There’s a little joke between me and the customs official who’s often working at my local airport. He says, “How long are you home for this time, TR?” And I say, “Not long enough.” I didn’t say it was a funny joke. You want laugh a minute, find Howie Mandel. But it’s true. Traveling is the purpose of my life, but being home is no hardship. It’s easy to rest and recharge when you’re from the best country in the world.
Summer is generally fantastic, no matter where in Canada you live. But there’s an especially golden window for me between whenever Pride celebrations occur and Canada Day. It’s as if they can barely clear the streets from one party before they start the next. The whole country is smiling at each other and, if you’re like me, a perpetually tanned pansexual with a swimmer’s build, it’s possible to have a babe on one arm, a stud on the other, and still be cheered on by your neighbours (that’s neighbours with a ‘u’). It’s such a simple thing, expecting and receiving kindness from strangers no matter what floats your Flights but believe me, finding that outside of Canada is rare indeed.
Nobody believes me when I tell them where I’m from. Or rather, nobody believes that what I’m telling them is true. That it’s possible to climb a mountain and lie on a beach on the same day. That metropolitan skylines can hide vast fields of wheat laying just beyond. That our hospitals might be full but, generally speaking, rich and poor are healed by the same hands.
Today I am hiking the Trans Canada Trail and won’t stop until I get tired. My Flights contain several loonies and twonies for poutine, a rainbow coloured condom, and a miniature Canadian flag. I’ve forgotten my keys, of course, but I’m not worried. Seems no matter where I go, there’s always a door open to me. “Happy Canada Day,” I yell to a sleeping bear as I pass. She stirs and I quicken my stride, ready for a little exercise…