Just two months ago, Gisele semi-spontaneously moved from São Paulo, Brazil to Ottawa, an adventure she undertook for love of the city and a need for change. Despite only knowing a handful of people in Canada, she’s happily settled in Gatineau, and is keeping busy by exploring the city by foot.
Okay. I’m from Brazil, and I first came to Canada three years ago to study English in Toronto. During that time, I spent some weekends and a few weeks after classes travelling in Canada. I fell in love with the country and decided that I wanted to live here, to move here and change my life. One of the cities that I visited was Ottawa. I got to know some people, so I decided that here is a really nice place. I decided it would be good for me, because I like Toronto but it’s too big. I used to live in one of the five biggest cities in the world, São Paulo, and I wanted to move to a smaller city, because that would be better for me. It took a little more than one year for me to get a permanent resident visa but I’m happy that I was able to move here. Even though I’m not really living in Ottawa, I’m close to downtown and I know Ottawa better than Gatineau. And now I am here!
At my age – I’m 26 – I thought I should do it now, or I never would. I had a nice job in Brazil, but if I waited longer maybe I would make more and more money and maybe have a family, and then it would be impossible to come. I will do this now and maybe if something happens I will go back to my country, but I don’t want to do that right now.
For now I think it’s important for me to work, like, in a store just to have contact with people from here, and get to know more people. For the winter, I think it’s better for me to hang out and go for a ski or ice skating.
We went to the National Capital Pathway behind the Museum of Civilization for your photos. Why did you choose that place?
I wanted the Parliament building in the back, and because I live here in Gatineau I wanted to be on this side of the river. I think about the Parliament buildings when I think of Ottawa. Having the city on the other side of the river is a good representation of my life here. I came here for Ottawa and I am living in Quebec, but I’m still here because of Ottawa.