If you are an expatriate and you move to another country, you know that your time will come to repatriate. However, some people plan to leave their home country for good in order to live permanently in another country. This is Dalice´s story.
Listen to the whole interview here:
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Canada. I have a great family - couple sisters, a stepbrother. We enjoy hanging out. When we do get together, we have fun. I have a son, his wife and three grandchildren and my husband has a son and a daughter. Pretty much everybody on my side of the family and my husband`s kids are all up there.
I love to read, travel, meet people, eat, -love to eat, one of my problems. And I love M&M`s. Oh, and the Dallas Cowboys.
What was your biggest challenge moving from Canada to Texas?
The biggest challenge was the whole immigration process. We did it ourselves. We didn't hire a lawyer. My husband has dual citizenship and grew up in Texas. That was the reason why we were choosing to move there. It took us 3,5 years to go through the process of immigration doing all the paperwork ourselves. You fill out the paperwork, send it in. They go through it. If there is anything wrong, they send it back. You fix it. Then you just wait for the next step. There is nobody to talk to. That was frustrating. Obviously we got through it and got it done in the end. But we were lucky. We weren't on a timeline to get down there.
It took us 3,5 years to go through the process of immigration.
3,5 years is a long time waiting and being in limbo. I assume you expected that it would happen sooner.
When we started the process, we were telling just our family. I am like: "This time next year we will be moving to the States". That came around 3,5 years later. Everybody kind of forgets about it. And then Covid happened, so we thought it's gonna be way more years. So we were kind of shocked when we got an email saying you are good. You've got 6 months to go down there.
What was is like leaving Canada for good?
I don't know if it was my name being Dalice. I have always liked the state of Texas and the Dallas Cowboys. I kind of followed Texas in general. I have always wanted to move there. Never knew how it was gonna happen. Then I meet my husband who is from there and has dual citizenship. They always say be careful what you wish for. Once me and Tony got together and started talking about our life together, that was one of our questions that we talked about: Would we ever move to the US? We came from Calgary Alberta, Canada. We were tired of the cold snowy season. Obviously I didn't want to leave friends and family, but I wanted to go. It was easy for me to get to that decision.
What expectations have you had about the US and were they met?
I had an idea what things were like. I always thought there would be more opportunity in all sorts of ways. It's a way bigger place, way more people, the US has a lot of money. I was excited for that part. I feel there is way more opportunity of things to do.
I always thought that things were cheaper here. That wasn't as much as I thought. It is not necessarily more expansive than it was in Canada.
I love to shop. Lots of shopping here. Way more variety, so I am excited for that.
Everybody is way more patriotic here. You see everywhere you go there are US flags all over the place. I really like that. I am excited about 4th of July. In Canada you get a tiny little display and that is it. Here everybody goes all out.
What are you experiencing settling in when you think about your job, friendships or the neighborhood?
Workwise I am just getting to the point of starting to look into that. I was in the dental world for most of my life. I am ready to move on. I do life and relationship coaching and that is something I like to work on and build up. I still want to go out there and find something else to do. But it is scary. I haven't had to look for a job or even do a resume for 25 years. Here I just feel like I am a kid again and it is my first day at the work world and I know nothing. I have to relax and have some fun with it.
As far as friends go, luckily Tony grew up here and he has a lot of friends and I have gotten to know them over the years. We didn't move somewhere were we didn't know anybody.
All the ladies have been really welcoming. I am looking forward to finding my own friends and people you connect with and building that network.
Here I just feel like I am a kid again and it is my first day at the work world and I know nothing.
What advice would you give someone who moves to another country for good?
Suddenly I realized I have to find a nail lady. hair lady, a new doctor. Even going to the grocery store. I thought it would be the same here. But that's not true. Finding a new brand of peanut butter suddenly became overwhelming. It's all perspective. I can let it overcome me or I can be like okay, this could be fun. When you are home in your comfort zone you don't find new things. Now is the time to explore what is really out there. I always say to myself, maybe you need a pivot or a shift. When I got caught up and went down a dark road for a bit. I guess it was a depression and you feel like you are sinking. You have to regroup, find your perspective and shift to it.
Now is the time to explore what is really out there.
How would you say coaching has supported you during your move?
Very helpful. I was very lucky you being my coach and being an expat coach. I didn't consider myself an expat and suddenly you were an expat coach to me which was very beneficial to have somebody that knows and can help you and can understand what you are going through. I thought Canada and the US are so similar and all of the sudden it started to hit me and we had some sessions and it was like: I am an expat and all these things you said that are happening are happening. That part was very beneficial to have someone who understood. And just knowing to have a coach to talk things out. Make plans or goals for how you are going to do or overcome things in your new environment.
How would you continue Coaching because?
... it is life changing to have a coach. Coaching because it helps you to pivot and shift your way through all the changes and challenges in life.
You are a life and relationship coach. Where can people find you?
It's Forward Strides Life Coaching and it is under that on Facebook and Instagram.
What else would you like to share about your journey?
I didn't work since we left Canada and it really made me see how caught up in work life and drama at work I was. Having all this time focusing on me and my life here, was a huge reminder to not get so caught up in office politics. Even trying to keep up with the Joneses. Having the cars and the house and the trips and all the likes on Facebook, the perfect posts. Even the pressures from my own family. Expecting this, this and this. Trying to live my own life the way we want to and really trying not to care what other people think. Even friends and family and that is hard because they really tend to give you their opinion wether you want it or not. That is my biggest realization.
Trying to live my own life the way we want to and
really trying not to care what other people think.