Ever since I can remember I have wanted to live in England. I loved everything about it – it’s history, culture, castles, gardens, stunningly beautiful landscapes and of course, Monty Python.
Hello, I’m Lisa and I am a Canadian Expat, living the dream in the UK since September 2010.
Growing up I never really gave much thought to where my family originally came from, though my mother always insisted we were Irish.
At 21 I decided to find out for myself and started researching my family history. I heard about the Ancestry Visa and was delighted to discover that my paternal grandfather was born in London. My plan to move to England was born.
A Different Path
As it does, life sometimes heads us in completely different direction and in 1993 I moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba. I met and married my husband Larry, had 2 beautiful daughters, a secure and well paying Government job. We had a nice house in the country with a variety of furry friends. Life was great – but something was missing. The draw to England was as strong as ever.
I remember the day I suggested moving to my family, I was convinced they’d think I was mad but thankfully they are as mad as I am and they loved the idea!
The Decision is Made
We talked a lot about it, went back and forth with the should we or shouldn’t we’s. At time we were living in a very small prairie town and though we were happy there, we wanted our kids to see more and do more. Experience more of what life has to offer. The opportunity for to travel both in the UK and Europe was a really big pull for us.
It took a full two years of planning before we could go. I still had to compile all the proof required in order to apply for the Ancestry Visa. We also needed to complete the renovations on our house, before we could sell it.
Unfortunately, our house sale fell through and my husband had to stay behind to look after our pets and to wait for the house to sell. As I had already given notice at work, we made the decided that my daughters and I should go ahead. Larry and our pets would join us later.
Finally after all the planning and the waiting the day arrived – 7th September 2010.
Welcome to England
I should mention that moving to the UK was actually our first time here. Yep, that’s right never even visited here before we moved. People said we were crazy and there were times where I did agree with them.
Our first year here was not the easiest and we thought of going back to Canada more than once. There were many days when I doubted my own sanity for every thinking this was a good idea.
We lived in Plymouth for the first year and in 2011 moved to Kingsbridge, Devon. Our two dogs and cat came over in September with Larry following in November that same year.
Unfortunately, our marriage didn’t survive and my ex-husband ended up going back to Canada in 2015. Thankfully though, we are the very best of friends and he visits several times a year. When I remarried in 2016 he gave me away at my wedding. I can honestly say that without him, I’m not sure I could have pulled this off – so Larry if you are reading this Thank You!
It’s been quite the adventure, with a lot of tears, guilt trips and tantrums (and not the just kids!) but equally a lot of laughter and amazing experiences. I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a single thing. We are living the kind of life we always wanted – in a place I always knew I belonged…..I’m home at last.
So, if you are thinking of following your own crazy dream; you’re moving for work or family; or perhaps you’re just curious about living here – I do hope you find this site helpful.
I have tried to include everything that I wish I would have known before moving but – if there is anything specific you would like to know, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!