“Are you sure?” he asked. I knew what I was going to do and with a deep breath and a lot of conviction (some doubt, more than I would like to admit), I answered, “YES!”.
I moved to Canada from India two months ago, all in search of a better life, a global education and the ultimate dream of working abroad. I studied journalism and all its nuances 15 years ago and it feels more like 100. I came into the Broadcast and Online Journalism program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology thinking I have studied all of this. But, to say that all my courses and lessons have stumped me is understating it.
Moving abroad has been the most challenging, yet the most liberating experience one could ever ask for. There are no rules to hold you back and no expectations. At the same time, the pressure to deliver on your hopes and desires is so unbelievable that, at times, I pause and wonder at my own audacity.
“What did I just do?”, I ask myself, in shock and in bewilderment. I left my family, my husband (God bless that man for “allowing” me to do this), my home and a sturdy job to travel across the world and pursue my dream.
I can only be two things — either downright crazy or extremely courageous. Most days, I feel the former. The latter feeling seeps in at night when another long-drawn day is over and I feel like I have learnt so much.
I brought along my 3-year-old boy because — I AM CRAZY. Who gets a little child to travel 40 hours on a plane and move to a country where 15 degrees is warm?! Back home, we would take out our pretend sweaters and scarves and shiver as soon as the mercury dropped to 18. The one time it dropped to 15 degrees, it made the news. There were pictures of babies are snuggled up in sweaters and monkey caps across all the major newspapers and the TV crews were out on the streets talking to people about how cold it was.
I come here and think of those times and look at my 5 layers of clothing that adds 65 kgs to my 5 feet frame and I say, “Yeah, right!”
Canada is so cold but so warm. The people on the streets, my classmates, bus drivers — everyone has gone out of their way to help us.
As I start adding another layer to my bulky frame, I thank the people who made this journey possible — my husband, my family and the customs officer who stamped my passport even though my son told him he looked like a grasshopper!