Are You Moving

If I only I had the Internet back then

Quite a while ago I was given a transfer to Calgary from Toronto. The company took care of the moving costs and arrangements so I didn't have to do anything there really. The hard part was getting a suitable apartment to move to in the first place because Calgary was going though one of its many growth spurts.

It took about a week of driving around and looking in the different neighbourhoods to try and find anything. Ultimately, I settled on the first place that was available and it wasn't the greatest place.

So if I had to do that today, I would use the Internet to scout before I even got on the plane to Calgary and would have been armed with a list of places and people to visit that would have made that trip so much more enjoyable and effective.

So here's some of the things I could do now that weren't that easy to do back then.

  1. Weather conditions - It isn't a bad idea to get a feel for what the conditions will be all year round so logging on to Intellicast and reviewing the historical patterns would be useful. Calgary has four seasons, lots of snow, warm summers and spring and fall can be warm one day and snow the next. That tells you a little about your wardrobe planning, as an example.
  2. Lay of the land - Use Google Maps to get an idea of where your new city or town fits into the local geography and it might help to decide what neighbourhood you want to scout more seriously. Note that this map is dated 2009 so it is going to be very useful.

    Start by looking at the different views (map, satellite and terrain) and use the address of your new place of business or your hotel as a starting point. Once you have an idea of places that you want to view and ultimately visit, put that address into the destination box and create a directional map and bookmark it (Ctrl D). Try this with other locations. This should keep you busy for several hours so take a peak at the clock every once in a while.

    Now you can go to the more tab and go crazy here. Photos, videos,The Wikipedia links describe each neighbourhood and features like the airport and this should keep you busy for another several hours.

    Now go to the Get Directions link and type in Calgary as your starting location and I typed "big hotel" in the destination. It gave me 9 hotels to pick from and you can decide which one might be a good home base. Probably one close to your new place of work would be good. Just select one and now you have the basis for a trip. You can start by adding destinations like the airport or a mall or an address of someone you might know living there.
  3. Now go back to Google Web and type in either Calgary real estate listings or Calgary rental properties, depending on whether you are looking to buy a home or rent. This should keep you busy for several days, I would think.
  4. Save all your enquiries to bookmarks so you can refer back to them when you actually arrive on site in Calgary. If you won't have access to a computer there, then just start printing all the maps.

And this process should work well for just about any place in the world that you may be considering as a new location for yourself and your family.

It would have made my first trip to Calgary so much more pleasurable and would have saved a few days of just plain frustration. I could have gone golfing or sightseeing and just told the people at head office that I was still looking for a place because I couldn't find one. I would have had for 4 or 5 days of fun instead of wasting a lot of gas and banging on doors that didn't have any vacancies.

So do a little research before hand and you will save yourself a lot of aggravation. Enjoy your new home.

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