Think of North America.
Did you -
a) Think of the United States
b) Think of the United States, Canada and even Mexico (depending on your definition of "northern")
For most people, the answer is A. The USA dominates the minds of the outer world, to the point where its northern cousin is left in the cold. And that's a deliberate pun, folks. I'm here all week, try the veal.
Anyway. Canada is cold, little known and... polite? That seems to be the overriding national stereotype, but it does sell Canada a little short. If you can't quite decide why you'd holiday in Canada rather than in the USA, then it's time to learn the ways they differ. Nothing is wrong with the USA of course - you just likely know more about it. There's so much to explore in Canada; and here's how the two nations differ massively.
Flying the flag for Canada!
1. Gun Ownership
Gun rights are a huge and overwhelming issue in the USA, to the point they can dissuade tourists from visiting. Have no such concerns regarding Canada. It is nigh-on impossible to procure a weapon north of the border, which perhaps contributes to the staggeringly low murder rate.
There are around 600 homicides a year, compared to around 15,000 in the USA. So if you're looking for somewhere safe to visit, your answer is fairly obvious. However, head on over to www.official-canada-eta.com first. Like their neighbours to the South, they don’t let you just wander in.
2. Political Matters
The political system of the USA is complex and partisan, and it's headed by a President. Canada operates in a very different way. Due to their history of British rule, they don't have a President, but a Prime Minister. This is just the person who happens to be leading the party elected to government; there is no "tick a box for this name." A good summary can be found at http://classroom.synonym.com/differences-canada-americas-political-system-11085.html
The political system of the country is generally efficient; Canada was one of the last to enter recession during the 2008 crisis. Doubling up the triumph, it was also one of the first ones out.
For a tourist, this means you're going to a relatively settled nation that is secure with its place in the world. All that politeness has got to come from somewhere, right?
3. A Little Slice of Europe
Officially, the languages of Canada are English and French. The French comes from their history as a French territory, most noticeably in the province of Quebec. There is a strong European vibe to many areas in the country, which can make it a fascinating clash of two cultures.
The British influence is still noticeable - the Queen remains the head of state - while there's plenty of charm. Visiting Quebec is a little slice of Europe in the middle of a picturesque North American region.
4. It's More Than Skiing
Tell someone you're going to Canada on holiday and they will assume you're going skiing. This is unfair, as the country has so much more to offer. There are beaches to laze on, mountains to climb and cities to explore the history of. Don't dismiss it out of hand because you dislike winter sports; there's something for everyone there.
Miss Penny Lane is about creativity, inspiration, life & all things lovely.
Everything you see on mspennylane.com is made by myself, unless otherwise stated.
All opinions are my own. I buy most of the product myself and I can assure you that everything you see on my blog is genuine. When writing reviews I weigh up the pros and cons and add my opinion.
There is some affiliate linking to gain a small amount of commission.
I am happy to receive emails for all business inquiries. However, I will work with only those that reflect the interest of this blog.