Moving to Canada: I’m Now in Vancouver, the Farm was a Bust!
I’ve talked for a whole lot of months about moving to Canada, after teaching English in South Korea for 1o years. A few of the things previously mentioned include:
What to Do With My Pool of Money
The Plan to Never Get a Full-Time Job Ever Again
Anyway, a little update after moving to Canada a month and a half ago. Here are a few of my thoughts:
#1: I don’t Regret Moving to Canada
As I was leaving, a lot of people (even random people who’d never met me except online) said that they though I’d be back in Korea after a few months. I can say with certainty that I’m going to stick it out in Canada, no matter what. Despite missing my friends in Korea, I haven’t regretted leaving even a little bit. It’s definitely time for new adventures on this side of the world.
#2: It was Easier than Expected to Move Myself, Stuff and 2 Cats Across the World
Maybe I’d just been living in South Korea for too long, but I anticipated serious annoyance and hassle getting everything set up here. Things like buying a car, getting health insurance, finding a place to live, etc. But, it was strangely easy. A little phone call or visit to an office of some kind seemed to get just about everything I needed to get done in a freakishly short amount of time.
#3: Farming = Bust
I was pretty excited about living for free on a farm on Vancouver Island in exchange for a bit of work upon my return to Canada. Except that the farm was pretty terrible for quite a few reasons, the main ones being the terrible shack I was living in and the other one being how my time was split so much and I couldn’t focus on my online business stuff.
I’ve now moved to Vancouver and feel really happy about it. It was always where I wanted to live, but decided against it because it was too expensive. But, I’m living in a holiday trailer in a friend’s driveway for freakishly cheap so all is good in that department!
And the good news is that I can now devote my full-time energy into building my online business into something I can live off of. It feels way better to have only one focus.
#4: I’ve Hired a Virtual Assistant (VA)
I’ve always been convinced of the necessity of a virtual assistant for online entrepreneurs. By passing off all the grunt work to someone else, you can focus your time on the stuff that only you can do. So, I hired a woman from the Philippines to work for me full-time. She’s currently doing a large majority of the writing for this website: Kitchen Gadget Reviews, as well as commenting on blogs for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes. I hope to have her doing some more stuff once she become a pro at the article writing thing.
It feels a little bit risky having someone depend on me to pay them each month but I’m optimistic that it will pay off in the next few months.
p.s. I used Virtual Staff Finder and was really happy with the process as well as the results.
#5: I Still Want to Buy a Website, Maybe?
I’ve been cruising around Empire Flippers compulsively looking for a website to buy. I’m looking for an Amazon affiliate niche site, but it kind of seems like everyone and their dog is too and those websites seem to get sold in just a couple of hours.
This fact led me partly to hiring the VA. The $10,000 or $20,000 I could spend buying a site, equals a whole lot of years of paying a virtual assistant. I feel like I learned a huge amount by getting this niche website up and running that it’s now possible to replicate this on a bigger scale with the help of an employee or two.
But, still keep my eyes open for the right fit.
#6: Self-Publishing: A Bit of Renewed Energy
I was previously pretty burnt out on the self-publishing because I’d been doing it at a frenzied pace for the past two years to try to get my online income to a reasonable level to be able to live off it when I moved to Canada. These days, sales have been getting better and better and I have a bit of renewed energy for it. My co-author and I are in the process of publishing three more books. I still think self-publishing has a lot of potential, so perhaps will focus more on this once the websites are running on auto-pilot with the virtual assistant.
#7: Email List Power
I have an email list related to teaching ESL Abroad. It was pretty small for a whole lot of months, but recently has been getting big. Really big. It’s now pushing 3000, and that’s with me deleting inactive people every few days (with Mail Chimp, you pay per subscriber so it’s best to delete people who don’t open your emails). Although it’s almost impossible to track where book sales come from on Amazon, I think a lot of it has to do with my email list reaching a good size.
See: Three Tips for Growing your Email List
Moving to Canada: Let’s Sum This Up
I feel happy being back home, especially since moving to Canada was mostly painless. I feel mostly calm. Mostly chill. Or, at least I’m learning how to adapt to the much slower pace of life in Canada. It feels good to go hiking on a Saturday without a million and one other people. I like going to a coffee shop and having a few people around, but not hordes. It’s nice to have a little small talk with the random people I meet. I’m at a sweet, comfortable library with free high-speed wifi a 10 minute walk from my house. There’s a nice park with free tennis courts right across the street from the library. It’s nice to not be teaching any more. I’m super optimistic about my online business and really excited to be doing it for my full-time job.
Moving to Canada = Definitely the right move.
We never had to make such a huge move, although we did live for 18 months in NYC. So another continent, a completely different culture. We loved every minute.
Keeping fingers crossed for you in Canada 🙂