This is not a joke
Nothing is comparable to the itch that creeps up on you to explore new places and experience new adventures. Some people get antsy when the first white flakes of snow drift from the sky and the bite of frosty wind brushes their faces.
Others finish their final exams, taste freedom, and feel the warm spring breeze before they get the urge to seek a new experience. But others, including myself, dream of exotic trees, unfamiliar lands, and new faces, regardless of the time of year.
Whenever the travel bug bites you, it tends to leave a lasting itch that is only relieved when your bags are packed and your tickets booked.
If there is one thing that I have noticed recently, it is that most people discuss travelling to other countries. I know I am guilty of always planning my next trip to be across oceans or borders. It almost seems as though the magic of travelling comes with crossing borders. I have always thought of Canada as home; it isn’t a new adventurous place.
I couldn’t have been further from the truth. This summer, I spent a long Canada Day weekend in Yellowknife and began to wonder why I haven’t explored more of our country.
We all grow up learning how vast Canada is as the second largest country in the world, but I think there is still a tendency to sell ourselves short, particularly when it comes to travelling.
Canada offers a vacation for any sort of wander-luster. Those who seek luxury and relaxation can book resorts in the Rockies or take a cruise around Sable Island in Nova Scotia; those who seek adventure can hike, camp, kayak, canoe, rock climb, snowshoe, and ski in the east or west; and, those who seek nightlife can drink and dance the nights away at chic bars in Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary. There is really anything for anyone; you just have to look (not very hard) for it.
Canada is an amazingly diverse country. We have a very big ‘backyard’ that is worth some exploration. Not to mention, we are unbelievably lucky to have the freedom that comes with safe travel. There are no concerns over vaccinations, visas, or currencies.
Seriously, travel in Canada is easy and exciting.
I am always surprised at how little most Canadians have seen of the country. How can we really be proud of and celebrate our country and its diverse cultures and landscapes if we haven’t seen them? It is sad to think that I may have seen more of another country than of my own. I don’t know about you, but I am pretty darn impressed with what I have seen of Canada.
Need some suggestions? Go to Dawson City in the Yukon, and drink the most disgusting drink in the world, the Sour Toe Cocktail: a drink with a real human toe at the bottom — seriously, they apparently make you drink your drink slowly so that you kiss the toe, becoming a member of a club of fellow toe-kissers (I am still trying to figure out the appeal of this one, but if you’re the kind that is up for drinking snake’s blood in Vietnam, this may be your thing).
Go to beautiful Yellowknife and camp for days without running into another person; go chill out at a cool music festival in another city and discover new bands and fellow music fans; or, go to the Okanagan and taste wine all day.
Go and get out of Saskatchewan and experience Canada!
Please pardon my blatant patriotism, but I am proud to be Canadian, and think we all should give our provincial and territorial neighbours a visit to keep our Canadian neighbourhood a strong, friendly one.
Robin Esrock came to a similar conclusion and wrote The Great Canadian Bucket List to get Canadians to explore our vast land. Pick up a copy next time the travel bug bites. I promise you will be surprised at how much there is to do!