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Old 09-29-12, 12:47 AM   #1
bhdavis1978
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New job, new house, new town.

I recently got hired for a new job that I'll be starting at the beginning of November. It's allowing my wife, my daughter and I to move back to the lower mainland (e.g. the greater Vancouver area) from Vancouver Island. I'm a contractor in my current position, which means I don't have unemployment benefits, I don't have any extended medical or dental benefits, and I don't technically get any vacation time. I also managed to get a pretty good raise, and this position has a lot more opportunities for growth than my current position does. And am unhappy in my current position (but being totally honest, I am bipolar, so who is to say that it's not just in my head?) Plus Nanaimo is a pretty small town (well, compared to everywhere else I've lived) and I'm sort of a city boy. There are also a lot more employment opportunities for my wife in the Vancouver area than there are on the island. And we'll be within a 20 minute walk of my in-laws who've generously offered to provide us with daycare which is terrific- it's free and it's family. We both have more friends on the mainland than we have on Vancouver Island, so all in all it feels like a win.

Although one of the really nice things is that I can bike to work in less than 11 minutes if I really push it, and less than 13 if I take it easy. My new position will add more than 35 minutes in commuting time / direction, which means over an hour less time to spend with my little girl everyday, which makes me sad. Nanaimo also has really fantastic parks and community programs. It's a very family friendly town, and it doesn't have the congestion and traffic that the Vancouver area does. Plus houses cost at least $250,000-$300,000 less. I'm starting to feel worried that we made a mistake (note, I also feel that I probably made a mistake turning down a job at Rice University in Houston to take a contract job with the Government of Canada, so I may be prone to overly harsh personal evaluations). Mostly because of the reduced time I'll have to spend with my daughter, but also because we really love the family activities that exist here. On the whole, the rational side of my brain is saying that I did the right thing- bringing my family closer together, better job security, better salary, etc. Am I over thinking this?

It's too late to undo it anyway, I've given notice at work, we bought a house, we've made arrangements to get out of our current lease. Just sayin'.
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Old 09-29-12, 05:24 AM   #2
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Truth is, you'll never know about the alternatives. How do your wife and daughter feel about Vancouver? When you are feeling so dark, even a mountain of gold can feel like a mountain of garbage and you can find all the logical reasons to back up this conclusion. Go with what is and focus on it.

Good luck.
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Old 09-29-12, 07:19 AM   #3
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Yes, overthinking. Good luck!
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Old 09-29-12, 07:37 AM   #4
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Nanaimo has a great dessert bar recipe, but it sounds like from the occupational, benefits, family and cultural aspects that moving to Vancouver is a winner.
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Old 09-29-12, 07:42 AM   #5
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I have an uncle who lives there. Can't be that bad of a place.
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Old 09-29-12, 11:59 AM   #6
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Vancouver is a great city but it suffers from most of the same ills as other big cities; gangs, congestion, housing prices. You will get equally nice parks and a lot more variety in all aspects of you lives than in Nanaimo. Congratulations on not choosing Houston. It has all the bad apsects of a big city and none of the good ones.
BTW. I thought you got decent health care just from being in Canada.

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Old 09-29-12, 03:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
Truth is, you'll never know about the alternatives. How do your wife and daughter feel about Vancouver? When you are feeling so dark, even a mountain of gold can feel like a mountain of garbage and you can find all the logical reasons to back up this conclusion. Go with what is and focus on it.
My wife grew up in Vancouver, or- well, the suburbs of Vancouver. How she feels about it seems to vary a fair bit- she likes the services it has, but dislikes how busy it is, particularly the traffic. I grew up in a Toronto suburb, one that is considerably busier than the Vancouver suburb she grew up in. Maybe that's why the busyness doesn't bother me. My daughter is 18 months old, so she'll be happy just about anywhere. I think she'll like being so close to her grand parents (my wife's parents), plus we'll have a better yard for her, walkable to community center and the library. There's a lot of things I like about Vancouver better- I like the better services. I like that I can go see less mainstream movies. I also have a lot more friends there. On the other hand, it is convenient living in Nanaimo where it seems like everything is at most 15 minutes away (although most things are also at least 10 minutes away- I swear, Nanaimo is a torus).

