Sitting in a traffic jam on the M25 near London one cold grey day, Jamie Holder asked himself that age-old question, “Why am I here?”
Although he had a fairly well-paid job as a systems analyst/programmer, Jamie had the growing feeling that there must be more to life. In particular, he felt that he wanted a healthier life-style for his young daughter, Emily, who suffered from asthma brought on partly by the air quality in their East London neighbourhood.
Jamie’s wife, Grace, shared his feelings about wishing for a better quality of life. In 2006, they started making tentative enquiries to employers in different regions of Canada.
Jamie had some cousins living in Ontario, however the couple preferred the sound of Canada’s western provinces, which seemed to offer the combination of good employment prospects and wonderful scenery for recreation. Grace, a primary teacher, was the first to receive positive news on the job front, and while they began their visa application – with the help of a Migration Bureau consultant – Jamie too received a promising job offer from an employer based in the same area of Alberta, just outside Edmonton. Since they both ranked well under the Federal Skilled Worker stream, their visas came through in just over nine months. Within that time, the family started making preparations for their big move and were grateful for the “Settlement Services” information provided by their consultant. They booked some rental accommodation for two months to give themselves enough time to thoroughly check out the local property scene.
Nowadays, the family are thriving and Emily’s asthma is a thing of the past. They have spent several holidays exploring the beautiful scenery of Alberta and British Columbia, and have had plenty of time for skiing and mountain-biking trips around the Rockies. “We have to keep pinching ourselves sometimes”, says Jamie. “It’s hard to believe how good things are here. We know we made the right choice and now have the kind of quality of life we’d always dreamed of.”