Ex-pat series: ‘Lovely, but I miss Asda’

Samantha Wooding ready to ski
Samantha Wooding ready to ski
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Stunning countryside is her doorstep, but she misses some aspects of life in Britain. KAY TAYLOR speaks to a Chorley woman who moved to Canada just four years ago.

LIVING in Canada has taken a lot of getting used to for Samantha Wooding and her husband John.

The couple, from Scawfell Road in Chorley, moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 2008, after discounting Australia and New Zealand for being too far from home.

Samantha, 41, worked as an estate agent in Chorley, but was made redundant, and John was looking for work as a truck driver overseas.

Now, the pair are enjoying their new life, which involves ski trips, and days out to museums and sporting venues.

Samantha says: “There’s always something to do here. We have museums everywhere, with the new Canada Museum for Human Rights under construction, and we also have a National Hockey League team, a Canadian Football League Team, and a professional baseball team.

“There is also a racecourse, but I sometimes just enjoy going to the pictures with my friends.”

Samantha, who works for the Provincial Government, also likes to spend time reading, but the price of books was one of the major changes she’s had to get used to.

“The cost of a book is ridiculous,” she says. “And getting used to tax not being included on the price on the shelf was a bit of a bind.

“You’d take something to the till, and it would go up in price, so that took a bit of getting used to.

“On the plus side, petrol only costs around 75p a litre, although people are still moaning about it.

“But while the price of some things is quite steep, our standard of living is much better.”

Samantha, whose maiden name was Gent, grew up in Railway View in Adlington with her parents, two brothers and a sister.

She moved to Chorley with John in 1995, but 10 years later, they moved to a house on Carrington Road in Adlington. “I remember being able to do a pub crawl with friends which didn’t require a taxi,” she says. “And I also liked taking camping trips ,and going to Cornwall.

“I don’t miss the weather though. When it rains here it reminds me of Chorley, but normally it’s super sunny in the summer months.

“It can get to minus 40 wind chill in winter, but people still enjoy drinking Slurpees (like ice slush drinks).

“Manitoba seems to be the Slurpee capital of the world!”

Samantha, who went to St Paul’s Primary School in Adlington and St Michael’s CE High School in Chorley, says she’s loving her new life in Canada, although the pair haven’t found their ideal house yet.

She also misses Asda, because Walmart ‘just isn’t the same’.

- Do you know someone who would like to be part of our ex-pat series? Email kay.taylor@lep.co.uk