It was two beautiful months in Canada. Unfortunately it is time to leave the country again, because we will have to be back in San Francisco at the beginning of October. We are going to travel with my parents for three weeks and visit together highlights of Western America to discover. Already looking forward to!
We have enjoyed Canada so much that we are well behind with our blogs. Today we went with the ferry from Victoria on Vancouver Island (location here) nasty Port angeles in Washington State in the USA. Time to reflect on our time in Canada…
Before I write an extensive blog about the beautiful Vancouver Island, I want to tell you about what we are going to miss from the country. So things in which Canada differs from the US and also one thing we certainly know cannot going to miss Canada!
Our journey through the United States and Canada
This article is part of a large one-year tour the United States en Canada, with a Dutch 4×4 camper that we shipped ourselves… It is a bucket list worthy and an once in a lifetime experience that will never be forgotten.
We wrote almost 100 articles about this ultimate tour. Visit our North America page for more information.
Table of contents
What we won't miss about Canada
The Canadian Internet(not)
Perhaps another reason why our blogs didn't run smoothly was the Canadian internet. You wouldn't expect it in such a modern country, but that's not so good in Canada!
First of all, a subscription for a tourist is quite pricey. We opted for a subscription from a budget provider, which cost us 70 CAD (53 euros) for a month and we got 20 GB. Normally, that much data should cost you about 20 euros.
We didn't even get the data bundle and that was because of the following; there are many places where the range is extremely poor. In fact, there was usually 0,0 range as soon as we went over a single hill or left a city 5 to 10 kilometers behind us. You wouldn't expect this from a modern country like Canada…
We didn't buy a new bundle the following month and kept using libraries and Wi-Fi points. This seemed like a good idea on paper, but unfortunately these also turned out to be scarce, often password protected, very limited (maximum 500 MB per week) and/or just slow.
What we will miss about Canada
The Canadian Dollar
In a previous blog I told you honestly about some setbacks during our trip. One of these is that the value of the euro has fallen and is therefore more or less equal to that of the US dollar. In Canada we were able to enjoy another currency, the Canadian Dollar. Each Canadian dollar cost us about 75 to 80 cents. This turned out to really make a huge difference.
We had expected that prices would be higher in Canada, but that turned out to be better than expected due to the weak Canadian dollar. So we are going to miss the Canadian Dollar!
Note: Canadians use the word loonie for the 1 Canadian Dollar coin and Tony for one for a coin of 2. A bird, the common wage, is depicted on most coins.
Taking the environment into account
As soon as we got to Canada, we noticed that Canada (unlike the US) does give some fucks about the environment. They separate waste and you no longer get plastic bags in the shops. There is a deposit on all cans and bottles, large or small, and you can recycle them at a bottle depot.
This does not exist in the United States. With all the big cars, often with mega caravans behind them and another car and boat, you get the idea that Americans are not worried about the future of the earth… Fortunately, this is different in Canada.
No need to convert
Americans have trouble with the metric system. They use miles, gallons, inches, feet, you name it. Fortunately not Canadians. Like us Europeans (and the rest of the world), they often use the metric system.
Exceptions: However, there are exceptions to the metric system in Canada, for example on highway bridges. Here they still indicate the height in feet's and inches. Also, in the stores you see a lot of American 'pounds and Ounces' when it comes to the amount of food you buy, rather than pounds and grams.
It was a relief that in Canada we could just drive 80 km per hour if there was a sign with the number 80 along the road. Now it's time to switch gears again in the United States, especially with our camper, which continues to indicate KM per hour in the dashboard. It was also nice and clear that the price of diesel is indicated per liter and not per 3,8 L (a gallon), so you have to constantly convert.
The same applies to temperatures. I've made a habit of not responding to someone when he/she mentions a temperature, because I don't know whether '... degrees' is hot or cold. That's because in America they talk about Degrees Fahrenheit. In Canada my brain worked the same until I discovered that they do talk about degrees Celsius.
We Dutch love good bread and eat it every day. Good fresh bread was almost impossible to find in the United States! They try, but often use ingredients to make it last longer and you can taste it.
We did find real bread in Canada and we really enjoyed it. It's even available at Safe-On-Foods and Canadian Walmart supermarkets. It's going to be hard to put this behind us...
Coffee from Tim Hortons
Tim Hortons is actually the Canadian Starbucks. When we first got to Canada, we saw the red logo everywhere, but we didn't know what it was yet. Kim (a Dutch person living in Canada) introduced us to the chain.
At Starbucks you quickly pay about 5 USD for your small cappuccino and even more if you order a special drink. At Tim Hortons, the same cappuccino is about 3 CAD (2,25 euros) and of good quality. The goodies (doughnuts, muffins etc.) also have a small price, usually between 1 to 2 euros.
With our limited travel budget, it was not possible in the United States to get a cup of coffee every day at Starbucks. That would have cost us at least 10 to 15 USD per day which is just a waste of money. In Canada it was hard to contain ourselves with these prices. We enjoyed a drink from the Tim Hortons almost daily!
You could say that Canada is a mix of Europe and the US. Some places in Canada, like European towns, have a cozy center, which we miss a lot in the US. In Canada they have so-called blocks in larger cities where you can find all the chains, which is again very American.
It was nice to be in a different environment for two months during our trip, which is actually more different from the United States than you would expect. Canada we are going to miss you! See you!
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Plan your vacation to Canada here
- Camper trips compare to Travelhome from ANWB.
- Itineraries : TUI, canada plus, sawadee en Djoser.
- Winter sports in Canada book yourself OAD.nl.
- Flight tickets For Canada you can book via Skyscanner.
- Rental cars : Sunnycars, Alamo en rental cars.
- Tours and Activities in Canada you book through GetYourGuide.
- Campsites in National Parks you book on Park Canada.
- Hotels & Resorts in Canada you book with Booking.com.
- Travel insurance for Canada you close at Allianz.
- SIM cards en e-sims for Canada you buy at International sim.
- Parking at the airport you can arrange via Parkos, Central parking of iParking.
- travel items (you can order suitcases, world plug adapters, etc Bol.com.