Now, I may be slightly biased in writing this post considering I am Canadian and have lived here my entire life, but I’ll tell you a little secret. Growing up, I absolutely hated living in Canada. Seriously! Living in Toronto, I despised the cold weather, lack of palm trees and boring city views. I spent my days dreaming of moving to California one day to live out the OC lifestyle. I was completely unaware of the beauty that was my backyard.

Isn’t it funny how the grass is always greener? As I grew older, I decided to explore my own backyard. I traveled out west to British Columbia, and I was in awe of what I saw. I fell in love with the mountains at first glance.

With this summer marking Canada’s 150th birthday, there is no better time to explore this marvelous country. Here are a few reasons you should have Canada on your travel bucket list this summer:

BREATHTAKING NATURE

The landscapes through Calgary to Vancouver are absolutely captivating. From the ancient rainforests of Tofino off of Vancouver Island, to the sky-high mountains of Banff, the West Coast is full of natural phenomena. glacial blue lakes, dense forests, outstretched beaches and mountains are all within hours from one another, free to explore. From watching the Northern lights to stargazing at the lake- it’s all at your fingertips.

MOUNTAIN TOWNS

While living in British Columbia, I lived in the small mountain town of Whistler, British Columbia. This is one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had in my life. Not only is Whistler filled with outdoor activities to do, as well as lakes and trails to explore, it’s also a wonderful place to meet people from all corners of the world. The town is made up of travelers from their 20’s to 30’s who are from all over the world; Australia, Ireland, England- you name it! Those who are in this little mountain town are there to explore, travel and have a great time.

ACTIVE LIVING

If you’re traveling through British Columbia, it’s a given that you’ll be spending a large majority of your time in the outdoors. From rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, camping, stand up paddle-boarding, surfing to yoga- there’s an infinite amount of ways to experience the outdoors first hand. Exploring a province with such remarkable surroundings is a humbling experience. It gives you a refreshed perspective on the importance of preserving this marvelous place we have the opportunity to call our home.

THE PEOPLE

Again, I may be biased since I am Canadian myself, but I’ve found that we Canadians are a friendly bunch! I’ve met so many helpful Canadians on my travels through Canada who have been so open and hospitable to me it left me at a loss for words. Whether you need directions, travel tips, or any advice, there will be someone willing to help not too far away. Canada is a diverse country and there are so many travelers from all over the world that you can meet who are doing just what you are- exploring North America. I’ve always met many people along my travels through Canada and would definitely recommend British Columbia as being one of the best spots to do so.

150TH CELEBRATION

This summer will mark Canada’s 150th anniversary, which means celebrations on July 1st for Canada day will be larger than ever. Parks Canada is also giving a free parks pass (normally $136) in light of Canada’s 150th year. There will be celebrations all across Canada for July 1st, as well as throughout the summer for this grand anniversary. If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring all that North America has to offer, now is your chance!

Have you ever visited British Columbia or have had it on your bucket list? Share your stories below!