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My first post in the forums so bare with me if its not usual quality
I am a 20 year old guy from England, and like many I'm simply fed up of the doom and gloom of life, life is for living but not many people seem to notice that, and I want to grab it by the balls and really see some amazing places before a world defined by economic woes and terrorist threats makes it less possible.
I'm planning to make a trip over to the great continent of the Americas, and whilst I really want to visit the United States at some point, I also want to go somewhere a little less obvious, and have narrowed my choices down to Brazil and Canada.
Obviously they are two very different places, both in culture and weather and I've heard all sorts about both places, positive and negative.
The positive side of Canada shows a large, spectacular, developed, clean country with some fantastic natural things to see, however, on the flip side I've had it described as both 'boring' and 'dull'.
Brazil meanwhile is obviously a fantastic, tropical growing country, with fantastic weather, natural beauty, parties, and some rather beautiful women in bikinis ...but as always I've read descriptions which depict it as a third world country where you will be lucky to escape without being bitten by a deadly spider or mugged at gun point in a slum...rather sinister...
Anyway, to cut quite a long story short (sorry about that) would any seasoned travellers be able to shed some real, impartial light on these places, I want the truth, none of the travel brochure sales speak, beyond the once in a lifetime photo's you see on the travel websites, what are these places like for tourists, providing nightlife, restaurants and also relaxation and exploring, and if either, which would you recommend?
Skip Brazil, go to Peru. Definitely check out Lima Temple of the Sun and Moon then head over to Machu Pichu. Brazil is cool if you want to party and take a chance on getting mugged, but if you go to Peru I guarantee you will have a blast for a lot less $$$.
Ah Peru, will look into that too, to be honest I really want to see a lot of South America - Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, etc...Just Brazil stuck out as a good place to have a nice party in the sun.
But I suppose the entire region there's going to be a risk of running into some trouble with mugging and so on
My wife and I are thinking of Peru also. Last year we flew to Cancun and drove across the Yucata and visited Chichen itza, Mayapan and Uxmal over the course of a week. On the way back we hung out in Cancun for a bit so we got a good mix of adventure, nightlife and relaxing. We stayed at the Hacienda Temozon and another that wasn't as nice (lots of barking dogs). We hope to hit Peru next year.
I haven't been to Brazil.
Earlier this year we went to Vancouver and that is an incredible place. We went in July and we were on the beach and the ski slopes in the same day. That city is great for a bit of everything. There are several Bed and Breakfasts across a wide range of rates, and that usually is more economic than a hotel. The city is very clean and lively and the surrounding islands have several great outdoor adventures, hiking, kyaking.
If your goal is more party-centric than wait for the warmer festival / concert season and research specific events that might sway your choice. Regardless, there is so much to see and plenty of life left to enjoy!
I lived for 3 and 1/2 years in South America and I can tell you that what you've read about it being dangerous there is true. This doesn't mean that you will be one of the unlucky ones to get mugged, raped or killed. But it does mean that crime there is seriously underreported. I personally know 2 women who were raped -- by police -- in the border between Brazil and Argentina. You might also have read in the NY Times recently about 2 French girls who were raped and killed in Argentina. Men too have been killed in what are called "kidnap express" assaults where they kidnap you, drive you to your bank, make you take out your money with your ATM card and, if you're lucky, deposit you back where they found you.
Chile and Peru are a little safer than Brazil. Head there. Skip Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina.
Canada is a great choice for adventure. Yeah, the people can be a little unexciting but they're also sincere by and large and welcoming. Have a great time.
Thanks for the honest insights :-)
Never heard about those 'kidnap express' assaults you mention, but it does sound pretty scary, although I've been to North Africa and many people would have you believe that you will be blown up or kidnapped around there, so I suppose its just all about using common sense and safety, apart from those extremely unfortunate few who end up being victims...
Either way, I think Canada seems a much safer, more sensible option for a first long haul adventure holiday!
Welcome to Hubpages! And to the Forums!
I'll personally take travel to Canada than Brazil. One, it's closer to home and secondly, probably a lot less dangerous.
There is nothing boring about Canada... It is my first stop destination when I have a choice. I have been all across Canada and loved every square inch. Canada has as much to offer, if not more, as Brazil would in terms of beautiful landscape. Why Brazil? Costa Rica is a much more appropriate place for first time travelers to the region. The nicer thing about Costa Rica is that is boards both the Pacific and Mediterranean Oceans. Brazil would be an interesting place, no doubt but I do not think it would be the best place for a first visit to South America. Costa Rica would be more of an intermediate stepping stone that would allow you to get used to the policitcal, social an economical differences of South America. Costa Rica has everything that Brazil would offer in terms of sights and culture, except for the Mardi gras. The difference would be that for someone staying for a week, two, three, in costa Rica would be more likely to experience them all. It is a smaller country known for a world class atmosphere. The beaches are popular for surfers which means lots of women in bikinis....
