Perhaps because I hail from a country that’s known for its deserts, but the vast expanses of lush Canadian forests have always fascinated me. Canada is the second biggest countries in the world, and one the most sparsely populated. Because of its northern location and harsh climate, it largely comprises miles upon miles of unspoiled wilderness. My obsession with Canada has turned into a bona fide life mission to explore as much of this amazing country as I can. Here are some Canadian adventures that have made it onto my bucket list.
Hop on a Surfboard in Tofino
Tofino is a relatively small community on Vancouver Island. If you’ve been wanting to try surfing, or are already an experienced surfer, Tofino is the place to be. I know my Aussie origin is showing, but I just can’t help it but mention this surfer’s heaven. If you chance upon Tofino in the winter, surfing might be off the table, but storm watching is a legit and fascinating thing people get up to there. Vancouver Island is also home to some of the oldest and most spectacular trees on the planet, the Canadian treasure – the ancient Douglas firs, cedars and other gorgeous giants. Tofino is also a prime location for whale watching, fishing and camping. If you go, don’t miss a day trip to the Ramsay Hot Springs.
A Train Journey Through the Rockies
There’s something inherently cool and adventurous about exploring vast countries by rail. I have wanted to do a Canadian train journey for ages, but it took me a while to find a reputable Canada travel agency. The Canadian Rockies are a truly massive mountain system that nothing can prepare you for. You will be left breathless, trust me. How the Canadians managed to build a railway system that crosses these intimidating mountains is a magnificent feat of modern construction. You will witness glacier-fed lakes, picturesque towns, steep river canyons and lush valleys. The route will take you through the Jasper National Park, a UNESCO Heritage site, and the biggest national park in the country.
Experience the Midnight Sun
During the summer months, the northern territories of Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut are brilliant places to witness the exhilarating phenomenon that is the midnight sun. These territories are located north of the Arctic circle, which is why they still have sunshine even at midnight in the summer. One of the strangest phenomena on earth, the land where the sun never sets is surely a prime candidate for a bucket list. These vast expanses of land in the far north would definitely be worth a visit even without the surreal phenomenon. Extremely sparsely populated, these lands are inhabited by far more wild creatures than humans. Nature, as stunning as it is harsh, rules supreme and leaves you feeling humbled and small, in eternal awe of its beauty and power. However, don’t be fooled by the term “summer” – wrap up warm. Yukon and Northwest Territories are chilly even in the summer, and Nunavut is downright freezing.
Meet the Bears
Canada’s impressive wildlife is one of the last bastions of pristine natural world. There are many interesting critters that call the country its home, such as bison, reindeer, moose, beavers, badgers and lynx. However, the most famous inhabitants are the bears: black bears, but also their more dangerous cousins – the grizzlies. Believe it or not, even polar bears live in Canada. In fact, Churchill in Manitoba is known as the polar bear capital of the world. To see the bears, plan your trip in October or November since this is the time when they begin their return from the tundra to the ice over Hudson Bay. Since they are a major tourist attraction, the tours are well organized. You can have guided walks, or use special tundra vehicles.
Whatever you’re into, Canada has it all: rugged mountains, crystal clear lakes, the untamed ocean, bustling multicultural cities, diverse wildlife, and some of the friendliest, most open-minded people on the planet. Best of all, even though it is a popular destination for tourists, wanderers and explorers, it’s so vast that it never feels crowded. I feel that I couldn’t discover and soak in all of its wonders even if I had ten lifetimes. But even knowing the mission is impossible, I can still try my best.
About the Author: Roxana
Roxana is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney and she loves to write about her adventures. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. Being a typical Aussie, she often hits the waves and loves beaches and sunshine! You can find out more about her writing following her on Twitter and Facebook. She is also one of the editors at Higstylife Magazine.
Note: All information, opinions, photographs and links have been provided by the Guest Post writer Roxana and, as such, are considered her property. If you wish to use any of the information provided, please contact Roxana using the above links.
Roxana contacted me during October to discuss the idea of doing a guest post for the blog. As many of you know, I feel very strongly in the concept of ‘the community,’ and ways that all writers, bloggers, photographers and content creators can help one another and I believe that offering the occasional guest blogging spot here on Alternatively Speaking is a way that I can help others reach a new audience. I had been toying with the idea for awhile, and while talking with Roxana I decided this was the perfect opportunity to start.
She pitched an idea that I thought would be a fun fit – a bucket list of items that someone living outside the country would want to experience here in Canada. As someone who shares travel themed content here, and someone who has A LOT of pride in being able to say that I am Canadian, I was happy to share this with all of you.
Moving forward I will be allowing 2 guest posts each month. The month of November has already been filled (Hint: stay tuned for a DELICIOUS guest post to come later this month), but if you are interested in pitching an idea please feel free to contact me.
Please note: as I receive more ideas and requests I do not guarantee that everyone who contacts will have the opportunity. I am looking for blog posts that are well thought out and fit both my personality and the personality of the blog. They should appeal to my reader base and reflect topics that are discussed on here. I am not expecting you to have already written the blog when contacting me, however, I would prefer that you have a good pitch with a firm idea of what you are looking to write.
What are your bucket list items here in the ‘Great White North’? If you aren’t from Canada, what is one thing that has always intrigued you about the country? For those that live here, what experiences still make your list?