One of the things I love about social media is how I’ve been able to meet people from all over the world.  Over the past couple of years, I have met a ton of people from the U.S., England, Australia, and even Israel and Japan. Through my conversations with these people, I’ve learned about their lives, their culture, and what makes them proud about their country.

Next Tuesday is Canada Day, and in honour of my country’s 141st birthday, I want to share with you what I love most about my country and about being Canadian.

I have been tremendously fortunate to have been from coast to coast to coast in Canada. I’ve been to the most Western point on the Queen Charlottes and I’ve been to the most Eastern point in Newfoundland. I’ve lived 125 miles north of the Arctic Circle. I’ve driven through the Rocky Mountains, seen the night sky in the Prairies, and watched whales in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. What amazes me most about my country is the diversity of terrain and how untouched much of it still is. What makes me proud is that we care deeply for our land in this country, and we take pride in our natural surroundings.

As diverse as the land is, the people are even more diverse. Everywhere I go in this country, I am surrounded by music and art and passion and culture. We know how to celebrate life in this country. Newfoundland kitchen parties, full of music and stories and love. Aboriginal art and legends, full of history and passion and wisdom. French Canadian music, full of joy and honesty. I’m proud of the the amazing blend of cultures, languages, and history of Canada. I think it makes us pretty unique.

Many people will talk about other things that make Canada great too. Hockey is like a religion here. So is beer. If I get sick and go to the hospital, nobody sends me a bill. I can swear on television after 9:00 at night.

But for me, Canada has always been about wide open spaces and warm people. Our country is about acceptance of those things that make us distinct: our languages, our culture, our music. And that makes me so proud I want to burst.

I’d love to hear from you too. Please leave a comment, and share what it is that makes you proud of your country.