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Yes, overthinking. Good luck!
Thanks p^2 + 2pq + q^2 = 1 (oh wait, not you're not the equilibrium, so ignore the =1). I know you're right- I just got a frantic email from my wife last night (she's at her parents place, going to a friends wedding shower today) and it made me feel like I had been selfish. I wanted to move back to the main land for better security, family reasons, and because I really found my current job stressful. The lack of unemployment benefits when it would end, plus the working relationship I have with my supervisor, it was becoming very, very difficult for me. And there really are only two potential employers for me in Nanaimo- my current work place, and the local University, and the University isn't hiring.

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Nanaimo has a great dessert bar recipe, but it sounds like from the occupational, benefits, family and cultural aspects that moving to Vancouver is a winner.
Yeah, I think so too. I like change, and moving. I've not lived more than 2.5 years in one place in a decade, and I like that now. I think that'll be an adjustment for me, staying put. I do like Vancouver though (still, not as much as Saint Paul, MN- I freaking love Saint Paul!)

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I have an uncle who lives there. Can't be that bad of a place.
Haha, no, it's not. It's quite nice, just very expensive. A house in Delta (where we will be living) costs between $250,000 to $300,000 more than a comparable house in Nanaimo- so after you factor in interest over the mortgage- that's almost a half million dollars difference.

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Vancouver is a great city but it suffers from most of the same ills as other big cities; gangs, congestion, housing prices. You will get equally nice parks and a lot more variety in all aspects of you lives than in Nanaimo. Congratulations on not choosing Houston. It has all the bad apsects of a big city and none of the good ones.
BTW. I thought you got decent health care just from being in Canada.
I really wanted to take the job in Houston. It was at a fantastic university (Rice), in an amazing department, and an exciting dynamic lab. It would've been the culmination of all my years of training and finally getting to do what I was really excited about. But Houston, I couldn't do it. The University treated me very well on my trip, sent me out with a tour guide to look at neighborhoods- but the areas we could've reasonably afforded were either sketchy, too far from work to be commutable without a second vehicle (and we are committed to being a single car family), or gated communities. Plus, my wife hates the heat, so does my dog (a greyhound), and I don't like it either. It seemed like a good career move, and a stupid life move.

All Canadian's get basic health insurance which covers doctors visits, hospital stays, medical imaging, etc; but it doesn't cover medications, dental, and various supportive devices - that's covered by extended. Plus, I have to pay a premium of $130 / month for my family (I know that's cheap compared to the US, we were paying $250 / month in the US just for my wife and I, plus co-pays when we went to the doctor), and in Houston it would've gone up to $400, but my new job will cover that MSP payment for me too.

Though I'm a bit bitter about the fact we had to pay for my daughter's birth fully out of pocket, despite the fact that we're Canadians and it happened in Canada, and our insurance would've covered us completely without any expense had she been born in the US. But my current job was unwilling to wait the extra 2 months (or so) it would've taken for our daughter to be born in the US, get her birth certificate, and then get her passport, which would've allowed us to move back to Canada. So since we hadn't been back in Canada (well, British Columbia) we had to pay the entire expense out of pocket. $10K. We had it (we're pretty good savers), but we where (and still are!) both pissed off we had to pay for this out of pocket when illegal immigrants get all their medical expenses paid for. *grumble, grumble*. I'm not saying that illegal immigrants should be denied coverage, I'm just saying I think we should've been covered, especially when we had moved back to Canada for at least two years (it wasn't like we were just coming in to have the baby and then leaving again). Sorry, I'm still bitter about that.
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Old 09-29-12, 04:07 PM   #8
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Vancouver is a great city but it suffers from most of the same ills as other big cities; gangs....
How do identify a gang member in Canada? Someone who's a little less polite?
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