Nouvelle Vie Nouveau Depart

Antoine Clerc-Renaud

New Life, New Beginning

After more than 12 years in Canada, and more specifically in Quebec, it’s time for me to move on. A lot has happened in my life, and although some were expected, others were not, to say the least. This led me to make an important decision now that my Canadian immigration adventure is done: I’m moving.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I won’t lie; this move is first and foremost motivated by money. Not by greed, mind you, but by money in general. It’s not a secret that times are harder than ever. More and more people are struggling every day to make ends meet. Some even have to make impossible choices. I have the privilege of not being in such a situation and feel incredibly lucky despite the hardships I’m currently facing. This is why I decided to move to an exotic location: Thailand.

Thailand, the Land of Smiles

Why Thailand? As I stated above, money. I’m currently in Montreal, Canada, paying $1,470 for a loft-style condo, and even though I can afford it, it’s way overpriced. Granted, it does come with some pretty cool common areas like an indoor gym, an indoor basketball court, a working space, and a terrace. But once again, I feel lucky because it’s a fully furnished place, and right now, rent prices are at an all-time high in Montreal. A similar place can easily go for $1,800 or even $2,000! It’s unbelievable. Whereas Bangkok offers studios at less than $600 a month! It’s a quick choice for me.

Then, I also want to discover a new country and a new culture. The last time I did that was in 2018, when I went to Japan with a Working Holiday Visa. It was amazing! I did things I never expected to do, like work as a janitor, in exchange for accommodations in Tokyo. I managed to set foot on each of the main islands, including Okinawa. It was a dream come true.

I’ve always been fascinated by Asian culture since I was a kid. Growing up in France, I watched a lot of anime and read my fair share of manga. For some reason, France and Japan have always had strong diplomatic and cultural ties. Our cultures and ways of living couldn’t be more different, though. One of my first objectives in life was to go live in Japan. I even learned Japanese at 15. But then I grew up and learned about how difficult life was for a foreigner, especially for kids.

Anyway, all this to say that this is still something that I’m more than curious about. I know Thai is a difficult language, but I feel great about it, and I welcome the challenge. As for the culture, I wouldn’t mind a more spiritual way of living. I’m not a religious person since it was forced on me at birth until I got out at 14 or 15. However, I’m curious to learn more about it and make my own choice.

I cannot talk about moving abroad without mentioning the food. And Thai food is amazing from what I know and what I hear. However, there is something that haunts me: cilantro. This aromatic herb that Southeast Asians love to sprinkle everywhere in their food. That’s right, I’m part of the population for whom cilantro tastes like soap, inducing a gag reflex. I just can’t. This is why one of the first phrases I learned in Thai was “No cilantro” because I will be using that a lot during my stay.

Challenging but exciting

If you think that I will wait until my lease expires in July 2024 to move out of the country, you’re mistaken. In fact, I’m so crazy and so driven that I plan on leaving Montreal as soon as I possibly can. As of writing this post, it is November 4, 2023, and I’d love to be gone by December. So, it’s a challenge, for sure, but one I’m not about to shy away from. I did it once, kind of, back in 2015. We found a new place—the one I’m actually in right now—to live in 10 days. Challenge accepted!

The most difficult part of this task is choosing what to keep and what not to keep. I’m lucky that I adopted a minimalistic way of life a while ago, so I don’t have a lot of stuff to begin with. Still, it’s hard to throw or give away some things I know I won’t use anymore. Especially books. But as a minimalist, if it exists in a digital form, I’m giving the physical one. So far, so good. I might even have found storage that is small enough and cheap enough for me to put one box in it.

So, I think I said all I wanted to say for now to give you a general idea of where I’m at. I’ll be going into more detail in the next few posts and telling you all about my plan and how it’s going. I also want to help people who might have questions about moving to Canada and/or Quebec. After all, I’ve spent more than 12 years here.