15 Signs you may be a Canadian in South America

Expats are a rare breed of bird. The particular combination of homeland and adopted country color their feathers. After driving 2,000 mile (3,500 km) to find jacket weather, I reflected on qualities that Canadians in South America might share. Now, as we wrap up our own South American adventure, it’s time to share.

1. For months, you insert French prepositions into Spanish sentences. ¿Querés jugar avec moi? ¿Vamos  après la escuela?

2. Tears are shed in your home because your kids miss snow that much. (Yes, really.)

3. You ration your maple syrup supply.

4. You have a maple syrup supply

5. You burn your lips every time you sip mate. Every time!

6. You consider the heated pool too hot for real swimming

7. Your family are the only ones at the party who don’t adore dulce de leche. This happens often.

8. Late dinners kill you because your kids don’t sleep in.

9. Your kids are on the only ones not on the playground at midnight.

View from Campanario Hill in Chile, the Andes in the background, two lakes in the foreground with a ridge covered in evergreens between the two. A third lake is tucked back in the mountains.
The cool mountain air calls to you. You might jump in a lake despite the numbing effect! – photo by Thomas Fields on Unsplash

10. When your husband takes an impromptu dip in a mountain lake, it’s just him in his skivvies and a triathlete in full wet suit.

11. Your peanut butter stash weighs more than your baby.

12. You are willing to cross a mountain range to find shopping and prices like home.

13. When you skate, it’s on ice. And it’s a very big event.

14. Your kids splash in puddles after rainstorms. Local kids gather at a safe (read, dry) distance to watch the spectacle. They are impressed pneumonia does not ensue.

15. You drive 18 hours or more – each way – to find jacket weather. Every summer. With four kids. And it’s worth it. The chill in the air. Fire in the fire place. Pine stands. Mountain lakes. So worth it.

What sets apart the expats in your corner of the world?



When you Need Adult Time

Arriving in a foreign land or new city makes for lots of family time. This is a gift. Until it’s not.

You have much to process. You do need adult time. Here are some creative ideas to help you create kid-free moments of connection: Read more