Making the dream to live abroad a reality

Episode Description

Sylvia’s dream to experience life outside Brazil made real when she committed to her goal, gave up her career, and decided to get a master’s degree in psychology in Australia.

In Australia, she met a fellow Brazilian guy, which turned to her husband after several years. Before getting married, they went back to Brazil because of homesickness.

After their marriage, the couple had a mutual decision to leave their country and settle in another place where a better environment is possible.

Their decision to move out of Brazil was determined by the fact that they didn’t feel safe in their city, which they did not want their future kids to undergo as they grew older.

Being committed to their plans, Sylvia processed their visa applications on her own. Still, due to some mistakes along the way, their application got delayed until Sylvia eventually got pregnant with their first child. Luckily, while bearing her first child, Sylvia and her husband were finally granted permanent residency in Canada. With their less-a-month-old child, Sylvia and her husband flew to Canada and started growing their family in Toronto.

Although having their kids exposed to a different culture from home, Sylvia and her husband have sternly kept the Brazilian culture in their home.

As an immigrant herself, Sylvia knew the many struggles of immigrating, which led her to work with her fellow emigrant friend, Jadranka, to create a blog called, The Practical Immigrant, where they share stories and advice for people who’re dreaming of moving to Canada as well.

Get in touch with Sylvia

Website - Email

Tips and key takeaways


Episode Transcript

Sylvia 0:01

It's a decision that affects everyone, not just you, right? It's it's a selfish decision to emigrate, that's the truth. It's a very selfish decision. You have to do it if you if you're you have the bugging you and you just have to follow your dreams and everyone in our happy support and approve, and everyone's very happy frog because they see this as our dream, but it's not easy for them.

Daniel 0:28

Hi, everyone, and welcome to episode number 26 of the Emigrant's Life Podcast where we share stories of people who love their country to chase a better life. I'm Daniel De Biasi. And in this episode, I had the pleasure of chatting with Sylvia. She's originally from Brazil, and her first immigration experience was after graduating from university while she decided to do a master's degree in Australia. When she was in Australia, Sylvia met her husband and together they moved back to Brazil, they soon realized they couldn't fit in with the culture anymore, so they decided to move abroad again. But the process of moving abroad and moving to Canada took them several years. In the meantime, they were living in Limbo, where they couldn't really start a life because they knew they will leave soon, which means they couldn't buy new furniture or start a new career or invest in their life in Brazil. She's been now living in Canada and abroad for several years. And recently Sylvia and her friend of Jadranka started a blog titled, The Practical Immigrant, where they share the experiences and tips as an immigrant in Canada. You can check it out at the practical Before moving to my conversation with Sylvia., make sure to subscribe wherever you listen to your podcast and it will be great if you leave us a review on Apple podcasts or PodChaser. And now please enjoy my conversation with Sylvia.

Sylvia, thanks for being on the show.

Sylvia 1:44

Oh, thank you. Thank you for having me.

Daniel 1:47

So Sylvia, you're originally from San Paolo in Brazil, right? And you now live in Toronto, Canada, what made you decide to leave Brazil?

Sylvia 1:54

I was younger on my 20 something to to study. So I wanted to do a master's degree outside of Brazil. So I picked Australia for several reasons. First of all, it's just cool going to Australia and having this opportunity to study there. And it was a English spoken so it was easy for me to do a master's degree there. Not easy, but easier. And it was just this opportunity costs, weighing all the costs and pros and cons against other countries. Australia was the best option.

Daniel 2:32

Okay, but why did you decide to do a master in outside of outside of Brazil?

Sylvia 2:37

That's a tough one. Because I think I always had that on my mind. And I would graduate, work a bit in Brazil and then before kind of a suddenly in professionally, I wanted to get my degree and I always thought it will be overseas. I don't know why I just wanted to have a since very young.

Daniel 2:57

It's more for the experience or it's more for the value of the master overseas?

Sylvia 3:01

No, no, they're they have amazing courses, there was a different master's degree that often was bad. I study coaching and that was a new thing. So it was one of the first universities offering this course. But it wasn't because of the course to be honest, that I decided to move and to study was just the experiences of being young and having to to complete this stage of my life before I got married and had kids or anything like that it was much more the experience of traveling.

Daniel 3:32

Okay, so at this point you your idea was to go to Australia, get your master and come back to Brazil and start your career right?

Sylvia 3:40

Yeah, I was open to whatever happened because always love to travel always had this kind of a bugging me. So I was always open. So I went kind, okay, I'm just going let's see what happens. But so what happened as I stayed in this trailer for three years and a half, almost four years, I met my band boyfriend and later husband there. And he's also Brazilian, he stayed there, he was already there for four years. And together, we stayed up to seven years. So I finished my course and we stayed a little longer. I started kind of restarted my career there.

But before coming back to that stage, both of us were very homesick of Brazil. And then we decided to go back to Brazil to try and life as adults professionally, graduated adults in Brazil. So we went back to Brazil to try that on and to get married and get to know each other's family because we met overseas. And it was a good experience. So after a year in Brazil, we kind of looked at each other we kind of have disagreement, let's give a year and see how it is because it had been so long that we were outside out of it that we couldn't come back and just fit well again So we were very Anglo Saxon knives, this is the joke.

