First Visit: May 30, 1985
Number of Times Visited: 97.5% of my life
Provinces Visited: BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba & Ontario
Cities Visited: Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton, Revelstoke, Golden, Victoria, Vancouver, Swift Current, Regina, Winnipeg, Hamilton and countless other smaller towns, provincial and national parks.
Canada is the country of my birth and in my humble opinion the greatest country in the world. I do absolutely love to travel, but I also always love to come home to Canada. We are so fortunate to live in a country that cherishes freedom, human rights and equality as much as Canada does. Also, as one of the most advanced economies in the world, we have access to world class health care, technology, communications, and the list goes on. We truly take for granted how good we have it in Canada, and I try to appreciate it all on a regular basis.
Favorite Memory: Absolutely impossible to pick a favourite. Over my thirty years on this planet I have taken countless trips around this great country, aside from one work trip they have all been in the Western half of the country. Rather than pick a favourite, I thought I would share some of the highlights.
- My favourite vacation destination in Canada has to be the Okanagan Valley in BC. For as long as I can remember we have had an annual family trip to Kelowna or Penticton around the August long weekend. Various cousins from my mom’s family join in the fun and we have had countless great times on the beaches and mini golf courses of the valley. There have also been some great trips with friends and to my buddy’s cabin near Vernon. I don’t plan on ever letting the tradition of annual trips to the Okanagan stop!
- My Dad grew up in Winnipeg, and although he moved to Calgary, my Grandma & Grandpa and Aunt stayed there. When I was younger pretty much every summer we packed up the family van, made the 14 or so hour drive across the prairies, with stops in Swift Current and Regina to visit other family, and then would spend a week or more in Winnipeg. Winnipeg is not often on the top of people’s lists of places to go in Canada, but when you have awesome family there like I do, it is always a good time! I continue to make it a priority of mine to visit at least once per year.
- I have loved camping in the Canadian Rockies for as long as I can remember. Whether it be on family trips in my childhood or more recently on weekends out in the woods with my friends, we always find a way to have a good time and we are so fortunate to have such amazing wilderness spots within an hour of the city. My all-time favourite camping destination has to be Redstreak just outside of Radium in Kootenay National park, although Waiparous, Kananaskis and Banff definitely come in at a close second!
- Hockey and Football are my two favourite sports to watch, and I have been fortunate enough to watch the Calgary Flames and Calgary Stampeders on a few road games. I’ve seen the Flames play in Edmonton and Vancouver, and I’ve seen the Stamps play in Edmonton and Regina. The boys in Red didn’t win all of those games, but they won the majority of them! The most memorable of those trips would be the game when Calgary beat Saskatchewan 34-26 in a come from behind win in Regina back in October of 2010.
- In the spring of my Grade 9 year I was lucky enough to go on a class sailing trip near Victoria for a week. That was one of my first extended trips away from home without my family, and it was a great time. We learned all about sailing, and I even got elected Captain for the return trip! I can definitely see myself doing a trip like that again someday!
- I was in Beavers/Cubs/Scouts/Ventures for ten years of my youth, and in my last year, we went on a weeklong Sea Kayaking trip around a few islands off of Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island. After ten years of Scouting I had done lots of camps, but that one was quite unique and a great way to cap off my years in Scouts. We had driving rain through to tropical hot sun, and all in all had a great time.
- Last fall I joined my Dad, cousins and family friend on what was planned to be a six day hike in the back country of Yoho National Park near Field BC. The weather was fantastic for the first few days of hiking on the trails, but once we started making our own trails the weather turned. We ended up cutting the trip short and walking over 30km on our last day just to finish the hike and get back to where the cars were parked. That was a great example of setting a goal and reaching it, literally as darkness descended. But it was still a great time in nature and disconnected from the world. Hiking is something I used to do a lot more of and want to get back into now.