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shawman

What Canada has done for Us

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shawman

Well I think we have lost our minds or found freedom! We arrived in Calgary last year and it just wasn't for us. Our son was accepted at University in St John's so in a moment of madness Hubby and I decided to buy and old 1994 Bluebird school bus (54 seater), strip out the seats and install bunk beds, pack it up (kids, father, furniture, dog and parrot) and drive almost 7000 kms across Canada to St John's Newfoundland. I would never have even contemplated doing this a couple of years ago. It has been the most liberating experience ever!

We took 10 days to drive across Canada and it was awesome (apart from the mosquitoes which nearly carried us away in Quebec). Can not believe you do not need a special license to drive a school bus as long as the seats are removed and all school signs etc are removed (except for in Quebec as a very nice policeman pointed out to us). Hubby is now an expert bus driver, even drove through Montreal in rush hour traffic thanks to the afore mentioned policeman who delayed us for 3 hours. As we were traveling in our "house" we did not need to plan ahead and just stopped at RV parks along the way. It is the best way to see Canada and we now have a lovely hobby of converting the bus into an RV.

St John's is a much better fit for us. Small town feeling. So far we are loving being back by the sea. Newfoundland is beautiful, very hilly with lots and lots of trees. It has almost been like immigrating twice as we now have to change health insurance and licenses etc, but for us very very worth it. Sometimes you NEED to be thrown in at the deep end to prove to yourself that anything really is possible.

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

Awesome! Love your post.

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kodacat

Wonderful!!

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Trevor&Anelle

I LOVED reading this!! I'm also just a little jealous :)

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MartieKruger

Cool. Good luck and keep us posted.

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Tracey22

wow. This is so amazing, to be able to do this.

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Stefan

Cool. I once seriously considered moving to Argentia, NL but have never even seen "The Rock".

I hope you enjoy every minute of your adventure!

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shawman

Just an update on life in Newfoundland. In a word AWESOME. We have really been able to settle. Newfoundland is beautiful. The people are very down to earth and friendly. One of the things I really like is that the houses here are all different, red, green, blue, yellow you name it they have it and the funny thing is it works! I live in a bright red house and love it. The gardens are huge and wonderfully far apart. Except in the new communities which are getting closer together. Still a lot more room than Calgary though. They pride themselves on having houses that are different from each other. St John's is very pretty, with really old heritage shops and houses in the center. We love being outdoors and hiking and cross country ski trails are everywhere. You only need to go 10 mins in any direction and you are out in the forest with lakes everywhere. We have snow mobile trails that cross the freeway, which is just crazy (and really scary)! We have a good mixture of heritage, mod cons and outdoors. All in all it was a good move for us!

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Question: Does it snow a lot here?

Answer: Yes. yes it does!

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Nelline

Awesome!!! So glad for you! Beautiful photos!! The ocean shots remind me of Cornwall (my other "home")

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ENGinCT

Amazing story - well done! please post more pics, especially of the neighbourhoods.

I'm also very attracted to the Atlantic provinces, but work opportunities are much fewer than in say Ontario or the west. Wasn't it quite a leap of faith for you guys?

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Merv

Looks a lot like Knysna (minus the snow of course) very pretty

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Karen

What a fantastic experience! Kudos to you for having the courage to up and do this. I am sure many of us wish we could have, too.

Please carry on telling us about life in your new province, and posting those amazing pictures.

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Sheryl

Awesome pics - not sure about all that snow though! Definitely on my list of places to visit one day, though hubby says he wants to live there - if he sees your post he'll say "I told you so!"

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Hendie

That's the sort of gung-ho attitude we need as immigrants to this wonderful new land we now call home.

We actually wish we had done something like you did a lot sooner. We held out for 12 years in Calgary before moving to the Maritimes, and now wish we had done it a lot sooner! The Maritimes vs. Calgary/Toronto/etc. is much like the Western Cape vs. Transvaal (Gauteng for the new crowd). Capies always want to go back and live the good life near the coast. And please don't tell me there are no opportunities in the Maritimes, work is to be had for anyone willing. Agreed, income is not the same as in the west, but then cost of living is also not nearly as expensive as in the west. Property is a LOT cheaper. Life is a LOT less stressful and nature is just to die for (although having travelled all across Canada in the time we've been here - all of Canada is beautiful).

Thanks for a welcome post about the beauty of the east coast ... and Newfoundland!

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

That's the sort of gung-ho attitude we need as immigrants to this wonderful new land we now call home.

