We have been living in the UK for just over 4 months now, and it is officially the longest I have ever been away. We have come a long way from when we first arrived, after booking a one-way flight and hoping for the best. Our first greeting to this country involved a confused guesthouse operator leaving us with no where to go. We sat on the grass near the house with all our bags propped up on a large tree, desperately trying to see if anyone who walked by was the person we were waiting for. They weren’t, and they probably thought we were homeless.
Cut to now, I have finished my first semester of school, Mark is bartending at a swanky spot in Kensington, and yes we do have an apartment. I like to think we are doing quite well here. We try to travel when we can, and have so far we have ventured to Rome, Pompeii, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paris, and Berlin. We love being able to see these fantastic places, but we rank our favourites based on which ones remind us of home. You can see the irony. So that is why I have decided to write this, my love letter to Canada.
Uh hi, it’s been a while. I hope you’re doing well. I know I said I needed space, that maybe a year or more would be good for us, but you were right. I miss you. Don’t get me wrong, I love what being Canadian offers me in this great big world. I love the look on people’s faces when they ask what part of America I am from and then immediately apologizing when I say I’m from Canada (sorry American friends, but this happens). I have great pride when explaining just how bone-chattering cold it gets back home, even though I hate it while I’m there. I still laugh every time the conversation turns to Justin Trudeau’s butt (which is more frequent than you’d think). I love bonding with strangers when we discover we are both Canadian, and explaining to non-Canadians all the fantastic people who have come from our great land. You give me a lot as a traveller and I am forever grateful for that.
Frankly, I miss parts of you that I didn’t expect. Tostitos for one. Those crunchy bits of joy are delicious and don’t exist here for whatever horrible reason. An honest-to-goodness plate a nachos would do a lot for my soul. Canadian beer and real maple syrup also, but that’s just obvious. Our delightful monopoly-like currency as well, although I do always enjoy explaining it’s called a toonie because it’s two loonies. That always seems to get people for some reason. Of course I miss friends and family, but quite honestly I miss your open space. THERE’S PEOPLE EVERYWHERE HERE. The tube (subway) is basically just an underground germ factory hellbent to take me down. I will admit that it’s gotten me a few times already.
But my dear sweet Canada, you have always been there for me. You’ve always caught me when I fell, even though it was your icy sidewalks that made me slip in the first place. I promise to stop complaining about shovelling snow.. okay, we both know that is a lie. But I’ll be better, I swear! I can learn to love when my face freezes in February, if it means I don’t melt in the summer. I always seem to want to get away and travel to parts unknown, but now I’d just love a Tim Horton’s fix. I can’t promise I won’t have other desires, my passport will always be my second love, but you, you gorgeous maple leaf, will always be my first.
There are a few more months standing between us, 8 until next September to be exact. But until then, I will dream of snow angels and hockey games until we can be reunited. I know it’s asking a lot to be welcomed back with open arms, but you are my home and you will always hold a special place in my heart, I can only hope the feeling is mutual. I am so sorry for leaving (eh), but know that no matter how far away I go, I will always come back to you and I will always love you.
Your ever apologetic Canadian