shooting every freaking day, that would be great. One where I won't turn into a Katiesicle :)

 

Victoria, BC.  It snows about once every six years.  It's gorgeous.  It's on the ocean and the people are generally friendly.  Great homeschool groups.  *Funded* homeschool options or completely autonomous homeschooling.  

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I'd probably love it. 

 

But my issues are more on a national level....healthcare, gun control, the celebration of ignorance that I see in politics, xenophobia, etc. 

 

But maybe I would feel better in a smaller town where at least I felt safe personally, if not as a country. 

 

I grew up in a town where we never locked our cars or front doors, at least not during the day. Sure, maybe at night when going to bed you locked up the doors of the house, but that's it. We walked to parks as small kids, lots of community spirit, etc. Living in the Orlando area is nothing like that. And it wears on me. Add in the stuff in the news and I'm just finding myself reaching a tipping point of some sort. 

 

So, if someone can reccomend a country with socialized medicine, a culture of respecting education/science, and say, not a mass shooting every freaking day, that would be great. One where I won't turn into a Katiesicle :)

 

The right rural area might work for you.  The wrong one won't.  We never lock cars or houses here now...

 

If you get a chance, visit Hawaii and see what you think.  They are a US State, of course, but life there is different - perhaps not in Honolulu, but elsewhere.

 

Or there's always the Bahamas, but I don't think health care is included there and it's certainly more of a 2nd world nation.

 

Don't expect all to respect education/science in Canada.  People are people wherever one goes.  No sense setting up false realities.

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This isn't entirely accurate - I was born and raised in San Diego with only a few breaks to other climates, including the aforementioned UK. And yet I've lived happily with zero SAD in Alaska for 12 years. I don't mind the sunshine but not everyone responds to dark and cold as badly. I hated enough things about California that anywhere near water was an improvement.

 

Katie, it sounds like you WOULD have an issue with the weather. Don't underestimate it! That stuff wears on you after awhile.

Right. I'm a California native who loves northern climates. I've spent years in Minnesota, eastern Canada and now Maine and can't imagine going back to an essentially seasonless climate. Even as a kid I felt like I was missing out on the good stuff. :).

 

Not everyone will feel that way, of course. And yes it gets hard when it's DARK by 4 pm and for months on end the entire world seems to be reduced to shades of gray. That first spring green is a shock to my eyes every year. But this climate suits me. :)

 

It's kind of funny that weather is the big focus of this thread, though. Yes it's a consideration, but that would be true moving from FL to most of the US, too. There are so many other things to think about and realities to consider that might seem small initially but can seriously impact daily life. Suggesting a 2 week vacation just isn't a realistic way to get a real sense of actually uprooting your life and living a different country.

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But my issues are more on a national level....healthcare, gun control, the celebration of ignorance that I see in politics, xenophobia, etc. 

This is very much a regional thing. I think you might like New England or the West Coast. Even Texas, if you ignore our state-wide politics, has lots of pockets of intellectual curiosity and cultural diversity.  Even South Florida might be a better fit for you. It's much easier to move within the US than it is to pick up sticks and move internationally. I'd give that a try before I started climbing the paperwork mountain of immigration forms. The gun violence is everywhere, but it is very rare even though it dominates our news. Remember that even "safe" countries like Norway have had massacres.

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This is very much a regional thing. I think you might like New England or the West Coast. Even Texas, if you ignore our state-wide politics, has lots of pockets of intellectual curiosity and cultural diversity.  Even South Florida might be a better fit for you. It's much easier to move within the US than it is to pick up sticks and move internationally. I'd give that a try before I started climbing the paperwork mountain of immigration forms. The gun violence is everywhere, but it is very rare even though it dominates our news. Remember that even "safe" countries like Norway have had massacres.

 

True story on South Florida...that's where I'm from :)  A fairly liberal area with lots of displaced northerners and a large percentage of Jewish families. Orlando is...not like that.  But where I lived has become more like Palm Beach than I am comfortable with, so I don't see us going back there. 

 

Maybe I just need to stop keeping up with the news. Although that doesn't fix the socialized healthcare issue. 

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You might want to look for a more rural university/college town to get more demographics you like.

 

Getting realistic with health care too, the Canadians I know love that all the basics are paid for, but they seriously dislike the routine waits for anything else, and some of these have been serious issues.  Many end up coming to the US and paying out of pocket for these things to get them more quickly.  When we talk about healthcare we often wish we could sort of merge our two experiences in some sort of realistic way.

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Right. I'm a California native who loves northern climates. I've spent years in Minnesota, eastern Canada and now Maine and can't imagine going back to an essentially seasonless climate. Even as a kid I felt like I was missing out on the good stuff. :).

 

Not everyone will feel that way, of course. And yes it gets hard when it's DARK by 4 pm and for months on end the entire world seems to be reduced to shades of gray. That first spring green is a shock to my eyes every year. But this climate suits me. :)

 

It's kind of funny that weather is the big focus of this thread, though. Yes it's a consideration, but that would be true moving from FL to most of the US, too. There are so many other things to think about and realities to consider that might seem small initially but can seriously impact daily life. Suggesting a 2 week vacation just isn't a realistic way to get a real sense of actually uprooting your life and living a different country.

 

True, but I can tell you that it only took 1 week of summer in Atlanta for me to know that's something I absolutely do not want!  :p

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I'd probably love it.

 

But my issues are more on a national level....healthcare, gun control, the celebration of ignorance that I see in politics, xenophobia, etc.

 

But maybe I would feel better in a smaller town where at least I felt safe personally, if not as a country.

