Three Years On: Celebrating Another Canada-versary!

It’s that time of year again – January 11th 2014 marked three years since I arrived in Canada. Wow. It’s been a big year and a lot of things have changed since my last Canada-versary. In a good way, I should add. I have all kinds of feelings about celebrating this latest milestone, so hear we go…

I’m a Permanent Resident

This time last year I was a temporary worker on a IEC working holiday visa, and now I’m a fully-fledged Permanent Resident. Yey! Although nothing in my day to day life has really changed (still have to spend hours in border line-ups, still can’t vote) I’m one step closer to the illusive passport, and it’s a big step. There’s something about knowing that if I chose to go back to studying I’d be classed as a Canadian student rather than International that makes me feel happy. This is definitely a good thing; changes recently proposed to Canadian citizenship guidelines mean that I may be waiting an extra two years before I can submit my application. Better get used to this Permanent Resident status as it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere any time soon.

All smiles at the border when we received our Permanent Residence in April, 2013.

All smiles at the border when we received our Permanent Residence in April, 2013.

I have a dog child

I didn’t quite realize just how much getting a puppy would change my life. And I’m not just talking about the endless poop bags and excursions limited to 4 hours. Dave is part of our family, and I find it so funny to think of him growing up in Vancouver, having no idea that we’re not from Canada. To him, we’re humans who give him meals and take him for walks, and we all live together in Canada. And that’s the way it will stay. Having a puppy wouldn’t stop us from moving back to the UK if we needed to, but it has made it all the more unlikely. Our short to medium term future is definitely on this side of the pond.

Puppy, or bunny?

Puppy, or bunny?

I have family here

Yes, my younger brother moved to Vancouver with his girlfriend in June of last year. It’s been really fun having them here, and I see them every couple of weeks to continue our everlasting hunt for cheap, good pubs. It also meant that we got to spend our first our first Christmas away from home with each other. Our parents come to visit in TWO WEEKS (excited, much?) and I can’t wait to have all four of us in one place.

Siblings in the snow

Siblings in the snow

I like my job

Or should I say, jobs. Now that I’m a contractor my employment situation has technically never been more unstable. Despite this, the hours are still coming and I’ve had the opportunity to work on some amazing projects with some amazing people. Vancouver is all about who you know, so the more I achieve here the more I wonder what I’d do if I went back home.

Scenes from the Walk for Reconciliation that I was lucky enough to work on in September 2013

Scenes from the Walk for Reconciliation that I was lucky enough to work on in September 2013

I cheer for Canada in the Olympics

Not over Team GB, of course. But being the Winter Olympics (or as they call them in Canada, the Olympics) there are many more maple leafs than there are Union Jacks on TV. I happened to see Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe receive their Gold and Silver medals in the women’s moguls while I was in the gym, and almost wept into the cross-trainer. I was a very proud Canadian in that moment, and the lump in my throat was very real. Then I started thinking about how I had a lump in my throat and my connection to Team Canada, and that made the lump get a little bigger. If only Citizenship & Immigration Canada had been watching me…they would have presented me with a passport on the spot.

The Dufour-Lapointe sisters at their medal ceremony. Go Team Canada!

The Dufour-Lapointe sisters at their medal ceremony. Go Team Canada!

I don’t feel the need to go home as much

I still miss my family and friends, but I miss the UK less and less. I haven’t been back in 14 months, and don’t really feel the pull to the Tesco cheese aisle the way I used to. Three years is longer than I spent at University, so it’s more than long enough for me to have built some amazing friendships in Vancouver (the strongest ones with those I met on the plane over!). I miss so many of my friends in the UK, but time apart is a good test and my I appreciate my friendships with those who have kept in touch with even more. I do wish I could see my parents more often but I’m so glad I get to speak to them on Skype every week. Going over a year without seeing them has been tough, but it’s made me realize that I could survive another year before going home to see them. Which would be two years away from the UK. The problem with this is that I do really want to see my Grandparents. I know they’re not able to travel all this way to visit me, so I want to make sure I go back to spend some time with them. Because of them (and my beautiful dog, Freddie), I’m thinking about a 2014 visit after all, but it’s to see them rather than see the UK. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I wouldn’t stop in at Primark on the way back…

It's Freddie!

It’s Freddie!

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About MarmitetoMaple

I'm originally from the UK and have been working and living the dream in Vancouver, BC, since January 2011. I am a firm believer in travel, good cheese, volunteering and community engagement.

6 responses to “Three Years On: Celebrating Another Canada-versary!”

  1. Gemma says :

    Happy Canniversary to you! I actually just went back to the UK for the first time in 2 years (and 3 months) for very similar reasons as you said, to see people rather than the place. It was somewhat nice though to see rain after such a dry winter here on the West coast – never thought I’d say that!

  2. Rose says :

    Thank you for your brilliant blog. I’ve just arrived in Vancouver through the IEC and feeling totally overwhelmed and your blog has made me feel so much better! 🙂

    • MarmitetoMaple says :

      Hi Rose, thank you so much, and welcome to Vancouver! The sun has come out today for you! My goal is to help people in any way I can so do let me know if you have any questions! How are you finding the first few days here? 😀

      • Rose says :

        Thank you! Yes, we’ve been enjoying the sun and wandering round the city getting our bearings and getting used to our new apartment. I’d love to ask you a few questions about your experience with finding work – my background is in volunteer coordination and community engagement and it would be really useful to ask you about it. Can I email you? My address is rjblack87(at)gmail.com. Thanks again!

  3. MarmitetoMaple says :

    Hi Rose, so glad you’re settling in well! It sounds like we have a lot in common, I’ll drop you an email now so you have my info. Look forward to connecting!

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