Tuesday, July 8, 2008


So, I'm wondering what all the other US-to Canada ex-pats tell Canadians when they ask WHY you moved to Canada.

We get that a lot, once people find out we came from the US, and at times we are not exactly sure what reason to give. Perhaps it is still that US-grown protective stance that tells us to proceed with caution as we usually think we'll get a negative comment, or maybe worse. As time passes, and we try our luck at answering more honestly, we find that we really don't get any negative responses from Canadians. Of course our main reason for moving was political and wanting a home where we can live openly and honestly. (Hmmm, that "honestly" comment just sounded a bell in my head, with regard to US not being completely honest with our answers to people.) I'm sure that as time passes, and we grow more accustomed to our new environs and it's people, we'll just tell them why we moved and let it go at that. As far as peoples reactions to us moving here from the US, they range from a simple "Oh" and then moving on to the conversation at hand, to the complete excitement of a couple that are our neighbors who reside full time in Edmonton and use the house on the Island for vacations and holidays - at least until they retire in a couple of years. We have a standing invite for coffee in August, when they are here for the month and I'm sure we'll be presented with a myriad of questions for us to contemplate the answers.

I suppose it comes down to just trying to 'read' the person inquiring and providing the answer we think they will like? Maybe for now. And for us to get used to this wonderful new place that we call home, and the truly accepting folks that made this country so great. The US could certainly take some lessons from their neighbors of the North.

In the meantime, share your thoughts and experiences with me and maybe that will help us adjust. Perhaps it is just in our heads....

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Thanks for tuning in!


West End Bob said...

Living in a large, cosmopolitan city like Vancouver, we don't get the "why" question much. There are so many people here from all over the globe, it's pretty much a non-issue.

Our friends/neighbours who have known us now for a couple of years, have no questions. They know our feelings regarding US politics, the militarization/corporate greed in the US, and a general lack of caring (national health coverage) in the US vs. Canada.

Pretty much sums it up . . . .

cls said...

You may find this article written by an American woman living in Vancouver interesting. http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/outright-barbarism-vs-civil-society
It's about what she's noticed is different between the two countries and why she prefers Canada. Some of what she says I think is a bit over the top, but interesting.


MSEH said...

Most of the time I say, "Because my family is legally recognized here and that's not the case in the US." Less frequently and depending on my "read" of the situation, I say, "Because Canada is so much more civilised than the US." The great thing is that even here in the Maritimes it doesn't create so much as a flicker of, "Huh?"

The Mason said...

You'll be amazed how quickly the pessimistic, paranoid American leaves your system and is replaced with the optimistic welcoming traits of Canadians. Two years later, we still get asked the question - in fact, the most recent just a few days ago. I think I've been able to boil it down to one word finally: humanity. I wrote more about it here.