Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

So you just landed...and you hate it here. What now?

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Raquel

Thank you Tracey!

Good read to remind us it's not all peaches and cream!

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Helanie

Thank you Tracey!!! :hug:

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Millaberry

Coming to Canada for us was some what of an equation and it looks something like this

received passports + Flights booked = cant wait to start our new life in Canada

But we got the maths all wrong it was more like this

Fly - Land = this is not what we expected!!!

Thank you Ingrid for your post it has been so good to read - for us Canada has been more like someone telling you how painful child birth is - you nod and smile cause you really dont know - and then you have a baby and you keep thinking to yourself - why did know one tell me it was going to be this painful - HEHE TMI im sure.

But on a serious note - our first few weeks have been terribly hard and I would never want to live those weeks again, we still have somethings to sort out but even though it has been so hard - we cant go back to SA - it didnt feel like our home anymore and we need to do this for our children. And even though it has been hard it has brought us closer together as a family!

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Helanie

Coming to Canada for us was some what of an equation and it looks something like this

received passports + Flights booked = cant wait to start our new life in Canada

But we got the maths all wrong it was more like this

Fly - Land = this is not what we expected!!!

Thank you Ingrid for your post it has been so good to read - for us Canada has been more like someone telling you how painful child birth is - you nod and smile cause you really dont know - and then you have a baby and you keep thinking to yourself - why did know one tell me it was going to be this painful - HEHE TMI im sure.

But on a serious note - our first few weeks have been terribly hard and I would never want to live those weeks again, we still have somethings to sort out but even though it has been so hard - we cant go back to SA - it didnt feel like our home anymore and we need to do this for our children. And even though it has been hard it has brought us closer together as a family!

Thanks for sharing Millaberrry! :hug:

It's good for us to see the other side of settling in AND it's necessarily to know / see THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY of immigration so that one can be open minded. Some might have a ''soft'' landing WHILE others might have a very difficult time in the beginning OR even a bit later (about 3 months after landing) SO thank you so much for sharing and ALL THE OTHERS as well (great / bad / hard landing experiences). We want to see the good / great / soft landing side of immigration BUT we also NEED to see & realised that there's another side that might affect your family - for some it is never like that BUT for some it is exactly like Millaberry said and the article AND even worst.

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Druce

Coming to Canada for us was some what of an equation and it looks something like this

received passports + Flights booked = cant wait to start our new life in Canada

But we got the maths all wrong it was more like this

Fly - Land = this is not what we expected!!!

Thank you Ingrid for your post it has been so good to read - for us Canada has been more like someone telling you how painful child birth is - you nod and smile cause you really dont know - and then you have a baby and you keep thinking to yourself - why did know one tell me it was going to be this painful - HEHE TMI im sure.

But on a serious note - our first few weeks have been terribly hard and I would never want to live those weeks again, we still have somethings to sort out but even though it has been so hard - we cant go back to SA - it didnt feel like our home anymore and we need to do this for our children. And even though it has been hard it has brought us closer together as a family!

Thanks for sharing. What was the hardest parts? Just realizing it is not what you expected or were there specific situations that made it bad?

I am asking so that maybe we can do something differently when we make the big move...

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Raquel

Both Tracey (the link) and Millaberry's posts were a good reality check for those of us that think it will be a "breeze" when we land!

Thank you for sharing Millaberry...

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KarinN

I'm one of those people that had no problems moving here. I didn't find it difficult at all. BUT, I am not close to my family in SA. I've wanted to move to other countries since I was a young girl. I don't think I've ever been South African deep inside of me.

Things that made it easier for us:

- We knew the move was permanent. There was no thought in the back of our heads that if things go bad, we can always go back.

- My husband had to start work immediately and the day after I arrived we had to go to a work social. Immediately got to meet Canadians and had people taking me around to show me stuff and just take make daughter for an ice cream.

- We took whatever weather was thrown at us, embraced it and enjoyed it. Ice cream when it is -40C outside - check. Skating on the river - check. Walking in blizzard conditions - check. We went to free festivals, visited the most beautiful gardens, took part in Halloween outings, went to museums. We were always out discovering. Even now after 7 years if work allows, we are out over weekends still discovering the beauty of this country we live in.

Yeah I miss having a close friend. I have one friend here close to where I live. And a handful of friends that I keep in touch with that lives in other provinces/countries. My family is having a reunion next week - I will attend via Skype. I don't yearn for what i've left behind, I yearn for what I have not yet discovered

Edited by KarinN
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Sideline

Thanks for sharing. What was the hardest parts? Just realizing it is not what you expected or were there specific situations that made it bad?

I am asking so that maybe we can do something differently when we make the big move...

Unfortunately you are not anyone else! What was hard for them might be trivial to you, what is hard for you, others might not even have faced. It all has to do with how you handle stress. Do you remain calm? Do you freak out because the line in the grocery store is too long? Do you hate rainy wet weather, not because it's rain, but because the damb dog keeps getting the floor dirty!