I'm not sure why Brazil it just looks a real interesting, fun place...but I suppose that's why I asked for some more info as South America isn't the most stable of regions, and for all that I know for every awesome shot of Copacabana beach there could be run down slums or anything...Thanks for the tips though, never really considered Costa Rica before, I will have to check it out on a few websites and see how it looks!
Also, would you recommend anywhere in particular in Canada? I've done some work for a customer based in Calgary and it all looks really nice, but when it comes to tourism I've never been anywhere that isn't your typical beer by the pool kinda thing, so what can Canada offer?
Calgary is beautiful. I love British Columbia too. Canada can offer much. It is such a diverse country. It is huge and not densely populated. It can be warm or freezing cold. Every Provence is different. What do you want to experience?
To be honest I just want an experience I will remember for years, and to see the best it has to offer. I love to meet new people, go to bars, relax, have fun and eat good food, but I'd also love to see some of the big open areas of forests and lakes, the sort of place where you feel like there's not a trouble in the world...not the greatest description but I'm not in a place to be too specific, just looking for an amazing experience haha
I would suggest trail riding in British Columbia you will see a rugged beauty in it's natural state and have fun riding a horse just a thought.
The good side of
The bad side of Brazil..
The bad side of Canada
Go to Canada.. but not in the winter unless you love skiing
Haha very well put, and in pictures which we can all appreciate!
I think for a first time in the Americas as a whole Canada is probably the safer option overall...you have sunshine and hot women in Canada sometimes right?
I live in Canada and the diversity of the hot women is OUTSTANDING. You will not be disappointed... pick Toronto or Montreal for the parties, Quebec City for the history, Vancouver or any number of other locations for nature(not really into nature myself).
I've always wanted to go to Brazil (Rio in particular).. and even considered going for Carnival for by bachelor party (before the wife vetoed).. but i have heard lots of scary things about crime and stuff. Not sure how valid that is, but I heard enough to make me choose alternatives in my single days.
The US, like Canada, and Brazil, is a huge country, so it will be important to figure our where exactly you want to go.
It's kinda like going to Europe.. London will be different from Rome, which will be different from Sweden
Thanks for the great tips man!
I've been considering Toronto, so the news that its good for parties goes down well! haha...This will make me sound really dumb if wrong and also lazy for not just Googling it, but is that predominantly English speaking, or is it French? :-)
I agree with you on Brazil totally too, maybe its one for the future, but the furthest I've ever gone before is Egypt, so maybe Brazil is a few steps down the line.
Plus as you say, Canada/Brazil/USA are like the size of Europe themselves, I forget that coming from a country where you can drive pretty much anywhere within a day! haha
Toronto is English speaking so you wont get lost... but it's one of the most multicultural cities in the world, so women will respond to come ons in diverse languages
Great stuff! haha
Toronto is officially being looked into now, thanks for the help everyone! (still open to opinions though)
Also looking for somewhere awesome in the USA if anyone has any suggestions, I'm thinking West Coast and California, but that's just because of what I've seen on the TV
Look into San Fransisco for scenic beauty.. maybe drive up the coast
Thanks again :-)
I'd love to do some epic road trip and get my groove on in loads of different states, but at the same time I'd be happy lying on the beach in the sun with a beer and see if its true what they say about American girls and guys with 'English accents' haha
hahah... you don't need the accent in america... hahahaha... I would suggest San Diego and not so much the colder areas of Northern California. Though both Southern and Northern California have much to offer the traveler. Your money will go a lot farther in Costa Rica...
If you are looking for diverse cultures for your trip you won't find a great deal of difference between the US and Canada. Differences, yes, and my own visit to Canada was interesting from that point. But the differences between the US and Brazil have to be much greater.
Natural beauty, from homo sapien females to the Redwood forest is incredible in all three locations.
The Blondewoods and Brunnettewoods are as nice as the Redwoods
Gotta go with you there, Greek one! The only real difference is that poor Canada doesn't have any nice beaches like California or Florida does.
I took a very similar trip around two years ago. I chose Canada and did not regret it for an instant. Me and my friend went in the winter, we spent a week in Vancouver which is an incredible city with so much going on and so much diversity. Then a week in Whistler, a wonderful experience although mainly for skiing/boarding. The highlight though was a week in the Yukon, me and my friend hired a cabin in the Wilderness, was simply amazin. Northern lights, dog sleddgin, snow mobiling just a few of the highlights.
Admittedly I have never been to Brazil, but given the chance again I would still go back to Canada and see it all again, is such a stunning country. You will get the warmest welcome you have ever experienced.
Haha some great endorsements for the ladies of both Canada and Brazil in here, I'm glad about that haha
Canada definitely seems to be the leader though...if only we could arrange to bring some tropical sun and a golden beach to Canada, this decision would be much easier!
come in the summer.. and it will be plenty hot for you..
in more ways than one
Are you sure you don't work for the Canadian Tourism Agency? You're selling it damn well haha
just remembering my single life fondly...
don't get me started on Spring break in Mexico.... or Miami beach
I'd really love to get over to Miami for spring break, see if it really is how they show on TV, looks like heaven
Mexico I very nearly went there a few years ago, but now from what I've been reading its pretty 'screwed up' with all the drug cartels roaming around...