We actually wish we had done something like you did a lot sooner. We held out for 12 years in Calgary before moving to the Maritimes, and now wish we had done it a lot sooner! The Maritimes vs. Calgary/Toronto/etc. is much like the Western Cape vs. Transvaal (Gauteng for the new crowd). Capies always want to go back and live the good life near the coast. And please don't tell me there are no opportunities in the Maritimes, work is to be had for anyone willing. Agreed, income is not the same as in the west, but then cost of living is also not nearly as expensive as in the west. Property is a LOT cheaper. Life is a LOT less stressful and nature is just to die for (although having travelled all across Canada in the time we've been here - all of Canada is beautiful).

Thanks for a welcome post about the beauty of the east coast ... and Newfoundland!

Hendie, if we moved there, would there be opportunities for a civil engineer and photo journalist/counsellor? :holy:

I love the idea of being closer to Europe/SA for visits.

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Stefan

Hey there Shawman and other Maritimers, we hear therte's some crazy new weather dumped on you. How's it going now? Still digging?

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Jeanne

FANTASTIC! We also wanted to do this for the first 3 months while we were waiting for our container, but we ended up only touring Quebec for 2 weeks before we settled in Ontario. We will for sure do it one day, what an experience! :)

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shawman

Latest update on life in Newfoundland. We have just got in from iceberg watching!! Awesome and breathtaking. This is the view I have on my way back from fetching my son from school. Unreal to see icebergs floating by. Weather is still cold and we had more snow last night. It melts off pretty quick though. On average not too bad. Waiting patiently for summer, sigh.

We have bought a house and move in on the 2nd June. Can not wait. We have bought an acreage and it is going to be so nice to have space. The house buying process is quite different than in SA but it all went relatively smoothly. I think this is the biggest step for us, nothing like having your own home. Home inspection is very important (especially as the houses here are so different). Also having water tested seemed weird to me, but as it's an acreage we have well water.

Best move ever!!post-11326-0-41462400-1399591614_thumb.j

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Stefan

Jissem dis flippen kwaai!

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debbieD

Awesome! :ilikeit: I have a newfie friend who works at the university there. I intend visiting sometime. One of my bucket list things to do before I kick the bucket.

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Cathy K

Debbie, we miss you!

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shawman

Time for another update on life in Newfoundland. SUMMER is here. We are enjoying really awesome weather. Blue skies and temps of 28 plus. Very much like Durban weather with the humidity. I love the way all the shops all of a sudden have garden centers in their parking lots. St John's has zillions of hanging baskets of petunias everywhere. (Even from some traffic lights :ilikeit: ).

As there are lakes everywhere it seems the Newfie pastime is to swim ALL the time. There are lots of areas to go where people gather for picnics etc. My kids go to the lakes with their friends everyday and are having a ball. The only thing we need to watch for are moose. (We have a LOT here) My eldest son has taken up snorkeling. Has to wear a wet suit as the sea is really, really cold. The sea here is so clear you can see the bottom and it is also amazingly calm. The beaches are all rocks and no sand, but still really pretty. The icebergs have gone but now we have lots of whales and puffins.Everyone seems to be busy in summer, they really make the most of it. I like the lively feel in St John's with all the festivals etc. Almost like we are squeezing in as much as we can before we have to hibernate again :lol:.

There are also quite a few block parties, takes a bit of getting used to, as I find as South Africans we tend not to socialize as much with our neighbours. We have bought a house and moved in. LOVE IT. The neighbours have all come over to introduce themselves and offer help with moving and gardening. We have a freezer full of fish as most of our neighbours have brought us a bag full of "fresh caught cod". You can not say no thanks, as they seem genuinely hurt by your refusal. So we smile and say thanks, and eat loads of fish! We built a six foot wooden fence around our property (as we have a huge Great Dane and are getting another one on Monday), and had our neighbours fascinated that we built it ourselves.(Had a few comments on how hardworking South Africans must be!) It is so nice to be able to leave our back door open until we go to bed and have have the dog come and go as he pleases. Surprisingly we don't have that many mosquitoes here. All in all LIFE IS AMAZING!

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Sideline

Spectacular story, and awesome home you have there :D

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shawman

Fall in Newfoundland is gorgeous. 18 degrees today with loads of sunshine. I know winter is coming but we are so enjoying every moment of fall!post-11326-0-52516600-1413931733_thumb.j

Edited by shawman
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shawman

This is Salvage, NL. Isn't it lovely!post-11326-0-48583800-1413932854_thumb.j

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