Friday, 2 March 2012

First year - what we have learnt

We have been here in NS for almost a year and we have learnt so much, the key things that spring to mind are:

1.      You have to be prepared to re-learn your adult life to a degree, e.g. we did not know what brand of paint to look for, having been used to Dulux, Crown or B&Qs own etc. We didn’t know what cars to steer clear of or what was a reasonable price for sugarpuffs.

2.      Sometimes trying to make the right decisions for your family, your pocket and potential consequences when you have little or no background information is exhausting

Martinique Beach on a very foggy day

3.      Having 4 seasons is refreshing. I love the build up to each season – wood delivery in readiness for winter and having all your tires changed on your car. Spring cleaning ready for  Spring and Summer living, getting the pool up and running for summer. Pumpkins outside for Fall and decorated for Halloween. Getting all your decorating and other boring jobs done when the weather is naff so all your weekends are free to enjoy in the winter and summer.

Cottage weekend with our friends

4.      Learning to buy different food. Our weekly shop is based on the flyers. We try not to buy anything that’s not on offer as it makes a massive difference to the cost of groceries. The upside to this is the increased variety of our meals.

5.      Canadian experience, there is no point coming to another country and thinking that you are a good accountant or other professional that they NEED. Without Canadian experience you are not as good as the next person who does have it. They may still use fax machines here (WTF??) but they don’t count you as being from the future.

6.      Road trips that are less than 4 hours long are not road trips. Driving to the US is a road trip. Thankfully the highways are wide and the traffic to a degree is minimal, it’s a lot easier to drive long distances here.

7.      People work hard here, its not uncommon to have 2 jobs and work a 12 hour shift. People are not rich, they do not have cleaners, they enjoy their lives, make the most of their money and take enjoyment from the small things in life. Makes some in the UK appear pretentious and always wanting.

Lily running toward Grand Lake

8.      We are better people here. We are outside more and making improvements to the house, we get to spend days at the most beautiful beaches, we hardly watch TV in the summer but accept we can in the winter. We socialise more whilst spending less. Restaurants are nice but much more of a treat, a home cooked meal with friends has more weight in our lives now than it did before.

9.      Our children are free to play in the neighbourhood, ride their bikes, swim in our pool with the kids next door and run in the ocean waves. Life has more quality, an ice-cream enjoyed for 50 cents is a memorable part of a day, back to the simple stuff.

Girls at Peggys

10.   We are no longer planning ahead constantly and living in the future. Sure, we have plans but at last this is our home for a long time and we are now living in the moment. Its exhilarating to be able to just be.

 Our home


  1. I honestly can't remember where I found your blog! Twitter perhaps through a friend?

    Anyhow, I'm a Nova Scotian girl, born and raised, but now I'm living in Petawawa, ON with my military husband. I love reading your blog because it takes me back home, through new eyes! Thanks!

  2. Thankyou, thats really nice to hear. You will have to excuse some of the mistakes I make about Nova Scotia, we are still learning all about this new life, new culture, new words and new place.