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Immigrant Story: First WINTER ,First year in CANADA


My first winter encounter, in fact, my first week in Canada had me experiencing a bundle of “firsts”, like meeting people of different culture as the Filipinos,  learning a new outdoor winter activities, driving in a snowstorm and generally marvelling at the very cold temperatures and dodging knee-deep snow banks. It also included lots of great fun, sore muscles and some hairy driving moments.

That was me over a year ago, a complete newbie to true winter living. Off to see the world, I emigrated from a warm country (Philippines!). Arriving in a cold climate country with lots of snow was a great big adventure to experience – up, down and sideways!

Here’s how my first week in winter unfolded….

My first winter experience……….arriving

Bright spark that I am, I arrived March 2, 2015 so there was lots of snow on the ground already. It was -25 degrees Celsius temperature and 1-3ft of snow on the night I landed at Pearson International Airport Toronto with Philippine Airlines International ! Holy moly! Why did I think this was a good idea? mmmmm…. Luckily, I have brought with me a warm winter jacket, a hat, gloves and a scarf from the “ukay ukay”(thrift store where second hand clothes were sold for a very cheap price) section in the Philippines. Girl, oh girl, my first introduction to a Canadian winter, what a shocker it was!

Feeling so strange into this new world, sitting beside a Foxy man driving me to their home, I totally have noooo IDEA at all, where am I that time. I only knew 6 EARL COOK DRIVE STOUFFVILLE but I have no idea if it was a safe place to go. I have lots of fears in mind, but just conquering it and instilling into mind that I am safe and no one can harm me.

Is he a good man? Is he taking me home to his family? Am I safe? Sex slavery? Scams? Lot’s of weird thoughts comes to mind while this guy plays a calm soothing music on his car while driving me trying to make me feel ease and not worried.

Eleven in the evening, Annette and her daughter open the door for us and gave me a big-warm hug of welcome. Finally, we arrived to Stouffville safe, and I was already assured that nothing bad will happen to me and GOD above really protected me. WOOOH! That was just one of my most risky experience, meeting people I have never known and met in person my whole entire life, but, that was totally exciting.

My first experience………

Building a snowman…


My first week here, in fact the first 5 out of 7 days, I spent learning how to build a snowman. I remember rolling the snow into balls to create three parts for a special snowman. It was a lot of fun, but that’s not all. Making a snowman is also awesome exercise. Moving all that snow around takes a lot of work.

Flashlight tag…


Love the game of tag? I tried it last winter. Flashlight tag is like the fun classic game, except players tag each other with beams of light, instead of hands. We started playing flash tag just by stepping outside at night with our flashlights in winter with the kids(my three “alaga”) and their cousins started flashing their flashlights and chasing each other.


Going down the hill is the most fun part, for sure. But the trek back up to go again? That is by far the best for my body. I Pick up a sled and head out for some wintery fun with kids. That was fantastic!


Do you think hiking is just for warm weather? Think again. I discover local trails. Even around a large metropolitan area, many hidden trails can be found. I agree, winter hiking can be just as fun as warm weather hiking. Winter doesn’t have to mean chilly afternoons huddled indoors. Instead, bundle up for some fun outdoor winter activities and get your heart pumping.

Many winter experiences later……..

I had only seen snow in theaters, photos and in TV screens. All very novel at the time but arriving here in Canada took on a whole different perspective.

Yikes! The winter lasts months and months! I had better learn what to do, how to do it and when to do it since this was now my ‘home’.

As the saying goes, “ignorance is bliss” so this didn’t worry me unduly – I didn’t know any better to be worried!

I did!

Besides taking up a lots of fun outdoor activities on winter, there were other things to learn as well. It was a lot of trial and error for the first winter season until I learned how best to get use to this year, experience, cope and enjoy the winter months.

Winter in all its variety is endlessly fascinating!

Now, having spent two winters here, with lots more winter experiences under my belt, I want to share what I’ve learned with you, especially if you are new to snow and winter living. Developing your own winter smarts is essential for happy winter living. People living in a cold and snowy climate are a hardy bunch. They have to be! You can be too… with a little help. Helping you to get the most out of your winter living experience is the goal of my blog.

prendre plaisir(Enjoy)!

🙂 Vivian



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