If you are like most people, when you think Canada you likely think lakes, mountains, forests, and more recently you may have even shared a post or two about our photogenic Prime Minister Trudeau.
My uncle from Bosnia once called it “Divljana” meaning wilderness.
The thing is many Canadians live in cities. And, many new Canadians, like me and my family a couple of decades ago, do not have the opportunity to go out into the wilderness. Let’s just say it takes a while to drive out of the city, past the farm fields, and into a protected park. Well, it used to be hard until a friend of mine opened up ParkBus. a company that helps people connect to nature.
My first time was with a guy that is now my husband. I like to think that the magic of watching a family of Canadian geese waddling onto the shore at sunset helped solidify our bond. Before going, I was excited about the fresh air, the satisfaction of taking myself via canoe to a remote home in the forest, and the wildlife. I wasn’t disappointed! We saw bears, bald eagles, deer, moose, loons, and all types of other birds.
A visit to Canada wouldn’t be complete without camping. At that pace you can really soak in the morning mist, the call of the loon, the beaver dashing away at the sound of your paddle making contact with water.
Maybe you prefer malls to mosquitos? I would argue that camping is surprisingly comfortable. You set-up a living room in the forest, with fallen pine needles for leaves, a tent for a home, a fire-pit for a kitchen. And for an added level of luxury, a pristine pool courtesy of the river or lake you paddled to arrive to your exclusive destination. If you are really picky, you can stay at campsites with showers, or even ones where you drive in by car.
To give you a picture of what it’s like, here is a photo of me and my brother on camping trip in Algonquin Park two summers ago. He’s roasting the stereotypical marshmallow (great with graham crackers and chocolate A.K.A smores) and I am boiling potatoes, a more Bosnian taste but complemented with Canadian cheddar.
When visiting family in Bosnia & Herzegovina I would often ask to go walk in the woods and be met with reply, “what for? mushroom picking? hunting?” BiH boasts a natural beauty and great outdoors with a growing eco-tourism industry that remains to be discovered. Maybe, I should bring the Canadian campaigning traditions overseas!