Home Sweet Home

9 May

Go to foreign countries and you will get to know the good things one possesses at home.
Johann Wolgang Von Goethe

The other night I dreamed I brought a friend (a British one) home to Canada to show him my country. My trip descended into a whirlwind of chaos—luggage was stolen, I took the wrong bus from Toronto to London, and I couldn’t figure out how to use Canadian money. The make-believe trip ended with me descending into tears on the sidewalk, crying that I didn’t understand my own country anymore.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to interpret this dream. I’m afraid of losing my culture and identity.

I’ve reached this point in my life in England where I’m happy and content. I’ve adapted. I think—though you can never be sure with the British—that I understand the people here now. I have a pretty good idea of British geography, from North to South at least. I can also navigate the maze of underground, bus and overground routes. I even have some British friends and…a social life.

These things may sound simple but they were a real struggle to achieve in the first couple months of my staying here. And now that they cease to be a problem, I find myself turning to other worries, because of course I can’t just be happy and enjoy the life I’ve carved out for myself here. Nope.

Now, I fret needlessly about losing my Canadian identity, which I get is just silly, because I know I’m Canadian. I know what a proper snowfall looks like, I do really think the beaver is a majestic animal, and I believe in the liberalism my country was known for in the pre-Stephen Harper days. I’ve also marked Canada day (July 1st) in my calendar, keep Canadian maple syrup in my cupboard and still say “eh?”

I love England but Canada will always be my home, no matter how long I’m away from it. I guess it’s just up to me to find that balance.

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