The farthest I have traveled within my home country is to Vancouver Island, a trip that can be made in under 4 hours with favorable road conditions. It is quite astonishing that I have not wandered further from my house than the distance some people take to work on a daily basis, especially when I have happily walked on streets halfway around the world. My backyard is a symphony of trails, lakes and vistas that are generally easy to access with a vehicle. Don’t get me wrong, as soon as the temperature rises above what I consider to be tolerable (15 degrees), I will traipse up and down the many trails within driving distance.
However, when looking at periods of time off, I like my vacations distant, utterly foreign, and generally very, very warm. Even though there are some very desirable travel destinations in Canada, none of them cover these criteria. When it comes down to the choices I make when travelling, I gravitate towards a destination that is far from home. After all, isn’t travelling a way to detach from your reality?
I am Canadian. I identify as Canadian. When I travel, I’m proud to tell inquisitive locals that I come from the greatest nation on earth. Yet, I have not stepped outside a 100km radius from my home city. In a country with almost 10 million square kilometers of land, I have only discovered an insignificant portion of all that Canada offers. Am I remiss as a Canadian to not have experienced my own country? Perhaps, but I have the rest of my life to explore Canada. I am confident that will always be available and accessible. Canada is no frail coral reef off the coast of Queensland or a sinking city in the heart of Italy. I would not believe Canada to be closed in need for repairs or slowly eroding from the ever-increasing acidity present in rainwater.
No, Canada is strong and proud. We are not washed away, nor will we fade. Yes, we might not have the historical or cultural significance that garners throngs of tourists, but we do have a magnificent landscape and a welcoming atmosphere. Plus, it’s pretty cool that our country is offering free admission to all national parks in 2017 with this Parks Canada Discovery Pass