You may think that because Canada is a northern country of long and harsh winters, our smells are only of cold, frozen earth, snow, and ice. Or maybe what comes to mind are the bland smells of a clean, safe city: the smell of a coffee shop here, the concrete mix of new construction there, the pot from your neighbours’ balcony as soon as it’s warm enough to open your living room windows.
I moved to Canada when I was 19. It all happened because of love. I married my husband Sebastian, 21, and five days later I left my family, my friends and my country forever. The marriage was a condition for me being able to move to Quebec, Canada, where Sebastian’s family had moved a year before on a family immigration program. The day Sebastian told me that the papers from Immigration had arrived and that they would be moving in just a few months, I started crying. I didn’t cry because I knew I would be away from him, I cried because I knew right there and then that I would be leaving my family to be with him – there was no question in my heart that this is what I would do.