I was going to suggest going to the Yukon for your nature fix. The beauty is absolutely stunning and once you get there, ask the locals for places to look around there. You will definitely get that "alone in the wilderness" feeling up there!
And if you want parties, Canadians are definitely into that. I'm not but lots of Canadians are!
Calgary is a very young hip city. Check out 17th avenue for shopping, night scene and a funky vibe. You can also go to the mountains from there, about two hours away.
If you want old world culture, check out Montreal or Quebec City (on the other side of the country.)
fair enough Home Girl, but check out this majestic picture taken of Toronto's famous CN Tower during the summertime..
A little random, but thanks for the tip...although personally I have little interest In visiting anywhere in Western Asia/Middle East
I think you'll learn a whole lot more about the world around you if you go to Brazil. Canada is just another form of Britain, a Banana Republic without the bad teeth.
Seeing Brazil would be a much more different experience, different cultures and surroundings to what I'm used to definitely.
However if you still believe the tired stereotyped that all Brits have bad teeth, maybe you need to 'learn a whole lot more about the world around you'
Canada is a big country. You need a lifetime to explore everything. It all depends on what exactly you are looking for because you can find literally everything here.
Flora and fauna like nowhere else.
Climate as diversified as population is.
Amazing developed contemporary cities and towns.
Polluted industrian holes in a wall abandoned by normal people and far cry from any civilisation whatsoever.
People who hate Canada and cannot wait to leave.
People who are desperately trying to stay there.
It all depends on who you are and what are you looking for. You can find your place here - anybody.
Welcome to Canada! My adopted home land.
Also can anyone help me clear this up as I'm getting mixed answers from Google - What's the drinking age in Toronto/Canada as a whole?
Wow, amazing pictures!
So, can any recommend the best time to go to somewhere like Toronto and get some decent weather so that can get out and about and do things?
depends on what kind of adventure you're after but personally I would encourage you to try Brazil. Barzil is amazing, people are great, weather is great and no, you wont get shot in alley unless you go looking for trouble. Having been to Brazil Twice for the carnivals, It was fantastic for me. Never been to Canada but I also heard its boring and dull so not really on my travel list unless I want to see Viagra Falls.. sorry what's it called again??
It does look an amazing place, and the idea of partying on a beach in tropical weather in a big carnival of colour does sound amazing...although based on different source and what people in this thread have said, I do imagine it can be quite intimidating at times, especially if you go down the wrong street..
@ Danny - re Canada, it depends on whether you want to spend time around a large city or you want to explore and experience nature. Cities? - Montreal, Que. City, Toronto, Vancouver.....Nature? - the north, east or west coasts of Canada
And, I'd visit Canada in summer, unless you are into outdoor winter activities - the skiing is very good in the west
I'm a Canuck and have experienced most of Canada. All of Canada really has something special to offer.
If I had to choose I'd probably go for a City as I'd like to experience the bars and shopping and meeting new people etc, although a few hours/a day seeing the best of Canada's nature would also be nice...are there any cities that are well placed to experience both, or are they exceptionally long distances apart?
...if you want both - the west coast, so Vancouver - drive a few hours and or stay right in the area and you have mountains etc....don't go to TORONTO!!!!!!!!....they are reeeeellly crazy there!
...and or Montreal is not far from the Laurentians ...Montreal used to be a good city for parties...probably still is......those french folks are pretty nice too......
music scene is really good in Ontario - summer festivals...many of them
Just stay away from SomewayOuttaHere...
She may SEEM nice... but if her choice of hockey teams is any indication, she is C R A A A A A AZ Y
Haha so many choices
Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal!?
Plus, which Canadian sports teams do I adopt as my own!?
....ohhhhh...... mon ami...mon dieu....do yourself a favour and don't mention religion when you are visiting.....it's a big no-no!
but.....if you have to talk about it - mention the 'habs' or 'canucks' and remember to say stuff like 'the leafs suck'!....especially if you visit TO.
I wrote a number of Hubs on why the Toronto Maple Leafs are God's team.
Don't bother reading them though, just support them like the rest of the sane world..
They have won numerous championships and are approaching their 100th anniversary.
Of course, the Toronto Blue Jays won a couple of back to back championships in the early 1990s..
if you have to live in Canada, to work for living - yes, it IS dull,weather's always changing, not much holidays,working people are tired and boring, but if you are a tourist - you can see lots and lots of stuff, people, nature, cultural events, everything. It's a huge country, baby, H-u-u-u-u-ge! Just keep your eyes open.
Whats you're attitude toward real football over there? (or 'soccer' as you may call it)
I wouldn't be beaten to death with Hockey sticks if me and my friends had a little kick around in a park or something would we?
