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Last year my Granny passed away.

All I could hear for weeks was the last sentence she said to me a few days before she died, “I wish I had gone out and explored this amazing world of ours a bit more.” So how would you say you decided to move your entire life to another country? How would you say ‘Granny, I’m moving to Toronto’?

Now I realise that my reason is a bit morbid, but I guess we all have our triggers that make us want to explore the world outside our home. The allure of Canada and its people is a potent one. I have always loved Toronto. Something about it at the age of 12, when I went there with my family, just seemed to draw me in. Even an encounter with a ‘jakey’ (Scottish for ‘unwanted street person’) was just for them to offer us a word about what McDonalds was doing to the rainforest in South America. Judging by his predicament, I doubt this would be his first thought if living in another country. Since my first visit I have always wanted to live, work, hang about, and holiday there. And as my years have racked up to the mighty age of 28, I noticed that my time was slowly slipping away.

So maybe my decision wasn’t as morbid. Maybe it just seems like the right time. I even took a well-earned day off work just to be number 18 in the IEC Visa queue. And now here I am, having told my work of nearly four years and a couple of promotions that I will be leaving them in May, while trying to sort out what I will do when I am there. Gulp.

Following a dream is something that I haven’t really done before, so I should probably describe the list of things that I have considered so far. At the moment this looks something like a weekly shopping list for a family of five. Everything from jobs to tax, from insurance to prescriptions is on there. And truth be told, I haven’t really done much with any of it yet. I read continuously the posts of other fellow IEC adventurers on the Facebook groups and make more notes and lists on the back of them, just assuming that at some point it will all fall in to place.

First things first. I have just completed my 11th job enquiry through a variety of LinkedIn,, Monster.Ca and Google searching. Deciding what type of jobs to go for was the main thing. But I think you just need to aim big and see what comes up. Maybe there is a job over there that you would never have thought of considering before.

Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world

I assume that I am in the minority with this visa in hand too. Most people in a similar position will be 18-25 and looking to get themselves out on to the slopes for some shredding. But that’s not for me really. I have suffered enough injuries with my mediocre snowboarding skills to last a lifetime. I am going out there to experience Toronto, the city where about half its occupants weren’t born there. The city that has more different types of food available on one street than I think I have even seen in my lifetime. The city where you can find a place called the Bovine Sex Club, and nobody bats an eyelid. And the city that I would like to call home for however long I will stay. Because I think that’s the other reason I am doing this— to find out something about myself when put in a place that isn’t home.


Martin is currently planning his move to Toronto to fulfill a dream of living and working in Canada. He is hoping to carve out a little slice of the cosmopolitan lifestyle and see what the future holds. He will be moving to Toronto in June, 2014.

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