Canada, A Place To Call Home
Since today is Canada Day I thought I would share my top 5 things I love about Canada and why I’m proud to be a permanent resident in Canada. I used to be a Canadian tourist and now I get to share my stories in hopes of inspiring those who want to visit Canada or move to Canada.
Sometimes I still can’t believe that I am living in Canada a land that I never thought would pop onto my radar, but here I am. It’s been almost six years now since I landed in this beautiful country not knowing where my life was going to take me. What I knew at the time was that I had a beautiful wife who I was and still am deeply in love with to take me under her wing and show me the ropes.
Career and Education
Moving to a country where you don’t speak the same language is a challenge but moving to a country where you do speak the same language can be frustrating. Since moving here I really did have to get my feet wet and even though I struggled to find work without the so-called “Canadian experience” which I was told I needed by one hiring agency in Toronto, that I didn’t have. Wait, but I have a University degree that must mean something? It did and it helped me move forward through the education system, because I didn’t let that nonsense (that’s not what I really thought of what she said) define my new life, my new path and my new goals.
Now that I have been here for a number of years I’m still scratching my head wondering what that Canadian experience was supposed to be, because it all seems the same to me. Education, skills, communication, career, work-experience, it’s not rocket science and we don’t do anything much different here in Canada to the UK.
I’ve learned never to let anyone define you, rather surpass your own goals and expectations and make yourself proud. There’s a bad apple in every bunch no matter where you live, it’s true. Instead of tossing out the apple, cut the worm out and enjoy the fruit of your labour, you deserve it. I didn’t let anyone stop me and I can tell you that I am very happy with the outcome.
Love my life
Although I have yet to experience all this land has to offer Canada has been very good to the both of us. I couldn’t ask for a better place to live and although some people may disagree with me I believe life is what you make of it. As much as I wish Canada would use the round-about system to save us time and the city and taxpayers money, I know that I have to take the good with the bad. Not everything is greener but I’ve adapted to my surroundings and enjoy what life has offered me. I may miss my yogurt in the UK but there’s nothing stopping me from making my own.
I’m a well-travelled individual so I’ve seen some of the riches of the world and I’ve also held hands with the poor. I remember a time when some children begged me for my water bottles so they could fill them with water. Those were the times that really made me understand how fortunate we are with a dark sadness inside telling me that we need to live life without fear and embrace it. Those children were happy, they were smiling and friendly yet their world was a world I can’t even imagine living in.
Too often we are quick to judge what we have or don’t have and forget that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, sometimes hiding deep in the forest. If you don’t explore you may never find what you are looking for because not everything is in plain sight.
If Canada is not the place you want to be, go where you feel there is opportunity for you to live the life you want. It’s that simple because no matter where we go in this world there will be sadness, there will be turmoil, there will be beauty, there will be poor, there will be rich, there will be greed, there will be criminals, there will be the same shops and so on.
If you don’t take the opportunities before you and only look for the riches above you may miss the riches below and I’m not talking about money. If there’s one thing I’ve learned after travelling round the world that is to take your time exploring your own country first, you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find.
Canada is filled with culture and plenty of Canadian tourist attractions from living up the Toronto scene to Niagara Falls, Wonderland, camping, beaches and some good fun in small farming communities. Some of my best times are hanging out with my mates, creating fun.
If you love the snow and you can’t get enough of it both western and eastern Canada from BC to Alberta all the way to Ottawa offer winter activities for the snow enthusiast. Each year the dedicated hoards flock to these places to go skiing at some of the best state of the art resorts around. Most smaller cities also have ski resorts but they are not near as large as what you will find at the bigger resorts. If all else fails there’s always tobogganing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing.
There’s something for everyone and plenty to see even if you are a beach bum like me. I used to enjoy surfing in the sea and although I can’t do that here my time spent at the beach in the summer is reminiscent of my days in the UK. We also have gorgeous provincial parks in Ontario and all over Canada. I’m only skimming the surface here as there is just too much to list and I have yet to take advantage of all this country has to offer.
Five things I love about Canada
- Friendly people- The majority of people I’ve met tend to be happy and very welcoming, even if I’m still struggling to understand the meaning of EH?
- Affordable and spacious- You’ll be shocked at the prices Europeans pay for houses, land, cars and petrol (gasoline). It’s cheaper for the most part to purchase domestic vehicles and to get replacement parts for them as well. You also get more house for your money and most houses come with a basement that gives you added living space when it’s completed. It’s the space I love at home and while out and about. Canada is such a large country and It’s easy to get lost outside south-western Ontario. That’s very different from the UK where these days It’s impossible to get lost on a small island jam-packed with people.
- Health Care- Sure there are holes in the system like there is with many things but Canada took an employment benefits system and stuck it together with a slimmed down NHS system from the UK to get the best of both worlds. The health care system in Canada is one of a kind and although the odd wait times my be a bit long we get taken care of here by some of the finest in the medical professions.
- Weather- This is an odd one but hear me out. When you come from a country where all the seasons blend into one big dull grey blob having 6 foot of snow is refreshing. I look forward to the change in seasons as a new beginning each year.
- Tim Hortons- Need I say more? It’s convenient yes, but if you want a hot cup of coffee or tea you don’t have to look far to find a Tim Hortons coffee shop in Canada. That and they make a good Boston cream donut.
My life here in Canada is one that I never take for granted because I know that so many people are waiting in anticipation to come to “the island” because that is what they believe Canada is for them, hope. We all dare to dream, there is no crime in such honesty to aim for a better life, just don’t sulk about it along the way because there is always someone waiting to take your spot. There is plenty to explore here so take your time, do your research and look around, I know I will.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my wife, my family, my friends, my professors and my employer. So, thank-you Canada and thanks for having me here to call your land, my new home. Although I won’t be picking up my new Canadian ePassport any time soon I know that no matter whether I am considered Canadian or British landed immigrant status both the UK and Canada are still home to me.
Happy Canada Day… now I’m off to enjoy the festivities.
What do you love about Canada and why? Share your comments below
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Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos. net/Bill Longshaw