Living a nomadic life
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Marie Dancer is French, and she has been traveling for 8 years. She has transitioned from the banking industry to the professional coaching (EQ) and has also been working for trust-building organizations. She works for women who want to pursue their career with greater clarity and authenticity in organizations to build more trust.
MOVING TO CANADA
Marie moved with her family, her two children and husband, to Montreal, Canada. Since French is widely spoken in Montreal, she thought that it wouldn’t make much of a difference, but for Marie, it was quite a change. She really wanted to experience this as she thought it was nice to step out of her comfort zone.
It was easier for her to get a job and settle, however, many things were different from what she expected. It was a kind of a sign to reassure her that it was a good idea that she left and went abroad. Marie had high expectations, but of course, there were differences. Some things that you expected were well turned out bad, but what you expected bad went perfectly.
CHALLENGES & YOUR OWN MINDSET
She says, when it’s your first time, things can turn out to be very challenging, but again it’s how you learn to shift your mindset from what you want it to be to what other options you might have. She feels this is like being an expat, first you are in this honeymoon phase in which everything is beautiful, and the people are great, there are new types of food, and it’s a whole new environment. There are also disappointments, and things aren’t as expected, so you need to find a routine when you live abroad. It is not an adventure every single day.
Marie further said that you need to mourn for what you have left behind otherwise you cannot live your new life. You leave behind what you love, like your family and friends. She also went through emotional ups and downs, and according to her, the most challenging experience for her was that Canada is indigenous. She further said that you could make any country, and place your home, and through the years, what she figured out was that what really matters is the people. The most you remember is the people, not places, but just the people you have been with.
QUEBEC & DOING BUSINESS
People in Quebec have a strong sense of who they are, for instance, they use some American words which are also used in French, and they translate those words in a French way. These people are a mix of American and French mindset, they are outgoing, straightforward, and they are pretty laid-back even in relationships which is very different from France. Their lifestyle is like the French, so, for instance, they have a downtown and a neighborhood so you can walk a lot, which is absolutely not American.
Marie also said that these people are a very interesting mix. They have a strong sense of identity as Quebecers, and Marie says she absolutely loved the people and is still attracted to them. She feels a connection with them, and it clicks really easily with them.
Talking about business, Marie found it hard to deliver some training programs. She feels consensus is very important. When you debate, everyone has to agree. There isn’t such a hierarchy as there is in France, and since harmony is important in Canada, so you don’t talk aggressively to people.
GENDER EQUALITY & VALUES
The working environment is very flexible, and there is gender equality. It was incredible in Canada because the first time Marie took her children to school, she saw a lot of fathers taking their children to school. It is very balanced, and so it looks like men and women are equal, unlike France, Quebecer women are known to be very strong tempered, so men wait for them to come and start a conversation, so this really surprised Marie.
They have great values, the best of which is to include immigrants in programs, so people know the difference between cultures and values. The Canadian people are very outspoken about their culture and norms and expect people to abide by them. Canadian people are very clear about their country’s values, what you need to know about a country, and how it works.
At the same time, Canada is also a very tolerant country. They are open to differences; it is okay for women to wear a headscarf, unlike in France at this time. They believe in working together and not against each other.