Those of you who know me, will know that this wonderful country called Canada, among other countries has completely and utterly stolen my heart. Especially this little slice of heaven called Whistler, in British Columbia. I’ve lived here for near on three years now (with a year break in between to go back to Australia and to travel South America). I get asked on a daily basis from customers “why Canada?” And well, I’ve decided its time I make a list to spread the word and let the world know exactly why Canada is so great and why you should add it to your list of places to visit.
1. The snow.
I first left my safe little sunny bubble in Perth, Australia in 2010 to visit the mysterious place of Whistler I had once seen on a travel show called ‘get away’ when I was younger. After just having my first taste of the travel life in Europe, I was keen to experience more of the world. I had never really seen snow before (except for a glacier in the Swiss alps) and decided that a working holiday program to the snow would be a fantastic way to travel and earn money at the same time. I still remember driving into Whistler that very first time and seeing snow covering everything. It was so beautiful, I felt like I could cry. It looked exactly like something from a Christmas card. Big fur trees and fluffy white snow. I was even more excited to find out that it really did feel as fluffy as it looked. Three winters on, and I never feel any less excited when I see those snowflakes falling from the heavens. There’s nothing else quite like it.
2. The fresh air.
I don’t think I ever have, or ever will breathe fresher air than what you can breathe in the mountains in Canada. It is pure, clean and fresh, nothing like you’ve ever breathed before.
3. The mountains.
Australia as you know, is very flat. So imagine my excitement when everywhere I turn is huge, breath taking mountains. Everything is different in the mountains. The life style, the air, the scenery, the altitude, the weather. Life is just…better. And those ‘Rocky Mountains’ you hear everyone speak of, well I just don’t think you can truly understand why they are called the Rocky Mountains until you see them through your own eyes. Wow!
4. The Glacier fed lakes.
Not only are glacier fed lakes absolutely freezing, most of them are a strikingly beautiful bright blue/green colour. Photos just don’t do them justice..seriously you wont even believe the colours you are seeing. This is Mother Nature is all her finest glory.
5. The people.
Canadians; people who pronounce their ‘R’s’ more, their ‘O’s’ funny, apologize for everything, put maple syrup on everything, take their dogs everywhere, call a lake a ‘beach’ and are always more than happy to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. Canadian’s really are the friendliest people on earth. The ‘chilled out’ vibe this country has is definetly something that should be passed on around the world. I dare you to find an unfriendly Canadian.
6. The summer.
Since it’s sunny 90% of the time in my hometown of Australia, I feel like a lot of us take this good weather for granted. Here, in luscious Canada you never know how long the sunshine is gong to last. You make the most of every single bit of sunshine and warm weather and utterlize your time outdoors hiking, biking, canoeing, paddle boarding, swimming, lying by the lake, playing frisbee golf, drinking on patios and just well, sitting in the sunshine. Once the snow melts you discover things you never knew existed, like patches of grass, park benches and lakes. You remember what it’s like to see birds flying, flowers blooming and to feel the grass inbetween your toes. Summer is amazing!
7. The Maple syrup.
You haven’t tasted Maple syrup until you have tasted pure, homemade Canadian maple syrup. It will leave you wondering how on earth you have ever survived without it in your life and how you’ve spent years being fooled by the maple ‘flavoured’ syrup they sell in the grocery store. It is heaven in the form of liquid. In Canada, it is perfectly acceptable to have maple on everything. Maple bacon, maple lattes, maple popcorn, maple ice cream, maple whiskey, pure maple syrup in a shot glass for dessert…you get the idea. Look guys…the maple leaf is even on the Canadian flag. Enough said!
8. The snowboarding.
It just wouldn’t make sense if I didn’t mention snowboarding as a reason to love Canada. The mountain terrain is huge and diverse, the snow is powdery and the views from up there are just unlike anything else. I personally, have not snowboarded anywhere else other than Canada so I guess it’s a little biased for me to say it’s some of the best snowboarding in the world, but I’m sure others would agree. There’s no other feeling like the one you get whilst snowboarding. The adrenaline, the cold fresh air, the excitement, freedom and breath taking views. It’s something you could do 100 times and not get sick of.
9. The wild life.
It’s normal to bump into a black bear on a walk home from work at night, find a raccoon going through your garbage on your balcony, see a skunk in the alley way, see a deer on the highway and see exactly what is meant by the expression “a deer in the head lights” and see a beaver whilst canoeing on a lake (they are actually uglier than I imagined). The wild life here is so different to what I’ve always known. I still can’t believe that there are bears just roaming around close enough to touch. The other day, I spotted a Marmot, Mr Whistler himself, whilst hiking the mountain. I love that at the age of 26, I can still spot an animal and say “wow, what is that!?”
It still just completely amazes me and blows my mind that there is a whole province that speaks French and the people are known as French Canadians. Not only is Quebec a beautiful place to visit, but it makes you feel like you are not in Canada any more and you have suddenly been transported to Europe. The architecture is outstanding, the food is different, the culture is different and the language is different. Even the road signs are in French. This strange diversity, makes Canada just that little bit more special.
I could keep on listing reasons to love Canada but I think I’ll leave it at this. Canada has something for everyone. I honestly can’t even explain how beautiful this country is and how much it has to offer. I am so so grateful that I get to call this place home for now and experience all this beauty first hand. My life feels like a fairy tale. If this hasn’t inspired you to pack your bags and head to Canada then I don’t know what will!
Never stop exploring.