Leandro Benavento (33) and Nadia Berta (31) They are two young adventurers from Roque Sáenz Peña neighborhood, Who decided in 2013 to leave San Francisco to seek new opportunities and experiences. They went first to try their luck at UshuaiaThe southernmost city in the world, but they weren’t left alone with that wonderful story, they went for more. Two years ago they decided to live in Miramichi, CanadaOne of the northernmost countries on Earth.
“From Argentina we miss Argentina. They commented on a very strong culture with family and friends Young people who are currently working as supervisors at two places to eat in Canada.
At the same time they said that Canadians are friendly people, but not as friendly as Argentines. “They are very consumerist, but they are more respectful and strictly adhere to the rules,” they said., Adding that with the Covid-19 pandemic, no one is complaining and they are complying with the restrictive measures.
“The Canadians do not know practically anything about Argentina. Some associate us with Messi and the meat, but most of them do not even know which continent they are in,” the couple said.
South first …
Why did you decide to leave San Francisco?
We decided to leave when Nadia got her degree in Nutrition and saw that there weren’t many opportunities for her career, but a year ago we wanted to move elsewhere, the idea was always to try something different.
Since we started traveling and were fortunate enough to meet many Argentines around the world, we liked the idea.
– They went to Ushuaia …
We always hear or there is a “myth” that there is a greater need for professionals in the South, so Nadia reached out via e-mail to the most important cities in the South, shortly after we only heard from Ushuaia. The email stated that in order to apply for a nutrition job, she had to live in the city. So he started looking for a job over the phone, had experience in gastronomy since he had worked here to pay for his degree, and after a month he got a job in Ushuaia and left the following month. The next fifteen days it was me.
How was the Ushuaia experience?
It was an excellent experience in all respects. Really beautiful place. You have mountains within 200 meters of your house, there are many activities that you can do, in summer and winter alike, tracking down the cool places, kayaking, and there is a ski center, it is a place for endless adventure.
Another thing that we really liked and were able to enjoy was the gastronomic part. As Ushuaia is a tourist city that is not only national but international, the gastronomic offer is huge, as knowing and experiencing the end of the world was a uniquely magical thing. We spent five very beautiful years.
-What’s the difference there with San Francisco?
It’s a completely different climate than the one we’ve known. Living with snow is not only seeing it but waking up an hour earlier to get 20 cm of snow from the car and driving is something we didn’t expect.
The workplace has many opportunities, compared to always San Francisco. In one year, Nadia worked at New San (Argentine Giant) as a dietitian and was a precursor to most of Ushuaia’s social work.
From an economic point of view, it’s different too, most jobs are charging 80% more than San Francisco, and this obviously makes things easier day in and day out.
– They say that living there is more expensive?
It is a myth. Many think that everything is more expensive but it is not.
How did the idea and opportunity to live in Canada emerge?
We love to travel and every time we know a new place, we always bring up the idea of being able to live there and search for a new adventure. But as we all know, it is not easy to migrate just because we start looking for a place, but with a great desire to do so. One day, Nadia came up with the idea of Canada, calculated the possibilities and set out to work. Immigration to a country legally is not that easy and to Canada less, it is a long process and they are very strict in their papers. A year after completing the requirements, we embarked on a new adventure.
How is Canadian culture?
In those two years we’ve spent here, we’ve seen that Canadians are a friendly people, not as much as we are now. They are so consumerist that no matter how much I explain it to you, you have to live it to understand it.
Friendship and family are not compared to Argentina, people here are more individualistic and not very pretentious, but we do adapt.
On the other side of the coin, they are more respectful and follow the rules as they should, which isn’t something that often happens there. As seen in movies or series, they brake the car if a pedestrian crosses.
There is a little bit of nightlife, dinner at six in the afternoon and sleep at nine or ten at night. They eat mostly junk food.
What do you think of Argentina?
Today, what we can see through our friends and family, we think Argentina is going through a very difficult time unfortunately. We think the economic aspect is very difficult, and we hope that everything will improve for the common good. Plus we live in Canada, we have family and friends there.
With Covid, many things are very rare. Like a party, barbecue, or dinner, nobody seems to understand what’s going on or take it too easily. Here in Canada, the county we live in has been closed for more than a year and there are only about 20 cases in the entire province, but people take care of themselves and they are wiser.
How do Canadians see our country?
Always bearing in mind our circle because we cannot generalize, they have no idea about Argentina, we have to explain where it is and maybe they are not there very often. They even ask us if we speak Portuguese
Many see us as white and when we tell them that we are from Argentina, they tell us, they ask us if it is a European country. And when someone knows about Argentina, they recognize us with Messi and the meat.
When Maradona died, they asked me if someone important died in your country? Of course they have no idea about football.
-What are you missing in Argentina?
From Argentina we miss Argentina. We went to Ushuaia but it was the same in Argentina. Nearly two years ago we left the country and we cannot give up what is ours. We have a very strong culture.
I have already met an Argentinian in Montreal who sells meat from our country, we buy a lot through Pampa Direct, and fortunately they sell a lot of our stuff there.
We liked the Argentinian stuff we found in supermarkets, the Argentinian style dulce de lecce, the Argentinian chimichurri, arcor carameles and yerba mate biburi. There are also many Italian products and we realized how much we Argentinians share with Italy. Products like salami and Italian chorizo are very good and lots of bread.
How do they take it with friends?
Inside our house we are mainly in Argentina. We invited our friends from Canada, we actually cooked choripán with creole chimichurri, neapolitan melaneses, empanadas, Quaker nougat, pancakes with dulce de leche and they loved it, so much so that they bought chimichurri at the supermarket.
Will they return to the country?
We will definitely return, but on a visit, we will not believe, if everything continues as it is now. Life here is easier and simpler. But you never know life’s transformations.
How are you with the epidemic in Canada?
Regardless of what we have already said about Covid, we can add that here they respect the government’s procedures. There are always people who think they know more or more smart, but generally they follow the rules much more than that and there are a few cases.
– And the economy …
The economy here with Covid for now is still the same. The country is very intrusive. It is a country with an economy based on consumerism, so the state helps people so that they can continue to consume. I assure you that there is a lot more social assistance than there is, but people complain far less about this problem.
And the economy is generally more productive. Like I said, Canadians are very consumerist, so not everyone runs their economy well. We managed to buy a house in one year. Something that does not make sense for Argentina because this system does not exist. But people here are also shocked because they don’t have a strong thrift culture like the rest of us.
– Are you accustomed to the cold?
In Ushuaia, we don’t feel cold because despite the cooler temperatures in the winter, the houses are very warm, and the clothes used are very warm. But it was only a few days in the summer that Nadia managed to treat her allergies.
When we came to Canada, we are used to it, and it is also hotter in the summer. They’re two very hot months, and then there are warm and mild months, but when winter comes it makes us feel colder than Ushuaia.
–Did they have to learn English?
Nadia arrived with the minimum level they required to obtain a visa, and she reached a minimum that she learned while traveling and living in Ushuaia that there are many foreigners as a tourist. Day after day, we are learning and improving our English, but as you learn more you begin to realize what it is most lacking. It’s the most frequent question we ask ourselves with Nadia if we can one day speak English like Spanish. We don’t think so, but let’s try.