Home is Where Your Heart Belongs

In MIGRANT STORIES by Sumegha

Home is Where Your Heart Belongs

Name: Taufiq Mahmud
Country of Origin: Bangladesh
Current City: Brandon, Manitoba

 


I was born in Chittagong Bangladesh, moved to Canada for university and graduated from Brandon University. Currently, I am residing in Brandon and working as financial controller of a trucking company that I co-own. I like to work as a mentor for the international students, always try to be there for them in any need. Community involvement is my passion. My hobby is restoring exotic cars and traveling around the world.
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When did you move to Canada? & why did you move to Canada? How was your life like in your country of origin before you moved to Canada?

I came to Canada January 2007 to complete my bachelor’s degree. Life was pretty easy going and care-free until my moving to Canada. This is because I was living under my parents’ supervision so, there was not too much responsibility besides my schooling and maintaining good grades.

What was your first impression when you arrived in Canada? 

I was ecstatic to begin my new journey in Canada. I was not very surprised about most things I have had faced in terms of weather and cultural differences. I had few friends and family friends who were always there to help in any need.

What were some of the challenges you faced when you moved here? 

One of the challenges I faced was communicating and interacting with a new group of people in a new place where everyone is different in terms of background. While I was going to University, I was taking a full course load and working part-time. So, managing everything at the same time was a bit hard at times but, I survived.

Was there any support from the community to help you integrate? If yes, what were they? If not, how did you survive? 

I had a lot of support from the community including my friends, neighbors, and university professors. They all never hesitated whenever they could to help me overcome any obstacles and showed me how to better adjust to my new environment in many aspects. Since Canada is so diverse, many of the people I met were easily relatable to and had a good understanding of how to integrate in the community which they passed on to me.

What do you miss most from your country of origin? 

I miss my family, friends and my hometown the most. They played a critical role in everything in my life and helped me succeed in all of my achievements. I also miss the warm weather all year round and living near to the world’s longest sea beach. To me, I will always have a soft spot for my hometown, I grew up from there and I have so many childhood memories to cherish.

Since coming to Canada, have you visited your country of origin? What was your first impression of going back? How did it feel?  

I have gone back a few times since after I finished my university to visit my family. My first impression was amazement “wow” because my hometown had changed a lot in terms of structural development. There were skyscrapers everywhere. Home felt like home but I did realize one thing that “I was away from home for a long time”

What was your occupation in your country of origin and what is your occupation here in Canada? What have you accomplished so far and aim to in the future?

I was simply a student back home. I finished my Bachelors at Brandon University. Currently, I am co-owner of a trucking company name Conquest Trucking in Brandon and also have few residential & commercial real estate investments around the Brandon area. I consider Brandon as my second home and if I ever happen to move to a different province, Brandon, Manitoba will be always my home. My future career goal is to have a diverse real estate portfolio and become a successful entrepreneur putting me in a position to give back to the community and economy more.

How has your life changed since moving here? 

I came here as a young adult and learned about life along the way. I have grown up a lot since I got here. Living by myself made me a very mature and responsible person. I have learned to take responsibility for my actions which I see as blessings now.

What advice would you give to newcomers in Canada? 

Canada is a land of opportunity where a person can achieve anything if they really work hard for it. Coming from a developing country where opportunities are limited, makes me feel appreciative of getting the opportunity to call Canada my home.

What advice would you give to people back in your country? 

Lead by example and be the change you would like to see in others. There are political unrest and economic instability but, if we stay together as a nation and work for the changes we would like to see within our country, we will be there sooner than later.