When I moved to Canada, it was as much about moving TO something as it was moving AWAY from something else.
I'm sure the usual suspects will have plenty to say, as they try to find something to do between picking their noses and scratching their heads, but that's really their problem.
It's the truth.
I moved to Canada to accept a (pretty fabulous) job offer, and to experience new things, but also to avoid the crime and the hopelessness in SA. Judge me if you like, but as the mother of a preschooler, staying was simply no longer an option, for many reasons.
I've moved to western Canada, which is very much, in many ways, like SA in terms of geography - just on a much larger scale. Think wheatfields, open space, mosquitos (unfortunately) and mountains in the (far away) distance, and you pretty much have it.
They even grow canola here, so it's very much like the Swartland, where I spent a few years avoiding city life in SA.
It's also one of the rougher parts of Canada.
There are more handguns here, per capita, than anywhere else in Canada. We also have more murders here. A shocking 18 per year.
Of course, they really do stay in the news for weeks, and that's less than the average per day in SA...
The irony is that while I feel ridiculously safe here, everyone around me is bemoaning the crime, the public transport system (clean, on time and safe is apparently not good enough), and other niggles that, quite frankly, I don't even see as problems.
Unemployment hovers at around 3%, although why, I don't know, because for the first time in my life, I've walked down the street and seen several 'help wanted' signs along the way.
The wildest thing that's happened here in the time I've been here also reminded me most of the news at home - a murder, where the weapons used were machetes.
The wild west, in Canada, really isn't very wild at home, and for all those who say I'll be bored, you're right - and I am loving being bored!