So I managed to cross off one more item on the "to do" list:
✓ become a Canadian citizen ...
After living here for just over 28 years and 18 months after applying, they finally let me in. On September 20th, 2012 I was made a Canadian citizen. I gave the oath in both official languages even though I can only speak one, I wore a silly maple-leaf hat and I cried while singing O Canada for the first time as a Canadian.
It is a very strange feeling to join another country — especially when you already like the one you have.
Sadly I won't be able to make much use of the gift of a one-year pass to Canada's national parks but it was a nice gesture.
I will be able to wear my tiny maple-leaf pin with pride as I do what any red-blooded newly-crowned Canadian would do — go travelling abroad.