...no....don't worry, especially if you go to TO....those guys are still trying to figure out what to do with their stix.......................
I can't see the image you posted, but haha thanks for the heads up
Toronto's Little Italy during a recent World Cup...
Toronto when Spain won...
Greek fans in Toronto after Euro2004 win..
..and of course fans of our own team in North America's MLS league..
depends when you go. Go to Brazil in North America's winter season as it is summer down there. Beautiful beaches and women. Hey, Brazil does get snow, the southern part at least, especially Porto Alegre.
I actually want to see Peru because of Macchu Picchu and the mountain lansdscape and since I have been to Brazil dozens of times (long story but a great one).
I do want to travel to Montreal as well and be in a French speaking city. So, I don't think you can go wrong with No. America.
Go in the fall to Montreal, Canada, Toronto, New York City, and just go to Brazil street, and you'll feel like you are in Brazil a bit with the authentic cuisine and people speaking Portuguese. If you do make a trip to Brazil go to Bahia or Fortaleza (but seriously watch out for muggings). Their crooks are can spot you (a tourist) a mile away. Expat forums helps travelers out on what to expect.
Well, I live in Canada and have been to Brazil. Rio is truly spectacular. If you go to Brazil, it can be worthwhile going to Uruguay, 'next door', too.
But if you come to Canada, decide first of all if you like snow and ice. Because if you do, then for example Ottawa's Winterlude festival in the ice can be a highlight. If you don't, go to Brazil in the Canadian winter!
Actually, what people over the Pond don't always realize is that in the summer Canada can get hotter than England. But then in the Fall, the temperature can suddenly drop a huge amount.
The northern part of Brazil is on the Equator, of course. But it's not just the matter of temperature; it's also the extent of humidity. Again, different people cope variously with humidity.
Remember, too, that in Canada it's not just the snow and ice in the winter: it's the windchill, which can be several degrees below what. Even today, in October, the forecast is for it to freeze tonight.
So be informed! Hope you have a good trip, in due course.
But Canada is large and changes alot from one area to another. And even having said that, unless you want to ski or experience winter come in the summer.
Thanks for more great advice!
Both places seem really tempting still and I really want to experience both! It's so difficult to choose between hot women and hot weather, and all the things Canada has to offer haha
I suppose cost will be the deciding factor eventually as I'm not exactly rich.
Can anyone shed any light on what prices are like? For example the cost of a few drinks, and a nice meal, when compared to UK money?
that depends... will you be finding a lady or two who will pay for everything while you are here? That was always my strategy
LOL... do a search online for $6 Big Macs and $35 martinis. Now I don't eat or drink those but that is the cost in Rio or Sao Paulo. It is just the media trying to scare you off.
Hotels are typical prices but the quality is not what you anticipate. Expect a smaller room than what you will pay for. Who cares as you will be exploring anyway. Gas is 2.7R per litre which comes to around $4/gallon in the big cities. In the south and other areas it is much cheaper . You'll get a decent healthy meal for $5 at a local cafe (breast of chicken, rice, beans, salad is much better than a big mac for sure) & wash it down with a cerveja for about 1.40 USD or fresh fruit (coconut, orange, mango) juice for $2.
English will not get you far there. You need to know "some" Spanish or Portuguese since they get a lot of Argentineans tourists. Search about how an American MMA fighter had a hard time in touristy Rio speaking and reading.
It's all the same, you learn the language of another country when you travel abroad. They can travel here & speak with an accent, so you do the same over there. Personally, I like Sao Paulo better b/c they understood my bad Portuguese better and it seemed more sophisticated than Rio.
always be cautious of your surroundings. Try not do many things alone. boa sorte amigo
Well in my opinion you should go to Brazil as Brazil is more happening place than Canada.
one more thing to consider...
If you go to Canada, you must use protection if you encounter a young lady with whom you will have sexual congress.
In Brazil, you dont have to worry about that..
no matter what type of condom you wear, chances are your penis will explode quickly thereafter.
Wow, penis explosions...someone really has had some bad experiences in Brazil, eh
I am a Californian that lived in England for 20 years and I know exactly why you want to get out. I moved to Brazil. I am on the Northeast coast. We have two seasons, hot and dry, and hot and wet. It is always about 30 degrees (C) during the day. The beaches are long and uncrowded in this region and it is known for kite surfing . In our neck of the woods the nightlife is almost non-existent.
The cities are vibrant but to your eyes will seem dirty. Plastic carrier bags litter the streets. This is a country that is changing extremely fast. It is not uncommon to see, Range Rovers over-taking a man with a donkey and cart.
The main roads are potholed tarmac but most roads are badly laid cobbles or dirt/sand. In the area where I live, very few people speak English, usually only other foreigners. The people here are very welcoming and friendly.
After living in England, I became less "on guard" than I was in the USA where everyone expects something to happen to them and arms themselves. Here it is advisable not to wear jewelry or a watch. Don't take your mobile out and don't flaunt your wealth.
