You live in Canada and maybe it’s not in your budget to take a big-ticket holiday this year. That cruise or European vacation is just a bit too expensive. If so, perhaps it’s time to enjoy the sights in our own province or in the rest of the country. Just maybe it’s the perfect time to spend your next vacation near home and enjoy the sights around you.
This makes perfect sense, especially when something like the 2020 coronavirus descends on the world.
We often take our surroundings for granted and feel we have to get on a plane or a cruise ship in order to enjoy a vacation. It seems hard to believe that only about 25% of Canadians have traveled our entire country. Sure, it’s a massive country, but you don’t have to see it all in one year.
Where I live is a perfect example of taking advantage of the holiday possibilities(or not) in your own back yard..
THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS
I live around an hour’s drive from Banff and Canmore, Alberta and the Rocky Mountains. There is something to do every season of the year. You can enjoy some of the best skiing in North America in the winter and hike to your heart’s content in Spring and Summer.
People travel from all over the world to visit Banff. So many Japanese love Banff that many of the stores have Japanese signs and staff that can speak Japanese. They will spend thousands of dollars to visit Banff and the Rocky Mountains, yet years will pass before I spend $20 for gas to visit the natural beauty that sits virtually on my doorstep.
There are so many things I could do there, but I have never taken the time. The Sulphur Mountain Gondola in Banff is sensational and a big attraction for tourists, but I have never been on it. Crossing the Columbia Icefields is another amazing adventure that’s available, but I have never done it.
HEAD TO THE YUKON
Why not head to Northern Canada to the Yukon and try your hand at gold-panning? There is so much history in the North of Canada yet many Canadians have never taken the opportunity to search it out.
Check out beautiful Bennett, Summit. or Emerald Lake, or perhaps enjoy a Yukon River tour.
The S.S. Klondike National Historic Site and Yukon Wildlife Preserve are must see stops on your Yukon visit.
Learn all about how the waters of Miles Canyon used to be a huge challenge for prospectors who were trying to find the next gold mother lode. Hundreds of boats were smashed against the rocks, but now a dam has tamed the water and there are several tours and activities for visitors to enjoy.
There are virtually dozens of Yukon tours to enjoy if you decide to try a visit to Canada’s north country and when you feel the need to wind down from all the touring, stop by the Takhini Hot Pools and relax.
WEST COAST EAST COAST
Many people live in the prairie provinces or Eastern Canada and have never ventured to the city of Vancouver or Vancouver Island, home of Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. Maybe they have never been to British Columbia at all.
The Okanagan Valley is stunning in the Summer months and it’s hard to imagine that many Canadians have never seen it.
There are wineries, fruit orchards, fruit stands, and plenty of great spots to play on the beach and get some sun. Every Canadian should make a point of putting the Okanagan on there “to do” list when it comes to planning a vacation.
In the winter there is excellent skiing in Big White, Silver Star, and Apex Mountain.
Personally, although I lived in Vancouver and Vancouver Island, I have never seen the East coast. I should make the effort because from all reports the Maritime Provinces are amazing with many attractions to keep visitors busy. The furthest East I have been is Montreal when I went there as a teenager to see Expo ’67’.
Canada is so big that the annual weather patterns can be as different as night and day. For instance, in Vancouver you might go the entire winter without snow, but with plenty of rain. Travel just ten or eleven hours East to Calgary, Alberta and it sometimes seems like the snow will never stop and it will never get warm again.
The East Coast is also home to some horrific weather in the winter months and can be totally different from the West. It has a lot to do with one coast being on the Pacific and the other being near the cold and unfriendly Atlantic Ocean.
It seems odd but no matter how exotic the home country some people call home happen to live in, they can’t seem to avoid becoming jaded and can’t see what all the fuss is about.
I always make it a point to try and connect with some of the locals when I visit. I remember talking to one girl who lived on the beautiful Caribbean Island of St. Thomas. When I said that it must be really special to live in such a stunning location she said she was ready to move back to the US mainland.
Her reason was that she was developing Island Fever. This is what they call it when one begins to feel claustrophobic from the proximity of the shorelines. She said no matter which way you drove you would run into water. Island Fever has a way of disconnecting you from the outside world.
It seems like wherever we happen to live, there is always something better to see somewhere else.
There’s not a thing wrong with traveling to Europe, Asia, or to some remote corner of the world to take in new sights and connect with alternate ways of life.
However, it seems that it would make more sense to see all there is to see in our own country first. Not only do we discover how great our country is, but we also help support or own national economy.
I guess I have become jaded about Banff and the Rocky Mountains, just as the girl I talked to became jaded about living in beautiful St. Thomas in the USA Virgin Islands.
It’s probably time for both of us to look for new adventures in the rest of our respective countries. Lord knows that both the USA and Canada have no shortage of incredible places to visit without ever needing a passport.
Would you like to share your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.