What to Carry on Your Relocation Trip to Canada

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Are you moving to Canada?

Have you received COPR to come to Canada? So the next stage is packing…..

I will share my own comprehensive packing list when we left Nigeria for Canada.
It should be useful to anyone leaving the country to live abroad.
I regretted not packing all that I should have, I left off many things.
But I want you to learn from my mistakes.
First for your carry – on:
  • Passport
  • Electronic Travel Authorization
  • Plane Tickets
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residency (COPR) document, if applicable
  • Cash (Canadian dollars)
  • Phone numbers and addresses of loved ones in Canada
  • Motion Sickness Medication
  • Daily medications
  • Baby food (If you are in my shoes)
  • A change of underwear
  • Facial wipes
  • Camera
  • Few toiletries (depending on the airline)
  • Phone Chargers
  • Magazines, games, books, kindle or any other thing that keeps you occupied
  • Jacket and sweaters (cabins of some aircraft can be really chilly)
  • Destination – appropriate clothes (if you are landing in the winter, read on to see my list of winter clothing)
  • Ear plugs
  • Slip-on footwear
  • Lip balm
  • Chewing gum
  • Crackers or your favorite snacks
Then for the luggage, here are the things I packed:
  • Crayfish* (I took enough of crayfish. I could have taken even more, winter is good for the crayfish, it won’t go bad nor spoil due to the cold weather, so take as much as you can so that your food will keep having naija flavor, many months after you have landed)

    Dried Ground Crayfish
    Dried Ground Crayfish
  • Dried ground Melon*
  • Dried ground Ogbono*
  • Dried ground Pepper*
  • Dried ground Achi*
  • Garri (I brought small because it has weight. I wish I took more along, cos summer gets so hot that you will long for soaked garri and groundnuts in cold water)
  • Dried ground Ehuru
  • Dried ground Uziza seeds
  • Dried ground Utazi leaves
  • Dried ground Uziza leaves
  • Dried ground Bitter leaves*
  • Salt (yes o…I took 4 sachets of salt, just in case there are no salt in Canada…lol)
  • Dried Bonga fish* (Pack moderately large quantity, relative to your family size. I came with a large family, so I could have packed a sizable quantity. Only ensure that the dry fish is neatly packed in a transparent cellophane. I wish I knew what a Ziploc bag meant back in Nigeria. Here, abroad, nearly everything can be packed in a small, medium or large Ziploc. Anyway, I used the normal large sized white transparent cellophane, we have in Nigeria)
  • Dried ground black Cameron pepper (Wrap well to avoid spillage. I wrapped mine in cellophane bags, then i put them into a container with tight fitting lid. I didn’t want any event of bursting of the nylon wrap and choking people with chili or spices) *
  • 5 Refill Sachets of Cocoa Beverage
  • 5 Refill Sachets of Powdered Milk
  • 5 Refill Sachets of Quaker oat ( I removed the paper cartons and packed it with its nylon wrap)
  • 3 packs of St Louis sugar (I don’t know why I took sugar along, as if oyibo doesn’t have sugar even more than we have. I guess I was trying to pack all the things I may need to feed my four kids for the first few weeks, after landing)
  • Chargers for phones, cameras etc.
  • Travel adapter (Ah, very important especially for someone like me that came with my old laptop. There is no way I could have charged it here, if not for the travel charger I took along. Simply switch it to US/Canada and then plug your appliance)
  • Tea bags
  • Coffee
  • Custard Powder
  • Dried powdered pap (akamu)
  • Ankara materials
  • Auto gele and head scarfs (trust me na….shakara must dey)
  • Lace materials (not so much, they just want to be sure that it is for personal use and not for sale)
  • Quilted Jackets
  • Hoodies
  • Sweaters
  • Thermal wears
  • Thick socks
  • Thick Gloves and mittens
  • Thick scarfs
  • Beanies
  • Robes (Oh I was glad I bought them from our second hand market in Nigeria, really good price compared to here…..It’s so warm and comforting especially after a shower or early in the morning. Everyone in my family has a warm wooly flowing robe, some call it “spa robe’.)
  • Nigerian Driver’s License (Very Important…I no fit talk what I went through before I got a Canadian Class 5 Driver’s license)
  • Flash drive
  • Aboniki – (Last minute, my dearest, most caring aunt in the USA, called me to ensure that I had packed up to 10 bottles of Aboniki. I remember rushing off the house to gather Aboniki. Kai, the cashier at the supermarket I entered to buy Aboniki, must have wondered what on earth, I was doing with all those Aboniki. Well, we survived our first harsh winter without having to use aboniki. The closest I came to using hot vapor ointment is using Robb. She was well- intentioned though, but I haven’t found a need for them yet)
  • Shea butter
  • Mini medi kit (Multivitamins, paracetamol)
  • Original certificates
  • Leggings (yes, for the girls and ladies)
  • Makeup (I took along 6 packs each of my favorite brand of lipsticks, pressed powder, eye liner, mascara, eye pencil, lip liner….and it had=s even run out….i wish I took more)
  • Hair extensions (Please my fellow women, let me draw your ear o….hair stuffs are terribly expensive here….so carry crotchet hair pieces, hair attachments, wigs etc…thankfully they do not have as much weight….carry o….let it remain the cost of making the hair itself…
  • Thermal Wears (So important, because Canada winter is not for the faint-hearted)
  • Native beads and our colorful earrings, bracelets and necklaces
  • Sneakers and boots
*Take enough of those because they are very expensive here
Things I wished I packed:
  • Dried meat (especially ponmo)
  • Mangana and stockfish (best for my traditional soup dem)
  • Semovita (Just a little, because it has weight)
  • 1 rubber of Rice (Just a little, because it has weight)
  • Hibiscus plant (Zobo leaves)
  • Locust Beans (Iru)
  • Ogiri (fermented melon seeds) (Over sabi, make me not to carry my dear ogiri…and now my Oha and Olugbu soups ain’t gong to taste original)
  • Dried Periwinkle
  • My son’s piano
  • My daughter’s jumbo plush barney teddy
  • My Mortar and pestle (lol….am joking)
Things you can’t pack along#:
  • Fresh fruits
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Red Oil

