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By ni (Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 08:11:47 PM EST) moving, escaping this barren wasteland, advice, pantalon de ski (all tags)
Some brief thoughts on moving. Possibly the first real diary I've posted to husi.


For the past two months I've been determined to move at the end of August. I have been determined to move from here before, but this feeling of determination seems more resolute than the previous ones. I have been more confident in my ability to actually follow through with moving, and had more faith that I won't be overwhelmed by the process. Perhaps as importantly, I no longer see real reason to stay.

I do not like it here. It is small, close-minded and provincial, and I have sucked what marrow there was from it anyway. I have many friends, but few are close, and I fear the degree to which they might be friends of necessity. There are always things to do, but they're rarely worthwhile or even entertaining things. The local university has been good to me, but is small and poorly respected, and not without reason.

My plan has been to move to nearby Halifax, a city with at least three times the population this does, a very large student population and an atmosphere it's easy to feel comfortable in. (Also a ludicrous number of bars -- one has to keep their monkeys fed, you know.) In recent weeks I've come to doubts about the wisdom of going to Halifax, for its advantages seem few and it is not without disadvantages.

Significant among the disadvantages is the anticipated social situation I'd find myself in. I know a few people there (although not a huge number) and fear that I would, via the path of least resistance, fall in among them. Were this the only element to be considered, the decision to move elsewhere would be an easy one: Much of the incentive for moving comes from a desire to break free of the social group I find myself in here, and those people I know in Halifax are but extended tendrils of the same. As it stands, it is not (as often is the case) so simple. Balanced against this is a fear of utter isolation were I to go somewhere where I knew fewer people. I do not make friends easily, particularly without friends in common to serve as a path for introduction.

There is a small, but not unrealistically small chance that I would be able to find a roommate in Halifax, as a friend here may soon be moving here. This would cement the group of people I'd spend time with, but would do so at such a huge financial savings that it could be worth it.

Pragmatically, however, managing this would be challenging. He won't know if he'll be moving until early September, at which point I will have to be wherever I am to end up. This would put ahead of me the prospect of potentially breaking a lease, and at the very least moving twice, neither of which holds any appeal. He is vegetarian, however, which redeems this possibility to the level of "somewhat enticing". There are some minor other Halifax roommate possibilities, but my (perhaps unjustified) doubt about my ability to live with most people removes these options from those I am seriously considering.

While Halifax is not small, it is also not large. Since I seem to be at least a tiny bit hesitant to move (despite my hatred for where I am) it would be convenient, psychologically speaking, if I were to move to an undeniably Big CityTM, so as to vanquish any fears I do have about such places consuming me whole. As well, it seems like I would really enjoy the advantages offered by a big city at this phase in my life.

Finally, Halifax seems too close. It is scarred for me with associations of here and associations of its own. The age-old desire to break free and start something new, cliched though it is, is a powerful one.

What is most striking about this dilemma is how open ended it is. I have every reason to believe that I will continue to be employed by my current employers no matter where I am, so long as I have internet access. The courses I need to finish my degree are introductory general courses that any university on the planet would offer. I make a reasonable amount of money, and will have enough accumulated by the end of August to cover any realistic moving expenses. There is nothing that makes remaining in Nova Scotia a particularly better option than not. In this light, going to Halifax seems stranger still. Something international may be possible, I suppose, but could be challenging this late. As well, while I am vastly more confident in my actually escaping this island than I have been in previous times, arranging an international move may be difficult enough so as to be pushing my luck. Easy options seem preferable, if only to increase the likelihood of me actually following through with them. Were I to limit myself to Canada, the obvious options are Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

So, what say you husi? Thoughts? Advice? Memories? Drunken belligerence (greyrat option)? I'll slurp it all up and thank you for it when I'm done.

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Moving | 40 comments (40 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Well, having lived in Toronto, Montréal and KW by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #1 Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 08:29:34 PM EST
(KW being Kitchener/Waterloo, but there wasn't room in the subject)

If I had the choice, I'd be back in Montréal in a second. It's cheaper, and has more culture than Toronto. It's closer to where you are now, the convenience stores sell beer until some time after midnight (1? 2? I can't quite remember) instead of being forced into specialized government beer/wine stores that are always closed when you want a last minute run. If you do wind up moving there, save space on your couch for me to visit.

I hear it's hellish cold in winter, but I'm not sure how much of that is just typical Canadian whining about winter and I've only lived there in the summer (for 4 months, fwiw.)

Of course, Toronto has the advantage that you have friends here too and we both know you'd fit in just fine. That's really the only thing I can think of that the city has going for it.

