A Happy Family from Rotterdam, Netherlands

[ Nederlandse versie Hier]

January 4th, 1998 Our immigration to Canada
Our moving container left Rotterdam on December 17, 1997 on route to Montreal, Quebec by boat and then by train to Calgary, Alberta. The container was to be stored by customs until we came to pick it up when we land in Canada on January 5th, 1998 and can arrange for the completion of various documentation.

We left Schiphol Airport and headed to San Francisco where we had to stay overnight. The next day we flew to Calgary, Alberta where we rented an acreage for three months with the help of a real estate agent. This was all arranged via telephone when we were still in the Netherlands. The real estate agent also offered to help us the first day we arrived in Calgary with things such as arranging a SIN number and Alberta health care. “Just let me know which hotel you are staying at and I will come and get you,” he said. We had to stay in a hotel the first few days because we still had to arrange for our container at customs to be delivered to our acreage. Our dog made the trip with us as well and received VIP treatment; he is the first to board the plane and is always the first priority. Actually, the plane ticket for our dog is more expensive than the ticket for our daughter of 11 years old!

Calgary airport, January 5th, 1998
Here we are and boy is it every cold, we really need to adjust to this. Just outside the airport there are vehicles waiting to take you to different hotels so we just picked one to take us to a hotel. We then phoned the real estate agent and he was there within an hour. He assisted us with a few things and really was a tremendous help.

The next evening the moving container arrived with our belongings to our first address where we lived for three months. We then bought a home in Okotoks but only lived there for 1 ½ years because we got the opportunity to buy an acreage East of Okotoks, a lot sooner then we expected. It was our dream to own a few horses and to have space around us. We bought 5 acres and lived there for 7 years.
My husband found a job quickly in the meat industry and he still works there today and I worked in a clothing store for a few years to improve my English and to meet new people.

After three years we applied for Canadian citizenship and we became Canadian citizens and have our own Canadian passport. We wanted to keep dual citizenship but the Netherlands does not allow multiple nationalities (as a Dutch born) so we had to give up our Dutch passport.

We have moved to Claresholm now where we bought 160 acres and build our own home. We still live there and have no plans to move away because the country is absolutely beautiful; we lived in the Porcupine Hills SW of Claresholm.

It has been 13 years since we immigrated to Canada and we do not regret leaving the Netherlands. The people here are so friendly and are always ready to help you. The country is beautiful, what more could we need?

Our daughter breezed through all levels of school and studied for 4 years at the University of Lethbridge. She received a degree in management (marketing) with great distinction and now works as a financial service representative at the local bank. We are very proud of her because immigrating to Canada was a big change in her life as well. She loves it here in Canada and has no interest to ever move back to the Netherlands.

We are now in the business of breeding horses, our herd has grown to 16 and every year we have a few foals. Canada is a great country where doing things such as starting a horse business and building your own home are still possible.

We still travel to the Netherlands yearly to visit family but other than that we have no ties to the country and that is a good thing. In the Netherlands we could have never reached our goals and dream mainly because the country is too full and too many rules.

signed.....A very happy family.