Immigrating to a new country is all about leaving it behind. Deal with your baggage before you leave or it will manifest into a huge pile of Steaming stinky stuff very fast. This is the emotional stuff you hide under that Saffer bravado. You will release that pent up anger so unexpectedly that it will catch you by surprise. It might even scare the hell out of you if you don't know It's coming.

It's the things we long for more than the circumstances that trip us up. As Karin mentioned, leave it behind! Make no room for a back door in your plans. Yes I know you think and you say its final and no looking back. Seldom do you realize it, but your spouse might be the one harbouring the "what if" thoughts. Deal openly and honestly with all sides of your feelings. Drop that 'I'm a man and I don't talk mooshy feeling k@@k'. Sit down and have the entire family deal with their fears, hopes, dreams and expectations. Get on the same page as fast as you can, and DONT assume everyone is on the same boat as you. Often kids have things they can't tell you because you have made up your mind and it's your way, end of story. Take the time to listen to them, they are equally important, and if this move is 'for them' stop excluding them. Make them part of your team, it helps them feel like they belong.

Acknowledge that both parents might have to work to start off with. Survival jobs are not an embarrassment, they are a means to an end. You doing something beneath your expectations doesn't make you less of a person, it makes you a person strong enough to move forward, even if you have to walk backwards for a little while.

If you suffer from emotional stress or other medically related problems, you NEED to find your zen point. This journey is the hardest thing you will face, and it's the most rewarding if you just LET IT GO.

Family (well actually relatives - even parents and siblings are really just relatives, learn that fact and it's easier to deal with, kind of distancing yourself emotionally) staying behind are all adults, they make their own choices and live their own lives. You might be the closest family and spend hours and hours in each other's company. Maybe you have one of the families where everyone lives in each other's homes/clothes/fridges/potjie pot etc. The reality is when you close you eyes at night, it's who you fall asleep with that is your real family. They are the ONLY ones you will need to get over the days ahead, make sure you are in their life more than your siblings and parents. Everyone else is old and ugly enough to choose their own path. It's not for you to walk their path, neither is it their duty to place boulders on yours. Respect them for their choices, but remind them to respect you for yours.

Make peace with the fact that you may never ever see (physically) your older parents or grandparents, take the time to say good bye in person now and do it properly (remember you still want to be in that will :P ).

Money makes the world and journey easier, but learn to live with far less than you need right now. Force yourself into living on the bare minimum and when you get here and can afford better or more, you suddenly feel fabulous. Reverse that and you suddenly will know what financial devastation and destruction does to even the strongest relationships.

Finally, buy yourself a pair (or two) of big boy/girl pants. You are going to be wearing those really well so you may as well get used to it. It's hard, but rewarding. It's emotional but it's crime and fear free. It's happiness rolled inside sadness, covered in joy and delight. You choose which layer to savor and what layer to spit out.

Have fun and remember to smell the flowers and stop to watch a honey bee do its job. You will be amazed at what you can learn from those simplest of moments in life. You forget to do these things in SA, yet here it becomes a way of life. LIVING like you have never lived before!

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Sideline

Thank you Ash, feeling humble to share the honesty.

We sat tonight talking this one through, and in all honesty after almost two years (19 plus months actually) of being here we have not missed a single thing from SA, not even for a single day.

Sure there are family (relatives) back there, plenty of fabulous memories and countless little things. Yet we chose to leave everything right there when we walked through customs and onto the plane in Jhb. That has been our personal savior, not wanting to bring anything with (emotionally). We chose to break ground in a new country on our own terms. We asked for people's support and respect yet many times we had boulders strewn at our feet, but we simply put on the hiking boots and climbed on top of them. What family and friends didn't realize that by placing these boulders in our way, and us Climbing up and over them, they unintentionally gave as a better vantage point higher up to see our future. So thanks to them, our journey became so much easier. We were able to deal with the emotional ties quicker and easier, and that we believe p1ssed them off the most. They failed to realize that we respected their choices and fed off their desire to hold on to tight.

It's not everyone that can let go and move on, but if you can't do it the journey does become bitter when all you see is the past.

Remember if you keep looking in the rear view mirror, you won't see your future but will remain stranded in your past.

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M-N

I'm the "suck-it-up-and-get-over-it" type of person. I don't dwell in the past or what might have been. Take the situation by the b... I mean horns and show it who's boss. Anything worth having should never come easy, it just loses that feeling of appreciation and accomplishment then.

We've been here almost a year now (can't believe it) and I've not had one moment of regret or sadness or homesickness. Infact, it feels like we've been here forever. I thank Liewe Jesus every day for blessing us with this opportunity and this luck.

Sorry for the grammatical errors. It's late and my brain is tired now.

