Why I’m Celebrating Canada Day

I came to Vancouver, BC from England in 2013 with my Canadian wife, who I met in London and we haven’t looked back. I’d visited beautiful British Columbia as home-port in my days working on cruise ships, but never dreamed that I’d call it home.

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One of the most incredible, and constantly surprising things about this province is that everyone is so genuinely nice. I don’t mean the “Have a nice day” painted-smile kind of nice, I mean that they actually want you to have a good day. People here talk to you in the queue for coffee. When I’m out for a run, other runners nod or smile in appreciation that you’re doing something good with your day and sharing in their experience. One even high-fived me! As an Englishman, that’s an alien concept but I went with it and it made me feel that weird kind of warm goodness when you’re a mixture proud and surprised.

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Since living in Vancouver, my pace has completely changed. I no longer feel the frantic rush of life in London. The air is clean, the water tastes good and everyone is on their way to, or coming from hot yoga or a spin class. I haven’t succumbed to living in yoga pants just yet, I just don’t have the bum for it.

Canada has embraced my silly English-ways and accepted them. I remind myself that I’m incredibly lucky every day. I get to work, run, and breathe it all in, right here. I get to raise my family in a city that adamantly promotes acceptance and lifestyle choices of all types.  I am proud to say that I live here.

This July 1st I will be celebrating Canada Day with the rest of you. I have never felt like an outsider. In fact, I feel more at home here than I ever did in London. England’s capital has a funny way of making you feel like you could be invisible. It’s an inspiring city, but it’s hard to make a mark on it. Canada Day is all about celebrating all the things that you’re proud of about this country, including its willingness to promote local talent, business, and ideas. When a local musician or actor comes on TV, someone will always whisper “they’re Canadian!”.

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Canada is a nation of stories, people, and talent. It is a country that spreads across vast distances, snow-peaked mountain ranges, desert and lush farmland. It would take me a lifetime to explore it all, and there wouldn’t be a wasted second.

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