Our move to Toronto was my next big adventure when life in Dhaka had seemed to reach its height. Don’t get me wrong, we Alhamdulliah had a great and blessed life in Dhaka; surrounded by love, comfort and in some cases luxuries. I was working in the family business while he was making a steady rise up the corporate ladders. We had close friends, a loving family, and a very comfortable life with no real worry or pressure. Given all that, we chose to move halfway across the world. Literally. What started as a half baked idea ended up being the biggest decision of both of our lives. We decided to move to a city far away from home and start our life from scratch. Literally.
It’s very hard to pinpoint what was it that triggered it all exactly. There were passing thoughts and discussions about the growing food adulteration; talks about the traffic that is getting worse by the day and the general disregard for morals, values and sadly human life in Dhaka. Sometimes, we would talk about a better standard of living in other countries. But we never sat and did the math about our next step.
What a lot of our friends and families don’t know is that we had second thoughts about moving throughout. When we decided to break the news to our family, when he handed over his resignation letter- almost every step of the way we would ask each other, “Are we doing the right thing? Is the move the best decision?”. You might find it very strange, but the consequences of our decision did not register in my brain until everything was done and dusted-after which there was no turning back.
Then I did what I now realize I am quite good at : quickly adapt to change. There was a time in the early years of my life when I had the notion of living abroad, away from my family. It was never really a plan set in stone that I had worked to make happen. It was my idea of escaping (in my thoughts) when the reality of life was overwhelming. I channeled that high-school girl who dreamed of living abroad and brought out a surge of optimism and vigor to deal with our move. I directed my thoughts to the opportunities this new life will bring us. I knew I had to be strong for both of us especially because he was going back to school, leaving a successful career behind. To anyone, it is a huge adjustment on top of adjusting to a new life altogether. The idea was that I will hold the fort until he graduates and lands on a good job and then I will ease out.
Initially, all the emotions were of excitement. It was exciting to not know what the future holds. It was also exciting to finally be an adult away from the shelter of the family at 30 years of age. Life was throwing challenges at us that I never had to deal with; I was learning and growing so much every day. To be completely responsible for a household and everything that comes with it -paying bills, doing groceries, cooking, laundry, cleaning- you name it! Doing all the regular chores around the household by ourselves was completely new to us; and as you know anything new is intriguing at first.
We tried to acknowledge the simple pleasures of life that we missed out till now; I call it simple pleasures but I am actually referring to the basic rights that every human should be entitled to but isn’t in the sad world we live in today. For example using public transport without worrying about safety, walking in the neighborhood without being gaped at, eating unadulterated fruits and vegetables, etc. It feels liberating just to be able to open my front door and go for a walk without a second thought. The idea that I can grab a book and spend hours at a park under the sun (when it is out i.e. :P) is amazing. A life I had only glimpses of when I traveled outside my country is now my everyday life.
Because of my passion for cooking, I have to add that I am beyond ecstatic, that there isn’t any ant infiltration over here. You can leave your sugar, chocolates and, cookies anywhere you like without having to worry about ants. Let’s not forget, how your chips and cookies are always crisp even when you haven’t stored them in air-tight containers or sealed their packets. That is half of my mother-in-law’s worries taken care of ! 🙂
I enjoy the fresh produce of vegetables and fruits that aren’t common to South Asia. If you miss the produces that are more common in Dhaka, you can always go down to Danforth and get your dose of Bangladeshi supplies. I got mine before Ramadan!
There is a certain ease about how the lifestyle is, in these parts of the world. The system is designed to make life simple and easy for you, not more complicated and difficult. From supplies in the groceries to services like health cards and driving licenses- everything is designed to save time and make life simple and easy. You don’t have to keep going back to get a service or bribe along the process. I got my G1 driving license within an hour. This stark contrast to the life we use to know is a welcoming change.
Finding a job in the Canadian market without any degree or work experience was like a cherry on top of my cake. I must say I feel blessed to be able to secure a full-time permanent position in a charitable organization within months of landing here. More newness, more excitement.
Thank you for reading ❤
To proceed to the second part, please click here.