Go out there, take names and kick some @$$! :)

Also little motto I live by and remind myself of whenever I get into that "worry" state: "Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere."

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Raquel

Thanks Sidey and M-N... You guys always know just how to get the message across!

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Sideline

Now that's letting the bull know who's in charge :)

Reminds me of two jokes.

Old bull & young bull up on a hill. Down in the valley are some cows. Young bull says to old bull, let's run down there and do a cow. Old bull says, let's rather walk! Then we get to do them all ;)

Rambunctious bull is a real show off and a favourite among the cows. One day he sees a very good looking cows and being all horny decides to show off a little. He struts and poses, walks and flexes his stuff. He then jumps over the barb wire fence to go introduce himself. "So who are you?" asks the little cow all meekly. Bull answers, " well I was bull b@@lls until I jumped that fence. Now I'm just bull, my b@@lls are hung up on the fence!" :D

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Raquel

Hahaha

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M-N

Lol @Sideline I know there's a Blue Bulls joke in their somewhere.....but I think the Lions ate it....

Edited by M-N
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Dixie

@Sideline and @M-N ....so love your open and honest no nonsense posts....:ilikeit: 

I can't begin to imagine what it's going to be like but we have already agreed as a family, we do this together or we don't do it at all. No backdoor, no lifeline, absolutely no second guessing the decision whatsoever (because I can go there and get lost in it). Times might be hard, but then again they may not, we just won't know until we are there! And it's very true, each person's landing and settling experience will differ.

In the end all that matters is we have two teenage boys that are counting on their parents to keep their @#$% together even when the going gets tough.

 

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell
On 10 August 2015 at 7:18 AM, shawman said:

As always Ingrid, excellent. I had to laugh about speaking to a Newfie. I remember when we moved here, we were waiting in line to board the ferry. Hubby and I went over to the little shop for food and we were listening to the people around us chatting. My heart stopped when I realized I could not understand most of them. It is supposed to be English BUT we can't make it out. After being here a while we have learnt that most people who live in St Johns don't speak like that. It is the small outer village people who speak Newfie. In fact a lot of the people here don't understand it either.

You made me laugh. It's like some of the dialects in Germany. My family come from the Northern part of Germany and I am comfortable with the German they speak. However, I have some relatives who live Bavaria, and when they speak one of the Bavarian dialects, I sit with a mouth full of teeth. Some of the words don't even sound German. :rolleyes:

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell
On 11 August 2015 at 10:35 AM, Cathy K said:

There will always be actions and counter actions all over the world. An attitude of "woe is me" can become tiresome, even for the most accommodating. The Afrikaans saying: “kla met ‘n witbrood onder die arm” comes to mind.

 

 

I so agree with you, Cathy.

There is an expression I like: "If you're dying, die quietly."

Sometimes the biggest klaagkouse are those who live in that "I am entitled-dreamworld."

 

 

And...a quote from one of my most favourite poems:

“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.

A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.”

― D.H. LawrenceThe Complete Poems

 

 

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell
On 10 August 2015 at 11:32 AM, AnelleR2008 said:

I think it is HARD to change when you are still in SA. I find that whenever I speak to South Africans they always mention the race of someone:
"YEsterday at Checkers this black/zulu/african woman....."
"When we were at the beach this indian guy..."
"This colour lady......"
They don't even notice it.

I actually want to invent a drinking game where ever time they mention someone's race and it is completely irrelevant (99.9% of the time), I get to down a shot.... :D:D:D

Very true, and I wish the mindsets would change. However, I love saying "I saw my Chinese friend today," or "I am going to the jewellery sale of my First Nations' friend form the Blood Rez." When I mention a person's race, it is about identity, culture, The Person, who they are, everything I like about them being from a different ethnic group to what I am from. To me it is beautiful. If you put political glasses on, you start seeing political incorrectness only. So sad. I think we were meant to enjoy the differences in our cultures, and so much of that was ruined for us by the way S.Africans have become fearful or over-sensitive about people who are not the same. Come to think of it: it really is sad problem in most countries.

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Jules

Settling in is weird process. In the beginning you feel so lost and out of place. You swear that this land will never feel like home. But as the years pass by you do settle and it does start to feel like home. I'm going to Cape Town on vacation next month and I know that when I'm there i will feel like a tourist and somewhat out of place. Last time I was there it just didn't feel like home anymore. Ironically that made me sad and when returning to Canada it felt so familiar and "right" ... it's truly a "what the heck?" experience!

It's a strange feeling when it goes full circle and you feel more comfortable in Canada than in SA. Took  me about 10 years. Cape Town will always hold a special place in my heart but deep down I know it's actually the PAST that I miss and the nostalgia of my youth rather than actually missing SA. 

To anyone struggling to adapt here - give it time and you will be OK. It gets better. Time is a wonderful healer. 

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