And we decided, no, we really want to immigrate, and there was a solid decision of immigrating to a new country and leaving for the rest of your life there. So then we were always questioning. So should we go back to Australia which we love, of course, or should we go somewhere else? And Canada was the second option, and only option. And we we ended up deciding Canada, us be why Canada against Australia, there are several reasons. Some of those, we're still unsure if we took the right decision or not. But for sure, the most important of all, is that in Canada, we're closer to Brazil than we are from being Australia.

Daniel 5:45

How long does it take from Brazil to go to Australia to fly to Australia?

Sylvia 5:48

So to fly to Australia, from Brazil, it's a 24 hour flight plus you stop somewhere. So there are two flights plus 24 hours, and then you have a huge a timezone difference. I think it's about 14 hours, 12 hours depends on the time of the year. And that's complicated a lot. So every time you need to talk to your family, you have to talk, you want to talk to your family tests in the early morning or late night. And the distance is very expensive as well. So if we like now here in Canada, we always have family coming around, when we were in Australia, we wouldn't, not everyone would be able to afford to go that often.

Daniel 6:30

So it gets more expensive?

Sylvia 6:32

It gets really much more expensive, like three times more expensive. Now we're a family of five, like I have three kids, my husband, so if we think of being in Australia having to pay five tickets to go back just to visit, it's a lot.

Daniel 6:48

It's not just the flights itself is when the time off, you have to take from work because the longer it takes to fly there, the more days you have to take off for work.

Sylvia 6:57


Daniel 6:57

Going back to when you left, Brazil for the first time to move to Australia, how easy was for you to get a visa to study abroad?

Sylvia 7:05

Let me try to remember that. It wasn't, it was a student visa so if you pay the for the university, and you qualify for that, and you got enough sufficient English and sufficient amount of money to live for, I don't know X amount of months, they calculated the full course, you can get this student visa. That's been a while now, I don't know this. I'm talking 2004, 2005. So I don't know if it changed or not. I know immigration in Australia changed a lot. But I haven't been following to be honest. But it's a similar process here in Canada. So student visas are quite simple, expensive, but simple. So you pay kind of a big fee of fund for the university plus a visa plus, demonstrating that you have some funds to support yourself through those months. Both Australia and Canada do allow you to work 20 hours while you're studying depends and depending on the university or the type of course you're taking. So that helps a lot. But this is not a money you should count to prove that you have enough funds, you should have enough funds regardless if you're gonna be able to work with 20 hours or not where ever you are. So it was quite simple, it was just a matter of choosing the right course and choosing what I wanted to really study and and the practicalities. Another reason that I chose Australia at that time was because I had a really good friend. And one of my best friends was already living in Australia. So I knew I had some support. And I could come and live with her as soon as I arrived. That helped a lot. Otherwise, I don't know if I would have done it by all by myself. So that was good.

Daniel 8:54

So you left when he was 20, early 20s. Right? You left alone or you just left you went to Australia.

Sylvia 9:00

Yeah, I left alone. I was not recently grad but I had been working in the so I graduated psychology in Brazil. And then I worked for about a year and a half in the market and then human resource that's my field. And before I got too much into the career path, I said nope, that's it. Let me stop it here before it goes too far so I can stop. And this is how I want to study now, this is my dream. So I I did that. It was just one of the craziest decisions. My friends would look at me and say, You're crazy. You're just this amazing career. You're having this amazing pathway interrupting it now. So I did it and and when and I had this friend who was already living in Australia, we agreed I would live with her. And it was super fun. It was it was a great experience. And yeah, so I had just arrived with two or three suitcases, I can't remember because I intended to be there for one year and a half or two. And yeah, that was it and get to start a new life there.

Daniel 10:12

Just a question for the listener in Brazil, for example, listener that wants to take the same path and go and study abroad. In your experience, roughly, do you remember what was the requirement money wise? Because if I remember correctly for a work permit, when I moved to New Zealand, I think it was around $3,000, you have to prove that you have an account. Was it roughly the same for a student or was more?

Sylvia 10:34

To be honest, I wouldn't be able to tell you that the right I'm not bad. I'm sure it's, it is an average, I would say maybe $1,000 per month or something like that. At least I think in Canada it's like this. I might be saying wrong. But I think it's an average of $1000 or $1500 dollars per month,

Daniel 10:58

Which sounds fair. I mean, that's pretty much

Sylvia 11:01

It's a minimum wage. Yeah, it's the amount you would get in the minimum wage here. So it's enough for you to support yourself. And it depends if you're coming as a couple as with family with kids, so that amount changes as well.