Never lived in Vancouver. I can't give you any advice on it.

--
Vive le Montréal libre.

bwahahahahahahahaha by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #31 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 09:40:15 AM EST
You're talking about rough winters to someone who lives in Cape Breton?!?!?!?!

I expect he'll survive.

[ Parent ]
Move to California. by Ignore Amos (4.00 / 1) #2 Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 09:04:57 PM EST
Seriously.

Bad idea. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #3 Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 09:11:45 PM EST
ni and Mister Sun do not get along.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
get a tan by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 3) #15 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 04:22:07 AM EST
you pasty bastard.
---------
Dance On, Gir!
[ Parent ]
Seriously Seriously? by ni (4.00 / 1) #30 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 09:32:32 AM EST
Aug 14th, 2:50 AM:
IgnoreAmos:    I am a troll.
IgnoreAmos:    A horrible one.


[explaining the sledge-hammer] We had to maintain discipline among the floorboards. -- MissTrish
[ Parent ]
Late to move internationally? by creo (4.00 / 1) #4 Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 09:25:31 PM EST
If you mean age, surely you jest. My first move - to the US and South America, was done when I was the spritely age of 31.

My European tour was started (with a wife and two kids) when I was 33, and continued for 5 years.

Too Late? bah, humbug!

Cheers
Creo.

"I shall do what I believe to be right and honourable" - Guderian

No, no. by ni (4.00 / 1) #22 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 08:08:28 AM EST
Not late in life. Just late in the year.

One of the elements of this that I perhaps didn't emphasize enough is the necessity (or near necessity, anyway) of attending university in the fall. I have a few courses left in my degree, and it would be tremendously reassuring to get them. I suspect it is too late only in so far as orchestrating an international move + dealing with university bureaucracies + potential language barrier + not losing my mind may well be too much to accomplish before classes start.

I certainly don't think it's too late in my life. I'd shoot myself if that were the case.


[explaining the sledge-hammer] We had to maintain discipline among the floorboards. -- MissTrish

[ Parent ]
You're young. Move as far away as you can by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 2) #5 Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 09:36:56 PM EST
The younger you are, the easier it is to move. See more while you can. As you get older you end up with more responsibilities and more stuff that you have to find a place to store.

Montreal is pretty rockin' even if you have to speak French sometimes, whereas Trawna is... well... not. I know some Trawnians personally and while the place isn't bad, it's still kinda provincial rather than city-ific.

If you're moving in order to be with someone then ignore what I just wrote and move to where she is. The right girl always trumps the wrong city.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

You don't need to speak French sometimes. by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #7 Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 10:04:32 PM EST
In Quebec City you might, in the suburbs you might a little, in a little town somewhere in Quebec you do, but in Montréal? I've lived there. I don't speak passable french, and I didn't then.

Half the city are anglophones, and absolutely everyone who works in any kind of retail or public dealing job needs to be bilingual or they wouldn't get hired.

--
Vive le Montréal libre.

[ Parent ]
I had to parlay the frahn-say by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 1) #8 Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 10:29:35 PM EST
Back in '99 I was up there with the now-ex. We went out, got ratted, and the taxi driver to take us back to the hotel didn't speak a word of English. Apparently I hadn't forgotten my French and my ex told me the two of us were just jabbering away the whole ride back. He didn't even overcharge us or take us on the scenic route.

Some bars and restaurants we went had non-English-speaking staff. And by "non-English-speaking" I mean "don't even comprehend that 'Hello' is not an unfriendly greeting".

Quebec City is a shithole, a tourist trap center surrounded by not one, not two, but three -- count 'em, three -- ghettos. Other parts of the province are fantastic and the people great, even if their English comprehension is limited to a few dozen phrases and keywords.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
sorry to disappoint by 256 (4.00 / 2) #17 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 04:48:51 AM EST
but let me assure you that if the staff at a montreal bar appeared not to understand english pleasantries and whatnot, they were fucking with you.

or rather, perhaps they understood english perfectly, but considered "hello" to be an unfriendly greeting simply because it is english.

i couldn't agree with you more, however, regarding QC, QC
---
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

[ Parent ]
Montreal, girls. by ni (2.00 / 0) #23 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 08:16:54 AM EST
I'm assured by people who are generally right about these things that I'd love Montreal. Not speaking French (a point of some shame, by the way) does produce a bit of concern about Montreal, but I'm also assured by these same people that said concern is unjustified.