 

I grew up in a town where we never locked our cars or front doors, at least not during the day. Sure, maybe at night when going to bed you locked up the doors of the house, but that's it. We walked to parks as small kids, lots of community spirit, etc. Living in the Orlando area is nothing like that. And it wears on me. Add in the stuff in the news and I'm just finding myself reaching a tipping point of some sort.

 

So, if someone can reccomend a country with socialized medicine, a culture of respecting education/science, and say, not a mass shooting every freaking day, that would be great. One where I won't turn into a Katiesicle :)

I'll say this as someone who fully supports nationalized health care, extremely strict gun laws and most everything liberal...Canada is as diverse as the US. They are not immune to mass shootings, there are serious problems with the health care system, and education can be as lacking as it can be here. It is not a place to go to escape reality or modern sufferings and concerns.

 

Don't get me wrong-- obviously I love it there or we wouldn't have immigrated, but it's not some cold utopia without the same issues we have here.

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You should look into Costa Rica.  They speak English, it's cheap living, easy to buy citizenship, and a common place for Americans to retire to.  It's warm, tropical, and relaxed.  They have high speed internet.

 

I've also heard good things about a few places in the Caribbean and Panama, but none of them seemed as easy as Costa Rica.  I'd probably wait until kiddos are adults though, as to not overly complicate their lives.

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So..what you are saying is that if preserving my sanity is my goal, moving to such a frigid place might not work. Sigh. 

 

Well, that depends. How much an extrovert are you? I actually love the winter, and I am NOT a fan of the cold. If I were an extrovert who constantly wanted to be out of the house and seeing people and interacting, I might go stir crazy. As it is, I have no problem saying, "I don't want to drive in this. Let's stay home today and cuddle in front of the fireplace and watch a movie." It can also be a lot of fun once to go out and play in the snow, build forts, go tubing/skiing/snowboarding/sledding/tobanning, etc. There are definitely SUPER cold days where you just want to stay inside and not drive anywhere, and sometimes there can be a few of those in a row. But there are also a lot of days where the sun is shining, it's perfect for sledding (especially as a homeschooler when all the kids are in school and you get the best hills to yourself and friends who also homeschool, lol), and everything looks like a Christmas postcard.

 

If you would go nuts having to stay in the house for a few days in a row when you're snowed in and/or it's too cold to go outside for long, then yeah, you might go a little nuts. But for those of us who don't mind a few days of just hanging out in the house with our family... it's not so bad at all.

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My ds married a Canadian, and it was definitely easier for him to get a Residence Visa in Canada than for her to get a Residence Visa in the U.S.!  I think he got one in 6 months, and hers took 1.5 years.  Where her family lives in Canada, in the Toronto area, the weather is actually quite a bit more mild than where we live in the U.S.  (And Toronto actually lies South of us, which seems strange!)  Ontario has some really lovely small towns if you like small towns.  Vancouver seems to be a favorite city, but is sooo expensive. 

 

I'm really only familiar with the Toronto area and outskirts.  I liked it.  Of course Canada and the U.S. are so similar, it doesn't feel too much different!  They're on the metric system and you read more abut the Queen.  :)  Colleges are far cheaper if you're a resident.

 

 

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True, but I can tell you that it only took 1 week of summer in Atlanta for me to know that's something I absolutely do not want!  :p

 

You learn more quickly than we do.  It took us 5 summers of living in FL before we moved north.

 

My comfort zone is 50-80 degrees though I like seeing snow the first few times it comes as it's simply gorgeous.

 

Ideally, I'd love either snowbirding or simply traveling 24/7.

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You learn more quickly than we do.  It took us 5 summers of living in FL before we moved north.

 

My comfort zone is 50-80 degrees though I like seeing snow the first few times it comes as it's simply gorgeous.

 

Ideally, I'd love either snowbirding or simply traveling 24/7.

 

Ha!

I'm so glad I didn't move with my parents.  I complain every time I visit in the summer, and it manages to snow or ice every time I visit in the winter, which is absolutely insane!

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I'll say this as someone who fully supports nationalized health care, extremely strict gun laws and most everything liberal...Canada is as diverse as the US. They are not immune to mass shootings, there are serious problems with the health care system, and education can be as lacking as it can be here. It is not a place to go to escape reality or modern sufferings and concerns.

 

Don't get me wrong-- obviously I love it there or we wouldn't have immigrated, but it's not some cold utopia without the same issues we have here.

 

Not immune, no where is, but they sure have a lot less of gun violence. Both per capita and overall. NA-CH404_SHOOTR_9U_20151004180908.jpg

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I'm really only familiar with the Toronto area and outskirts. I liked it. Of course Canada and the U.S. are so similar, it doesn't feel too much different! They're on the metric system and you read more abut the Queen. :) Colleges are far cheaper if you're a resident.

SOUTHERN ONTARIO is very similar to parts of the northern US. There is a big distinction to be made there.

 

Also, the metric system isn't used exclusively. DS got really good at both since they were used interchangeably where we lived. Simply going to the grocery store was way more educational than Math Mammoth! Lol

 

We never heard anything about the Queen. Not once.

 

Just saying, it's a diverse country. :)

Edited by MEmama
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Not immune, no where is, but they sure have a lot less of gun violence. Both per capita and overall. NA-CH404_SHOOTR_9U_20151004180908.jpg

Like I said, I'm a huge supporter of strict gun laws. In no way am I insinuating there isn't a major problem here. I'm as terrified, saddened, and worried as everyone else. My point is that there are issues everywhere, real, serious issues. And before deciding that another country looks better than the one you are in, it's important to consider them. That is all.

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