Daniel 11:15

Hey, it's Daniel here, I did some research. And to get a student visa for Australia, the proof of found or the money you need to have is 21,000 Australian dollar for the whole year, which is 1700 or a thousand and seven hundred Australian dollar per month. If you have a partner, you need to add an extra 7000. And if you have children, you have to add an additional $3,000 per child. Canada is cheaper, you need to prove you only have 10,000 Canadian dollar, which is about $800 per month. For your partner, there's an extra $4,000 and $3,000 per child, I put the links to Australian and Canadian immigration in the show notes. You can find them at immigrants slash Episode 26. And keep in mind that if you live in a city in Canada, it might be very challenging, if not impossible to live on $800 a month. Rent alone can be more than that. Just something to keep in mind if you're considering coming on a student visa. If you have any question about Immigration Canada, you can send it to us by visiting Alex, they can eat immigration advisor from Episode 21. We'll answer your question in the future episodes. And now let's get back to the conversation with Sylvia.

So for somebody that wants to study for a year, you need to save quite a bit of money you can have like a few paychecks in your account.

Sylvia 12:33

No plus you do need to demonstrate a quite a bit of money as well. To be fair, if you're young, you can still use the support of your family. That's what a lot of Brazilians do. really depends on the culture of Brazilian culture, you still live with your parents for a long time and they do support you in different ways. So if they allow you to do this, you don't have to have your own money you can have borrow the money.

Daniel 13:00

So okay for some people that for young people or young, young people that they don't have all this money saved, they can use the support of the family to prove that they have enough money. Yeah, that's definitely helped because if you started when you're 20 unless you come from a rich family, there's no way that you have $20,000 in your account just over $10,000 in your account if you just start working.

Sylvia 13:22

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, so two things important here I think for student visas there are two different types of visas I think it's the same scale for Australia. So you can go and study English and you can go and studied in the university, so my case was in university and that for that I had to have a ready a good level of English. And not everyone in Brazil has a good level of English even they study English at school. So it is an extra effort if you're coming from Brazil not it's just something we don't have that easily given at schools. We have English at school, but it'll still be able to go to a new anniversary. Have a good degree there or college degree. You have to have surgeon I can remember for IELTS so the test they're using now. You have to have I think it's been above seven grade.

Daniel 14:12

Okay, so it's a English good level.

Sylvia 14:14


Daniel 14:15

Okay, that's good things to keep in mind.

Sylvia 14:17


Daniel 14:17

let's go back to your story. Okay. At this point you were with your husband. Were you already married when you move to Toronto or you got married there?

Sylvia 14:25

Yeah, no, we we got engaged before leaving Australia. We got engaged and then we went back to the zoo and got married in Brazil. Get to know each other families and the little bit with the family. So we actually about six to seven years in Brazil when we were back until we'd figure out which visa to take and how to properly immigrate because we really wanted this time to move already as a permanent residence not going again on student visas. I keep changing visas because that was a big story as well. So we we moved with it. With my young, my oldest daughter, who was one then.

Daniel 15:04

So you left, you left Brazil, you say, Okay, I don't want to be in Brazil anymore. I want to immigrate. And of course, at that point, you have a family, you want a more like stable situation, at least for the immigration point of view. So you want to just get better my resident, settle down, and don't worry about the immigration process anymore anymore, because it's so frustrating. But why did you decide to leave because you had a family and you already they have a kid. So even leaving a country and the support of your family around you, it's even gets even harder. So why did you decide to leave Brazil?

Sylvia 15:34

That's the big story of all. So we, as I said, we got back from Australia, and we stayed about a year there and Brazil and we were already working and life was catching back again on going back to the comfort zone. And we looked at each other said, Okay, now we don't want to be here forever. But most important, I think that if we have to pick one big reason is crime, crime rates is crazy, and currency and the system like ethical system in Brazil is kind of crazy as well. We weren't fitting anymore, we did not fit well with the culture, the overall culture. So we decided to immigrate but, once had made that decision of course, so we got married, and we we had a kid and family was around, so it wasn't easy to actually.

First, it wasn't easy to get the visa then so it took us about two or three times to try out the visa. And we had denials. until we finally got the PR because I was doing we were doing it all by ourselves. So filling up the paperwork all up. We never hired anyone. So I was trying to study the laws and everything.

Oh, wow.

And because of that, I made a few mistakes that we had to denial. Then we have the baby. So actually, that's when we were granted this permanent residency in Canada, I was pregnant for my first child in Brazil, which was very comfortable. So you know, everyone, you will have family around everyone to help you in this very specific moment, especially for a woman. So we decided to hold a bit, even if the PR was granted. So we said, okay, let's have the baby here. And then we will decide what we want to do. So we ended up since we send the paperwork until actually move to Canada, about five years.

Daniel 17:31

Oh, wow. So wasn't really a quick decision.

Sylvia 17:34

Yeah, the whole decision process because five years, and then we have to save money. And then you spend the money, you have to save money and spend the money. So it's also a big story there. Because you have to have a certain amount of money to arrive.

Daniel 17:47

Because at this point, I don't know exactly how it works for a family. But it gets more complicated. Because when you travel on your own, you only need a visa if you get approved one visa, you could go. In a family, how does that work? You have to apply for every single person is one application all combined together? How does that work?

