Some people might not think that moving abroad from Canada across the border to The United States of America is that big of a deal. However, at the end of the day, any distance from family and friends can make a move away from home more daunting. Especially, when the things that remind you of home are nowhere in sight. This is exactly how Cher Garman of The Chicago Files felt after leaving her hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba and heading over the border to the windy city of Chicago, Illinois. Let’s hear more from her about her expat life experience.
What initiated your move abroad to The United States?
I fell in love with an American! *LOL* Truly I did not know I would ever live abroad but here I am in the USA!
What do you enjoy most about being an expat in The United States?
It’s a great experience to know more about a place that, in my case, was fairly close in terms of geography, and yet so different. I also like that a lot of people ask me about Canada, my home country. They are extremely interested in knowing more about where I’m from. It’s a great conversation starter.
What’s the best part about living in Chicago?
Chicago has some of the most amazing architecture I have ever seen. With a beautiful skyline right on Lake Michigan it’s beyond captivating! There is always something to do, things to explore, and lots of fantastic shopping!
What’s the hardest part about living in Chicago?
As much as I love it here, I do miss my family and friends back in Canada. It’s great to chat on the phone or send emails, but nothing compares to seeing family and friends in person.
What was the biggest culture shock of living in Chicago?
I was not prepared for people not being as friendly as they are in Canada. I noticed it immediately. I don’t mean to say they are ‘unfriendly’; it’s just that Canadians are soooo friendly it seems noticeably different here in that way. Oh, and the money (bills) are all the same color! In Canada our bills are different colors for different denominations. They all are green here so you have to be careful you don’t give a “$20” instead of a “$1”.
Would you live abroad again? If so, where?
Yes, I would love to live in Norway! My husband and I have recently discovered photos of some incredible places in that tiny, beautiful little country! It looks amazing!
Besides the great people, I miss Tim Hortons coffee and Kernels Popcorn! Neither are here, and I used to have Tim Hortons coffee every day, and Kernels Popcorn weekly!
If you were to move back to Canada, what is something you would miss most from The United States?
Oh yes, I would miss the extremely outstanding bargains, sales, and cheap prices on goods and services here. I own things here I’d never be able to afford back in Canada.
Savory or Sweet?
Can you see my ‘sweet tooth’ from there? *LOL*
Sun or Snow?
Sun! I’ve seen enough snow coming from Canada! *LOL*
What’s something you wish you knew before arriving in The United States?
I wish I knew that a lot of people move very quickly here, and you better go with the flow lest you want to be left behind!
What’s your favorite neighborhood in Chicago?
Andersonville; it’s got great little restaurants, shops, and lots of terrific people!
What’s your favorite food in The United States?