I think if you want to see Brazil before it changes too much, do it sooner rather than later. There are large American investors, Mr Buffet is one, buying up land here to plant sugar cane to be used as a bio fuel. This I fear will change it for the worse.
Thanks for the tips!
The potholed streets don't sound to different to most of the roads around here at the minute so I'm fine with that (lousy government!)
I'm really just looking to get the best idea possible of whether its a suitable place for someone who's never experienced a Latin American developing country to visit, but as long as the stereotypes of every European/American being mugged or bitten by spiders aren't true, it sounds like a great place!
Also, after reading again, the quote "and I know exactly why you want to get out" made me laugh...what is it that you didn't like about England then? haha
I'm shocked that Greek forgot about me!!!
I've lived in many provinces throughout Canada (and have written a few articles about my lovely country as well as things to do and a few facts) and I can say, that the landscape is varied.
Where to travel really depends on what you like. Starting on the west coast to the east coast:
British Columbia: Tofino has the BEST surfing around! In fact, world surfers travel here to surf our waves. Always sunny here and warm - that's the Sunshine Coast. Vancouver is a large port city -- lots to see and do, places to party and dine with tons of history. Robson Street - shopping galore and wonderful architecture. Inland - valleys in the summer produce succulent fruit that you can pick on your own. Fruit varies from apples to peaches to berries and pears. There are many vineyards to visit and my friend's boasts some of the best wines in the region.
heading east through the Rocky Mountains
will give you a pain the neck -- all caused by turning around to catch the breathtaking views and from looking up at the huge mountains that glisten with snowcapped peaks. Wildlife is everywhere -- coniferous to decidious forests. Clear lakes that you can fish in to mountains that you can ski/snowboard on. :)Hike, bike, camp, horseback ride, motorbike rides, car rides with the top down -- all can be had here. From summer through winter and back to summer!
Alberta: just read my hubs on this one! lol
Sasktachewan: one of the breadbasket provinces -- hundreds of lakes to fish in! Camping galore!
Manitoba: another breadbasket province -- lakes, forests, wildlife and Winnipeg is a city comprised of great architecture. More recent, but amazing. This province has a rich history in the making of Canada.
Ontario: ah, my new home within a home! Greek lives in Toronto (right?) while I'm east of him in the Nation's Capital. We have thousands of lakes to swim in, fish in, boat on and to relax by. Camping, hiking, moon watching -- everywhere. This province is, literally, the playground of Canada. The Nation's Capital has tons to see and it has the most green space of any city that I have ever seen (within this country). The paths wind throughout the city. Festivals galore - tulip in the spring, blues, jazz, movies, aboriginal, food! Again, see my hubs.
Quebec: another home within a home! Quebec City - awesome culture, architecture and food! Gourmet food! Montreal - night life, culture, dancing, dining, festivals galore! St. Saveur - lakes, skiing, hiking. Mountains are the Laurentiens, so not as big as the Rockies, but beautifuly with forests and wildlife.
East Coast: rich in history. Seafood to die for! Nova Scotia is my favorite place - Peggy's Cove where time has stood still. I swear, it really has!! The Annapolis Valley produces some of the richest, and most flavorful produce in eastern Canada. New Brunswick - check out the tide pools and the Bay of Fundy. Rich in sealife and the weather is always pleasantly warm! In Newfoundland, you will have to check out Signal Hill! You will see why it is called that. This is a province that is extremely rich in history!! Prince Edward Island is known for it's peaceful and beautiful scenery. And if you're a fan (or know of someone who is), PEI is the home of Anne of Green Gables! Plenty to see and do!! There are many things to do on both the coasts, including whale watching.
Heading north, to what I call winter wonderland,
Yukon Territory: The Great Iditarod Race, though run in Alaska, it is easy to hop over an watch this great run. Again, there's more info in my hub.
Northwest Territory: Apparently, great ice fishing! Amazing fact: 6 months of darkness, 6 months of light (that's 24x7).
Nunavut: Baffin Island - home to many northern species of animals.
The North (which means all three territories listed above): great ice shelf, polar bears (not penguins - they live in the Antarctic), the Great Northern Lights (an absolute MUST SEE, if you have never watched. You will never be the same after experiencing this!), culture - the Inuit, ice fishing, snow mobiling. One warning: you must enjoy the cold and enjoy being out in the cold!!!
I, too, have considered Costa Rica as a destination spot. But, I'm still discovering more amazing things about my own country. Why travel far, when home can surprise you?
My vote: come visit us in Canada!!! (we do have plenty of beautiful women, room to roam, places to discover, and most importantly - we are stable and a safe country to visit!)
And you can travel all of Canada by train, if you like: http://www.viarail.ca/en
AND, if I haven't convinced you, visit this site. It's the official Canadian Tourism site: http://caen.canada.travel/. It will provide you with many of your answers as well as great photos of the places to visit.
Hope this helps.
