Another voice ...

on 1:58 pm

That would be mine.

Hello all, I'm João. Gabriel kindly invited me a couple weeks back to be a contributor to our Canadians in Portugal blog. How could I say no.
So yeah, now all those interested will get to read my rants and insights as well.

I grew up in the town of Prince George (PG), British Columbia, aka the Spruce Capital of the World (see picture), located 778 kms north of Vancouver, 737kms west of Edmonton and 400 kms from Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway to the north (in Dawson Creek, BC). If you're thinking 'wow, that's out in the middle of nowhere!', ... I'm not going to argue with you.

I can't say I miss PG all that much (I've been away for 13 years now), although there is one thing I miss: driving the highways of Western Canada for hours on end just to get somewhere, often doing so without seeing any sort of civilization along the way.
Easyjet wasn't providing cheap flights up to Prince George when I used to live there (and they still aren't). Driving to Vancouver was always cheaper then any Westjet or Air Canada flight. So the best option - drive.
Of course nothing compares to this here in Portugal. I mean, being in Lisbon, as is my situation, in 2-3 hours you can get anywhere - the Algarve, Porto, Serra da Estrela, and so on and so forth... Sure it's convenient, even handy, but where's the adventure?

Prince George is a city of 80,000 strong give or take. To get to another city of the same size, which would be Kamloops to the south, it's 530 kms. That's a good 6 hour drive for most. I say this to anybody here in Portugal and the majority can't fathom such distances - they can't comprehend such geographies.

But to me, driving those highways under those big skies that never seem to end ... that's one thing I miss.


Marisa Almeida said...

Hi Joao.. My name is Marisa and I'm from Vancouver, BC. I'm in Portugal for 3 months (6 weeks left) and everytime I come here I don't want to leave. My parents are originally from pedrogao grande (an hour from coimbra) and I have thought about moving here many times. This time however I'm almost 100% sure. Im finishing my bachelors degree in english and french in december, so the timing couldn't be better if i were planning the move for next summer. I feel like I am crazy though wanting to leave Canada...others tell me this as well..I guess I just wanted to know more about the transition. ie. jobs for a 23yr old, etc. thanks!

João said...

Hi Marisa,
I'm a research at the Centre for the Study of Migrations and Intercultural Relations (CEMRI), Universidade Aberta in Lisbon doing research on returned and the potential return of second generation Portuguese emigrant descendents. Last year I spent 5 weeks in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal searching out and talking to Luso-descendents interested in returning to Portugal like yourself. This is on going work.

Would you be interested in meeting so I could get your insights, goals, etc. concerning your return desires? It would be sort of like an interview but in a semi-structured form.

If you're interested, please e-mail me at I'm willing to travel. Thanks and enjoy your remaining 6 weeks.

Anonymous said...

Nice fill someone in on and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you for your information.