(Photo credit: Alex Indigo)
Today, July 1st, 2013 is my 15 year anniversary in Canada. I remember the day I arrived at Vancouver International Airport with my 10 month old son.
We were living in Japan, and when we decided to move to Canada, my then-husband found a job working with his brother to sail across the Pacific to Alaska with a sailboat that belonged to a certain Texan millionaire. They sailed to Juneau, and my husband flew into Vancouver to meet us.
I had no idea we were arriving in Canada on a Canada Day. After we settled into a relative’s house, my ex’s uncle had mentioned something about that day being a holiday, and that’s how I found out.
Although we lived briefly in Kamloops, BC, we spent rest of the time here in Victoria.
I was a stay-at-home mom to my son until I got my permanent resident status and became a landed immigrant. Then I got a job almost instantly through a friend – my first job in Canada was selling jewellery in the landmark hotel.
Since then, I made numerous friends and lost some as well. I started a business to help Japanese international students with a business partner in 2003. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years.
I got divorced and remarried. My oldest will be going to college in 2 years(!) and my younger son will be starting kindergarden this fall.
Where has the time gone?
I have countless great memories and equally devastating ones too. But I’ve never thought of leaving Canada.
I had this vague thought on possibly living overseas when I grew up, but it came true in the most unplanned way. I never sought out to find a “Canadian husband” so that I could move here. (I’m too lazy to plan for my future. I’m the type of person who live in the moment. Well, at least I was, back when I was young.)
And of all the places in Canada somehow I ended up in this beautiful little town called Victoria. How lucky am I. If my ex husband was from some freezing cold remote town? Something tells me I wouldn’t be writing this same story.
I’ve always felt like some sort of a misfit in Japan – and there are A LOT of Japanese friends like that who live overseas – and I couldn’t be more happier to be where I am right now.
Canada, where gay marriage is nothing unusual. Canada, where mixed families are not abnormal. Canada, where nothing short of Gold is expected for the Olympics or the World Cup hockey. Canada, where the culture is considered a mosaic, where each individual bring unique color to this immigration country.
After 15 years, I think it’s safe to call Canada my country too?
Happy Birthday Canada, I love you. And thank you for loving me back.