Everyday life is completely different since our move to Toronto, which is pretty good really as that was exactly what we were aiming for. Long gone are the days of juggling work and home life and being torn in several different directions at once. Our business in England turned out to be a bit of a monster, lucrative and successful but a monster nonetheless, it consumed our free time, our patience and was a huge source of stress.
Life couldn’t be more different now, calm and mostly stress-free. We spend more time together as a family during the week and at the weekend and this is what I love most about our new life. No longer are we consumed with work and we can spend time doing fun things.
Like weekends camping
An evening bike ride along the lake
Chilling out on the deck during the warm summer evenings
Or around the fire in the winter
All this free time has certainly given me time to think and I have learnt a lot about myself. I haven’t had a paid job since our move, which ultimately means I spend the vast majority of my time alone which it turns out is actually ok, even though I never thought it would be. I am much braver than I ever imagined and my courage to enter into new experiences without the support of my friends and family surprises me.
My top tips to making the most of everyday life as an expat
Be realistic – You may be able to spend the first few months acting like a tourist but eventually reality will catch up with you and the mundane part of everyday life like the school run, grocery shopping and laundry is still there regardless of what country you live in. However, make time to do things you wouldn’t normally do, take timeout to enjoy the differences between your old and new countries
Never stop exploring – It’s easy to get stuck in the familiar but it’s important to keep exploring, finding a new route home, a new hiking trail or a new place to visit on the weekend.
Don’t fight it – Accept the differences and try to appreciate them, it’s so easy to be consumed with frustration because something that should be so easy, like finding your way around a supermarket, takes three times as long. A favourite saying over here is “it is what it is”, in other words things are different don’t waste your time wishing they were the same because they aren’t, accept it and enjoy it.