Sylvia 18:03

It is one application combined. In our case, we applied under my my skill because psychology was in demand skills for Canada. But that was before they changed all the rules. So we were kind of a lucky to get one of the last applications through the old rules, which was such a simpler and easier system, not the pool that you have now, with points. It was just a matter of summing up the requirements. And we had those. So it is one application for all but everyone has to be screened. So even my baby daughter, she had to participate on this application. So we had to pause that. As soon as I got pregnant, and we were granted, we actually couldn't get the visa yet because I was pregnant and they immigration asked us to hold on. Soon as she was born, we had to enroll her and applications thought instead of starting a whole new application for her. So I think she was about one week old and we took her passport photos and screen her for the exam, the physical exams and everything for her to join the application. Yeah, a lot of paperwork.

Daniel 19:19

Must be. I mean, I don't even know how you did it all by yourself. I tried to do here in Canada, I gave up, I have to hire somebody. I couldn't do it.

Sylvia 19:26

It's a few mistake. Yeah, there were a few mistakes in the process. But we finally got it

Daniel 19:31

The whole process it took five years. Do you think if you didn't make those mistakes, would it be much less?

Sylvia 19:36

Yes, acually the last time we did it with all the paper correct, it was just one year. But it depends on immigration because before this one year, there were there was a backlog of three years so whoever applied before that year had a backlog of two years to get responses and then they change the system. And we got the backlog for one year and then they change the system so people are now waiting months instead of a year.

Daniel 20:01

How did you leave those five years in the waiting to the move to abroad?

Sylvia 20:05

Yeah, life was just catching up. We were working on our professions and our careers, we were just happy to be around with family enjoying life and progressing as a young couple recently married couple and but there was this this weird zone where we wouldn't buy furniture for our house or do improvements on our lives, because we always had our lives on hold, because we knew we would move, it was kind of a kind of a limbo phase as well. So we wouldn't invest that much on our careers, we wouldn't invest that much on even relationships that would say, I don't know, it's just we knew we wanted to get out. So and it was a huge secret also, so we couldn't share that with everyone. We wanted it to happen.

Daniel 20:54

So why do, you didn't want to share it?

Sylvia 20:57

When you really wish for something, or you maybe a mythical thing, just to call it a little bit about that. And a lot of not everyone was happy with us maybe so we have family and and we only wanted to share with everyone when we were 100% sure that it would happen Otherwise, why make them sad? It's not easy. It's it's a decision that affects everyone, not just you, right?

Daniel 21:23

Oh totally

Sylvia 21:24

It's a selfish decision to immigrate. That's the truth. It's a very selfish decision.

Daniel 21:29

Yes. You actually write it is never thought about that way.

Sylvia 21:33

Yeah, it is. It is very selfish. And you have to do it. If you if you're you have the bugging you, you just have to follow your dreams. And everyone in our happy supports and approved they are. My mom, I my bed and my husband's family, everyone's very happy frog because they see this as our dream. But it's not easy for them.

Daniel 21:53

No, it's not. Absolutely not. For parents I don't know. I'm not a parent, but must be like a really hard to see your kids go on the other side of the ward. Or, like, far away from home.

Sylvia 22:05

With the grandkids. Yeah.

Daniel 22:07

Exactly, It's even worse. Yeah. So how was it for them then was like a really hard or they got used to in those five years?

Sylvia 22:14

Yeah. So I think it was about two years before we moved to this three years before we moved that we told everyone 100% certain that they would happen. We always gave them the we would love to live on Christmas eve. But we never actually said we're moving out. There was a process for everyone on both sides. I think for us coming here was there was this phase where you feel a lot of guilt, especially myself. I was very guilty. I left, my sister already immigrated, as well so I have my oldest so we're two and my oldest sister lives in UK she married an English guy so she lives in UK, they've been a while there. And my my mom did my parents are divorced. So my mom was by herself and all the both daughters left. And you kind of feel guilty about it for a while. But then you realize that your life starts here. And when you kind of the roots that you're planting and start to grow. Expand here in the new country, you kind of see no, but this makes sense. It makes sense. It still makes a lot of sense for us. We we never regretted our decision and we're very happy here as a family. They can see that and the moment they see that and they see it's better or for some reason it's better if they approve, but they always be sad as well.

Daniel 23:35

Yeah, I completely agree with that. Even my mom was kind of sad. But I think she came to see me when I was in New Zealand and she understood why I decided to leave Italy And she was happy for me she's always been happy for me she was like I said I was there. But our parents say as I said they're said but the same time they're happy for us because we would follow our dreams and we try to get the best of our lives.

Sylvia 23:57

Yeah, I think it's the the power of love. That's a parent's love, right?

Daniel 24:01

Yeah. But at the same time, like I don't know, living five years in this limbo. I find I don't know maybe for for me, I think especially having a family. You kind of feel like you know what, let's just settle down and start a life because you keep living in this limbo and you're never like a start a life as you said you're always there you don't buy new furniture. It just must be like a stressful in a way that you don't really don't really live fully your life.

