After 4 months in Abbotsford...

After 4 months in Abbotsford...

by Savoera
(Abbotsford, BC)

Breaking Dawn in Abbotsford

Breaking Dawn in Abbotsford

January 18, 2012

More than 4 months have passed since I moved to Abbotsford, and I'm still jobless, and my husband is still in Saskatoon. He came to visit in November and he's coming to visit again soon, but it's no fun when he leaves again... It leaves us both (and our daughters as well) feeling empty, incomplete, and we have to go through that process of adjusting again without each other. For him it's worse, because he has to go back to an empty house.

In the meantime I have started taking a computer course at the UFV to brush up my basic MS Office skills, and learn more about the 2010 version. I have also been attending some workshops at the employment centre and I'm hoping all of this will help me land a great job where I can feel good about myself.

Even though Fall was a little depressing with all the rainy days, the Fall colours were beautiful, and whenever the sun would come out, the city's scenic views would take my breath away! (On a sunny or less cloudy day, whenever the mountains are visible, I always find myself distracted by them while driving... My eyes keep lovingly scanning the mountainous horizon and adoring the snow-capped Mt. Baker and other snowy peaks... But not to worry, I still focus on my driving, I just take peeks at all the glory whenever possible.) Even the migrating Canada Geese were quite a sight to behold in the Fall!

Winter here is much more acceptable than it was in Saskatoon! However, the past couple of days we have been hit by a blast of snow and cold temperatures, but the fun part is, the kids also get snow days here! Not since Atlanta have we had those. It took a blizzard in Saskatoon before the schools finally decided to close down for the day... but only after being open for a couple of hours. That was some adventure! I'll never forget that chaotic day! I thought either Canadians were crazy or I was being a wimp for not wanting to take my kids to school that day. I dropped them off anyway, trying hard to adjust to "Canadian Winters" (our first in Canada, and we got this blizzard!), only to be called later by the school to go pick them up again. I promptly got stuck in the blasted snow, but thankfully someone else gave them a ride home... I admit that I'm a wimp when it comes to winter-driving, which is why I'm not complaining to be living amongst

other "wimps" in the Lower Mainland. :) In any case, the Valley looks beautiful with all the snow, and I appreciate it even more knowing that people here in the Lower Mainland are considerate and won't force you to bring your kids to school if it's really bad out there.

This past weekend I also experienced the beautiful moment of seeing Trumpeter Swans flying by!! I was sitting on the sofa watching a movie, but I happened to glance out the window... and sucked in my breath while my eyes popped out as I realized I saw a swan couple flying by! I screamed with excitement, jumped from the sofa and nearly threw myself at the window while a big grin spread across my face and I kept staring at the beautiful giant birds as they got farther away from me, heading in the direction of Sumas Prairie. I didn't realize that my eyes were wet until I automatically wiped away at them, and my daughter (older one) asked if I was crying... I felt really silly, hehe... But I had been waiting for this moment eagerly, and frankly I had given up hope of seeing them fly by. Shortly after that moment, while I was excitedly telling my husband about it over the phone, I saw another pair flying by, this time at a greater distance. I squealed again with joy. :)

I felt so happy for the rest of the day, and from then on I kept scanning the skies for more sightings. I can't be sure, but I think I have seen a few flocks flying by in V-formation in the distance, also heading towards the Sumas Prairie, but they could just as well have been Canada Geese, unless those don't come here in January. While standing at the window scanning the skies again the other day, I saw a big bird heading towards my building... I could tell by the size that it wasn't the regular seagulls I always see, but I couldn't figure out what kind of bird it was, until it flew overhead and I saw the white head, black body and white tail... It was a Bald Eagle soaring over my building! Wow! I just love BC!! :)

Even though I miss my husband a lot, and I'm still job hunting, I don't regret coming here! And I know that someday (soon, hopefully) everything will be fine and my dream will be complete. Looking forward to that day...

(For more about life in Abby, click on Abbotsford on the nav-bar on the left under Personal Journey.)

Comments for After 4 months in Abbotsford...

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Sep 01, 2015
by: Savoera

Thanks for adding your comments, Alice and Jessica! Sorry for my late reply to your comment, Alice.

I have finally found a job in Abbotsford after searching for 4 years! My husband is still in Saskatoon, not able to find a job here yet... But hopefully he will be next, now that I've found one. It's all coming together now, I hope... I will be writing a new post soon, describing my roller coaster of a summer this year (2015). I almost had to return to Saskatoon...

Sep 01, 2015
by: Jessica

I think this is among the most important info for me. I am glad reading your article and would like to remark on a few general things: The site style is great, the articles are really nice :D. Good job, cheers!

Apr 16, 2015
Great Comments!
by: Alice C. Claxton

Just what I was looking for and I am looking forward to reading your other posts soon!

Oct 14, 2014
Hi Michelle...
by: Savoera

From what you've described regarding what you're looking for in a community, I'd say, yes, Abbotsford seems like it would indeed be the perfect match for your requirements! And the best part, if you find yourself missing the activities from a big city, Vancouver is just an hour away.

We don't have an IKEA in Abbotsford, but there is one in Coquitlam about half an hour away, and another one in Richmond an hour away. We do have a Costco here, as well as 2 Walmarts (the bigger one is in the new and trendy Highstreet Mall in West Abbotsford, which also houses a new VIP Cineplex theatre). I'm thankful for this new mall, because otherwise shopping in Abbotsford stinks! I was just talking to my daughter last night about how this city feels like it's hesitating to be a real city... its downtown actually sucks! But I don't care about that, as long as I have the mountains around me and I can still find some good shops here, I'm OK with the slow growth of this "city in the country," lol!

