There’s no better feeling than to travel to a new country with a fresh set of eyes. To gain new energy and be immersed in unfamiliar territory. this is my comfort zone. this is why i travel.
Which is why I decided to take a trip to Canada and the USA in August last year. And let me assure you – Canada is unlike any other country I’ve ever been to. Except maybe New Zealand, Canada is definitely similar to New Zealand. But that’s not the point.
Here’s why and how I quickly fell in love with Canada and the Rockies.
WHEN TO GO
This trip was pretty last minute for me. Air New Zealand offers a range of cheap flights from Sydney to LA all the time, so your best bet is to subscribe to their emails and follow their social channels to stay up to date. Fo realz.
Depending what you’re into, Canada in my eyes is split into two seasons; winter or summer. The winter periods fall between November – April and slowly begins to pick up in temperature until summer kicks off between June – August. I was in Canada during peak season summer, which fortunately worked well but boy did I go through a few bumps here and there.
My advice? If you’re planning on travelling to Canada in the summer, book your accommodation, mode of transportation (for those who don’t want to test the boundaries of hitchhikin’) and long-distance train tickets in advance. Not only do you save some $$$, but Canada’s peak period is quite literally that – PEAK PERIOD.
WHAT Y’ALL SHOULD DO ONCE YOU GET THERE?
#1-VISIT VANCOUVER CITY.
And expect to fall in love. Vancouver really turned it on in summer and is filled with so much goodness. I stayed at Same Sun hostel and loved it. Prime location and had plenty of free/cheap activities for broke ass backpackers + a great way to meet people.
Must do’s in pics below.
#2 – EAT PLENTY OF MOUTH-WATERING POUTINE
They’re everywhere. The street vendors know what’s up or just a local where to go and wash it all down with a big fat Canadian beer. Coors, of course.
#3 – TRAIN TRAVEL: TAKE AN OVERNIGHT TRAIN FROM VAN-CITY TO JASPER WITH VIA RAIL
This was probably one of the most surprising delights to come out of my trip. Not only did it save me a night of accommodation, but it was a sublime experience through the Canadian Rockies. The seats were spacious and came with a charging port! Do yourself a favour and get yourself a window seat! The scenery was spectacular too, expect to see an abundance of mountains, lakes and pine trees everywhere you look but don’t expect to be well-rested. Ha.
#4 – LAKE HOP YOUR WAY THROUGH THE ROCKIES VIA THE remarkable HIGHWAY 93 from Jasper to banff
It is one of the most beautiful highways I’ve ever witnessed – the highway 93 from Jasper to Banff via the Icefields parkway. It took us approximately 8 hours to get to Banff including all the stops we made along the way but it was worth it and a pretty easy drive.
#5 – CHILL OUT IN BANFF
What a charming little town Banff is. Nestled in the Alberta province, it’s surrounded by mountains, lakes and national parks. There is so much to do and see in Banff. You can hike up mountains if you’re fit enough for a challenge, kayak down turquoise coloured Bow lake, or take a gondola ride up Banff for the best vantage of the entire resort town. There is something for everybody in Banff.
My recommendations in pics below: