If you’ve ever traveled abroad then you know one of the easiest ways to identify a Canadian is to look for the Canadian flag sewn on their backpack. Sure, at first glance Canada may seem to resemble the country it shares a common border with, but don’t be mistaken. This country is quick to distinguish itself from its American neighbor and you might even say Canada is a little friendlier, a little more laid back and, of course, a lot colder.

For starters, this cosmopolitan country has two official languages, French and English. And then there’s the province of Quebec, considered to be unique in culture with cities like Montreal and Quebec City that boast a rare European old world meets modern metropolis fusion that’s unseen anywhere else in North America. Canada also has a reputation for being a tolerant and even peaceful society – except when it comes to ice hockey! The country is known for its gay-friendly immigration laws and legalization of same-sex marriage, as a highly developed nation rich in natural resources, a great destination for seemingly endless snowy slopes for snowboarders and skiers, Canadians enjoy a fairly comfortable lifestyle where the country is generous in providing its citizens with social services, most notably, universal healthcare.

Canada is a land of vast distances, so any fast travel will involve a plane flight. For lightly populated areas, its practically mandatory. Otherwise, traveling by car offers a spectacular opportunity to experience Canada’s natural beauty. Various scenic drives cut through Canada’s wilderness and allow the nature loving traveler to stop along the way to hike, camp, fish and spot wildlife — even Moose or Grizzly. The country also offers train routes that rank among the best in the world for scenic beauty.

If you still want to stay active but don’t wish to take your chances with the wildlife, then cycling one of the many urban bike paths is a great option. For a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, plan a trip to the Arctic.

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