An Immigrant Moment

I was born in Denmark and spent the first 20 years of my life there. In 1982, my parents decided to go to Canada for a couple of years and as I couldn’t bear to live in another country than my family (and was thoroughly disenchanted with studying English at the university there), I decided to come, too. I hated the thought of leaving. I hated seeing the house in boxes, I hated leaving my friends and extended family, I hated leaving everything I’d ever known. I put down roots deep and it was painful to pull them up.

But Canada awed me from the word ‘go’. Its vastness blew me away – I counted 12 lanes on the highway going from the airport (and coming from a country where the biggest highway had 4 lanes, this was something), the distances (I remember being overwhelmed that it took a drive of a whole 20 minutes to get to the mall) and wow… the people (did they all have to speak so fast?). I fell in love without knowing it at first, but soon realized that this was one of the best things that had ever happened to me.

Denmark is still in many ways my home – it’s where I come from, it is in me on a cellular level. But Canada is the place where I choose to make my home now and where I want to stay - so far, the 'couple of years' has been 22. (as an aside, this pull of two lands cause a complete short-circuit whenever Denmark and Canada meet in an Olympic event…)

I love my adopted country for its newness and excitement, its friendliness, its nature, the opportunities it’s given me to start over and do what my heart desires without being blocked by physical barriers. I love the mix of cultures here – going outside my door is like travelling the world. I love the tolerance and social conscience of the place. I love that I have found a chosen family of friends who makes me feel like I belong. My roots are down deep here.

Happy Canada Day!