Wow...just wow...this is an answer and half!
Fantastic, can't thank you enough for this, everything from your rather inspiring profile picture to the description of every area of Canada is brilliant!
I'll definitely have to either print this or keep it in my favourites so when I eventually make it to Canada I can use it as reference!
I'd say the only negative is you've made the decision even harder to make now! I was leaning toward Toronto, but now there's Vancouver, Tofino (surfing in Canada!?) and even though I like to let loose with friends, seeing the Northern Lights would be an absolutely amazing experience...
As I say, great answer, great picture, great help...now I just need to make a decision!
ask VERY nicely and maybe you can crash at Beth's place??
(I asked, but no luck)
Now THAT would be a holiday to remember...
ha ha but you forgot the bait.....
@ Danny: surfing at Tofino can be done by amateurs and pros alike. Here's some shots:
sunsets at Tofino:
Bay of Fundy (which is contending for one of the Wonders of the World this year):
And in case you haven't noticed:
(creds to S. Haworth copyright 2011)
Have I convinced you yet?
Hey, I have an 'English accent', according to the movies that's all the bait I need...
But, those pictures look amazing! The Northern lights look unbelievable, but also that sunset and the surfing picture look more like something from a tropical island, not Canada, I'm pleasantly surprised!
You've definitely convinced me! But now there's an even more difficult decision of WHERE in Canada to go?
That all depends on how long you will visit for. My friend came from Down Under for a two week vacation and ended up living here for five years. She just left to return to Sydney two months ago, and now, she's pining to come back!!
Enlgish accent, eh? Well, that would almost do it. ha ha You need better bait than that for me!
Time and your interests are the most important things to consider. The other is whether or not you are adventurous -- willing to try something new or are you the type to stick to the tried and true for yourself to guarantee that you enjoy yourself?
Are you an outdoors type of person? Are you athletic? A foodie? City or country? Five star hotels or bed & breakfasts? Inland or coastal? Site seer or go it alone with your own agenda? Sun, rain, snow or mix? Hot & humid, cold & humid, cold & dry, hot & dry? More than one site/province or a combo of them?
The links I provided you earlier will help. The government link shows the typical "sight seer's" viewpoint - but does highlight the many wonderous features of this country. If you need any more help, let me know. I'll be happy to help!
Dammit, to say the accent is apparently a positive its never worked for me yet...maybe I'm doing it wrong...
I suppose one of the biggest reasons it's hard for me to choose is that I like a whole bunch of stuff...I really like biking and exploring, so I'd love to maybe spend a day biking through some amazing Canadian wilderness and be able to get to a high point and look over some amazing scenery and feel like every stress in the world is gone...but then the next day I might want to go to the beach and then party and drink so much that I don't remember any of it...plus I'd definitely prefer a bit of Sun, I see enough of the rain living where I live now
Decisions, decisions, it's so difficult, your country all seems so amazing!
yes...there is surfing in Canada...this is a pic from Vancouver Island - Jordan River area....it's cold surfing...but surfers love it...
Nice! Actually pleasantly surprised about this, just didn't think of Canada really being a surfers paradise...
Is it more of a place for the experienced surfers though? or would an amateur be able to enjoy himself without to much risk of death?
As a third world citizen I can tell you this: Brazil will definitely be a bit rougher than Canada, where everything works perfectly and things are much more organized, but it has a much richer culture and is something radically different from what you've experienced in the first world. People are generally very kind, warm and open and you will have lots of fun interacting with them. I know many people who have been enchanted by Brazil and not one that says the same about Canada.
Don't be afraid, use your common sense and document yourself as to where you should or shouldn't go to avoid trouble. Generally speaking, it is pretty easy to keep yourself safe. The media makes it always much worse than it is in reality.
Thanks for the tips Claudia
It does look an amazing country...and hopefully I'd be able to use my common sense to keep out of obvious trouble.
I guess my main concern and question about a place like that is, what's it like for an English speaking person, if I were to get into trouble, would there be enough English speaking people to help out, be it police, hospital, or travel guides?
The morgue personnel can speak whatever the hell they want, as long as my corpse doesn't end up on Youtube having been edited so that it appears to be dancing to a Justin Bieber song then fine!
IThe English in what travel guides and hospitals is concerned is at a good enough level for sure, travel guides need to speak English for survival so there is no problem there; educated people like doctors do speak good English; now police…. I’m not certain but, should you have any problems, you can always go to your corresponding embassy. Don’t worry!!!! I have traveled through many third world, so called dangerous countries and nothing has ever happened to me.
Thanks for the reassurances Claudia!
Most people in here have given their support to Canada, and I am tempted by it, but you've put Brazil right back in the competition...looks an amazing country!
if you do decide to go to Brazil and end up kicking the ball around in a park, just to play too well...
http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Ro … 34308.html
Haha you do make a very good argument against Brazil at times
I don't think I'm quite as good as Robinho, but it still does put me off slightly...especially as a British F1 racing driver was also attacked whilst in Brazil - apparently an armed gang shot at his car...Scary!
