A question that I often hear, and surely other in my workplace do as well, is why Montreal. Why Montreal? Why Montreal, you ask? Montreal is a city of great culture, once the chic-est city of North America, and arguably the most European of the bunch, Montreal is a bilingual city filled with history and culture. This is a city filled with festivals in summer, with proud and large communities from all around the globe, a substantial space for LGBT rights and activities, and even a hub for all sorts of subcultures.
It has been called the jazz, metal, and videogame capital of the north.
Of course, before I even came here I had no idea any of these were actually a thing.
It all started with a gamble: One day after high school my mother asked if I wanted to go to a panel about moving to Canada, and after a few minutes (or hours, my excited mind cannot remember) of a French Canadian person talking in his practical-simple Spanish about how easy life in Canada was, I let my mother know what I felt. We are moving, correct? The program showcased had a few cities highlighted, and being the nerd that I was and I am back then, I suggested Montreal because I could then pursue a career in videogames.
Paperwork was done, applications were made, and next thing we knew we were in line to become permanent residents of Canada. I submitted a few applications to universities in the city, and after being accepted to one of my first choices, I embarked into the voyage of the unknown, followed shortly with my mother once all of our paperwork and all the business in our old home were settled.
Fast forward almost eight years after we first moved here, and we are still here. We live in a society that greatly exceeded our expectations (except for a few things, such as how there are potholes everywhere), and decidedly made our lives here.
Up until a few years ago I would still hear people asking me when I was going to go back home, or what would happen if the adventure did not work out. A year after I left home I realized that there was no reason for me not to make it work out here. Life is simple since even on minimum wage one can live a comfortable, yet arguably modest, life. There was nothing stopping me from opening up my own business or from climbing the corporate ladder at any place that could use my expertise. There were no warning signs in the horizon or any hazards nearby. There was nothing to worry about except living life every day and learning something new along the way.
And so it was that years passed, and what once was a mind worried with the future and whatever would be waiting around the next corner became a mind that focused on having fun (mostly) and on what the next challenge would be.
I stayed in school, then moved on to a job that I thought would provide me with simple answers to what I wanted in life, then it turned out that I was good at this job, so I stayed, grew a little, learned more and more, then grew a little bit more, and now have made a career out of it. Initially I came to the island because of videogames, strayed away from this train of thought for a few years, and then came back. On I went on this path, and here I shall remain for some time.
Today I write this from the new apartment that I am renting with my partner, after a busy and productive day at work, with plans for tomorrow at work and further on into the weekend.
Always looking forward to what is next in life. Thank you, Montreal.