by Denise Deutsch, Toronto.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Canada, I’ve been coming here on holiday, from Glasgow for years. I’ve wanted to live here for a long time, and have spent many hours working on trying to make it happen.
I was here a few years ago just after Christmas, and met up with a uni friend who was living here. She told me about the amazing time she was having on a working holiday visa, and I knew then that I wanted to come and live here. The only problem was I was too late for the visa by a few days, as that year’s allotment had already been snapped up. I went home, and started plotting.
A year later, the next lot were finally released, and they were being snapped up at a crazy rate. By this point, I wanted it so badly, I was like a woman obsessed. There were technical issues, and tears shed, but my application had been accepted. Fast forward to a few months later, and I got news that I had a visa! I started planning leaving the city I had lived my entire life in. I found someone to rent out my flat, strangely enough, she came from Toronto, the city I was moving to. I packed up my possessions, and my life in a great number of boxes.
Finally, it was time to fly out. It felt like I had been waiting forever, but I was still nervous about going. I knew that if it didn’t work out, I could always come back. I remember sitting on the plane, after tearful goodbyes to my parents, and thinking, “I actually did it!”
I landed in somewhat of a daze. I don’t think I remember my journey to my aunt’s house where I was staying until I got settled. She was on holiday, so I was staying there on my own. I went to visit another relative on my first night there, and took the subway to see her. I remember being so amazed on the streetcar on the way to the subway, and thinking, “wow, I actually live here now!”
That feeling hasn’t left me, I still get little bursts of amazement on public transport, or when there’s a crazy snowstorm outside, and I feel so proud that I managed to make this happen for myself.
It hasn’t been the easiest year, there has been a sick parent. emergency trips home, and the realisation that I will miss the birth of my niece, but I am so happy that I made the change, and moved to this amazing place.
I’m also really happy to remember that if you want something enough, and try hard enough, you really can make it happen.