On the flip side though, everywhere has good and bad places....Canada doesn't have any international terrorist groups who hate it does it?
Both. I'd like to see the countryside views in Canada.
Canada in pictures is very beautiful...
Haha, Canadian versions of American redneck's and 'Cletus' from the Simpsons?
Don't look like a tourist and you will be fine. I would definitely make some penpal friends there first as you will have a better time. Not sure of your age, but hostels are worth it because you can travel & do things with people who come through. I've met some great folks in hostels while in Brazil.
My Fav palces were Vitoria, Salvador, Juiz da Fora and nice parts of Sao Paulo. I didn't get to Florianopolis. Have fun whatever you do.
Oh, I do have an urge to get to Montreal & Toronto so that may put a snag back in it for you.
Thanks for the tips
I will definitely do some research into the places you mentioned..I haven't really looked into anything other than Rio and Sao Paulo so the rest are definitely work a look!
But yeah, thanks, for putting the snag in it too such a difficult choice!
and btw, it's a myth about Canada always being cold, snowy, windy and that we ride buffalo and keep polar bears as pets!!!
Haha yeah I thought as much...
*Is secretly disappointed that I won't see any pet polar bears*
don't worry.. there are plenty of cougars to see
Well as long as those cougars aren't to over the hill I won't mind them at all...I'm respectful of all wildlife - chicks, cougars, the more the merrier
you and Greek kill me!!!
Sounds like your destinationi may be BC, Alberta, Ontario or Quebec. There's plenty of cycling/hiking/campling all these provinces. BC is along the Pacific Coast -- lots of beaches but I'd stick to the Sunshine Coast. It's a bit more remote, touristy (now) but warmer with sun. Vancouver Island is wonderful for temperature, but it's an island. Vancouver city is great -- huge port city, but can see a lot of rain. Interior BC has many, many lakes, closer to the mountains for hiking/biking.
Calgary is beautiful but I'm a bit partial to my hometown. City life but close enough to the mountains to enjoy, and close to the US/Canada border for a jaunt to the States. Not much in terms of beaches as it is landlocked and is one of the prarie provinces. Summers are hot and dry -- super sunny! If you go, then you must experience the Calgary Stampede in July. The Rockies provide an huge backyard filled with biking, hiking, camping, horseback riding and wildlife. There is nothing comparable to the mountains. And the skiing/snowboarding in the winter/spring is AMAZING!!!
Ontario is Canada's playground. Mountains (smaller than the Rockies), lakes galore, natural parks for hiking, biking, camping, fishing, swimming in. Beautiful views from the tops -- you can hike Pink Lake at Gatineau to the top in one day and you will have a 360 view of the valleys below. Absolutely breathtaking. And, if you do this in the fall, the colors will drown you with WOW!! Ottawa is the country's capital -- very clean, safe and plenty of green space within the city. You can cross the bridges into Quebec and enjoy the natural beauty of that province. English is spoken throughout as well as French. Language is not an issue, unless you head up to the remote northern areas of Quebec. But even then, it's not really an issue -- nothing a few beers can't fix. Greek's in Toronto, but I've never really taken that city. A bit too big for me and fast paced. I lived there for a year and had a terrible time adjusting to it. Maybe cause that I hadn't met Greek at the time.....
The Eastern Townships of Quebec is very scenic and "Cape Codish". Beautiful country and if you like to drive, this is the place. Also, excellent wineries here. Quebec City is a city of history -- famous landmarks everywhere, but the best I love about this city is the food. I mean, actual, real food. Fresh ingredients, cream (not skim milk) and butter (not margarine)! Not for the ones who are trying to lose weight, but if you love to eat, this is the place! No dissapointments! The people are friendly and majority are bilingual. Montreal is a city filled with night life, friendly atmospheres and Old Montreal is great to visit and buy souvenirs from. There's a bed and breakfast facing the port -- wonderful view from the windows. Again, food is big - baked goods are to die for! I travel there on some weekends just to eat the pastries.... oh, YUM!! From Montreal, you are close to the Laurentiens for biking/hiking/camping. You are also a bridge away from visiting the United States.
So I'm funny in Canada? That's one for the Resume!
Hmmm...Ontario and BC sound like front runners at the moment as I want to see what you guys have in terms of the wilderness, but never want to be to far away from a nice bed and some good bars ... but Quebec also sounds awesome now you mention it, would love to hit some of the Canadian roads, even though I'd have to get used to you guys driving on the wrong side
But I also do some work for a customer who is based in Calgary, and from the pictures I've seen the place looks like something out of a movie/book, just so picturesque as if someone made it up...
Wow, I know I'm rambling a lot but this really is a hard choice...really appreciate your help though, you should work for the Canadian travel board!
"Maybe cause that I hadn't met Greek at the time....."
You probably wouldn't have seen much of the outside
I don't know if I dare ask about the 'once' part of that sentence...
