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10 things you’ll miss about Canada when you live abroad

A few weeks ago, I read a post entitled 10 things you will miss about Mexico when you live abroad written by the lovely Isabel at The Sunny Side of This. I loved it (also super jealous of all the sun and tortillas!) so I decided to write a similar post about Canada. Of course, my perspective is of someone living in a Northern country in Europe so people who moved to Argentina or Thailand may not find the same experience. Same as to where in Canada you come from, some of these may be highly biased toward Montreal, my beloved hometown.

1. The certainty of maple syrup
Maple syrup is the best. It’s a natural sugar that adds magic to most food. But fake maple syrup is a real problem, y’all! In most places in the world where you think they serve maple syrup, they don’t really. As a Canadian (from the part of Canada where they make maple syrup) I find this a bad misconception. My father in law even said he didn’t like maple syrup until I gave him real maple syrup. He was sold on it!

2. The friendliness
Yes there are terrible and good people in all countries. But Canadians are a different kind of nice that I’ve not experienced anywhere else. Like real friendliness, people who catch you if you fall on a patch of ice, people who chat to you on the bus, people who say sorry and mean it.

3. The mixture of languages and cultures
Canada, like most of the Americas, is a melting pot of different cultures. It’s crazy, colourful, beautiful and inspiring. I grew up with friends from around the world and that was normal. At home, with my friends and family, I often dash between three different languages. It’s a luxury to grow up like that and meet people from various backgrounds.

4. Distinct seasons
Again, I live in Scotland, where seasons blend together, rain in the winter, rain in the summer. I miss the beauty of heavy snow and cold of the winter, I miss the colourful trees of autumn, I miss the warmth of summer nights and afternoons lounging by the pool. I don’t miss the spring though, it’s mostly walking in slush and getting shoes stained with calcium…

5. The ability to deal with different weather
Well unless you’re from BC… ;). I miss the fact that life goes on when the weather gets bad. I don’t remember a single snow day in my childhood, because life just went on.

6. Open spaces
The first time I went home after spending a year in Britain, what I noticed the most was the space. Streets are wide, you’re never far from a field or a park and generally we have just so. much. space. It helps that there are only about 36 million Canadians (which is less than the population of Poland alone) living on what is basically the same size territory as the entirety of Europe.

7. Safety
I’ve never felt as safe as I ever did in Canada. Often my family or friends even leave their doors unlocked (truer of the suburbs than city centre of course) and I miss that feeling. It’s no wonder our biggest city comes up in the top 5 safest cities in the world according to The Economist’s Intelligence Unit Safe Cities Index.

8. Tim Hortons
Tim Hortons is a lovely ‘wee’ Canadian chain of coffee, lunch and donuts. It’s one of the first things I have when I go home. While I don’t drink coffee, I love their bagels, soups and especially the timbits. Thankfully, they are starting to open abroad.

9. Poutine 
This one is the best. Of course you don’t have it all the time as it’s super fatty and high in calories, but it’s the perfect comfort food or to soak up any alcohol. It’s so much more than just chips and cheese too, I swear!

10. Family and friends
If you’re like me you love your family. And while living abroad is great and you may love your life, you’ll still miss your favourite people from time to time.

Are there things you miss about home when you’re abroad?xx

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