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Immigrant Stories

Meet Natasha D'souza & Leopold Forte

Monica Sethi Darpan, 26 Mar, 2024
  • Meet Natasha D'souza & Leopold Forte

1. Why did you decide to immigrate to Canada?

I decided to move to Canada because it is a land of opportunities and felt like a home away from home with the multitude of "knowns" it houses. It's a country that neither judges nor confines but teaches you that hard work is the only secret sauce to success, and I am a hustler.

2. Which year did you immigrate? 

I immigrated to Canada last year in 2023

3. What were your first impressions of Canada?

Always thought that the country was a wild mix of moose, maple, and manners! The climate is freezing, and the people are much warmer, and plaid is typically the national dress code. 

4. Where did you stay when you reached Canada? Hotel, relative or friend's place?

I consider myself fortunate enough to find my home at and in my "best half" here. So, yes, at my family's.

5. What difficulties/challenges did you face when you and your family moved here?

As strange as it may sound, the serenity and the space the country offers, both literally and figuratively, can get to you initially. Coming from a bustling city like Mumbai, I often missed the "crowd" and the noise and sometimes even hesitated to leave home after sunset. Homesickness is part of the process; one can never get over it. Also, the time difference poses enough rifts between you and your loved ones (but hey, my folks have been the most understanding bunch I could have ever asked for!). Not to forget, that the job search requires you to be relentless and resilient. Also, I am still wrapping my head around public transport here because boy, navigating directions is not as easy as it sounds. Pro-tip – refrain from converting bills into your home currency to live comfortably

6. How long did it take to get used to the people, weather, or surroundings?

Surprisingly, the weather wasn't as tough for me to get acclimatized to because I was just a kid in a candy store and had always dreamt of a winter wonderland! :D. It did take me some months to make this my 'new' comfort zone. You venture out of your home one fine day, feeling familiar.

7. How was your experience getting a job here? Was it easy or difficult?

The job market in Canada is not the easiest. Although I did land some freelancing gigs and it did help me get by (not to forget I had someone to fall back on here), the job market is very saturated at the moment and you have to be patient, thick-skinned and steel-strong until you score a decent opportunity.

 

8. What do you like and dislike most about this country?

The work-life balance that the country offers is refreshing to see. It leaves you with enough time for yourself and your dear ones.  The tax structure could be better. Also, digital adoption here has a long way to go.

9. How do you see your future in Canada?

My future is a story of grit and gratitude. I see myself contributing to the Sales, Marketing and Communications industry, adding my skills to the brand-building mosaic. I envision my journey as a speedy immigrant, expediting my financial and personal journey while leveraging my experience to foster communities around me.

10. How has your overall journey in Canada been so far?

It has been a rollercoaster of adaptation, unlearning and relearning, self-realization and discovery. From the initial excitement of new beginnings to navigating the intricacies of Canadian culture, every day brings a new lesson. The diversity, inclusivity, and genuine warmth of the people have made the challenges worthwhile. It's not just a physical relocation but a path of self-growth and building connections in this vast and welcoming land. Overall, it's been an enriching experience that unfolds, shapes, and strengthens with each passing day.

11. Biggest obstacle faced so far in Canada:

Overcoming the barrier of unfamiliarity and the self-induced sense of inexperience can sometimes take a toll on you. Also, building a sense of community required me to step out of my comfort zone. But like they say, well begun is half done!  Also, it's a competitive environment, and breaking into the job market requires continuous self-improvement, networking, and perseverance. 

12. Advice for immigrants:

Embrace the journey while you focus on the goal. This is your time to live free, live strong and make the journey count. Also, don't compare yourself to anyone because every script is unique. Shoot your shot, trust the almighty and don't give up even if it feels tiring. Know that your family and friends will always have your back. Lastly, you will find many more wonderful people than you actually thought existed (network, network, network!). Make friends, value people, and above all, love yourself – because no one can handle you better than yourself. 

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