Sylvia 24:31

It was it was it was. The decision was so solid in us that we really wanted to move away. I think maybe because the decision of coming back from Australia was hard. And then we never knew if we took the right decision or not for a long time. Now we know we did the right thing of moving back from Australia to Brazil and then to visit Canada we are 100% certain of this decision but for a while we Left Australia, which was kind of this paradise, where it was only the two of us, I'm living this romantic kind of 20 years age dream where you kind of free your spirit and your student visa, you can just do a casual work and life is different. And then you move back to Brazil, and you have to really study your careers. And so there was this transitioning of kind of a becoming a proper adult, in going back to Brazil. And then we finally decided, no, no, we don't want to do this here, we really want to become adults probably have those who were already adults, just, but we really want to grow our life together somewhere else. So when we have this moment of decision, it was so solid enough and waiting for it to happen it was really frustrating, especially when we have the visas not denied, because it didn't went to that stage as heavy as denied. But the paperwork was wrong. So all the paperwork would come back. And there were a few moments where we thought it's not going to happen. And those moments were dark. Like I remember talking to my husband, and I say, Well, okay, what our options are, we're going to somewhere in South America, we just wanted to move out for some reason we have this bug. And it's not that Brazil is not good. It's just that we really wanted to experience living overseas.

Daniel 26:23

And as you said, you feel like you were immersed with Anglo Saxon culture, and you kind of like it and you kind of miss it. I totally understand that, yeah.

Sylvia 26:36

It is not just the culture, it is the thing of living overseas. It's fun, it's exciting to get to know people from different cultures, from different countries and, and having just become a different language every single day of my life. Like it's not natural, even if it's, I'm fluent now. It's still not natural. And those challenges every day are different from just being a regular person in Brazil, following what everyone else is doing. No, no, we were okay. We're very comfortable in Brazil, we could have stayed there forever. But it wasn't enough. It's hard to explain. Unless you live that.

Daniel 27:16

Yeah, I totally understand. I totally understand. A question because I interview another person on the show that was from Brazil. And the reason why he left Brazil was because they didn't feel safe. You were living in San Paolo, which is one of the biggest city in the world. Did you feel safe in San Paolo?

Sylvia 27:35

No, the way you're putting the question, yes, I felt safe. Because I live in a good neighborhood. And we, it's ridiculous, but we have security on every building in where the neighborhood I live. So that's kind of crazy. So we were in a good neighborhood where you wouldn't be unsafe, but at the same time, you weren't safe. So it's not that it's, it's kind of you living in a place where it's in war, you kind of know where to go and what to do and how to behave to be safe. So nothing ever happened to me. And I only know a few people among my my friends that have been robbed or mugged or gun pointed or whatever. But you know, it's there. So the crime is there. The thing is that the structure of San Paolo in a way that if you kind of don't follow those guidance, those rules, you will be in a bad spot and very bad spot. So for example, one of the things that we notice as soon as we're traveling Canada after spending so long in Brazil, is that Canada has kids walking in the street without parents just walking around wandering around from school to home to play date, or whatever, go to the park. You don't see that in San Paulo anymore. So if you have a kid and some follow, you will have to pick them up inside the school. So you drive your car through as if it was in a hotel so you could drive through the gate, go inside, pick your kid, your kid gets into the car, and then you go set off the gate where the guards are checking on you, and then you go free. Oh, how scary it is. But you get so used to this system that you don't feel unsafe. But at the same time you never feel safe. It's kind of weird what I'm saying but it's you learn how to behave, how to protect yourself, but it's it is unsafe. It is unsafe country for sure.

Daniel 29:31

But was that one of the reason that you?

Sylvia 29:34

One of the biggest for sure. Besides all this, that I said about having this bug this need of loving to travel, getting to know new cultures and experiencing this between system of Anglo Saxon system, the crime rates in Brazil crazy. Not getting better. There's no I can't see it getting better for the next generation, so we didn't want to expose our kids for not having to treat I'm going out, or going to the grocery shop by themselves, they, you wouldn't let a kid do that by themselves anymore in Brazil.

Daniel 30:07

yeah, that's exactly what that Louie said about, about living in Brazil that you always be to be aware of what's going on. And when you move in his case was moved to New Zealand and one of the biggest upside was that he didn't have to worry about what was going on, you could just relax, he felt more relaxed in a way.

Sylvia 30:25

You wouldn't open a laptop and the train, you wouldn't take your phone out, even on your car to make a FaceTime call with someone if it's an expensive phone. People can just gunpoint and rob you. And if you don't give it, kill you for that. And people will get yeah, yeah. So again, I don't know anyone that to be honest, I know a few people that have been robbed that way and been around certain stress of being kidnapped for the night and things like that. But not that often, because you kind of learn how to protect yourself. I'm saying that because if we think about tourists going to Brazil, they need to know how to behave, they need to learn. I wish there was a course for tourists to go to Brazil and protect themselves. But again, it is a beautiful country, it is a place to go and visit. It's not that it's dangerous, you just need to learn your ways. But we didn't like to live from that stress forever. That's one of the main reasons we left.

Daniel 31:28

The thing that you didn't feel safe, or you saw that the crime of this problem in Brazil, did that amplify once you went overseas, that you saw the reality overseas, you went back Did you see that amplify more more than they used to it?

