First Canadian Thanksgiving
By Travis Groom
My journeys in Edmonton started 3 years ago, when I left Seattle, WA for a new adventure. Not knowing a whole lot about Edmonton, I moved here in September of 2007. Tired of the busy Seattle life, I decided to make a change, and Edmonton called.
It was the best decision of my life.
The first thing I noticed about this city is people are friendly. People say “hi” on the trails to each other. Unheard of in Seattle! My first Canadian Thanksgiving and I was invited over to a few places to spend it. Some new friends, some co-workers, but everyone had the same idea that no-one should spend Thanksgiving alone. To my surprise, in support of me being American, they even offered to throw an American Thanksgiving in November.
The moment I realized that Edmonton was my home was Christmas, 2008. I have no real family to speak of here, so I was expecting to spend Christmas by myself. On Christmas Eve, I received a phone call asking what time I was going to be at my friend's house. I was thinking around 2 PM for dinner, that kind of thing. He simply replied that I needed to be there around 7:30 AM in my pyjamas to open presents (and that he was like a little kid on Christmas day and couldn’t sleep in anyway).
Growing up in a city of isolation like Seattle, I never would have expected this. In Seattle, with the millions of people, it’s still a very singular place. No-one would invite a friend they only knew for a few months over for Christmas morning. In Edmonton, that seems to be the norm. Even other holidays when I ask if it would be weird if I were there, people don’t even give it a second thought.
It’s been a weird adjustment getting used to how welcoming the people of Edmonton are, but a very welcomed adjustment.
Now, 3 years later, I find that Edmonton is my home and the citizens my family. I have good friends who push me to be better through running and activities. I can escape to Nordegg on the motorcycle with my close friend for a camping weekend, or run in the river valley and say "hi" to everyone who passes by.
Most people spend their lives running around trying to make somewhere feel like home. Edmonton is my home.
Edmonton is where I belong.