Post # 1
To all American expatriates, where are you now? Why did you move, and how do you feel about the decision? How hard was it to adjust? Did any of you move as a couple even though neither of you were natives? How difficult was it to move? How did the work environment change?
My Darling Husband has wanted to leave the States since I met him. I never thought of it as a real possibility until the last year or so when I worked abroad. I’m in academia in a field that is the same everywhere in the world. If I leave it, I’ll go into finance or work for a tech company. His intended degree will transfer to Canada but he would most likely need to go back to school to work in the same area anywhere else. Has anyone done this? Could you write specifically on differences between living in Canada (or wherever) versus New England, the Bay Area, or the US in general?
Post # 3
We are hoping to move abroad for a few years! I’m tagging this post!
Post # 4
I’m an expat, although not in Canada.
I currently live in London and have been here for about a year and a half now.
Darling Husband got a fantastic job opportunity about 9 months before we got married and we decided to make the leap.
He moved to the UK 6 months before the wedding and we’d see each other once every 6 weeks or so. I moved over exactly 1 week after we got married.
I had to quit my job in the US because my company could not transfer me. It took me about 9 months to find a new job here in the UK and some of those months were very hard.
I was unemployed and without any friends/connections over the winter (which can be very bleak in the UK) and had a very hard time adjusting. In January last year, I decided I needed to branch out and try and meet people, so I joined a club for horseback riding and met a lot of wonderful people (american, other expats, and british) through that.
Since starting work in June I’ve been really enjoying living abroad. Moving right after the wedding was also a great demarcation of the change from dating/engaged to being married. We’d lived in NYC for 5 years (3.5 of those living together) before moving so this really put a true difference between being engaged and married.
Lots of things took adjusting to, even though everyone here speaks english there are so many different colloquialisms and customs. The brands in the grocery store are different. The general culture is different.
Long story short, if I had it do over again I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It took a lot of effort to get here (all our furniture went on a container ship) and we even had to get our cat a passport to get him here.
Darling Husband and I both always wanted to live abroad and I am so glad we have had the opportunity to do it.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!
Post # 5
@KatNYC2011: Thank you! I didn’t mean to limit responses only to people who went to Canada. Since the idea of leaving the US at all has taken me so long to get used to, I’m still thinking in baby steps. Darling Husband has traveled in Europe and would love to go to a number of places even if it meant learning a new language.
If you don’t mind me asking, what are your and your husband’s fields? Was he looking for jobs in the UK specifically or was it an opportunity that opened up through his work place? Are you planning on staying indefinitely? My husband wants to move permanently, so I’m also worried about possibly having a kid grow up in a culture we don’t really understand.
Post # 6
Canada isn’t very different from the US culturally, so I doubt it’ll be such a huge transition. Our best friends are Canadian (live in Toronto), and we lived there for 3 months last year on the tail end of an around-the-world trip. We gave them a really hard time about “how different and unique Canada is!”. Haha. They have better healthcare and lower crime. And they put freaking bell peppers in everything, even where it really doesn’t belong (chicken tikka masala, really, guys?). People are nicer. That’s about it. It was like living in a US city, honestly.
My husband and I would die to move to New Zealand! It’s on our bucket list!!
Post # 7
Ohhh How I struggle with this!
My Darling Husband is British and has lived in Essex, UK his entire life!
We have been long distance back and forth from CA to UK for the past 7 years – through study abroad for 6 months , work abroad 9 months, 3 month sints in CA for him and a few months around classes for me… all in all we’ve spent quite a lot time in each other’s countries between the ages of 18-25 and all living with parents in each country due to being in University the whole time.
Everytime I see london on TV I have flash backs of working in the west end and I want to move back SO BAD but then I think about leaving my family and friends and ultimately we decided its easier for Darling Husband to leave his family than for me to leave mine…
So we did the whole Fiance’ visa process and now he’s getting his green card…
I just returned from Christmas in london with him and his family and now I feel like I want to move again! I want a fresh start! I want to be with his aging parents and my parents have been getting more and more tech-savvy so I’m not as afraid of not being able to keep in touch! I feel like I would want my mom to be around when I’m pregnant & etc BUT then again, I feel like I want to have an adventure before we have kids and now I’m so stuck!
I am a little afraid to tell my Darling Husband… but I want to be in London!
I would totally go for it as your Fiance already wants to! If it doesn’t go so hot at first, then you still have each other and you can always move home. I feel like you’re only young once and you should probably go for it while you don’t have much to lose… right?
Post # 8
@crayfish: Thanks for your input. I’m originally from the rural South, so it’s nice to know that the culture shock wouldn’t be as huge as when I moved to New England, or when he moved from the Midwest to CA.
@KimmySumShuga: Yeah, I need to keep in mind that if we didn’t like it we could always go back. Thank you, I hope it all works out for you.
Post # 9
@beeks: Well, Toronto is basically a large East Coast US city. It’s like New York/Boston but cleaner and more polite. So there may be some culture shock from the rural south. But if you’ve tackled New England with success, you’ll be fine! Just like the US, it depends on where in Canada – they have rural conservatives just like the US does!
Post # 10
@KatNYC2011: This sounds like a dream! I LOVE the UK But I know how hard it can be to adjust to a new surrounding. If it’s a new town, a new city, state, or country, it still takes putting yourself out there to meet people and make new friends – something we kind of forget how to do once we’re adults. Good for you!!