Immigrant Life Podcast

Hosted ByDapo Bankole

Get the lessons learned, tips, strategies and actionable insights that will help you thrive as a first generation Canadian immigrant!

ILP 0020: 111 Lessons Learned in 6 Years of My Immigrant Life Journey

Today, I thought to share with you 111 important lessons that I have learned in my six years of integration into the Canadian system. This list is not ranked or grouped in any manner. I wrote them down as they came to mind during my moment of reflection. If you like them, let me know and I will spend more time improving the way I presented them.  Come along with me. Here we go:

I have learned that eventually, everybody will do just great. It is just a matter of time. However, what matters is not the amount of money in our bank account, the number of houses or investments that we control but rather, the number of lives we’ve influenced in a positive way.

I Have that...

  1. I’ve learned that it’s okay not to know everything. Nobody does anyway.
  2. I’ve learned that when I struggle, it only confirms that I am human. And that’s fine.
  3. I’ve learned that even though my Canadian dreams may not materialize in one year, but if I continue to work my dreams and fine tune my plans daily, I’ll be surprised what can happen in three to five years!
  4. I’ve learned that it’s wise to start small and then scale up when its time.
  5. I’ve learned that even if I have all the financial resources to live a very comfortable life when I arrive in Canada, it’s smarter to start out living modestly.
  6. I’ve learned that most immigrants often under estimate the impact of immigration on their family dynamics and stability.
  7. I’ve learned that nobody throws money at you in Canada. You’ll have to work for every dime.
  8. I’ve learned that even though you work hard, pray hard and do all the right things, you may still not get what you want when you want it. And it’s okay.
  9. I’ve learned that even if you miss your way, it’s okay to keep driving on the road you find yourself. Google maps will reroute you to your intended destination.
  10. I’ve learned that it’s very okay to ask for help. Everybody needs help in one area of life or the other.
  11. I’ve learned that help often comes from random unexpected places.
  12. I’ve learned that my mind is my greatest asset when it comes to making a success of my life in Canada…or anywhere else.
  13. I’ve learned that my kids may not appreciate the value of immigration until they become adults and get the chance to experience other cultures and economies.
  14. I’ve learned that even when it’s not obvious, everything I need to successfully take the next step in my journey is always around me. I just need to discover it.
  15. I’ve learned that sometimes, when you get what you want, you may not want what you get.
  16. I’ve learned that unless you are a first nation citizen, everyone in Canada have their roots from other nations.
  17. I’ve learned that it is okay to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is the power that unlocks a better version of you.
  18. I’ve learned that days will come when you will question if you made the right decision to relocate to Canada.
  19. I have learned that broccoli does not taste as good at first. Thanks to my experience with Air Canada when I flew into Calgary on September 7, 2012.
  20. I have learned that it never makes sense to compare yourself with anyone. Your path to growth and success will be unique.
  21. I have learned that sometimes the cold winter temperatures would make you question your reason for relocating to Canada.
  22. I have learned that immigrating to Canada is the right move for you simply because you came.
  23. I have learned that I can dream all I want, if I don’t take consistent, daily actions without giving up, my situation will not change.
  24. I have learned that even when everyone has an opinion about my situation, in the end the decision of what to do is mine.
  25. I have learned that even though I listen to other peoples advise, when I eventually act on any or all the suggestions, I made the decision and not them, so it won’t be their fault if things don’t work out.
  26. I have learned that many immigrants who landed before me don’t often have time for new immigrants and it is not because they are bad people, they are just busy sorting out their lives.
  27. I have learned that once you stay in Canada for a while, you will often forget about Canadian immigration laws and current integration tips. And the reason is simple – your focus is now different.
  28. I have learned that as tough as it seems, relocating to Canada is the easiest of your immigrant life journey.
  29. I have learned that not all Canadians understand what it takes to be an immigrant because many of them were born here and have never abandoned all to live elsewhere.
  30. I have learned that try as you may, not everyone will understand you and it’s okay to be misunderstood.
