Twenty-seven years ago today, I was driving across the U.S. with my husband and 9-month-old baby, on the way to Canada. We brought along a collapsible playpen our son was used to sleeping in, so he'd have a familiar bed when we stopped at hotels along the way. He was a champion traveler and made the four-day drive without a problem. We stopped at Mount Rushmore on the way. I was especially struck by the beauty of Michigan and the Great Lakes.
When we arrived at Sault Ste. Marie, it was midnight and snowing. We managed to find a hotel but it was dark and I didn't get a good look at the town until the next time I went through it about 26 years later. We had no jobs lined up but my in-laws were willing to have us stay in their basement for a month while we got on our feet.
I didn't know what to expect in my new home, and certainly didn't anticipate some of the challenges (for example, assuming I understood Canadian English as opposed to Utahn). But all in all it has been a wonderful journey, the people have been amazingly kind, the Ontario countryside is breathtaking, Toronto is vibrant and exciting, and we have done well here. And the ethnic food is fantastic! I miss my family in the States and I miss the mountains (still can't navigate well here without mountains to refer to), but I think we made the right choice coming here. If I could talk to my 22-year-old self as she crossed the border all those years ago, I'd tell her to relax and be happy. Not to worry. Not to let the homesickness get to her. She would put down roots, and it would all work out just fine.