I am SO proud to be Canadian! When I lived in London, England for two years, I loved being asked where my ‘accent’ was from. I would take all opportunities presented to share that I am Canadian. Questions like “Why are you putting gravy on your ‘chips’?”, ” Why do you keep saying sorry?”, “Why do you stand there just holding the door for everyone?” or “Why are you smiling at strangers?” can all be answered with “Sorry, I am Canadian!”.
My british friends would tease me and the other Canadians by calling us the ‘colonials’…we didn’t take offense to this, though maybe we should have hah! After My husband and I applied for my visa however, I started to think about this term more. I am, in fact, a citizen of one of the colonies of the British Empire. Canada and England have ties that are undeniable. The influence of the British Empire is overwhelming in Canada. Whether it is the Queen on our money, british names for many towns and streets (my husband laughed that I used to live on ‘Britannia Road’), or even the simple fact that we speak the same language- the British influence is clearly present today.
The strong tie between both countries, makes it more difficult to understand why immigration between the two is so difficult, as getting into Canada as a Brit is not easy either. When My husband and I are ready to come back to Canada a few years down the road, we will have to go through another immigration headache- something that we are dreading even now! For us Commonwealth couples, or really, any international couple, the ‘struggle is real’.
My heart hurts for everyone who is facing immigration struggles to be with their partner. I sometimes forget that I am not the only one… not even close! If you are going through something similar, know that I understand! You are not alone. This process has the power to put your whole life on hold. I am trying my best to not let it! In the end though, it will all be worth it.