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I often write about my experiences growing up abroad, and have written about my Diplomatic Father. Growing up in an Embassy, Canada Day was one of the most significant days of the year, July 1st.

Being abroad means you are immersed in another culture, language and tradition. You work with many locally engaged staff, but reporting to the government of Canada. You straddle two worlds, you are never here or there. It takes a toll on most individuals, you watch them be utterly careful, worried that they might say something wrong, they might offend, and sometimes drink one too many and make a fool out of themselves. Although I watched struggles, every single person had a deep pride and passion for Canada.

Growing up, Canada Day was the biggest production that the embassy would put on. It was one of two events that we as kids had to show our faces to (the other being Christmas).  Decorations would start going up the day before, every square inch of the house was decorated in red and white. My parents would carefully choose outfits, ties and yes, my Father would wear maple leaf cufflinks. The celebration of July 1st was never missed on me. We were grilled and lectured on Canadian political history. Even though I had never spent that much time in Canada as a child, I watched my Father’s pride, his complete and utter devotion to the Country he represented every July 1st.

When we moved back to Ottawa, my first Canada Day brought tears to my eyes. A ridiculously conservative city, breaks out in one massive party. Every year, I trekked downtown listened to music, watched fireworks and had an amazing day with my friends.

When I began to work for Foreign Affairs, I too donned that silly look of pride and excitement for this beautiful country I call home. I have spent Canada Day everywhere around the world, but nothing will compare to being downtown in Ottawa.

The festivities always start with a parade – many friends colleagues and of course my Grandfather have or are serving as Mounties.

No matter where I am in the world on Canada Day, July 1st. I feel pride in my family heritage, in Canada and my rights and freedom.

To all those who serve this country, I thank you. Happy Canada Day!

Travel Lady with Baby

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