  31. I have learned that Canadians are often polite to a fault – even when you are annoying.
  32. I have learned that you can have people sing your praise at work today and yet you may be the first person to be shown the way out tomorrow.
  33. I have learned that most people lose their jobs due to poor soft skills rather than hard skills.
  34. I have learned that Canadians will rather apologize for being distracted while you were talking rather than tell you they couldn’t understand you because of your accent.
  35. I have learned that Canadians are very loving and warm people.
  36. I have learned that Canadians love and cherish their personal space so it’s better to recognize and respect that.
  37. I have learned that it is a sign that Canadians like you when they start to share their personal stories with you.
  38. I have learned that Canadians will help you if only you will just ask.
  39. I have learned that there are bad people everywhere and it is not a function of race, color or tongue. Crime is a human problem not a gender or racial issue.
  40. I have learned that if you don’t pay your taxes, you can end up in jail.
  41. I have learned that even when the government overpays you in error, they will collect their money back with interest. It doesn’t matter if they realized that error in 10 years time!
  42. I have learned that there are poor and homeless people in Canada as there are anywhere in the world.
  43. I have learned that if you don’t have connection with people, you probably don’t have the right to correct them.
  44. I have learned that Calgary is the best place to live and raise a family in Canada.
  45. I have learned that Canadians love having small talks before a meeting.
  46. I have learned that even if you don’t know what to say to someone, you can never go wrong talking about the weather.
  47. I have learned that if you learn and develop interest in hockey, you can be friends with almost anybody in Canada.
  48. I have learned that instead of making assumptions, it’s always better to ask questions.
  49. I have learned that if you want to make money, learn Mandarin but if you want to make friends, go ahead and learn Cantonese.
  50. I have learned that in Canada there is no bad weather, there is only bad dressing.
  51. I have learned that in winter, even if you forget your jacket in the house you will remember when you step out into the cold.
  52. I have learned that even when you dress up for the weather, you may still wonder why you are cold.
  53. I have learned that kids adjust faster to the Canadian culture than adults.
  54. I have learned that it is easy to get into debt if you are not financially literate and if you yield control to your greed.
  55. I have learned that immigrants get depressed, but many don’t just realize it.
  56. I have learned that you stand the risk of losing your children to the child and human services arm of the government if you don’t acquire better parenting skills.
  57. I have learned that Canadians also go to heaven.
  58. I have learned that if you don’t pay your debt, you will go bankrupt.
  59. I have learned that all debts can be forgiven but you will repay your student loan even if you are 70 years of age…for as long as you are alive.
  60. I have learned that acquiring new education, degrees and certificates does not necessarily give you a professional job.
  61. I have learned that Canadian employers pay for skills and not certificates.
  62. I have learned that even if you are a janitor in Canada, you can live a fulfilling and debt-free life.
  63. I have learned that volunteering empowers you, opens doors for you and teaches you what nothing else can teach you.
  64. I have learned that it is okay to say NO.
  65. I have learned that ANY immigrant can become the Canadian Prime Minister. You don’t have to be Canadian-born.
  66. I have learned that if you go over the speed limit, you stand the risk of being issued a ticket.
  67. I have learned that if you continue to overspeed without being caught, one day you will get caught and the experience will be painful.
  68. I have learned that even though Cannabis is now legal in Canada, it is illegal to take it across the border.
  69. I have learned that it is better to delay gratification and save for what you need.
  70. I have learned that you will live a happier life if you live on a monthly budget and buy groceries using a pre-defined list of items that you truly need.
  71. I have learned that things will always be on sale so there is no need to spend more in order to save more.
  72. I have learned that sending money back to friends and families in your country of birth should never be funded through your credit card or line of credit.
  73. I have learned that there is no job security in Canada.
  74. I have learned that full time jobs are as secure as contract jobs.
  75. I have learned that if you don’t look out for yourself, nobody else will.
  76. I have learned that religious leaders are not the way to heaven.
