Canada is highly respected around the globe and regarded as one of the most amazing countries for a variety of reasons. As one of the most multicultural and diverse nations, we welcome everyone with open arms. The beauty of the landscape is unparalleled; from ocean to ocean, East coast to West coast, the magnificent Rocky Mountains to sprawling Prairies and to our rapidly expanding urban centres. Canada may be considered an infant in terms of history but we have laid a pretty solid foundation for the future. The citizens are deemed polite, friendly, and welcoming and who wouldn’t want to call a place like that home? With individuals moving from all over the world to build a new life for their families, whether it is a personal choice or a political choice, Canada is never the wrong option. Which raises the question, why leave such an amazing place?
Travelling has become an entire industry in the past decade, gradually growing from an extravagance reserved for the affluent, has now transformed into a hobby for the masses. Everyone has a different reason for travel, whether it is for a relaxing getaway, the possibility for adventure, or personal growth; one thing that everyone does share from travelling is the experiences gained. The desire to travel has been growing at an exponential rate; with the rise of social media we are able to see what we may be missing out on. A destination not originally known has now been added to a bucket list and the desire to leave home outweighs the comfort. Now people are venturing out to explore more than ever.
I’m Amanda Schroeder, and I work at Peace Collective as the Peace Foundation Lead, which deals with our charitable endeavours. I just recently moved to Toronto after spending the past three years completing my Undergraduate Degree in England. I have been an avid traveller for most of my life, being apart of a family fortunate enough to travel we took advantage of what the world has to offer. The purpose for each adventure varied each with its own objectives, leisure, adventure and study. Travel is a crucial aspect in my life and the part of my life I am most passionate about. During my time across the pond I took full advantage of my close proximity to the rest of Europe and the cheap travel costs. Currently having a total of forty-five countries checked off, some have left more of an impact than others. Every voyage adding a new perspective to my view on the world, both positive and negative gaining an education through experience unparalleled to any class you could take.
After being abroad for a long period of time, you can’t help but feel slightly homesick; not necessarily for the reasons you may think. People pointing out your ‘accent’ becomes less amusing, people not speaking the same language as you, or the overall feeling of being a noticeable foreigner. One thing that can relieve this feeling is finding someone who is going through the same thing. I know that I am not alone in this philosophy, no matter the never-ending urge of travel, need for adventure or just something new to add to a normally menial life, comfort sometimes outweighs adventure. One of the best feelings I have come to know is meeting someone half way around the world who is also Canadian, and being able to share that pride. Equally understanding the necessity of travel in ones life as well as the longing of such an amazing home. Being Canadian has a sense of inclusiveness; which may be because of our small population in regard to the rest of the world. When we finally find a fellow Canadian its as if you won an imaginary scavenger hunt in search of one another. The pride exuded when a fellow traveller asks where you’re from and you have the privilege to say Canada cannot be compared. Travel isn’t a means of escaping or avoiding where you’re from, but a way to appreciate and love it even more. Distance truly does make the heart grow fonder.
When far from home it causes you to consider Canada and your current destination, comparing the similarities and differences to home. Some differences make you never want to return, the hot weather, the exotic food or your luxurious hotel. Jealousy sinks in and you think of ways you could carve out a new life in this perceived paradise. Conversely other differences provide an appreciation for Canada, the quality of life witnessed shocks, and the scenes of destitution are a permanent memory. Canada’s diversity can be mirrored in almost every destination you travel to. The multiculturalism within Hong Kong’s energetic metropolis, the quality of life in Scandinavia or the extraordinary scenery atop a mountaintop in Tanzania; pieces of Canada can be found everywhere you go. Which can make you appreciate the culture you have in your very backyard.
People should not be expected to stay in the place they were born, where their loved ones are, or where is most comfortable. We should all explore the world as it allows for personal growth and for the confines of traditional education to be broken, where a new method of learning can emerge. After fulfilling your travel dreams and fully immersing yourself in another culture, there will always be a twinge of homesickness; you never want to be gone too long. Home is a term that resonates differently with everyone, but is a place everyone can identify when asked. No matter how far away you go or for how long, home is always Canada.