My Northern Neighbors | My Family Travels
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Although I have never traveled to any distant or spectacular countries, my trips to Canada have still been rewarding. My trips to Canada are nothing more than a mere drive across the peace bridge and into Havelock, Ontario, just North of Toronto. I always traveled with my family to a small resort located on the shores of the Trent River. Coming from many different states, my family members would make the trek to the land of our Northern neighbors. For two weeks my family and I would reside in one of the cabins near the river. Majority of our time was spent doing life’s simplest pleasures. Fishing, eating, and swimming. My grandfather is an avid fisherman and we would spend all day collecting respectable Bluegill to save and deep fry for dinner that night. Every day usually involved the same routine, sometimes though it would involve some tourism of the local towns and just exploring the area. At least in the part of Canada we were in, time seemed to move slower and the people seemed so pleasant. It was occasionally obvious that we were indeed Americans. Not only was the license plate on our van from Ohio, an obviously common sign of tourists, but directions to locations and speed limits were sometimes a challenge. Our country’s stubbornness to not use the metric system like the rest of the world sometimes provides a slight confusion for us Americans while in different countries. Those examples are minute in comparison to the biggest factor that made us stand out: our patriotism on the Forth of July. The fourth of July was spent in Canada. My grandpa would bring out his impressive arsenal of fireworks and we would celebrate our independence in a slightly ironic way, by setting off large fireworks that were made in China, in Canada. With the irony aside, the fireworks let us share our country’s celebration with the Canadian people. They would come down out of their cabins and join us in setting off and enjoying the fireworks. The people of Canada, I have found, are often open and kind, very friendly and willing to accommodate for anyone at any time. They seem so much more relaxed and appreciative than their southern counterparts who share the North American continent with them. It is my conclusion that Canadians are very similar to Americans in lifestyle, but socially are more open and polite. I jokingly say that Canadians are just nicer Americans. I have been to Canada at least a half a dozen times with my family, but our trips have come to and end because my grandfather had a stroke about two years ago. He has lost much of his mobility, and majority of his speech, and the trip would be too hard on him. I hope to eventually be able to return to Canada, but for now I will just have my memories to reflect on. My visits to the other side of Lake Erie have taught me to be more forgiving and understandable towards people who are from out of state or from another country. They are not familiar with the area, and might need some help getting around or finding places. If I can be like the Canadian people were towards me, than I can be polite, patient, and represent my state and country well.          

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