How Moving Away from Canada Makes Me Feel More Canadian

I’ve made the conscious choice to move away to Canada to live in a different country more than once in my life.

Both times, first living in Ireland, and now living in Costa Rica, I’ve felt more Canadian than ever.

Here’s how:

Learning a new language has made me more empathetic to the experiences of Canadian newcomers trying to learn English (which is a messed up language).

I have had to pay for my health care for the first time in my life. I’ve felt what it feels to view health care as a privilege and not a right.

I realize how much I say “eh” on a regular basis in conversation. It’s such a highly-applicable word, eh?

I crave poutine so much that it’s a menu item at our wedding celebration later this month in Canada.

Sharing uniquely Canadian experiences with fellow expats, including listening to The Hip, talking about Canadian food, sharing stories of Canadian lore reminds me of the uniquely Canadian experience.

Living among Americans who are watching their country crumble makes me feel even more proud to see our country stand strong.

I recognized how “homogenously” I lived my life before; now that my world is a lot more diverse, I recognize the privilege we have as Canadians to live within a cultural mosaic.

Being Canadian has made me more astute to understanding the need to honour, recognize and reconcile what is now, and what came before. We are all who we are now, because of someone else’s sacrifice.

There will never be a day that I won’t proudly say “I am Canadian,” when asked.

Happy Canada Day to my friends in Costa Rica and Canada!

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