I'm having a blast planning a trip to England, Scotland and Ireland. I guess it's true that you never stray too far from the "Auld sod." I'm the second generation born in Canada, and a good part of my excitement is the thought that I'll be walking on the same streets and lanes that my grandparents did. On the one side they came from Scotland and on the other, Ireland.
Canada is, and has always been, a land of immigrants. From the waves of Scottish and French fur traders that set up posts and explored across our country, to the recent influx of refugee immigrants from Syria, unless you are First Nations, your roots originated elsewhere.
While our love and allegiance goes first and foremost to Canada, we also feel the pull of the lands of our ancestors. Of course there are constant reminders of my ancestral beginnings as I stood for years at school and public events to sing God Save The Queen. Every time I hand over a twenty dollar bill, I am reminded of our official Head of State.
I think this trip will be like visiting a distant set of cousins whom you rarely see. The recent history may be different, it may take a while to learn the names of the newest generation, but the older family tales and folklore will be familiar to everyone.
Oh and I'm expecting payback. One of my closest friends for years was from Liverpool and I teased her often about her accent and expressions. When I get the same dished out to me I'll just have to put on my best "Take pity on the poor colonial " expression and hope for kindness in exchange.