Sylvia 31:42

Ah, to be honest, I think it was even a little better, but you start to get more concerned. So I think that I used to do I was already in the manners of doing it. So I had already in my ways of doing it. I wouldn't do it anymore. So before I remember, I used to walk around the neighborhood, my neighborhood cause as I said it was quite safe that I used to walk. My mom lived in the same neighborhood. I would go stroller with my baby to her house and carry all the backpacks and things that I would have to carry. But now I wouldn't do that. And I wouldn't even carry a purse or bag with me. Because I was too afraid or even a phone I wouldn't carry a phone with me I would just keep it at home and talk to someone in the other place. So I changed. I became more scared of Brazil but I don't think Brazil changed in terms of more crime or less crime I think it's just the same, I just don't know anymore how to behave that well as they used to do.

Daniel 32:42

So you move from from Brazil, which is like a nice and warm place to Toronto, which is not as warm in winter. How did you get used to it? And what's actually what made you stay in Toronto and not try something else?

Sylvia 32:57

I think, there's a saying I don't know if we can use it here in English but we always joke in Brazil, the cold is psychological, of course because we don't have a cold winter there. So it doesn't matter putting a good jacket and those, they don't think about it. But there is a learning curve there was for me at least, a learning curve of all the winter. I won't tell you that I enjoy being col, I don't. By then learn how to dress properly. So I do agree with the Canadians when they say there's no bad weather, there's best clothing, something like that. And I agree we learned we learned as the years pass so I think it's been seven we've got the word coming to their seventh winter now and it's so much easier now it's just okay, just now there's snow, it's it's fun. And we enjoy the snow. We do a lot of sports in the snow. Especially my husband he loves to send the kids the kids love to go snowboarding or sledding or ice skating whatever we can do outside we do, even if it's minus 20. But yes, I still complain because it's too long. I think the winter is long. If it was just a little bit shorter, that would be fine. And the mild seasons especially here in Toronto, the mild seasons seasons aren't too comfortable enough for you to take your jacket out, but not cold enough to hold you inside. You to learn how to dress up. You can enjoy them. I have seasons as well. Because at the beginning I would only go out in summer and stay in all year like nine months in. So now I am okay. I am gracing. But I heard some immigrants that have been here for longer like 20 years, 15 years, 25 years and they say they gets tired. They get tired of it. After a while living through this process of changing seasons and clothes and gear. You get tired and you do want to become how they call it the winter birds that birds that they they fly away, the winter birds they when they

Daniel 35:06

That they immigrate somewhere else. I don't know what's the terminology is.

Sylvia 35:11

But uh, yeah, anyway,

Daniel 35:13

Which I heard a lot of people, even Vancouver people that can afford it. People just move to the US move somewhere else warmer over the winter because it's cold, it's wet, is not super nice. I never heard that so many people they do that they may be great for six months a year somewhere else it's not a bad way of living if you can afford.

Sylvia 35:35

Maybe when we grow old, we will be able to do that.

Daniel 35:38

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, maybe. Yeah. When he retired or something? I don't know. And do you have any regrets about leaving your country?

Sylvia 35:47

No, no, I should, but I don't.

Daniel 35:50


Sylvia 35:52

No, it was a very solid decision. We're very happy here. Yeah, we still live in a dream like we named. We visited this soul for so long that it's finally happening. So we're still in joy is doing that state of joy. Every time we even retire, we see snow every time we go out. And we see the beautiful neighborhood and beautiful people and the Canadians are amazing. We haven't talked much about the Canadians, but it was a very solid decision to come to Canada and Australia. Australians are also amazing, but it's a different vibe. It's a very welcoming country. And I love the people here and we're so happy to be raising our kids here.

Daniel 36:36

So when you moved to Canada was the first time ever you went to Canada or you were the taste of Canada before?

Sylvia 36:41

No I did. I did as a teenager, I came here to visit and had the vacations here and I liked it a lot.

Daniel 36:48

Okay, so that was probably one of the reasons you pick Canada.

Sylvia 36:53

Yeah, it was a summer time when I came and had a good impression of that. And I had friends and family that had lived here and they loved it. We knew about Canada a lot. It was a good search. And we before we immigrated my husband did not know Canada we immigrated and I think he had a business trip here once or twice, but it wasn't solid for him as it was for me. But uh, he was very key of it because of the landscape and winter sports. So he it was meant to be

Daniel 37:27

What was the biggest upside about immigrating?

Sylvia 37:29

I think is that a good living a dream. So we vision it for so long, that it's again, it, it was great where we were even if we had stayed in Brazil, we were very lucky. We were fortunate there to have a good lifestyle. We were progressing on our careers. We have family around. We were happy there. But for some reason we have this inside us. And I failed because it's very a solid decision. I don't know if I have done it by myself. Probably I did because I still embrace this feeling. But would it be harder to make this decision. But it's, which is so perhaps a year and I don't know, it's hard to explain. everything's working well, and we don't see ourselves coming back. Maybe immigrating one day to Australia, but not to Europe.

