Well, yes I am. I was going to write about how proud I am to be a Canadian and to live in Canada. I see these travel shows about the exotic places in the world and I thought about what we have here. We are surrounded by three oceans, we have mountains and valleys and lots and lots of water. More than 50% of the world’s fresh water lakes are within our borders. That’s awesome! We have the highest tides in the world. And the best poutine.
I could probably go on and wax philosophical about the inventions Canadians are credited for: light bulbs and zippers, pablum and insulin. And the people that the world loves: Jim Carey, Mike Myers, Donald Sutherland . . .the list is quite extensive. And then, in true Canadian fashion it hit me. I was bragging.
My mother raised me to be a good girl. Mostly. I think Canadians should brag, a little. But we should also be aware of our failings. We’re not perfect. We have a history that we are not always proud of. We mistreated our native peoples. In many ways we still do. But we are trying to change. Our beautiful oceans are not as clean as they should be. We need to take responsibility for them. We are trying.
Our flora and fauna, that is in some cases found only here, don’t always get the recognition and protection they need to continue. Perhaps it’s because we don’t want the rest of the world to know we’re not perfect or because we are ashamed. We don’t need to be ashamed, we just need to fix what is broken and to protect what is not. But isn’t that the same the entire world over?
Canada truly is a beautiful country. And we are a good people, mostly. We seem to spend a lot of time apologizing for a few of us.
What you ask, is a Nester? Well, in the parlance of a baby boomer, I like to stay put. In my 20s and 30s I enjoyed travel. I’ve been whale watching off the east coast of Canada and I took a cruise to Alaska from the western coast of my country. I have flown overseas to England and Northern Ireland. I’ve been south of the Canadian border into the United States. I loved every minute of it. Or at least I have fond memories of it all.
I have lived at my present address for more than 20 years. I intend to live here for another 20, give or take. I’m now in my 50s and the thought of getting on a plane leaves me cold. I used to love the preparations for a trip. When I went on a weeklong canoe trip into the wilds of the Canadian North I knew I had to carry all my gear so I packed accordingly. I never for a moment skimped on my comfort but I was judicial with my choices. It was the same when I flew overseas. Hours on a plane do not have to be horrid even in coach! Of course my flying was all done pre-9/11. I’m pretty sure the spritz bottle of water I used to hydrate on a long flight is no longer allowed. Too bad, it was really refreshing.
I still fantasize about a trip to New Zealand or some unexplored island in the middle of the ocean. But the reality is that I would rather do it vicariously. I like my home. I like staying put. I am lazy. Yes I’m putting that in print, I am lazy and I like my creature comforts. I like my tea. I like my pillow. I like my bathroom.
I love travel shows on TV. I love reading about other people’s experiences. I once went to New Zealand via the Internet. I planned it right down to the correct flight numbers and hotel rooms. I even got pictures through Google Earth of the different activities I “experienced”. I checked with the weather network in New Zealand. I wrote it as a diary in real-time. It was a blast. An armchair vacation.
Actual traveling now would require a whole new set of variables. There is the wheelchair, an attendant and lots of other non-comfortable items that go with my disease. Yech! But in my mind I am able-bodied and eager for an adventure. Now that is the way to travel! I really should be planning my next armchair vacation . . . the Azores perhaps?