It’s a wild thought, this regular wave of Canadians who jump on trains and planes for escapades all over.
Why would anyone leave a land of majestic Rockies, serene lakes, and the world’s politest people?
This week, battleface looks at people from the land of maple syrup, ice hockey, and eternal winters. We’re talking about the Canadians – those polite, poutine-loving voyagers with an unyielding passion for discovery and a knack for turning any spot into a friendly gathering.
And where do these courteous souls set their compasses? Here’s the some of the top places around the globe we came across.
New York, USA
The City That Never Sleeps is a beacon for Canadians. The allure of Broadway, Central Park picnics, a New York steak in a New York minute, the Statue of Liberty, the American Museum of Natural History, the city’s best eateries and the iconic skyline offers a faster-paced contrast to Canada’s calm cities.
The Land of Fire and Ice resonates closely with that famous Canadian spirit. The weather, the geysers, the Northern Lights, and the Blue Lagoon’s geothermal waters offer a landscape eerily reminiscent of Canada’s own natural wonders. It’s a place where a Canadian can feel the raw power of nature and still be within range of super friendly locals; much like their homeland.
The opulence of Dubai with its towering skyscrapers and supercars on Sheik Zayed highway, offers a stark contrast to Canada’s rugged wilderness. Canadians flock here for the luxury, the gold souks, the endless choice of shopping in huge malls, the views atop the Burj Khalifa and the promise of 4-wheel desert safaris that end with traditional dining under clear, warm skies. The Dubai winter between December and March delivers temperatures between 21 – 24⁰C (71 – 76⁰F) which suits most Canadian’s tolerance of heat.
Queenstown, New Zealand
The adventure capital of the Southern Hemisphere has become a magnet for thrill-seeking Canadians. Bungee jumping, skydiving, hiking, mountain biking and jet boating rides offer adrenaline rushes against the backdrop of the spectacular Remarkables mountain range. Queenstown offers adventurous Canadians the magic of the Rockies (with just a little less snow), plus local wines that have also put this super-energetic town on the map of must-visit destinations.
The sun-kissed shores of Sydney provide a warmer, vibrant alternative to Canada’s typical snowy landscapes. The beaches of Bondi, Coogee and Bronte are full of backpacks sporting the iconic Maple leaf, while the Sydney Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge are iconic spots where Canadians always congregate. With Sydney also developing its repute on the number and quality of its restaurants, cafes and bars, it’s not unusual to find Canadians in many of them debating with locals on whose country has the better beer.
Hong Kong, China
This bustling metropolis, with its neon lights and dim sum delights, has been a long-visited hub for world travellers and has called to and captivated Canadian travellers for more than a century. The blend of Eastern traditions with Western influences, the vibrant night markets, the Tian Tan Buddha, the bustle of Chinese junks afloat in the harbour, the lights of Lan Kwai Fong and the panoramic views from Victoria Peak offer a sensory overload that’s hard to resist.
The laid-back vibe of this warm Caribbean Island calls loudly to Canadians seeking respite from their chilly winters. What’s not to love about the promise of reggae rhythms, the jerk cuisine, and rum-infused evenings on sandy beaches. Flight times to Jamaica from the eastern cities of Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto are 4 – 6 hours, putting sunshine and rhythm well within a day’s journey.
The ancient Romans named their city ‘eternal’ believing that no matter what else occurred in the world, Rome would always stand strong and be a centre for culture, spirituality and trade. It appears the millennia that have passed have proven the prediction true, with Canadians among the millions that have roamed its cobbled streets and been amazed by its history and monuments.
The allure of Gaudi’s architecture, the animated streets of La Rambla, and the city beaches of Barceloneta make Barcelona a favourite European destination for Canadians. Mediterranean summers and mild winters are also a draw for these northerners, with many discovering that in between the festivals, Catalan cuisine and the cultural sites, that Barcelona is an extremely appealing and exciting destination.
The sunshine, beautiful beaches and turquoise waters of the Yucatán Peninsula have popular appeal to Canadians escaping their frosty winters. While there are plenty of family-friendly resorts with all-inclusive packages, many Canadians opt for the luxury spa hotels in Cancun that have world class accommodation and dining on offer. Tequila, Mariachi and access to Mayan culture are all in the Mexican Caribbean.
So, the next time you hear a cheerful ‘Sorry, eh!’ in your hometown, know that you’ve encountered one of Canada’s finest, out to explore and embrace the world.