Hot, humid, and conservative Alabama may be the exact opposite of cold and socially progressive Canada, but any Canadian wondering how to relocate to Birmingham should take the opportunity to better get to know their southern neighbors and thrive in this state. Alabama has many opportunities that Canada does not, and many memories to be made in this heartland of the American south.
Any person who is living in Alabama or the American south should take advantage of one of its greatest traditions: cooking. Alabama blends together a rich history of barbecued meats, vegetables, seafood, and even Cajun meals. Barbecue in Alabama is likely different than what a Canadian (or northern American) will have experienced, with less sauce and more rub on the meat. This gives it a tang that does not require any sauces or glazes, allowing you to enjoy just the spices and the meat itself. Since Alabama is right on the Gulf Coast, furthermore, it is possible to pull up shrimps the size of your hand and even lobsters as big as your arm. Nearly every meal is accompanied by corn bread and sweet tea, two staples of the American south.
Although Alabama does not have a professional NFL team, there are few parts of the US that are more passionate about their college teams. The rivalry between the University of Alabama and Auburn University is one of the oldest and most passionate in the entire NCAA game, with an emphasis on speed and physical play that will leave any Canadian used to hockey wondering how these athletes can take such punishment. Gameday is a weekend-long affair, with preparation and tailgating and cookouts, celebrating the love of the game and the fierce competition to bring home a title in the South East Conference of the NCAA.
Some of the strongest economic activity takes place in Birmingham, a city known as the "Pittsburgh of the South" for its steel mill industries and manufacturing. It is likely that your first job will be around the Gulf Coast to the south due to the influx of new money in this region of Alabama. From shrimp boat captains to the mega casinos sprouting up, many companies are expanding into the southern part of the state and creating new jobs and opportunities for workers. Whether you are far away from the coast or living on an oil rig, it will likely affect your job prospects.
Any Canadian looking to relocate to Birmingham or any other part of the United States can rely on the information provided by Canuck Abroad.