We made it, we are finally in Canada!!! We landed this past Sunday afternoon, and so far everything has gone without a hitch.
I took some pictures for you guys:
This is a picture of all our our belongings neatly packed after weeks of donating and discarding items. I took the picture early Sunday morning, right before leaving. It all looks petty neat in the picture, but had I taken it a few hours before it would have been a picture of pure chaos. In fact, I did not believe we would have all our stuff packed and be ready to vacate until I saw it for myself 10 minutes before leaving for the airport. If you are getting ready to leave, my suggestion would be to start early, and save yourself some major stress.
Bye bye, USA:
This is the last picture I took in the US.
Arriving in Calgary!
As we were landing, both my husband and I must have looked like the biggest dorks in the world. We both had grins from ear to ear and probably looked like we were high on something. Few people (except maybe for you) could understand how we felt — we were finally arriving to our new home!
Once we arrived we went to get our landing papers stamped by the immigration officer. The whole process took about 10 minutes and we finally got to hear the words we had been daydreaming about for months, “Congratulations! Welcome to Canada!”
The following day we decided to go sight seeing, since Monday was a holiday (family day) and all offices were closed. It was bitterly cold (-20 C), but after a few minutes everything was numb and eventually we couldn’t even feel the cold anymore (kidding, it was -20!). But we were super exited to check out the city, so a little cold wasn’t about to stop us. The weather has since gotten a lot better, and because we arrived on one of the coldest days, -10 Celsius feels pretty sweet today!
Yesterday, we skipped the sight seeing and got down to business. First we went to the “Service Canada” building to request or SIN numbers (Canada’s version of SSN). I was shocked to find that Canadian government buildings do not have metal detectors or guards that check your bag; instead, they just have friendly help desks. Anyhow, 30 minutes after arriving we left with our newly minted SIN numbers. With SIN numbers in hand we headed to the bank to open our first Canadian bank account. We chose RBC based on some recommendations, and we are glad we did. It turns out they have these awesome cross-border accounts that help with moving money between the US and Canada. I won’t get into details since I will be posting on the subject of moving money on a separate post.
After setting up our bank account we moved on to searching for an apartment. We are currently staying at an Airbnb until March 1st, so finding a place is our number one priority right now. Yesterday we found a really nice apartment in a great part of town for $1,195 CAD with all utilities included. We gave a deposit and some references and we are hoping to hear back form them today or tomorrow. We really hope we get it! Wish us luck!
That is all from me today. I will be back with some new posts and hopefully more pictures next week!