I've always enjoyed my time in Toronto, and think I'd likely be as happy there as anywhere. As well, I believe I have some contacts there that I can make use of to smooth over any university registration problems that could occur.

This decision is mercifully free of girl factors. Were it otherwise, I would have already abandoned all hope of acting in a sane or rational way (instead of just accepting the extreme unlikeliness of this happening).


[explaining the sledge-hammer] We had to maintain discipline among the floorboards. -- MissTrish

[ Parent ]
I recommend a... by Metatone (4.00 / 2) #6 Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 09:38:04 PM EST
move, further than Halifax.

Sure, moving somewhere bigger and further than Halifax has risks, but if you don't want to stay in Nova Scotia for "the rest of your life" you'll need to take those risks at some point, and the risks don't change with time, so why not now?

As Driusan notes, you know some people in Toronto, so why not make that a first step?

Of course, if internet access is all you need, the world is your mollusc. Everyone has their own preference for "first faraway city to live in" but I'd recommend Amsterdam.

ni in Amsterdam? by hulver (4.00 / 2) #10 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 01:41:20 AM EST
Jumping Jebus.
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
[ Parent ]
It's surprising to me by ni (4.00 / 1) #24 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 08:33:57 AM EST
how much support there is here for a greater-than-Halifax move. I'd expected that to be a harder sell.

Paragraph 2 is a wise one. I have nothing else to say in response to it.


[explaining the sledge-hammer] We had to maintain discipline among the floorboards. -- MissTrish

[ Parent ]
Vancouver by ShadowNode (4.00 / 1) #9 Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 11:28:07 PM EST
The other choices are too close to really start things fresh, if that's what you want to do.

Vancouver by ni (2.00 / 0) #25 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 08:44:07 AM EST
is the only city in the list in which I actually know absolutely nobody.

Or rather, I just realized that I do, in fact, know one person there, but I suspect we had a pretty permanent falling out over quasi-girl related matters a few years ago.

Uh. The quasi there refers to the girl related matters. Not the girl part. The girl was not, in fact, a quasi-girl.

Anyway, returning to the matter at hand: The only problem with starting completely anew is the aforementioned trouble meeting people. This is presumably a problem for most people, but I'm really vigorously anti-social, and suspect I might end up cloistered in an apartment for months on end without any real interaction with humanity if I don't have some easyish socialization possibilities.


[explaining the sledge-hammer] We had to maintain discipline among the floorboards. -- MissTrish

[ Parent ]
Move by komet (4.00 / 1) #11 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 02:04:52 AM EST
and if you really don't like it, you can always move back or better yet move on.

--
<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
In all due honesty by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #12 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 03:05:13 AM EST
Do you want to be a fifty year old man still living in Northern Nowhere Nova Scotia?   You sir are far more than the little town in which you live.   




---------------
Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
I hear by blixco (4.00 / 1) #13 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 03:06:19 AM EST
Vancouver is nice.  We may end up there at some point.

But it's really up to you.  Momentum is a really neat thing; once you get going it is hard to stop.
---------------------------------
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

Vancouver by ad hoc (4.00 / 2) #16 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 04:24:38 AM EST
is at the Boston/San Fransisco scale of cost of living.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.
[ Parent ]
Just need a decent by blixco (4.00 / 1) #19 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 05:28:41 AM EST
job, then, and no desire for savings!
---------------------------------
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
Momentum by ni (4.00 / 1) #26 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 08:45:21 AM EST
Momentum is a really neat thing; once you get going it is hard to stop.

And, alas, the opposite.


[explaining the sledge-hammer] We had to maintain discipline among the floorboards. -- MissTrish

[ Parent ]
Vancouver IS nice by skippy (4.00 / 2) #35 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 11:35:25 AM EST
and I highly recommend it.  Just don't take any of my tech jobs, dammit!

[ Parent ]
Dang, you do live way out in NS by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #14 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 03:27:55 AM EST
I made it up to Halifax on our honeymoon, and I thoguht it was a nice, cute city, but I doubt it will be that much different for you.

How about Ottawa, no one ever mentions Ottawa.


Ottawa by ni (2.00 / 0) #27 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 08:53:20 AM EST
I'd meant to add Ottawa to the list. I know a few people there, and it seems nice. The temperatures are a bit beyond what I'd normally consider "inhabitable by humans", but that seems a pretty flimsy consideration in the modern age.


[explaining the sledge-hammer] We had to maintain discipline among the floorboards. -- MissTrish
[ Parent ]
Haven't you always wanted to ice skate to by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #28 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 08:57:20 AM EST
work? Plus, with global warming, it will be bikini weather year round there in a few decades.