    Red Oil

  • Beans
  • Fresh Fish and other seafood
  • Anything that is wet e.g. fresh leaves, liquid milk (except of course, as hand luggage supposing you have a baby to feed).
  • Anything containing chicken even chicken bouillon cubes or Indomie chicken
#The lists of things I took along to Canada are only a guide, it is by no means a reference or standard. It was informed by the research I made at the time about what is allowed and what is not allowed by immigration. Laws do change from time to time. And take note that you are required to declare the things in your possession and failure to do so may mean that you will lose the items and/or pay huge fines and/or criminal prosecution. Be safe and check the Canadian Immigration website and Air Travel companies before you travel because pest and disease situations are constantly changing and requirements may be adjusted at any time. When in doubt, call the appropriate authority to inquire.
Safe Flight!
Note that immigration security devices and personnel have already perused through your luggage before you knew it, Sniffer dogs will be also be used to smell your food. So no amount of hiding can save you, it’s better to adhere to the instructions, After all, they are for our own good. Just consider this as an example…..you are prohibited from bring pressurized cans e.g. aerosols
Never mind, when you land, you will make your way to the African shops and buy stuffs you couldn’t travel along with. You may also see further detailshere

African foods

The shops have Red oil, Tropical leaves for different soup, Plantain, Cassava, Garri, Goat meat, Ogiri, Dawa dawa, Indomie, Maggi chicken, Knorr cube, Hard Chicken, Ox tail, Ugba, Chin chin and many other things….but they are costly and not as fresh as you will get back home.
Moving to Canada

African foods

Anyway, dem force you, come abroad….

Featured Image by Anugrah Lohiya from Pexels

Also check out this article https://dearmama360.com/the-diary-of-an-abused-woman/

5 Comments
  1. Henry Ogbuehi says

    Ah thanks

    1. Ijey Ogbuehi says

      You are Welcome!

  2. BernSeems says

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  3. Vivian says

    All round great tips.Thanks

    1. Ijey Ogbuehi says

      Thanks, Gorgeous!

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