I am going to be honest and say that before I visited Canada, the only real impression I had of Canadians was the blatantly false one on TV shows like South Park, and the constant ribbing online about how Canada apologizes for just about everything. However, once I landed in Canada, it was clear that there was so much to know about Canada that I had never heard before, some of it good, some of it bad.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, for many people reading this, the Canadians do live up to their friendly stereotype. Sure, they are a few bad eggs here and there, but, for the most part the majority of people will give you a nice grin and do anything to help you should you get into a spot of difficulty. If you are in Canada for a long period of time, you will be baffled by the amount of random acts of kindness that come your way!

Canada seems to go very much the way of the Americans in so far as the fact that ‘bigger is better’. If you have ever been to Europe and then step on Canadian soil, everything just seems so large. It doesn’t push things to the extreme quite in the same way that the Americans do, but there are hints of largeness just about everywhere you go (not with the people though, despite their love for sugary treats!)

The only real issue I have with being in Canada is that, very much like America, it is not a place which really loves people who are walking. The pavement is almost alway far too narrow. They also tend to appear on just one side of the road. If you are travelling around in a vehicle, that is fine. However, if you are going to be exploring anything but the major cities (and even then!), you could have a terrifically hard time.

If you ask any Canadian what they are most proud of in comparison to the Americans, they will tell you of their universal healthcare system. Now, this is brilliant and all, however, you do have to be aware that it is not as great as every other country that also offers universal healthcare. This is because Canada is the only one which does not cover prescription medication as standard. Sure, drug prices are controlled to some extent, but it can still make for a rather expensive system. That being said, they are still cheaper than America, and they can be proud of the fact that they are rather forward thinking in terms of the way in which they deliver healthcare.

So, what are my impressions of Canada from an outside perspective? Well, it is actually a pretty nifty place to go. If you are expecting a country steeped in history, then you are going to need to look elsewhere. Just like America, Canada is fairly new in the ‘grand scheme’ of things. However, if you are looking for a beautiful country with huge open spaces just about everywhere that you feast your eyes outside of the country then this is a ‘must visit’.


By Ryan Gillam – Ryan is a freelance writer who has been published all over the internet.  He is a British native, and is currently living in Sweden.

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