Leaving Canada


It’s easier to leave Canada than to enter it. That’s what we told ourself this Winter while preparing our departure from Vancouver, BC. Indeed it took us more than a year to immigrate to Canada. However to fly off to new horizons, it has taken us less than a month which I tell you in a few lines.


As an opportunity to leave takes shape, we gather information about our next destination, Malta, a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. There are at least two positive aspects: English is spoken and Malta belongs to the European Union (which means we don’t need a visa). It would make our move easier.


We evaluate what we own in Canada. We have no furniture because we live in a furnished apartment nevertheless we have hoarded quite a few things over time. All that we decide not to take is put for sale on Craigslist, the local classifieds website.


For the things we want to keep, we buy cardboard boxes and packaging tape to send them in parcels. Argh! After checking the fees, it would cost us 300 € per parcel. We wish we had not bought cardboard boxes. We look for the different possible solutions and decide to take the boxes with us on the plane as extra baggage ($50 for the first extra bag).


We begin sorting out, throwing away, selling and giving but we have few answers to our ads. We visit car dealerships to sell the car but without success. Business seems slow for car dealers. We place an advertisement in Craigslist for the car but it hasn’t any effect. Eventually, my partner finds a more distant car dealer who agrees to buy the car.

selling on the internet

It’s not so easy to sell our belongings on the internet.


After the sale of the car, we terminate car insurance and credit card. We give notice to terminate Internet service. Lastly we buy our plane tickets.


Progressively we say goodbye to the people we know in Canada. A few days before leaving, we start packing. We rent a car to save time for the last things to settle such as redirecting mail, disconnecting phone or the last trip to the laundry.
We cancel our health insurance coverage. It’s easy and immediate on Internet, which is irritating given that it took us more than three months and never-ending phone calls to enroll in BC health insurance.


On the day before we leave, we give a book to the library and the things we haven’t sold (kitchenware, clothes…) to the Salvation Army. We give our last Canadian coins to an understanding cashier to buy the dinner.


The last day is scheduled down to the minute. We pack our luggage and cardboard boxes. We vacate the apartment. We give back the modem to the Internet provider and we return the rental car in a traffic jam (the traffic jam was not planned because our plane is 2 hours late.


After several weeks of rush, we wait in the large terminal and say goodbye to Canada.


Drawing of spirit of haida gwaii, a sculpture by Bill Reid at Vancouver Airport

The spirit of haida gwaii, a sculpture by Bill Reid at Vancouver Airport


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2 thoughts on “Leaving Canada

  1. I recognize the drawing above, it’s on the $20 bill 🙂

    Leaving must be hard psychologically… but I guess you can always come back.

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