For a Third Culture Kid (teen?) craving and searching for the meaning of home, packing a bag and traversing the length of the second largest country on this planet Earth is a perfectly sensible course of action.

Prairie sunsets in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Prairie sunsets in Lethbridge, Alberta.

This was back in 2009, when Greyhound still offered its Discovery Pass for $400, for a month of unlimited bus travel. It wasn’t enough for me to just accept that Canada was home just because my folks had decided it was the next stop in their globetrotting journey (the travel gene is a real thing). I wanted it to be a conscious decision. It’s a pretty damn big place. If it was going to be home (at least for now), I’d better see the other side of the country, and even the middle bits where everyone else tries to skip over.

And this is where and how home was born. In Lethbridge, Moose Jaw, Brandon, Sudbury. Regina, Ottawa, Fredericton, Waverley. Vulcan. Charlottetown.

The Lookoff by Herrings Cove, Nova Scotia.
The Lookoff by Herrings Cove, Nova Scotia.

In exploring the nooks and crannies of this country, waking up to prairie sunsets on the road and falling asleep to the quiet hum of small-town Canada.

In seeing the oddities that inspire local pride, even the silliest ones like the largest statue of a pierogie in the world, or the giant frog of Fredericton.

Statues in Montreal, Quebec.
Statues in Montreal, Quebec.

In sitting on the side of the highway somewhere outside Thunder Bay at 4 a.m. where the Greyhound broke down – commiserating, laughing, sharing a smoke with other stranded passengers.

Tribute to the Fathers of Confederation in Charlottetown, PEI.
Tribute to the Fathers of Confederation in Charlottetown, PEI.

In visiting historical sites and learning, as an immigrant, about the history and founding of a country built through the structural oppression of indigenous peoples and immigrants of colour.

Louis Riel quote in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
Louis Riel quote in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

In wrestling with identity, embracing a multifaceted self, and cementing my place with brash confidence – I belong, I’m here to stay, and I’ve made this my home.

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