If only we could have a downtown like Saskatoon's, then it would be an awesome city! Saskatoon's downtown is the most attractive downtown I have ever seen, and I have seen quite a few (including New York, Atlanta, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver...). It's lively, yet not suffocating like the big city downtowns. Like my daughter said, if we could combine Saskatoon's downtown with Abbotsford's scenery, it would be the perfect place to live! :)

Abbotsford definitely feels like a smaller city compared to Saskatoon, and population-wise that's true (133,497 in 2011 compared to 260,600 in that same year in Saskatoon). But the land area is actually bigger than Saskatoon's (375.6 km² compared to 170.8 km²), even though it doesn't feel like it, due to the surrounding mountains. Also, the prairies and the "living skies" in Saskatoon give that feel that the space is much bigger there. Besides, there is not that much development here, because of the ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve). There is lots of farmland, which adds to the beauty of this city, but that brings with it the stench of manure and such sometimes.

I would recommend the East Abbotsford area, which has newer development and feels safer. Downtown is safer than it used to be, but it's not that attractive. West Abbotsford also looks nice, especially with that new mall there. Personally I would prefer to live on the East side, but for now I'm stuck in the downtown area, although my building is a newer building and I have a view on Mt. Baker. :)

Good luck with your move down here! Oh, I'm not sure if you'll be looking for a job, but be prepared, it's not easy to find a job here. I'm still looking... Although, to be honest, I've stopped looking, because it's so discouraging. For now I'm just doing the odd translation job for a writer. It's not enough. :(

Oct 14, 2014
Considering the move...
by: Michelle


I hail from Saskatoon too :) I loved so many things about that city but moved away to warmer destinations. Now my living situation has changed and I am considering a move to Abbotsford next month.

I am nervous because I have NEVER been to BC at ALL and as such, am leary about moving somewhere that I have never even so much as laid eyes on. However, close friends and family members who know me well say that I would love Abbotsford and they recommended I seek that community to be my new home as I love the mountains, parks, bike trails, and nature-based activities along with a smaller community feel. I seek a quiet and safe community but which still have conveniences such as Costco, Wal-Mart, IKEA, etc.

Now that you've been in Abbotsford for a while...can you recommend if there are any areas in which I should not reside? (ie are more dangerous, scary or sketchy?) Is Abbotsford about the same size/population as Saskatoon? Similar things to do as in Saskatoon?

Any advice or recommendations you could provide would be greatly appreciated. :)

Jan 30, 2014
Dave! Hi! :)
by: Savoera

Hello Dave, I'm so sorry, I didn't see your submission until recently. I was behind with checking my emails, because we were in Saskatoon for the holiday season, celebrating Christmas and New Year with my husband. It took me a while to catch up after I returned, and I apologize.

In the meantime not much has changed. Yes, I did get my Bookkeeping for Small Business certificate, but I didn't get a job yet. I stopped looking, because recently I started working for a Dutch writer, translating his books from Dutch into English. And to be honest, I enjoy that way better than bookkeeping.

As for the situation with my husband, we're working on a plan to start our own business, but we're waiting to get a certain contract... Once we get that, I believe all the pieces will fall in place and we'll finally be able to live together again. So here's hoping that our plan will work!

What's going on in your life, Dave? Thanks again for your concern. It's so nice to know that there is someone out there who's curious about how this adventure of ours will end. :)

Take care, and I hope all is well in your life.

Jan 05, 2014
Year and a Half later!
by: Dave

Hi there!

It's a year and a half later and I thought I would see if some of your hopes turned out to be reality? For example, were you able to do the accounting from home like you were planning?

I hope all is well!

- Dave

Sep 28, 2012
Hey Dave!
by: Savoera

So nice of you to check in on me. :)

Unfortunately I still didn't find a job, but soon after my computer course ended at the UFV, I took a Spring/Summer course in Customer Service, which included more Microsoft Office, and continued with Bookkeeping and Payroll after that. And just yesterday I signed up for Simply Accounting. Once I finish that (part 1 ends in November, part 2 I will do in January) I can do bookkeeping for small businesses from home! Doesn't that sound awesome?

We (my daughters and I) went to visit my husband in Saskatoon for the rest of the Summer, and we had a great time, which made it even harder to say goodbye when it was time to return to Abby.

It's not easy, this situation, but I can't give up. Things will have to turn around, hopefully sooner rather than later. I have faith that it will get better... soon!

Thanks again for dropping by. I appreciate it. ☺

Sep 27, 2012
How are things?
by: Dave

Just came back here seven months later to see if you found a job? Keep us updated!

Feb 28, 2012
by: Savoera

Thank you so much for the nice comments, Dave! Hope you'll get to come back to Canada. :)

(Nadjma, my dear sister, thank you for your comments as well!)

Feb 27, 2012
by: Dave

I came by this site to show my wife how much someone from outside Canada can love my beautiful country. I am Canadian, but she is from the US, and one day I would love to move back to my home.

Anyway, you have a very inspiring story and I applaud your dedication. Perseverance like that always pays off, and I truly believe you will find your path and your job in one of the most beautiful places in the world!

Good luck and keep us updated!

Jan 26, 2012
Enjoy Life
by: Nadjma

Dear sister,

I'm so glad that you are enjoying BC and that you feel so happy to see all the birds, especially the swans flying over. Your dreams are coming true, so hold on. Soon, very soon, if your belief is strong enough, your husband will be joining you all. Remember to thank God for everything in your life, even if it sucks sometimes, because every experience is meant to be, that's how you can appreciate every moment of life.

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