Carrying a green card

So here I am on the 4th of July in my fifth homeland. No, this might be overstating it – this is my 5th country of residence. Preceding this one were Mexico, India, Germany and Canada, whose passport I continue to carry. I have enjoyed all these countries, and must confess a certain loyalty to each of them. I love the cultural warmth of Mexico, the fine (engineering & other) quality of Germany, the incredible complexity & resilience of India, the sense of undefined uniqueness of Canada and the strong sense of self confidence of the US.
This new country sojourn is different. I am carrying a green card, a euphemism for being a landed immigrant. If/when I get the chance, I will become a citizen particularly given that this it is possible to retain my Canadian citizenship.
Still, I have never been a great (Canadian) nationalist. I have never joined a political party. I didn’t want to be that sectarian. I have never sewed the Canadian flag on my backpack nor pasted flag decals on my suitcases. It’s not that I am embarrassed, I think it is for me a preference to be a global citizen, loyal to all people and places everywhere. I wish that we could achieve a world in which crossing borders was, for all people, easier, and with a lesser need for visas.
I was back in Canada a couple of weeks ago, and it felt good. It also felt good crossing the border at Emerson to have the Homeland Security agent say “welcome back.” In a few months, we will again spend a portion of the winter at our condo in Zihuatanejo, and I look forward to “bienvenidos” at that border crossing. Maybe I could naturalize there too, and thus become a NAFTA citizen.


About Al Doerksen

I'm sort of a vocational tramp; my working career divides about evenly between non-profit and the business worlds. I have lived in Mexico, India, Germany and Canada, and now USA. I've had the good fortune to travel to 90 countries of which at least half are developing countries. The last 25 years of my "career" have involved significant (and enjoyable) international management challenges: travel industry, furniture manufacturing, food (aid) programming and ultraviolet water treatment among others. I'm now leading a development enterprise called IDE.
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