My first journey to Canada was back in 2010 when I jumped on my first long-haul flight to Vancouver, British Colombia.
It’s a moment from my travels that I will never forget.
First, I woke up in the early hours of the morning due to jet lag and decided to go on a sunrise walk around the Port of Vancouver.
Then I spent some time people watching as the commuters started to roll in by boat at sunrise.
Then I went to grab an incredible barista-style coffee and continued my stroll along to the peaceful nature of Stanley Park to see the Totem Poles.
I couldn’t have planned a more perfect first morning in Canada.
At that moment I realised that travel is an extraordinary thing. It’s amazing how you can easily transport yourself elsewhere to explore a distant land.
Travelling taught me that it’s not just about the destination but it’s about the journey and how you choose to experience it.
It left me hungry for more and I have Canada to thank for that. It sparked my curiosity to explore and discover.
For me, Canada was the perfect first long-haul destination as I was a young traveller and Canada was not so distant from the UK, but you could feel the sense of community they have there.
Fast forward to today, and I want to tell you what I love most about travelling around Canada and why I keep coming back for more.
Within this blog post, I aim to inspire those who have never been to Canada before and why I would recommend it as a place to visit by looking at three different areas.
Before we get started, have you got your Canadian eTA?
Before you book your first trip to Canada, you must purchase the Government of Canada’s official Electronic Travel Authorization abbreviated as eTA.
It’s an electronic version of a tourist entry requirement and will allow UK passport holders to travel to Canada. You must get one first before booking any flights to Canada.
The great thing about an eTA for UK passport holders is that it can last for up to 5 years or until your passport expires, meaning you can purchase the eTA once and use it again for future trips to Canada.
My top travel tip would be to ensure that you purchase your Canadian eTA directly from the official government site.
Please keep this in mind as many imitation sites might fool you into buying from them, and anyone charging more than $7.50 is not the official government site.
Canada is closer to the UK than you think
Another reason why I keep coming back to Canada is what I learned from my recent trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
You’re not that far away in terms of travel time if you want to pop over for a quick visit to Canada.
Did you know that a direct flight from Manchester, UK to Halifax, Nova Scotia with WestJet will take just under six hours this summer? Now, that’s no time at all for a long-haul flight. Halifax is also an exciting destination to visit.
The whole of Atlantic Canada, including New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (also known as the three Maritime provinces) as well as the easternmost province of Newfoundland and Labrador are all within a close flying time from the UK.
You’re closer to your next adventure to Canada than you think!
1. The friendly locals that make Canada
It’s true what they say about the Canadian people; they’re super polite, friendly and welcoming to visitors.
On my most recent trip to New Brunswick, I took a road trip along the Bay of Fundy and visited a selection of small communities along the way.
They didn’t have a large population, and yet the locals wanted to find out what I was doing, asking if I needed any help, tips or information on my journey.
They seemed generally interested in where I was from and what I was doing.
I’m often distanced from this small-town community feeling being from London where everyone wants to get from A to B as quickly as possible, even though the population of London is in the millions.
But it’s different in Canada; you instantly feel welcome amongst these small-town communities you stumble across on your travels.
You never say goodbye to Canada. You always say, I’ll see you soon.
I think this is one of the reasons that I keep coming back to Canada. Upon return it’s like stepping back into your cosy house slippers, you feel welcome wherever you go.
2. Canada and its unique cuisine
When you think of Canada, the cuisine is not typically the first thing that comes to mind, but I have to say that Canadian provinces love to put local twists onto every dish to make them stand out and become unique.
For example, you’ll probably come across some amazing dishes if you’re travelling around Atlantic Canada.
I’ve never seen so many variations of seafood!
Lobster flavoured chips, lobster poutine, lobster supper, lobster croissants, lobster roll, lobster kebab, lobster pizza.
Anything you can imagine, when it comes to the lobster season in Atlantic Canada, they will make it.
So, remember to travel to Canada with an open mind and an empty stomach as you’re sure to be in for a food adventure with some tasty memories.
3. Discover the breathtaking outdoors of Canada
One aspect that stands out when compared to other countries is the vast Canadian outdoors.
Considering that the population of Canada is just under 38 million, which is a little more than half of the population of the UK, you could fit the landmass of the UK inside of Canada around 40 times.
Canada has a total area of a whopping 9.98 million square kilometres and it’s the second-largest country in the world.
With much wilderness to explore and with access to around 38 protected national parks of Canada, be sure to make the most out of this opportunity.
Canadians have a close connection to the great outdoors as well as mutual respect for keeping it in an excellent state to protect the nature for future generations to enjoy.
You can quickly head to a Parks Canada office in any part of Canada and promptly discover endless amounts of hiking routes and trails to enjoy the stunning beauty of the Canadian outdoors.
For some breathtaking Canadian outdoor inspiration, check out my Trek America trip, An Adventure through the Canadian Rockies to gather a taste of what’s possible.
On your next trip to Canada, aim to spend less time on your smartphone and connect to the incredible nature instead that is waiting to be discovered.
Thank you for reading my blog post about Canada
Thank you for reading my blog post all about why I love Canada so much.
I hope this article has given you loads of useful tips and inspiration to book your next trip to Canada.
Wishing you a beautiful and awesome trip and hope you have a fantastic time in this incredible country.
This blog post was put together for Destination Canada in collaboration with the #Forglowinghearts project to share my personal experience taken from my past travels to Canada.
To find out more information about visiting Canada, you can check out the Explore Canada website for further details.