150 Ways We Love Canada: Cristina's StoryI grew up in communist Romania and after that regime ended the country became more and more corrupt. Back in 2005, the idea of moving to Canada was very appealing.

I started reading about Canada with high interest. It looked like a safe place to be and it ranked at that time as the 13th happiest country in the whole world. That said a lot, and all the beautiful places to visit and the unique combination of all nationalities attracted me the most.

After moving here in 2006 the culture shock was intense. I had one month to adjust and to start my new life and it felt like I will never feel home here. The fact that I started working very soon after my arrival helped a lot because it gave me the sense of everyday life, not like a guest, like a CANADIAN.

I am proud now for what I’ve become in the past 10 years and put all my success and happiness to Canada. I love this country that I can call my home now. I love the people that I have met in my life journey and I am happy to have them as my family. In the end, I didn’t lose anything moving here, I gained a family and a country that I respect and I love.

Like a true Canadian, I decided this year to celebrate our 150 years anniversary by visiting Ottawa for the “Tulip Festival”. I’m thrilled that Canada has unveiled a special tulip, my favourite flower, this year and has a whole festival to enjoy the beauty of it.

I am looking forward to continuing my journey as a Canadian and I am happy to be a part of such a great nation. -Cristina Ruha