I’m sure that 90% of people reading this are the same as me and that somewhere hidden safely away (so as not to be a constant reminder, but equally a heavenly escape) have a ‘wish list’. Now this could be a list of anything-you may even have multiple wish lists of varying topics (in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m one of those ‘list’ types!) But the one specifically in my mind today is, naturally, my travel wish list.

Wish lists come in many forms-It may be list on a scrumpled piece of paper torn out of a notebook in scrappy writing that you have quickly jotted while comparing travel stories with others, or a collection grown over many years of pictures and articles from travel magazines and newspapers or, like mine, an ever-changing, ever-growing list in your head. A mixture of countries, sights, islands, sounds, colours, communities– everybody’s list is unique to themselves. I am focusing this post on my ‘Canada Wish list’.  Living here for 18 months so far, I have compiled a pretty hefty amount of things that I want to do and places I want to see before I leave.   While some are easily done in a couple of days around the Ottawa area, others will require a more lengthy trip. As it stands at the moment, I will most like be here until early next summer and number one on this wish list is a broad one–a road trip.

Rideau Canal at Ottawa

Before I go into detail of said road trip, I’ll quickly detail a couple of smaller things I want to achieve in this vast country. The first is to bike the full length of The Rideau Canal, which runs between Ottawa and Kingston. The canal, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is made up of stunning lakes and rivers all connected by canals. The 180km route would take me through small towns and villages along secondary rural roads. While it sounds a tough challenge, it is easier than it seems…due to the route being almost flat all the way! I plan to bike it with my boyfriend before the dry weather is replaced by snow!


The second, while not so much a destination wish, is a nature one. I suppose you can say that every place has their most famous animals….which can really turn into a country identity. Canada’s would probably have to be the beavers, moose, bears (polar, black and grizzly), Canadian Geese and the Bald Eagle. (While you may not immediately think of Canada for the Bald Eagle, it’s interesting to know that when numbers were dwindling in the States, they were allowed to import a restricted amount of eagle chicks into America to boost their population.) So, while I have seen the moor common beaver and goose, I am absolutely DESPERATE to see the others in the wild. I can’t even begin to fathom seeing a real life-sized bear or moose roaming in its own habitat! Certainly beats your average cow or sheep in Britain.

Also on the list is to ski in Mont Tremblant, climb the CN tower, and hear a real East coast Canadian band playing in Halifax to name but a few!

As for this road trip–the route alone will allow me to hopefully manage to complete my tick list of Canadian wishes. We haven’t fully (or really even at all!) planned the actual route yet, but we intend to leave

Lake Louise, Banff National Park

Ottawa and head up through Northern Ontario, along Hudson Bay to Churchill (where maybe I’ll get to see a Polar Bear!) into the southern parts of the unknown Northwest Territories down along the west coast to Vancouver. The route back will take us through Japer and Banff national parks to Calgary, Edmonton and across the Prairies to Winnipeg. Finally we will finish the trip off through the great lake’s region back to Ottawa. It’s a huge country and our five weeks alone will be a push to see everything we want to, but I’m sure with fine planning we’ll be able to figure it out! Unfortunately all events don’t happen in a convenient five-week stretch across the country, meaning that logistically we’ll miss some things that would be awesome to experience–such as the Calgary stampede and so on.  Having a truck to do this in as well will also mean being able to take our routes and stop wherever we please, making for a very unique trip!

Until then, I’ll keep you posted on my smaller, closer to home Canadian wish list!