Canadian and Proud of It!

Flag of Canada over country contour Français :...
Flag of Canada over country contour Français : Drapeau du Canada délimité par les frontières du pays Русский: Флаг-карта Канады (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although I was born in England and am a British citizen, I’m also a naturalized Canadian with Canadian citizenship.
We went to Canada when I was 4 months old and other than a year in England when I was 6, and a year and half in the States, I’ve lived in Canada my whole life. I’ve lived in every province but Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the Yukon and North West Territories. It’s a huge country and I’ve driven across it on the Trans Canada Highway 3 times, and once across the continent via the northern U.S.  – to get a change of scenery!

We went to Quebec when I was a baby and lived in 2 different French villages before I was 5, then Ontario for a year, back to England,  back to Canada: Nova ScotiaNew Brunswick – Nova Scotia – New Brunswick – Nova Scotia – New Brunswick, then Alberta – Ontario – Quebec – Labrador (part of Newfoundland) – Quebec – British Columbia, (then the States), back to Quebec, then off to Europe!  (That’s why I think I can do A-Z Places I’ve lived!)

Which part of Canada is my home? All of it! Except maybe the Prairies.

Coat of arms of Nova Scotia, Canada. Français ...
Coat of arms of Nova Scotia, Canada. Français : Armoiries de la Nouvelle-Écosse, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I guess I’m first of all a Maritimer – someone who grew up east of Quebec. Maritimers are a special breed. What the region lacks in economic wealth is vastly made up for by hospitality. Although strangers are viewed with a wary eye, doors are often left unlocked and many hours are spent round kitchen tables drinking bottomless pots of tea (or bottles of beer) with neighbors, who may well live a mile or so down the road, and who I remember as being very warm, friendly and generous.  Perhaps because Dad was the minister, we always received lots of freebies: turkeys at Christmas, boxes of harvest goodies in the autumn, or someone’s fresh-baked cookies, banana loaf, or bread – just because.  I definitely grew up with a profound sense that the earth’s bounty is freely available and readily shared.

When I left Canada in 2002, I embarked on an adventure, and one I wouldn’t trade for anything. But oh, how I’ve missed Canada! What have I missed?

View from Sandy's window, Musquodaboite, Nova Scotia.

The wide open spaces, the forests, the lakes, the rivers, the mountains – Canada: from sea to shining sea! I grew up playing in the woods, swimming in the LaHave and Tobique Rivers, Lake Ontario and the Atlantic Ocean, running across open fields, picking wild berries and apples – and even potato picking for money, and I wouldn’t trade that for the best school in the world.

I also miss Canada’s way of life and standard of living, and the intense sense of fairness Canadians have.  Of course there are things about Canada that annoyed me when I lived there, but absence does make the heart grow fonder and I’m looking forward to going home.

16 thoughts on “Canadian and Proud of It!

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  1. I have only visited once, to Toronto, where else. It was cold and grey but it was that time of year. I enjoyed my stay. Perhaps I should go back but further west maybe. Like the audio clip.

    1. Great to hear from you! You definitely should make another trip to Canada. Both coasts are beautiful. You could fly to Halifax, rent a car and drive across! 🙂 It takes about 5 days non-stop!

      1. The thing that stops me is the flying really. As we career headlong to peak oil and all the issues related to climate change I find it difficult to justify pleasure trips that are so costly to the earth. I haven’t taken a long haul flight in 12 years. I have only taken a ‘local’ European flight twice in that time. Perhaps when I retire then I can go for a bit longer and take some time … Conflicting interests question commitment!

      2. I’m with you on that one. Although the flights to Canada can be very cheap (I paid £199 for my ticket bought through Canadian Affair) I haven’t flown back and forth, and I’ve only visited Hungary once since I left.

      3. Yes I know cash wise there are always deals to be had, trouble is the cash cost of a flight doesn’t take account of the environmental damage. Soemtimes it ca’t be helped (The One does like to travel but trains and bicycles do have their limitations!) I know I researched trains to go to Berlin and the rail fare was I think 6 times the air fare crazy! Who knows maybe a cruise to Canada may be a better environmental bet, I will have to check.

      4. I’m with you on the carbon footprint. I think a cruise would be more expensive – they have to feed you and I don’t think they have self-catering cabins 🙂 You could always row? There’s a woman who’s done that 🙂 or go on foot or dog sled over the North Pole 🙂

  2. I’ve only been to a few spots in British Columbia, but what I saw was beautiful. I hope to visit some more along the coast line in the future on an upcoming trip to Alaska.


  3. Wow! Driving across the Trans Canada Highway even once would be pretty impressive. Were you able to take time to enjoy the trip or were you in a hurry to get across?

  4. “…spent round kitchen tables drinking bottomless pots of tea…”

    You describe what I grew up with in Ireland. Though I’ve been here in the US these twenty (almost) years, I remain Irish. Not possible to be otherwise.

    It seems there’s a lot about Canada to miss. Enjoy yourself when you get home again.

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