Happy Canada Day! Bonne Fête du Canada! Today’s the day that we celebrate that time when the Canadians
defeated the British, uh, declared their independence, uh, were made the subject of a British parliamentary act (?). Whatever the celebration is for, dedicated travelers all love Canada simply because it’s an awesome place to travel. If you haven’t ever been, why not? As they say in Canadian, vous have absolument no excuse. Here’s why:
1. It’s close. So close you can drive there. Getting to Canada is simpler than driving to Disneyworld and a heckuva lot more interesting. Also, did you know that 75% of all Canadians (that’s around 400 people, haha, JUST KIDDING!) live within 200 miles of the US border? Well they do. So you don’t actually have to go THAT far if you don’t want to (although a lot of the most interesting and beautiful spots are far, far away).
2. Food. Canadian cuisine is quite different and most delectable. The fact is, Canadians were all local, organic foodies long before the trend took off on Bravo TV. If you like to eat, go eat in Canada. Try the lobster in Nova Scotia, wild blueberries or poutine in northern Québec, buffalo tenderloin in Alberta, the Chinese food in Vancouver, real maple syrup in Ontario, and Tim Horton’s just about everywhere else.
3. It’s clean. You’ve heard the cliché and it’s so true. Canada is super squeaky clean. The air even tastes cleaner. It’s about time you were reminded the real color of water and the smell of a pine forest. Canada’s so clean it will make you feel dirty.4. We Lost. Remember how they creamed us in hockey? What’s worse, it’s not even Canada’s national sport. Oh no, hockey is not the national sport of Canada. Any guesses? (Clue, it’s not baseball either). Anyhoo, Americans need to travel to Canada to understand this strange sport and learn how to beat ’em at their own game. We shall overcome.
5. They’re multi-cultural. Remember how in America we’re this big old melting pot and we’re all middle class? In Canada, they don’t put up with such illusions. Everyone gets to be hyphenated (e.g. French-Canadian, Croatian-Canadian, etc.) or capitalized (e.g. First Nations) and everyone gets to have multiple identities. In fact, Canada is probably the most post-modern destination on the planet, although that’s relative.
6. History. Canada and the USA have a huge and fascinating shared history. Head across the front lines to find out all about the other side in those touching 18th century wars. Visit some of the of forts in the Great Lakes and find out how much of Canada used to be America and vice versa. It’s mind-boggling.
7. Nature. It’s hard to give the nod to another country’s natural wonders when our own country is filled with such rapacious national parks that make us feel so patriotic. Just know that Canada has some fairly amazing sites as well, starting with the Canadian Rockies (Oh My!), the coast of Newfoundland, the Arctic, about (ABOOT) five million lakes, and a few national parks that are bigger than the state you live in. If you like being the only one with nature and the only person for several hundred miles, Canada does that.
8. I forgot what 8 was for. Oh, yeah. MUSIC! All of our greatest singers are Canadian. It’s true. The independent music scene (and the film scene and art scene and theatre scene) are all so vibrant and healthy, just like a rosy-cheeked Canadian child. You’ll be surprised by some of the bands and music festivals you find among Canada’s big cities (Winnipeg, anyone?)
9. It’s foreign. So many of us dream of visiting a different country, going beyond our border to new exotic climes. Canada is one of the places. You might not think it because their dialect is so similar to that of Minnesota and so on, but Canada actually is another country with lots of exotic, different, foreign things to enjoy. Parts of Canada feel like old-time Europe, and other parts of Canada feel like Jurassic Park, so before you wait your whole life saving up to go on safari to Africa, go on safari in Canada. Grizzly bear and beluga whales may not be what you had in mind, but it’s a lot different than what you have living in your backyard.
10. Eh. Yes, “EH” is totally a reason to go to Canada. What are you waiting for, a personalized invitation with your name in calligraphy? It’s Canada Day, so, like, Go to Canada, eh?