Daniel 38:22

Maybe when did you live there feels like normal and if you still think about moving abroad, you're like, Okay, I feel like this is my counter now. Okay, let's move abroad again. That's the dream again.

Sylvia 38:34

Yeah, there is something like that. Of course, we don't like to thought about I think there's something my personality and my husband's personality. We are a cave, if we have to move again, we would move again.

Daniel 38:46

Would you do that for your kids so they can live another culture?

Sylvia 38:49

That's a great question. Yes. And no. It's a toughest question of all so sometimes we do say oh, let's just joke Yeah, well, let's move to somewhere else. Let's move to US, its fine. And we could if we wanted really wanted, you always make it happen. If it's a dream, you'll make it happen. Is there always ways but then we think okay, but now we have three kids. And is it fair for them to do that? So they're finally in school and making new friends and living this life, is it fair to take them out of that and just move them around? Or that will be a great experience for them and growth experience in the other hands so they're still young, and we don't have anywhere to go now. We're happy here. So for now, that's it, but maybe in a few years, you can interview me.

Daniel 39:36

Maybe like a part two of the interview. Do you think like your kids are still having their culture from the Brazilian culture? Are you guys able to give that culture living in a living with you guys both from Brazil?

Sylvia 39:50

Yes, we do. Embrace A lot of it. Especially Portuguese, we speak Portuguese at home. We focus hard on that. We're very strict in as much as we can with that. So we really tried to, it's getting harder, especially with my second so, I have eight years old, four years old and one year old. The eight years old, she's fluent in both. She She switches very nicely, the the four years old, she's now starting to speak more preference for English than Portuguese, but she knows both. But we're, it's getting harder for us to to make the Portuguese come as natural as if we wanted to. But we keep trying. And in terms of culture, we well, we have our family connected on FaceTime on FaceTime all the time. So I think the family brings a lot of our culture, and the way we cook, the way we dress, the way we speak, the way we socialize, we socialize with a lot of Brazilians. So most of our friends are Brazilian still. And we keep all the traditions or the cultures, everything we do in Brazil, we replicate here. And of course, the vacations, this is a very important topic for us, we haven't had an opportunity to go as much as we especially now with COVID, and everything, but we really want to be that family that goes at least once or twice, coming back and forth from family to go to, to have contact with someone, or out in Brazil, or they coming over our house is just an extension of Brazil. But of course their Canadian culture is coming through them for us. And for us, it's a learning curve there.

Daniel 41:30

Yeah, but I mean for the kids, they growing up with this to culture, like the Canadian culture, when they're outside and Brazilian culture, when in the house with the family, even then they grew up knowing two different cultures. So if you decide if you decided to move abroad, that will be deferred culture, they will get immersed into.

Sylvia 41:50

Yeah, haven't thought of that. That's true.

Daniel 41:52

Yeah, so they already have two culture, they're already of two different cultures.

Sylvia 41:57

They do they do. Yeah, it's funny. It's funny, and we're learning a lot of them about the Canadian culture, which is amazing how much school really teaches the culture itself. This context with the Canadian life, it's coming through the kids much more than just a professional life that we have here. We, I think the base values of the Canadians you can see coming from school, or the young age, education is really interesting. my passions is understanding the culture and the values behind it, and why we people react this way or that way. And it's fascinating to see how the kids embrace it naturally.

Daniel 42:38

And going back in time, knowing what do you what do you know now, is there anything that you would have done differently?

Sylvia 42:45

Mm hmm. Tough one? Well, that's the thing, because we had so many phases. I would speed everything up. So I think we the sooner I arrived as an immigrant to a country would be I don't know if I would have done that's a good question honestly, I don't know if I know how to answer it. No. Because every phase that we had I had. So going to Australia and learning a lot of it and deciding that immigration was an option. And then going back to Brazil and making sure that this was the best decision or not, and then deciding to immigrate, if I hadn't had this process., probably I wouldn't be sure of my decision as much as I am now.

Daniel 43:30

Yeah, you're right. Even just the fact that you waited for so long, maybe even increase the desire to actually move abroad.

Sylvia 43:36


Daniel 43:37

Do you have any, any particular advice you'd like to give to the listeners, if they somebody wants to wants to leave Brazil or their country?

Sylvia 43:45

It's not for everyone. I think you have to have it in your heart. And if you come, it doesn't work, home is always back home. So just go back and try it over again. And then you decide again. So this is the beauty of immigrating. You can always go back home if you don't fit if you don't feel it's right. And I know a lot of people that have done that. And they're happy after doing it. And they have this experience of living abroad and going back and be happy in that other way as well. And people that are more straight and have their decisions because they tried. Doesn't matter where you choose, it's a great experience. It's a great experience. My advice would be to everyone that's young and wants to travel, go and travel and you learn.

Daniel 44:32

You've got nothing to lose, especially when you're young.

Sylvia 44:34

Exactly. And just learn and experience.

Daniel 44:37

Speaking of advice, you and your friend Jadranka, have a blog where you help other people immigrating the blog is called the Practical Immigrant.

Sylvia 44:48


Daniel 44:49

And you guys shared topics like how much it cost living in Canada? All these kind of tips for people to move abroad doctor to move to Canada. What made you to start this blog?

