Expats: These three Quebecers left Quebec to live their dream lives


These Quebecers have left the beautiful province to settle abroad, where they live a life similar to them.

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They tell us about their journey and share with us their favorites for their corner of paradise.

Shani Lesbats – Mexico City and Mazunte, Mexico

Why did you choose Mexico?

I left Quebec 10 years ago. I have traveled to Europe, North Africa, India, Nepal and America. The pandemic has done me a favor; I had to stop somewhere! (laughs) No kidding, I get along well with people and don’t feel too far from home. In addition, my work is done wonderfully from here.

Exactly what is your job?

In a small seaside village, Mazunte, I organize health retreats. People can take their vacation in Mexico and live this experience with me under the coconut trees! That means most of my work is done online as I developed the Chandra Method, a revitalizing regimen that people can do in the comfort of their own homes! To encourage them to change, it is easier to support them in their daily life!

What made you decide to go in the first place?

It’s funny, I had a good life in Montreal, my naturopathic career was going really well. But I wanted to have real contact with medicinal plants and the earth. So I went to the south of France to study permaculture. I then traveled on… and never came back!

What do you miss about Quebec?

Every Christmas I miss my parents and my grandfather who turns 102!

What would you advise us to do first in Mexico City or Mazunte? A retreat with me! (laughs) Seriously, I would recommend the temazcal [NDLR: une hutte à sudation, connue ici sous le terme «sweat lodge»]because it is part of the ancestral culture of Mexico.

We follow Shani by going to her Facebook page Shani Lesbats Naturopaths.

Patricia and Sarah Desamours – Miami, USA

They have both lived in Miami for a number of years. Have you decided to move in together?

Patricia: In fact, my sister preceded me about eight years ago. I’m a professional makeup artist and started my career in Montreal. Later, I wanted more action to help my business thrive. So I moved to Miami five years ago. When I arrived I knew people (including my sister!) but no one to help me roll business at full speed. I had to start from scratch. Today I have a lot of clients, I work on photo shoots, video shoots, I go to a lot of festivals, like Ultra Music Festival, where I’m the chief makeup artist. My life is really hectic! I’m also launching my own makeup line this summer, Patricia’s Canvas! It took a lot of work, I had to get out of my comfort zone… Miami really is a different world.

Sara: It’s a shallow city! (laughs) For my part, I had a child with an American. So I had a choice to go there or stay in Montreal. I moved to see if I would like the city and when I arrived I had a bad experience with a real estate agent… That’s when I realized most agents suck. (laughs) I saw an opportunity there! I chose this area and surrounded myself with good real estate agents. I learned the trade and studied the city that I now know like the back of my hand. It took two good years. I worked a lot… and in the end it worked!

Would you say Miami is your new home today?

P: Arriving after my sister and we have family here, Miami was already my second home. It was a bit of a culture shock at first, but there are big prospects. Everything went well for me! We find people who come from all over. It’s a big one crucibleand I’m happy to be a part of it.

S: I didn’t like Miami that much at first, but the proximity to the rest of the world is perfect for my work: I can easily go to New York or Europe, where it’s possible to build a network of interesting clients to work… And from here I can easily return to Montreal!

Exactly, do you miss Quebec?

S: Yes! I even look double cast! (laughs) Montreal in particular has an inexplicable energy… and the food is better!

P: True, I miss the quality of the food! Montreal pastries are 1,000 times better than those from the United States. And then of course I miss my friends… It’s still our home… We grew up there! We’re spoiled in Montreal, and we don’t know it!

We follow Patricia and Sarah on their respective Instagram pages: @patriciascanvas and @sarahdesamours.

Find out more about Shani, Patricia, Sarah and many other expats from Quebec in the series expatriateaired every Monday at 7 p.m. on CASA.

TO HAVE: Wink: Behind the scenes Gabrielle Laïla Tittley, aka Pony

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