I’ve been getting quite a number of emails asking why I left Canada for America. For those who haven’t been keeping up, I moved from Vancouver to Irvine in Southern California two months ago. In no particular order, these are the main reasons for the move to the OC.
I Get Paid In US Dollars
Getting paid in US dollar used to be a great blessing. Back then, the US dollar was worth a lot more than the Canadian dollar – I got as much as a $1.60 CAD for every $1.00 US. These days, the USD and CAD are at par to each other. This wouldn’t be so bad if the price of goods in Canada went down to reflect the exchange rate, but they haven’t.
Even with the dollar at par, there are still huge gaps in prices. For example, the Lexus RX350 that I purchased upon landing in the OC starts at $39,075. The same car starts at $44,950 in Vancouver. The gap really spreads when you want a Porsche. A 911 Turbo starts at $137,500 in the US and $159,400 in Canada. This would have been OK when I was getting $1.60 CAD for every $1.00 USD but it’s a complete rip off now.
It’s not just cars that are more expensive. Pretty much everything is more expensive in the great white north. Buying things in the US is a lot easier when you live in the US. There’s no need to worry about customs duties or additional shipping. You get first crack at new products since most companies launch products for the US market before any other. Shopping choices are also a lot greater. Compare Amazon.com to Amazon.ca and you’ll see what I mean.
The Medical Is Better
This may come as a shock to people living in Canada, but the medical service in the US is far superior to anything offered in Canada. When I take Sally to see a doctor in the US, I don’t have to wait. The appointment time is the actual time to see the doctor, not the time to wait in the waiting room. Test results are usually sent back the same day, and you can see a specialist without a referral.
Canadians will say their medical system is free and available to everyone. That’s only half true. The BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) isn’t free. You do have to pay for it if your family makes over $30,000 a year. If you make less than $22K a year, then it’s free. There is premium assistance between $22,001 to $30,000. The monthly premium rates are $60.50 for one person, $109.00 for a family of two and $121.00 for a family of three or more. You will have to pay out of your pocket for extended and dental coverage. I pay about the same in the US for my medical and dental as I do in the Canada, but the service is way better in the US.
The “universal” in universal medical a code word for, “hurry up and wait!” Yes, Canada’s universal medical system will pay for that MRI scan, if you’re willing to wait six months to a year. This is why you see so many Canadians going to the US for treatment but not a single American coming to Canada for treatment. Unless your case is considered life threatening, you will be waiting far longer than a patient in the US with private or company medical.
Closer To Trade Shows And Events
I was able to drive up to LA for the Blog World Expo instead of flying. I can fly to Vegas in an hour for the Affiliate Summit. There are multiple flights to Vegas everyday. I picked one that will land in time for my panel session. If I flew out of Vancouver, I would need to fly in a day early. Not only are flights from Vancouver more expensive but I’ll have an extra day hotel cost.
Let The Sun Shine In
The forecast on the left shows what Ashley has to look forward to when she flys back to Vancouver, after spending Christmas with me. The forecast on the right shows what she’ll be leaving behind. Of course, she doesn’t want to go but her school restarts in January.
Outdoor Dot Com Pho
Being in the OC allows me to host Dot Com Pho outdoors. This is something I can’t do in Vancouver because the pho restaurant in Vancouver don’t have patios. Even if there was a Pho shop with a patio, you’ll only be able to use it for a few days out of the year.
The 99% Is The 1%
Irvine is a master-planned city. The entire city was designed and developed by the Irvine Company. This means the city has no Downtown Eastside or any other undesirable neighborhoods. Irvine is the safest city in The United State with a population of over 200,000 and has one of the best school systems in the nation.
Occupy Orange County is in Irvine but no one pays attention to them. They claim that they are the 99%, but the running joke in Orange County is, the 99% is the 1%. This is not to say there are no poor people in Orange County, because there are. They just don’t hang out in Irvine.
Vancouver In The Summer, The OC Rest Of The Time
During the summer, Vancouver is really one of the best places in the world to live. I plan to spend my summers in Vancouver and the rest of the time down in the OC. This gives me an average temp of 72F all year long. Living the Dot Com Lifestyle allows me to do this.
How Can You Live In The US? Aren’t You Canadian?
A question I’ve been getting asked a lot is how am I able to live in The United States? Canadians are allowed to visit the US for up to six months without a visa. If you want to live here, you’ll have to get a visa.
There are many visas you can apply for. The general rule is, the more money you have, the easier it is to get a US visa. If you have $1 million laying around, you can pretty much buy a US visa. Fortunately, I didn’t have to do this. Instead, I took the easy way into the land of the free and the home of the brave. I married an American. 🙂