Once your married, it is customary for the wife to cut them off and wear them around her neck as jewelery.
You'll see one day
Wow...depressing...best make the mine whilst I can then! I think I owe to all the poor married people in the world!
ewe!! terrible image~!! you've caused a bit of a traumatic setback there for me!!!
(and, you'd never experience that with me.... I don't own or occupy my men... afterall, I like my "men" to be MEN)
OCCUPY MY MAN?
Sounds like a protest movement
speaking of which, I'm coming out with a new movement myself...
you already do that quite well all on your own
(so you say)
Your women like men to be men!?!?!?!?
If I wasn't sold on Canada before, I'm moving there in the amount of time it takes to get a Visa, some clean underwear and a box of condoms!
spiders sometimes occupy pants... Greek One... I'd be careful or very specific about one wishes for....
I'd just like to thank everyone for the great help - and some laughs - that I've had from this thread, never expected such a response! :-)
I think Brazil is being put on the back burner for a little while (maybe until the 2014 world cup? ) and the winner for now is Canada...
I've narrowed my decision down (I think) to Vancouver or Toronto, but this one seem's even tougher than the original question!
Feel free to make points for and against both places, if not, expect a Vancouver vs Toronto thread from me shortly
Come to Toronto
Thus endith the debate
Well...you make some good points there Greek, really...but I'll leave the topic open in case someone has an argument to top yours
I'll definitely put you in the 'Toronto' camp though
oh, that wasn't my opinion.. that was from the Canadian Tourist Board
Plus.. if you go to Toronto, you are only a few hours drive from Beth in Ottawa
Haha I'll have to trust you on that one
Hmmm...Beth you say....yep, thats definitely points for Toronto!
if you want to go in the winter... go to Vancouver.. its milder and you can have access to Olympic quality skiing venues
if you want to go in the summer.. go to Toronto.. better nightlife and more attractions.. unless you are really interested in a beach vacation (in which case put Brazil back on the board)
I'm looking for a mix of seeing the sites of the city and enjoying the bars and nightlife, but also being able to get out into the wilderness and see some of wild Canada - if Toronto can provide both then perfect!
you can get to the wilderness via drive from any major city (depending on how deep into the wilderness you want to go).
I'm not one for nature myself, but I have seen fishing shows on TV that look interesting
I'm not really one for nature myself either, but that's because it's all pretty much the same boring stuff here, few sheep, few trees...unlike in Canada where I could see some bigger trees and shit myself at a bear...
Any idea on the rules for hiring a car in Canada? Will have held my English license for almost 3 years when I (hopefully) make it over, is that enough go get on the roads? (Not sure why you'd know since you aren't a tourist, but its worth a shot!)
"If you are a visitor to Ontario (the province where Toronto is located) and want to drive while you are here, you must be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver's licence from your own province, state or country."
Brazil would be much more interesting in the sense the culture is vastly different from UK/Canada's
I'd say definitely go with Brazil, or another country -- Canada is very similar to the US, so don't waste a great opportunity to see some really differen't places instead of going to two that are practically identical (except Canada has milk in bags, which I will never for the life of me as a US citizen understand).
Milk in bags, say what!?
I get what you mean by saying go to Brazil or somewhere similar to get a really different culture, but at the same time I want to be able to act like a tourist (within reason) without offending anyone or getting the wrong sort of attention from the locals...then again...golden beaches, rainforests and awesome sunshine always does sound tempting
Seriously, milk in bags! I don't even know where to begin to attempt at understanding.
That...is milk in a bag! What the hell, seriously?
I cannot even begin to see a benefit of having a bag of milk, it must be hard as hell to pour, and keep in the fridge afterward, hence why we don't go to the shop for a bag of coke, or the bar for a few bags of beers!?
On a side note, anyone know what Brazillian milk comes in?
..ha ha ha...
Canadian, eh...didn't realize - started years ago as a recycling strategy
we've also messed with the chips too...those darn Quebecers
Haha, buying a bag of milk, so that you have to put the bag into a jug, and then pour it? Seem's like an extremely long winded way to just get some milk on your cereal, especially when I'm pretty sure milk cartons are recyclable anyway!?
I suppose it just proves even though UK and Canada have similar cultures, there's still those differences for me to find
Just as an added curiosity, can anyone shed a bit of light on what Uruguay might be like?
WARNING.. if you want to find out what Uruguay looks like, be careful when Googling it!
Make sure you spell it correctly and include all the 'U's.
Spelling it 'Urgay" leads to TOTALLY different search results
Hate to bump up my own post again, but I think I'm nearing in on a decision, however, could do with a little more help.
Could anyone shed some light on Whistler for me? It looks an amazing place and I'd love to visit whilst over there, how far is it from Vancouver, would it be practical to drive there and spend the day, or maybe a night, and then return to Vancouver or is it to far away for that? (hard for me to judge since BC is bigger than the entire of the UK!)
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