It was 19-years ago this summer that I took my first international flight – transatlantic to Toronto, Canada from Manchester. I’d been to Europe previously, but only by road.
I remember leaving for North America, as if it was yesterday. I naturally was going to miss My Mum, but on reflection I was more worried about making sure my best friend at the time Craig, was still going to be just that after my 3-week adventure away from England. We’re still friends now!
My first flight was jumpy, not turbulence just me. I just wanted to get to Canada as quickly as I could giving all the good things I had heard about it. The long flight felt like days to a young boy, and all the food in the world didn’t keep me settled. I also got bored of chasing my friends around the aircraft, back in the day when it was okay and we wouldn’t be pounced upon.
Having arrived and settled into Ontario, I’d never been so welcomed into a foreign country prior as I had been in Canada and loved every moment of my trip, especially the large pizzas which were bigger than me at the time.
It’s true that… I cried on the way back home as I didn’t want to leave – I had fell in love with Canada and it had fell in love with me. I did think later though… what would I do without My Mum, my friends, Liverpool and so on – you get the gist!
I always said I was going to return, but with one thing and another in particular a career, I never did. Well, not until last year when I travelled there with Alex from New York to get married, although that wasn’t our intention.
I had fond memories remembering the last time I was at Toronto City Hall before this, way back in 1992 when I was that young boy having my photo taken with a Mountie – they were much cooler than British ‘Bobbies’.
Then, on 1 March 2010 I find myself getting ‘married’ to a man inside the building I once stood outside of, talking to that Mountie on horseback. How times have changed.
Canada is not Disneyland where the streets are paved with gold, as it has its fair share of problems like the rest of the Western World. But, it is a special nation and its people are not like many other countries I have visited. On both my occasions, they have been kind and couldn’t do enough for me, and this is why Canada along with my marriage will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve told Alex that we are returning there soon, even if I have to divorce him just to go back!
So, with this I wish all my Canadian friends and the people of Canada a ‘Happy Canada Day’ 2011 or Bonne Fête du Canada.
I hear London is having the BIGGEST party outside of Canada, so maybe I might pop along to Trafalgar Square.
This has been a Canadian Affair ‘View from the Bottom’, by me Monsieur Max x
Live Healthy, Laugh Often & Love Yourself!
© Kevin Maxwell Film, Media & Performance 2011 – Published by My Mum