Things I will miss:
- Four distinct seasons- the circle of life.
I actually think I will even miss real winter- nothing like a stroll through fresh powdery snow or watching it fall from my window, it brings such stillness and peace, and oh my the colours of fall!
- Tim Hortons. I thank Timmy Ho's for my coffee addiction and love of bagels. It is not going to be the same starting my day without a medium double double with milk and an everything bagel toasted with herb and garlic cream cheese and tomato - but I'll survive!
- Cheaper brand name items. Being close to the States has it's benefits - such as affordable cosmetics like Revlon (my foundation is $15.00CAD and $45.00AUS) and Maybelline (my mascara is $5.99CAD and $15.00AUS). Runners are also a lot less in North America, like NIKE and Reebok. Needless to say I will be stocking up before I leave on all my favourites!
- The big beautiful houses. Halifax is full of gorgeous 18th and 19th century architecture - usually wooden brightly painted multilevel monstrosities, some with turrets, big bay windows and balconies. A 100 year old house in this city is considered common, however, many have been completely renovated inside. The possibility of my owning and living in one if these marvels is so much more in Canada than in Australia, where the cost of something even resembling their greatness would be astronomical compared to here. Square footage in North Americas is also more generous compared to Australia, I will miss the domestic space. The whole Maritimes is scattered with so much history of lives before ours, about how they lived and what their lives were like - I will also miss being connected with so much past.
- My neighbourhood. I will miss my West End neighbourhood. Although I dislike my actual house, I have felt spoiled by my location and proximity to everything I need. In less than 5 minutes by foot I can be at a major supermarket, a liquor store, large mall, Walmart - pretty much every amenity I need. In the opposite direction in less than 5 minutes by foot I can be at 3 different parks with wonderful playgrounds, tennis courts, ocean views and walkways (which we frequent almost daily with our energetic toddler). It also boasts huge oak and maple lined streets, with lane-ways connecting the sub-divisions - which my family and I often find ourselves wandering through, all year around. My neighbourhood is very safe and convenient and we all will miss it.
- The medical system. Here in Canada I have completely free medical coverage. Any time I go to the Doctor, a specialist, the hospital, I never leave with a bill. Ultrasounds and x-rays are covered too. My family has been lucky enough to land the best medical practice and Doctor ever. We never wait for an appointment, the receptionist know us all by name, we can see a Doctor the same day we need to - couldn't ask for better service. Our family's Doctor is fantastic. She is more like a family friend and we will miss seeing her and having her treat us. Not sure if this level of hospitality is available, but hopefully we can find a similar situation in Australia.
- The Dollarama - as silly as it sounds, you don't realize how much you save shopping here until you can't anymore. I rely on the dollar store for so many things from zip-lock baggies to oatmeal goats milk soap (best we have ever used) but there is no such thing as a true $1 store in Australia. There are discount stores, but you can't get much for $1. You would think being so close to Asia this wouldn't be the case.