[ Parent ]
trust me, man by clover kicker (4.00 / 1) #33 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 09:51:31 AM EST
> I made it up to Halifax on our honeymoon, and I
> thoguht it was a nice, cute city, but I doubt it
> will be that much different for you.

Sydney is 250 miles, 100 years and an entire culture removed from Halifax.

[ Parent ]
in accordance with the general consensus by 256 (4.00 / 2) #18 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 04:56:34 AM EST
i say: move.

massive change is generally a good thing, IMO. and the great thing about the massive changes brought about by a change in locale is how easily it is all reversed if you don't find yourself happier once the dust settles.

i am in love with toronto. i can't imagine how anyone could not be happy here. but on the other hand, some people seem to manage it, so perhaps i am missing something.

montreal is also a wonderful city, and the cost of living is about two thirds wat it is in TO.

if you are considering further afield, more power to you.

i noticed at least one recommendation for Amsterdam and draw your attention to the fact that misslake and myself will be residing in that vicinity for a significant chunk of 2007.
---
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

Massive change by ni (2.00 / 0) #29 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 09:03:13 AM EST
On that point we're certainly agreed. The problem has merely been me failing by my own criteria up until now. I am weak and stagnant here.

I have a Real Life Friend in Brussels at the moment who's been encouraging me to come visit him. I'm really atrociously bad at learning languages, and fear it would be a big problem in that part of the world.

Being in Europe is obviously appealing, though. It is the well worn escape of North American youth, and distant enough from here so as to assuredly break the roots that have somehow, against my will, tied me here.


[explaining the sledge-hammer] We had to maintain discipline among the floorboards. -- MissTrish

[ Parent ]
You win! by ni (2.00 / 0) #39 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 04:21:10 PM EST
http://www.hulver.com/scoop/story/2006/8/14/203433/084


[explaining the sledge-hammer] We had to maintain discipline among the floorboards. -- MissTrish
[ Parent ]
I agree with most about moving . . . by slozo (4.00 / 1) #20 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 05:47:31 AM EST
. . . but you already knew that was the move to make, didn't ya?

In the words of the immortal Shakespeare, "Just get thine off thine ass and doeth it"

I'll vote for Toronto by MM (4.00 / 2) #21 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 07:42:51 AM EST
But absolutely move to a big city ASAP. As far as "internet people I vaguely know" you are about as far from a small town guy as can be.

I've "blown it up" twice now, which has caused problems, but the alternative (staying where I was) was far worse.

move and groove by clover kicker (4.00 / 1) #32 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 09:47:53 AM EST
  1. Halifax is a fun town. The cost of living is low. What's not to like?
  2. If you uproot once, it'll be easier next time. Once you finish your courses you can go to Amsterdam or whatever.
PS-  How long you been in Sydney?

re: point 2 by MM (4.00 / 1) #34 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 10:07:09 AM EST
I'll vouch for this. Moving from my original home in Minneapolis to Boston was traumatic, moving from Boston to San Fran was pretty much trivial.

[ Parent ]
Answers by ni (2.00 / 0) #36 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 11:35:51 AM EST
  1. The cost of living is not, in fact, that low. As best I can tell it's no lower than that of Toronto, and probably a bit higher than Montreal. Much of what isn't likable in it is peculiar to me: Namely, the people there and my own broken mental state.
  2. This is true. Maybe.
For most of my life, disgustingly.


[explaining the sledge-hammer] We had to maintain discipline among the floorboards. -- MissTrish
[ Parent ]
well, you gotta get the hell out of Sydney by clover kicker (4.00 / 1) #37 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 02:47:20 PM EST
You literally can't lose, I'd happily live in any of Halifax/Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver.

Don't let decision-making become a reason to procrastinate and stay where you are.

Get the ball rolling at a university in each town, see how hard it will be to enroll in your courses, get credit for them, whatever. Do it today, don't let that become another reason to stay in Sydney.

Good luck, man.

[ Parent ]
If you do chicken out of making a big move, by calla (4.00 / 1) #38 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 04:18:56 PM EST
look up haflinger in Halifax. Although he might have moved.

"but i have a vested interest in keeping the people who see me naked interested in continuing to see me naked." 256

Really?! by ni (4.00 / 1) #40 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 04:22:13 PM EST
Fuck, I'm in Halifax all the time. Wish I'd known that before.


[explaining the sledge-hammer] We had to maintain discipline among the floorboards. -- MissTrish
[ Parent ]
Moving | 40 comments (40 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback