There's just something about Canada that got into my blood 12 years ago and is still there floating around and just refuses to leave.
The accent, the people, the outdoor lifestyle, plus the slightly slower pace of life than in the UK. My romantic dalliance is with Vancouver after I lived in the city, pre-kids. Since then I've spent far too much time dreaming about moving back.
The Canadian emigration process is called 'Express Entry', but hilariously is anything but express.
My children are nine and six, and are pretty-bored of me going on and on about anything and everything Canadian. Rio 2016 had them groaning with laughter every time Team Canada got a medal.
Our three-week trip to British Columbia in summer 2015, only cemented the desire to move back. There was something about watching my son's face light up with excitement as he jumped into Rainbow Lake against the backdrop of the Whistler Mountains. Or seeing my daughter's face as she watched her first Canadian baseball game, while trying to navigate the best way to eat an oversized hotdog smothered in ketchup.
The dream to move back is still there; in fact, it's glowing brighter than ever before. It's just hidden under all the usual kid-work-school-everyday-shenanigans.
More space and bigger hotdogs
I have a gazillion reasons for wanting to bring my son and daughter up Canadian, but here are just five
1. There's more space to grow up. The UK is a fabulous place, but it's small and it's crowded. In Canada, you get more room to breathe.
2. You don't have to wear a tie to school; in fact the no-uniform rule gets my vote. Every morning during the school term, my gag reflex is triggered, as my offspring wear a shirt and tie. They look like mini bankers, ewh!
3. Kids seem to stay kids for longer. You start school later and you go to high school at 13/14, instead of 11. Surely that's got to be a good thing, right?
4. Everything just seems more family-focused. Restaurants, playgrounds (there seems to be one on every corner!), even public transport is cleaner and more family friendly. The big game, families go together and feel safe. Plus, when you go camping you have your own designated picnic area, not just a burnt patch of grass!
5. It might be number five, but it's a real driver for me. My children will know that if you have a dream, work hard for it you can make it a reality.
5a. My kids have become obsessed with watching The Next Step. They know it's Canadian and think it's really cool. Which is definitely helping my cause.
Oh Canada!Suggest a correction