Hello! My name is Lisa and I’m a Canadian Expat living the dream in the UK since September 2010.
I was born and raised in Northwestern Ontario and lived there up until my 26th birthday when I decided to move to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Life in Manitoba was good and by all accounts we had the perfect life – nice house, lots of land, nice cars and good jobs – but something was missing. My whole life I was drawn to England and had always dreamed of living here. As my grandfather was born in London I qualified for the Ancestry Visa which would allow all of us to live and work here. I can’t even remember how or why I brought it up but I mentioned moving to England to my now ex-husband Larry. To my surprise he loved the idea! So, after many family discussions; a whole lot of planning and organising – we did it. We arrived in England on the 8th of September 2010.
I should probably mention that we had never actually been to England before moving- we didn’t know anyone here and there was no job or house lined up. And, just to make things even more interesting I came over alone with my two daughters as hubby had to stay in Canada until our house sold.
Everyone thought we had lost leave of our senses, why would we move when we had everything we needed? Normal people just don’t up and move to another country! It was a crazy dream and there is no way that we can make a success of it. We’ll regret it and be back with our tail between our legs within the year.
Believe me, it wasn’t easy being alone in a strange country with two kids – there were days when I questioned my sanity (I’m pretty sure my kids did too). Looking back on that first year as difficult as it was it was truly one of the best years of my life. I learned to stand on my own two feet; learned to live on what I had in the bank and not on credit; learned that my girls and I were stronger than I ever imagined we could be; and most importantly I became even closer to my daughters. We had a lot of tears in that first year but equally a lot of laughter.
So much has happened in the 7 years that we’ve been here. My marriage to Larry ended and he moved back to Canada in 2015. Though our marriage didn’t survive he is one of my closest friends and last year when I married Craig he walked me down the aisle. My daughters have grown into beautiful, strong and independent women and in 2016, we all became British Citizens.
I truly love my life here – I wake up happy and grateful every day for my amazing life. I have no regrets and I am so glad that I was brave enough to follow my crazy dream.
So if you’re a misfit, a rebel or a trouble maker who has decided to chase your own crazy dream and move to the UK or if you are moving here for work or family, I hope you find this site helpful. If the information you find here helps even a tiny bit to make your move that much easier then I’ve done my job. I have tried to cover the basics that you might need like driving, shopping, housing and healthcare. You might even find a few other things you haven’t thought of.
If there is anything specific that I haven’t covered feel free to drop me a line and I’ll help in whatever way I can and remember…..
‘Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe’. – Gail Devers