Sylvia 45:02

Yeah, this is one of the beautiful things about immigration. So first, I think this this story starts with my friendship with Jadranka. She's from Serbia, a country that I had no knowledge about. And I just learned in school that they had a war. And that was it. Sorry, she's from Bosnia, but she's Serbian. So we met at, because of our kids, were they went together at school in Toronto. And we met and we can I could trade away and when I realized that it didn't matter where she was from, or where I was from, we were exactly the same, like very similar personalities, very similar values and culture. And we start a great friendship. And most of our friendship, of course, what do you chat you chat about immigration and the troubles and the things I'm going to share tips and hints and, and tricks and hacks about immigrant's life. And we were neighbors we lived close by, she immigrated before I did. So she has a few years of immigration in advance. And she taught me a lot about how to how school works, how, how to any type of more different questions that we haven't yet discussed, she was my source. And I could help her with the career details, because that's my focus on career. Anyway, we would be always sharing. And then we decided, you know what, we could share this to more people, because we are always talking about this. And let's start writing your blog. That's how he happened. So we start writing a blog. And we can see growing, the audience is growing, we we can see a need for questions there. And people are liking it. We try to share our stories, our version, what we call practicality of Canada live in Canada, of course, it's our prisoners version. And it's just fun. It's just fun to share those stories. We love it.

Daniel 46:59

Those stories and those information that you share can really help father because for example, I didn't know anything about Vancouver or how much into life in Canada, the cost, probably because I never did any research. But mostly, I don't even know how much information there are out there to actually know how much is actually cost the life and living in Canada. And that's a way I mean, you were lucky that or lucky at least you have the opportunity to taste Canada before you've made the decision. But for people maybe they want to Okay, I can't afford to go back and forth. Maybe that's the only choice. Having a blog like yours, where they can have a taste of Canada and be more prepared for Canada so they will make a better decision whether decided to move abroad.

Sylvia 47:42

Yeah, yeah, for sure that that's the main idea and you touch a very important point. So we do our research as well, we don't just want to put our personal opinion, we do researches and very solid research on top of everything that we write, to make sure we get accurate information and where people really can rely on that information. And it will have different verticals where we will, subjects that we will touch. But the idea is to help to help in that. But also it's fun to share. As an immigrant everyone likes to share their story so it's a way of us putting ourselves out and giving that extra hand if possible. Yeah, thank you.

Daniel 48:23

Oh, no worries. Thank you so much for for taking the time to share your story. If somebody relate with your story wants to get in touch with you, what's the best way to reach out to you?

Sylvia 48:33

Well, they can check our blog. I think, it's a blog and there's a little bit of us there and they can reach out to me on my email. Well, I think you're gonna leave it there.

Daniel 48:46

Yeah, I'll put everything in the show notes for people that wants to follow the links.

Sylvia 48:49

Yeah, it'll be fun for sure. We I would love to hear everyone's opinion and stories. I'm passionate about that. And thank you so muchDaniel, this is amazing. And it's fun to get to know someone from New Zealand, Italian New Zealand Italian it's getting it's getting confusing, right?

Daniel 48:49

Yeah, my ex girlfriend used to call me like a Kitalian because I had to mix between Asian and Kiwi it was like Kitalian.

Sylvia 49:18

Yeah, I'm fan. I keep saying New Zealand is, you're Italian but you lived so long in New Zealand, that's why I'm joking. But New Zealand is this beautiful land, piece of country is. I call it as a Virgin Land, still when you travel on I've been I was lucky to be there because that's really so close by so we did had opportunity to visit and as you drive through it and you drive around and you just see this native land that piece of land still untouched by human, it's amazing, it's just the magical it's-

Daniel 49:54

And it's and it's so different. I was living on the east coast in Christchurch in New Zealand. If you drive across the island, which usually takes three hours, depending on how fast you're driving. Usually it's three hours to get to the other side, three or four hours, whatever. And you can see so the vegetation on the landscape changes so often it's so it's beautiful. They change constantly. This like Island is always to say, No, no, no, you have everything from the sand beach to the south, where you can see the hops and you can see the glacier. And if you go to Fiordland, it's just such a standing country and culture I really I really like the culture and I really fit in with the culture and and that what I miss most from from New Zealand the culture there.

Sylvia 50:45

Yeah, well, let's see. Someday i would like-

Daniel 50:48

Exactly. No, you never know. You never know.

Sylvia 50:51

You never know.

Daniel 50:53

Awesome. Thank you so much, Sylvia. I really appreciate it.

Sylvia 50:56

Thank you. Thank you. It was a pleasure.

Daniel 50:59

Awesome, thank you. Bye.

Sylvia 51:00


Daniel 51:02

Thank you so much for tuning in this week. You can find the show notes with everything we discussed at 26. If you want to support the show, you can share this episode with your friends. Or you can leave us a review on Apple podcasts or pod chaser. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Just search for Emigrants Life. And if you want to share your story on the show, you can visit Thanks for listening. Talk to you next one. Ciao!