Canada surpassed my wildest dreams and made me travel home full of longing. In this article I will explain why these five months still take me so far.
I have to admit, prior to my trip to Canada, I wasn’t particularly interested in visiting the North American country. From a distance it seemed to me like America, but also like Switzerland. I can deny both of these after my journey across the pond. Of course, there are similarities between Canada and the United States in language and basic lifestyles, as well as similar closeness to nature with Switzerland. However, Canada surprised me in a positive way, especially in terms of hospitality, big cities, and “natural wonders”.
Massive underestimation and many surprises
Almost three years have passed since I traveled to Canada in August 2019 for my semester abroad. I didn’t choose the destination directly myself, but I was “assigned” by my University of Applied Sciences when I stated my preferences. But before my semester started in September, my goal was to see as much of the Toronto area as possible, and if possible as far as the East Coast. So I set out with my backpack and full of energy. easier said than done. Because I was a little unprepared, I greatly underestimated the distances in Canada. So in that one month, without a driver’s license, I found nothing beyond Quebec City.
However, I was excited to travel by bus from Toronto to Ottawa, Montreal, Trois-Rivires and Quebec City. Although I generally love vacationing in nature, I was surprised by how beautiful and diverse Canada’s big cities are. I especially like Montreal. On the one hand due to the combination of French flair and North American city spirit. On the other hand, being right in the center of nature, for example Mont Royal or the impressive underground city called Montreal Basement,
The short detour to Trois-Rivires gave me an insight into a small town in Canada that I really enjoyed. A little overwhelmed by the French language, I enjoyed the greenery and bathing on the sandy beach of the St. Lawrence River. It was also a nice surprise to reunite with a good friend of mine in Quebec City, who was also traveling in Canada at the time. Although I prefer to travel alone, it is always nice to meet nice people.
A large dose of caffeine and adrenaline
After exploring the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, I made my way to the university city of Guelph in early September. Full of students, the small town is about 90 minutes by car from Niagara Falls and has about 132,000 residents.
My time at the University of Guelph felt immersed in one of my favorite teen movies, High School Musical. Dressed in varsity paraphernalia, I cheered on our team at baseball games, lived in a small shared apartment on campus, and was part of about a dozen clubs. My weekends were filled with road trips, campfire and karaoke nights, and holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving took on a whole new meaning for me.
With all the excitement at university, I was able to take exciting marketing classes and learn about the North American perspective of advertising. I was surprised by the spontaneous approach to alcohol and smoking in the ad, which are not legally allowed in Switzerland. I couldn’t miss Tim Horton’s coffee on campus or anywhere else in Canada. Canadians are proud of their former hockey player and that’s right.
Conclusion on my best travel experience
Shortly before the start of the pandemic, I was lucky enough to get to know the beautiful country of Canada for five months. I still think of the reckless and adventurous times with a smile. The combination of warm people, breathtaking nature and university spirit made my time in Canada one of the best travel experiences I have ever had, which I will always remember. And it’s not completely out of the question for me to move to Montreal at some point, enjoying Tim Hortons coffee every day, and exploring countless other corners of the country!
If you are now interested in Canada, you are welcome to take a look at our hotel search, we have many hotels in our portfolio that promise a trip to remember!
Devoted web advocate. Bacon scholar. Internet lover. Passionate twitteraholic. Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Lifelong beer fanatic.