Big question answered: Choosing another nation to call home

Published: 6/6/2019 12:15:24 AM

(Last week we asked readers this question: If you had to live in a country other than the United States, where would you go and why? Here are the responses we received.)

A return to Canada

In 1969, as a young, pregnant bride, my now ex-husband and I, at almost 19, drove to Canada in our 1965 VW bus. Yes, this was during the Vietnam War and we went so my husband could avoid the draft.

We were warmly welcomed. It is bilingual and multi-cultural.

Canada had national health care, so that was not a worry. My medical and hospital bills were covered and our newborn was healthy and also covered.

Carleton University was affordable and accepted non-matriculated students readily.

Canada is cold. This was a drawback for me. At that time, we did not have the education to earn a good living. As young as we were without good jobs, it was tough to buy a reliable car (the VW had a block heater, but that wasn’t enough!) or to afford proper heat. Gasoline was expensive.

Long story short, we did come back to live closer to our families in this country.

For the past 48 years, I’ve lived in the Concord area. I’ve been married to a Concord native for 29 of those years. My life is here, but I’d definitely consider Canada, if I were to leave New Hampshire.

The political divisions in our country make it very difficult to protect, provide for and encourage young families. We know we can do better, just looking north to our colder neighbors.



I choose Canada, but will they have me?

My answer seems to be a no-brainer: I would make a quick exit to Canada. Same language? Check. Sane health care system? Check. Democratic government? Check. People who respect each other and care about the environment? Check.

But wait. Probably lots of my fellow Americans would be forced to emigrate with me. Perhaps the economy has collapsed, or the arms race with North Korea, Iran, Russia or someplace not even on our radar now has resulted in the unthinkable. The system would be overwhelmed. Would Canadians think of me and other Americans as generous people deserving of respect and assistance when our luck has turned?

Furthermore, what if Canadians gave us a taste of our own treatment of outsiders? What if they decided they wanted only educated young people with their best earning years ahead of them or they discriminated against my religion? What if my money was worthless? What if they effectively barred me from their health care system? What if they refused to allow me to visit my family and return, or to have my family join me? What if they made it virtually impossible for me to get and keep a visa, and systematically discriminated against me and hunted me down as an illegal alien?

We are fortunate beyond the wildest dreams of our forebears to live where we do when we do. But if we think we earned this and therefore deserve this, and other people have no right to strive for what we lucked into, it’s time to think again. Until we get that, Canadians and people of any other nation have a right to bar the door.



French connection

If I had to be citizen of country other than the United States, I would choose France. The first thing that comes to mind when I hear “France” is food. I traveled often to Paris for about 20 years. Preparing and consuming food in France is an art form. I love French culture: relaxed dinners followed by a stroll, nonjudgmental “laissez-faire” attitude when it comes to sex, family benefits of their economic system, architecture, their passion – especially regarding wine.

Many years ago, I was asked, “When a passenger is speaking English, what accent do you think is sexiest for female and male?” I determined for myself that a French woman has the sexiest accent when speaking English. Oui? For a man, it’s Russian. Da! Of developed nations, however, today’s Russia is the last place on Earth I would choose to live.

Thank God the United States of America is blessed with so many cultures, especially for the palate.



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