Canada. I am immensely proud of being Canadian. Yes, I am aware that I no longer live there, but that does not diminish my love for the True North, Strong and Free one bit. I still follow my Leafs online (thanks to Phill); anxiously peer at the TV when a Canadian team is playing anyone, in any sport; and whenever possible, go see Canadian teams play versus Kiwi teams (and cheer obscenely loudly!)
My parents moved to Canada nearly 34 years ago now, and Canada has been good to our family. They landed in Toronto with very little money, a young son and baby on the way. I am proud to hold the distinction of being a first generation Canadian, and the first one in both Mum and Dad's families to be born there. It's a story that is commonplace in my parents' generation - they immigrated to another country, worked (very) hard and gave their children an excellent start in an exceptional country. I don't mean to sound blase about the whole thing - I think it's absolutely incredible actually, and I'm thankful each day that my parents made that difficult choice, and that it turned out so spectacularly. Both Navaz and I have made very good lives for ourselves, and it is mainly due to our parents' decison to move to Canada. Being the people we are, I'm sure we would have done equally as well if we grew up anywhere else, but it was a lot easier because of where we did grow up.
I could go on for hours about the natural beauty that spreads across the entire country; the multiculturalism, of which we are immensely proud; the opportunities Canada has afforded myself and my family; the people I've met; the busy buzzing hum of Toronto... the list goes on... and on... and still carries on... but I think that most of you reading this are those of my friends and family from Canada - therefore, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
As Bono said: "The world needs more Canada."
Thank you to my Mum and Dad for moving to Canada 34 years ago (and to all Mums and Dads who did the same thing for their children) and thank you Canada for being so good to us.