  77. I have learned that investing time in your family and friends yields more enduring rewards than financial gains.
  78. I have learned that there is a framework that helps you to live a colorful immigrant life.
  79. I have learned that Canada is the best place to live on earth.
  80. I have learned that it takes a conscious deliberate effort to meet and know your next-door neighbor in Canada.
  81. I have learned that in Calgary, you can experience rain, snow and heat on the same day. In fact, within a few hours apart.
  82. I have learned that if you listen to Immigrant Life Podcast regularly and apply what you learn, within three months you will experience a major shift in your situation.
  83. I have learned that it’s okay to change direction even if you’ve traveled on the wrong road for as long as you can remember.
  84. I have learned that motion breeds clarity and nobody figures everything out at the beginning.
  85. I have learned that diversity is a fact, but inclusivity is a choice.
  86. I have learned that all Canadians have accents when they speak.
  87. I have learned that when you have a misunderstanding with your spouse, it is better to settle it quickly.
  88. I have learned that the immigrant life journey is as important the destination.
  89. I have learned that bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people.
  90. I have learned that it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them.
  91. I have learned that everything about the immigrant life is all a matter of perspectives.
  92. I have learned that you can be sincere but sincerely wrong.
  93. I have learned that it is better to build a pipeline rather than carry buckets from one place to the other.
  94. I have learned that even though I may not agree with my leader in all things, yet that person still deserves my respect because he or she is my leader.
  95. I have learned that as an immigrant, it is possible to achieve the results that most people only dream about.
  96. I have learned that saying “please” and “thank you” continue to work wonders even in Canada.
  97. I have learned that it can be scary to start your life afresh in Canada but in the end, it is worth it.
  98. I have learned that even if you don’t believe in God, I do – and it works for me.
  99. I have learned that many immigrants take on a mortgage because they assume it is automatically an asset.
  100. I have learned that many people take on a mortgage because it is the only retirement or savings plan that they can think of.
  101. I have learned that many immigrants take on a mortgage without having a plan for paying it off.
  102. I have learned that many immigrants take on a mortgage just because other people say it is better than renting an apartment.
  103. I have learned that even if your actions end up being wrong, you are better of than doing nothing.
  104. I have learned that even with the appropriate winter boot, you can still slip and fall. It can be embarrassing and painful, but it will happen.
  105. I have learned that it is rewarding to remain positive especially when you don’t have a reason to do so.
  106. I have learned that even if you delay your arrival to Canada in order to avoid the winter season, trust me, your own winter will wait for you.
  107. I have learned that sometimes you will feel lonely and frustrated but it’s okay as long as you don’t hurt others in the process. You are simply human.
  108. I have learned that the immigrant life is more than jobs, careers or businesses, you have your mental health, family life, community and even politics to think about.
  109. I have learned that if you are happy and fulfilled at home, you can conquer the world.
  110. I have learned that eventually, everybody will do just great. It is just a matter of time.
  111. I have learned that in the end, what matters is not the amount of money in our bank account, the number of houses or investments that we control but rather, the number of lives we’ve influenced in a positive way.

Thank you for listening. I am hopeful that in your moment of need, at least one of these discovery nuggets will unblock or inspire you.  I suggest you listen to this repeatedly. I can promise you when you do, you will start to live out these words of wisdom. May you find help when you need it, may you find rest for your soul and may your deep-seated righteous desires that you find difficult to articulate and share with others find expression in your life.

Do you want to have access to privileged information about how to live a colorful immigrant life? Then join the Immigrant Life Community today.

Join Us Because Together, the Future Is Bright!

Dapo
PS: When you join this movement, together we’ll uncover the lessons learned, tips, strategies and actionable insights that will help us thrive in Canada and make a difference in our various spheres of influence.

Be Social. Share with your network:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
X

Forgot Password?

Join Us