Oh, Canada: An Ode to Canada

I tried for a long time to find a label that suited what Canada was for me – “home“, “where I’m from“, “where I belong“, “my second home“, “my birthplace“. I felt like I needed to know (and more importantly, to explain to all of you) what Canada meant to me.


Then I realized – Canada and I are doing just fine and we don’t need labels or some grand love affair…we’re just us. I’m a Canadian, living in Belgium and I absolutely adore Canada…and that’s all I really know.


How we got here: I have been both happy and disappointed to be back there after some time abroad. I have vowed both to have my future be in Canada, and to have my future be in Belgium – and I have felt equally Belgian and Canadian. I have said “Belgium is my home” and I have said “Canada is my home” and I have said both of these statements with just as much passion and truth. This sort of emotional dual-citizenship has made me feel both happy and somehow, guilty.
Our relationship…it was complicated, to say the least.



I have talked on this blog about having to return there in 2014 after almost a year of living abroad, and how I was (more than) a little unhappy to be moving back there. I said this for many different reasons, the first being; I felt at the time that it was true. In my heart, I knew that (at that time), I belonged in Belgium and I had basically been forced back to Canada due to some immigration issues. The second reason for thinking this, was because I was going through a very rough time…after having lived together for almost a year, I was sent back to Canada without my boyfriend and my bank account was drained. I greeted my Ontario home-land with a less-than-enthusiastic nod and kept my head down for most of the 9 months I was “stuck” there, because I just had no energy left. Travel visa applications can do that to a girl.


It wasn’t until my sister invited me on a Canadian road trip from Ontario to British Columbia that I fell back in love with my native lands, and when the time came for me to move back to Belgium (although I was happy to live with my boyfriend again), it hurt almost as much as the first time I left.

 

Isn’t it strange, how you love a place that much more once you leave it?


Flash forward to February of this past year (2016) and I was headed home again, but this time only for a few weeks’ visit. I was so excited to get back “home” and feel comfortable and happy. Looking back, I set myself up for this one – but once again, I felt a little let down upon arriving in Canada. I had built it up in my mind to be this grand “homecoming”, and it just wasn’t. Of course, I loved being around family and friends for 2 whole weeks, but it hit me like a tonne of bricks when I realized that my home (my physical home, at least), at this point in my life was very much in Belgium with my boyfriend, our newly renovated home and our 2 cats. I had a lovely 2 weeks in Canada, but I was left with this sinking feeling of “is Canada just not my home anymore?” It was a terrible feeling, and I have no idea why we put so much pressure on ourselves to label every destination we visit/live in!


I’m telling you right now, that this back and forth is pointless! And most of the time it will ruin what little time you have in each place that is important to you.


I think that as travelers, as people who embrace the cultures, traditions and new experiences of the world – we need to stop our search for “home”.

More importantly, we need to stop trying to label every place we go to – because there will simply be too many of them in the end and every single place will mean an indescribable amount to you.



NANAIMO, VANCOUVER ISLAND - Source: www.kachinasnomaddicion.wordpress.com
NANAIMO, VANCOUVER ISLAND – Source: www.kachinasnomaddicion.wordpress.com

 

SOURCE: www.theworldinmypocket.co.uk
TORONTO – Source: www.theworldinmypocket.co.uk

Source: https://apalscorner.wordpress.com
ATHABASCA GLACIERS – Source: https://apalscorner.wordpress.com

 

DISTILLERY DISTRICT, TORONTO, ONTARIO - Source:
DISTILLERY DISTRICT, TORONTO, ONTARIO – Source: http://taylorstracks.com

QUEBEC – Source: www.lifeintransience.com
Source: www.thelostgirlsguide.com
PARADISE BEACH (SOUTH SASKATECHEWAN RIVER) – Source: www.thelostgirlsguide.com

 

 

Source: www.erikastravels.com
JASPER – Source: www.erikastravels.com

 

Source: www.erikastravels.com
BANFF – Source: www.erikastravels.com

 

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OTTAWA – Source: www.instagram.com/nomadiclia/
Canada_Quebec-City
CHARLEVOIX – Source: www.dreamtravelgirl.com

 

 

LAKE LOUISE, ALBERTA – Source: http://taylorstracks.com

 

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NOVA SCOTIA – Source: www.lifeinacarryon.com

 

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PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND – Source: www.lifeinacarryon.com

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Travel Pray Love

Canadian travel & immigration blogger.

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