A couple of months ago, I did a five-part blog series titled ‘Immigrating to Canada’ that was very well-received by both sets of audience—immigrants and soon-to-be-newcomers. The blogs published as part of that series spoke mostly of the external elements/factors involved in moving to Canada: things such as the process itself, the job market, weather, and the cost of living.
Moving to a new country miles away from a place you call ‘home’ is challenging, tiring, physically exhausting even, but you will find plenty of articles, blogs, and varied types of content on the internet to inform you of every step in your journey and make it less stressful. There aren’t, however, as many blogs on topics that are related to thoughts, perspectives, and everyday life in Canada from the lens of an immigrant.
As newcomers trying to be at home in a new country, we have to adapt ourselves to the local culture, speak a new language, dress to blend in, unlearn some of the things we’ve grown up learning for years, and embrace a new way of life in a relatively shorter time span. These goals don’t seem intimidating when you have emotional support or friends and family beside you. But every now and then, we hear stories of how some newcomers decide to give up and head back to their home country, feeling defeated by the struggle of finding a job, the Canadian culture, or the hustle that cities like Toronto demand. My hope is that this three-part blog series will shed some light on the feelings and thoughts of immigrants, as they moved to and settled in Canada.
On the job, I speak to newcomers almost every other day. And even though they are all from different parts of the world with unique experiences to share, I’ve realized that the common factor which connects us is our feelings and thoughts as an immigrant in Canada!
For this blog series, I teamed up with four individuals who also moved from India. Our shared passion for writing and the inclination to help other immigrants brought us together.
Meet the ‘fabulous five’
Mrinalini is a Toronto-based freelance writer, content creator, digital marketer, and social media manager. She moved to Toronto from Chennai, India in May, 2019 and has eight years of experience working as a journalist. With a special focus on lifestyle journalism, she is currently contributing to South Asian and travel magazines in ‘The Six.’ She is a multitasker, managing her written assignments, certification course, and her 19-month-old toddler.
Fun fact about Mrinalini: As part of her job, Mrinalini has interviewed Bollywood actors like Shah Rukh Khan (he is on her speed dial with three interviews!), Deepika Padukone, Irrfan Khan, AR Rahman, and Kamal Haasan.
You can follow Mrinalini on: Instagram | LinkedIn
A book nerd who is still trying to figure out if reading books could make money. And since not, to keep the bank account rolling, Ronak works as a risk management professional exploring the world of cyber security. With approximately seven years of experience, he has circled most of his professional career around risk management and consulting. One of his recent hobbies is helping newcomers to Canada with his articles and blogs. He is open to sharing his experiences and learnings with newcomers; feel free to connect with him. As he puts it in Hindi “free ka gyaan bohot hain batne ke liye” (Eng trans: I have lots of free knowledge to share).
Fun fact about Ronak: Ronak reads 3-4 books at any point in time to gain different perspectives. Parallelly reading books like Autobiography of a Yogi, Sapiens, A Brief History of Nearly Everything, and Gone with the Wind would be so much fun, wouldn’t it?
You can follow Ronak on: LinkedIn | Twitter
Saif is a professional copywriter who has worked with some of the world’s largest ad agencies. After spending almost three and a half years navigating the ‘mad-ad world’ in his hometown, Mumbai, he decided to take the leap and switch continents and industries. He landed in Toronto in December, 2017 to study Marketing and has been hustling every day since. After graduating, he joined one of Canada’s fastest-growing tech companies as a content producer. He loves chatting about advertising, marketing, NBA, or soccer and is a life-long Liverpool Football Club fan.
Fun fact about Saif: Saif hates doctors so much that he lived with a hairline fracture on his rib for a year and a half before finally caving in and visiting a doctor.
You can connect with Saif on: Linkedin
Shomik Roy is a Toronto based marketing and sales professional in the e-commerce industry. Prior to moving to Canada, Shomik worked for one of the largest e-commerce logistics companies in India. He landed in Toronto in May, 2018 and completed his MBA from Schulich School of Business, York University. He is always willing to chat with newcomers and answer their questions about Toronto’s booming startup ecosystem.
Fun fact about Shomik: Shomik stops to pet every dog he meets. He was late to a meeting once because he got distracted after seeing a Golden Retriever puppy!
You can connect with Shomik on: Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Nerissa is a Toronto-based blogger, researcher, social media copywriter, and content creator who writes about life in Canada and Korean entertainment. She moved to Toronto from Mumbai, India, in March, 2018 and has spent a decade as a senior professional in business research and management consulting while working in a variety of industries across continents. She became a ‘triple-jumper’ after moving to Canada: switching geography, industry, and function and emerging as a successful professional.
Fun fact about Nerissa: The meaning of her name in old Latin is ‘daughter of the sea’ but ironically, she has a phobia of water bodies and is scared of even going on boats or huge ships!
You can follow Nerissa on: LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Blog
Mrinalini, Ronak, Saif, Shomik, and I hope that you will enjoy reading this series of blogs. As always, please like, comment, and share with others who might find this content useful!
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