The Love Affair Collection stems from a personal Tale of Two Cities. Mainly because it involves a character named Sydney, a couple cities and tbh it rly was "the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness". (I'm going to have to go back to highschool and re-read to get back to you on any more parallels)
I've always been a bit nomadic. Sometimes I figure it's from growing up with divorced parents -don't get me wrong #TwoChristmases life was the best childhood ever. It also meant calling at least two places 'home' at a time since I was 5. Factor in Florida, and the cottage, how could I have grown up to not be a Canalien? Going back and forth, and with new (wonderful) non-blood-related people of all ages joining my immediate family over the years led me to become just.. really comfortable with myself. So wherever or whoever or whatever the circumstance I was in, I had me and I was comfortable with that- a bit chameleon-esque even. No matter whose house I was at, I felt at home.
Another skill I picked up was I had to learn the ropes of packing efficiently and knowing what items to NEVER forget. I still have dreams of nearing the end of the day in elementary school on a day where we'd be switching houses and a new parent was to come pick up me and having the facepalm moment dawn over me that I'd forgotten my Teddy or my walkman or my sneakers (at that age the sneaker thing was the absolute end of the world).
I suppose I'm hoping this prefacing will justify why I thought it would be super chill for me to start a life in America when I finished university. No, I have no citizenship or greencard but I figured the 'we're neighbours' card should be sufficient (this is where the age of wisdom and foolishness comes in). I flew to Atlanta and made my way around exploring the South. I made lifetime-type of friends, and felt near adopted into some of those hospitable Southern families! And then about 2.5 years in I went to fly back to Atlanta after a visit in Toronto and the hammer came down.
The next year that followed was filled with uncertainty and legalities. I felt like a fool to be so naive, thinking the world was mine to run around in. In a way it's a pretty sweet, innocent thought and I'm glad I acted on it. But having to leave my life in A-Town-down so abruptly was not easy. There is still a part of me down there biking to Piedmont Park with my friends all year round and eating collard greens.
Starting Canalien & Co. was one of the first projects I began once moving back home. Channelling all those woes into a positive community of Canadian-aliens. It's really helped. The love and support I receive on a daily basis from Toronto, Atlanta, LA, Nashville, New York, London... All OVER! is such a beautiful thing. And it's because the people in this community are just that- BEAUTIFULly open-minded, passionate people who enjoy travel, culture and still share an affinity for Canada. People who can relate to letting places and people in easily.
I made this collection for other Canaliens who may have left part of themselves in another city, too. I feel ya! Be proud of your nomad-icity.
**Also make great gifts for your loved ones living abroad!**
Thanks for reading, and for all y'alls support!!
- Syd, Georgia Peach, Canuck, Canalien.