O Canada! Happy Canada Day!It was a dark and rainy morning of August, about a decade or so ago. I had already lived in Vancouver for a couple of years so I knew what I would be facing when returning to the land of maple leaves and hockey. I knew that I needed to leave Mexico yet again in order to fulfill my destiny, in the pursuit of my dreams. I had lost one of my aunts, my Mom’s sister, to lung cancer earlier that year. I knew that it would be hard for me to leave my Mom after such a devastating loss. I knew I was leaving behind a life of comfort and well-being (professionally speaking). I left behind a great job, well-paid, my friends from all the countries were I’ve lived. However, I went along with the ride, packed my bags and landed back again in Vancouver. For the past 10 years, I’ve moved back and forth between Canada and Mexico and every single time, people who ask me where is home, I always respond “Vancouver is where my heart is“. Canada is indeed my home. I *am* Canadian. Not by nationality, but by heart. Every time I travel anywhere in the world, and I arrive at the border, I always say that I’m coming home. And the beautiful thing is that the officers always tell me “welcome home“. It was in Canada when I first fell madly, utterly, completely and head-over-heels in love. I fell in love with a Canadian. I have enjoyed every single minute of my life in Canada, despite the challenges and the rough times. I have taught at one of Canada’s most prestigious universities. I have educated Canadians, and I have been educated in the Canadian public university system (my PhD is from a Canadian, top-tier university). I know that for many people, living in Canada is a escape from another country. In my case, this is not the case. I live in Canada by choice. I am skillful and well educated, so I really don’t necessarily need to live in a different country. I did not come to Canada escaping Mexico or any other country. I moved here because here is where I found what I wanted to do for my Masters, for my PhD, and here is where I’ve also worked to create a professional platform. I am pretty sure that I am not the only one who feels this way, but let me just re-iterate this: Thank you Canada, for all the opportunities, the challenges and more than anything, the friendships you’ve allowed me to create. On this July 1st, happy birthday to you, Canada!