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It’s been a little over two weeks since I started my five week trip across Canada, and I am in complete awe. I always knew that my home country was beautiful, but every new place I visit on this trip I realize something, I’ve been cheating myself.

For years the only thing I have thought about is how to leave Canada – especially in winter. Canada was home, I wanted to explore other places, other countries, other continents. If a destination was not Canada, I was in!

I was cheating myself.

In two weeks I have fallen in unadulterated lust with Canada, and every time I have to leave one city to explore a new one I’m flooded with a wide mixture of emotions. On one hand I’m almost depressed to leave where I am. I haven’t had enough time to explore. I wanted to go for one more walk through the city before sunrise. I wanted to find a patio and soak up the sun for one more afternoon. On the other hand I’m excited to see what the next city has in-store. I can’t wait to drop my bags in my hotel room. I can’t wait to go for a walk before sunrise and explore the city with my camera before everyone else is awake. There are so many possibilities! It’s an adrenaline rush, and I’m becoming a hardcore addict.

***

Newfoundland was full of surprises. Rural and drop dead gorgeous. I found myself coveting the colourful saltbox houses, and if I had the time I would have found a way to pitch a tent on a mossy green hill overlooking a quaint fishing cove and spent my days hiking, fishing, and soaking in the Newfoundland way of life.

Newfoundland was laid back. I love laid back. I crave laid back.

***

I drove through Nova Scotia in the dark, and although there was that one road that had me thinking about serial killers – and running over bunnies because it was too scary to dodge them – I did spend time in Halifax, where my camera broke, and I ate possibly the best lobster crab roll I have ever eaten in my life.

I completely cheated Halifax, and Nova Scotia. Two days was wrong. I should have been there a lot longer. I should have explored Nova Scotia the way I explored Newfoundland. I clearly need to go back.

***

Québec City completely captivated me. Three days in the city was wonderful, but without my camera I was a tad discombobulated. I explored the city in a lovesick daze. I longed for my camera, but at the same time I was captivated by the city’s history, and European feel. Summer in Québec City is divine, but I find myself wanting more. I want to see it in autumn when the trees change colour, and I want to see it in winter when there is a layer of snow of the ground and winter activities are endless.

Yep. I want to be in Québec City in WINTER! That is huge. I loathe Canadian winters, or at least I have. I like heat, not freezing my nips to near extinction! Yet, I actually want to be in Québec in winter. I want to go snowshoeing, and have winter bonfires. And I want to drink chocolat chaud every. single. day.

Leaving Québec City sucked. It really was like I was leaving a really sexy French boyfriend.

***

Montréal on the other hand is like a smoking hot French gigolo. Holy amazeballs. I last visited Montréal in winter, and coming back in summer has been fabulous. I’ve power-walked in flip flops for over six hours, checking out street art, watching the gay pride parade, exploring Chinatown, visiting an Absinthe bar, and proposing marriage to my new camera lens.

Yes, my camera is back. I am finally a whole person again!

***

Today I leave Montréal and the province of Québec. My next destination is Ottawa, a city I last visited in 2008. I’m excited to explore the market, check out the food trucks, and write about some of the things in Ottawa that make it a unique and fun destination.

Canada is changing me. It’s changing the way I view my home country, the way I interact with people, the way I think about travel. Is one a world traveller if they choose to stay explore their home country extensively. Exclusively. Would I be any less than I am now if I cancel my plans to return to Asia next month and decide to stay in Canada for the next year or so? Would you guys stick around and discover more about my home country with me?

My Canadian travel list is long and varied. I have several places I want to see, and experiences I want to try. I still have three weeks of travel left on Awe Canada. Three weeks to solidify my decision to stay in Canada and find ways to explore every single province and territory.

Do I stop cheating myself and you guys, and stay in Canada?

About The Author

I'm a travel writer and photographer who specializes in bespoke travel experiences. I write about boutique, savvy and cultural travel. My writing has been featured in Outpost Magazine, Travel + Escape, and UP! Magazine.

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7 Responses

  1. Scott - Quirky Travel Guy

    I love Canada and hope to do a cross-country train trip at some point soon. I just got back from the Yukon and found it to be one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. There’s so much to discover in your country!

    Reply
    • Pamela MacNaughtan

      The Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut are very high on my Canada travel list. I am DYING to visit each of them, but I think I’ll wait until next summer for those. I can handle winter in southern Canada, but winter in northern Canada scares me a bit. LOL

      Reply
  2. Leeanne Carnegie

    YOU MUST go back to Nova Scotia! You absolutely cheated yourself there! I am from Sydney N.S and it is breathtaking and very laid back. The fishing, the views, the people, the atmosphere and the history in Nova Scotia are all worth a longer look-see. You won’t be sorry if you go back. I haven’t explored Nova Scotia as well as I would have liked so I too am going back to get my fill, just waiting for my youngest child to fly the coop then I am off!! 🙂 Happy Travels. I very much enjoy reading your blogs! I can hardly wait to hear about your Nova Scotia adventures…should you choose to accept them, 🙂

    Reply
  3. Kate - CanuckiwiKate

    I completely agree – I’ve just completed my own cross Canada roadtrip, driving from Vancouver and ending in Halifax – I’d been craving that trip before I even left Canada 5 years ago. I cut myself short across the prairies, much the same as you in Nova Scotia… I’m from Nova Scotia, so I may be a bit biased lol. The Territories are still high on my must-do list as well… we nearly drove up to Yellowknife, but didn’t. Kind of wish we would have. I had weddings to attend as my only timeline restriction… and then I went to TBEX, which gave me more time to explore some pretty wicked parts of Ontario…. There’s always more to see!

    Reply
  4. Anita Mac

    Love your attitude…I have considered dedicating a season to traveling exclusively in Canada – to see, explore and experience the country that I love and have grown in ! I was lucky to cycle across Canada years ago, so I have had the opportunity to really experience the provinces, but to do it again and somewhat more mobile, would be amazing!

    Reply
    • Pamela MacNaughtan

      It’s pretty much a done deal for me at this point. I really need to explore more of our home country and I am actually going to do it. Pretty f-ing excited about that.

      Reply

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