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Being loveable isn’t the only advantage of travelling as a Canadian. Yes, the stereotype of Canadians being nice, friendly and apologetic people has made us welcome in countries around the world but here are 10 other reasons it’s great to be a Canadian abroad.
1. The Beauty of Our Passport
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Don’t take it for granted: a Canadian passport is a great thing to travel with. Canadian passport holders have access to enter over 170 countries without a visa. That means we can avoid the headache of visa applications for about 88% of the countries worldwide! And our passport is beautiful too. Hold yours under a UV black light and watch the 36 pages of Canadian illustrations come to life.
2. The Loonie
The current state of the Canadian dollar has definitely impacted our decisions on where to travel. Our loonie might not be as strong as it once was but it will still go a long way when compared to other foreign currencies. Considering more budget-friendly destinations like South America, Eastern Europe and Asia will let you stretch your dollar and stay abroad longer.
3. Our Reputation
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Countries love welcoming us because of all the well-mannered Canadians that have travelled before us. Generations of polite and respectful travellers have created this amazing foundation of goodwill in many destinations worldwide. Coming from a welcoming country with good intentions means we’ll find that people are equally respectful towards us when we’re travelling. Not only are foreign travellers going to invite us along for the day but locals from the area will be more than willing to showcase their home town after hearing where we’re from.
The introduction of new air services and routes in Canada is making those faraway places more accessible than ever. There was a time when Canadians would cross the border to save money on international flights but budget airlines are quickly recognizing opportunities in the Canadian market. Later this year, WOW Air will be offering us some of the cheapest flights to Europe we’ve ever seen. This and the expectation of more budget airlines in Canada is certainly stimulating the market and causing Canadian airlines to react with competitive pricing that will bring us all savings.
5. Weather Adaptation
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When you come from a country where temperatures sink to minus 30 in the winter and reach 40 degrees in the summer, you learn to adapt. Whether we like it or not, us Canadians have developed a thicker skin against extreme weathers making it easier to adapt to different climates. Travelling abroad, we’re equally unfazed by blizzards in Russia or heat waves in India.
6. Canadian Citizenship
A Canadian citizenship is loaded with perks when it comes to travelling. You’re essentially able to stay abroad for as long as you want. Depending on your provincial coverage, health insurance is valid for 4-7 months while you’re travelling. For those ready to start a family, Canadian citizenship is passed down to children that are born abroad. We can even apply to vote by special ballot during a federal election while travelling!
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Canada was the first country to state multiculturalism as an official policy and is one of the most ethically diverse countries in the world. If our parents weren’t immigrants, our grandparents most likely were. We’ve grown up with neighbours from different countries, celebrated multicultural days at school and learned to be respectful of all cultures from a young age. This added foundation means Canadians arrive to new countries with a sense of curiosity, admiration and respect for the culture, religion and beliefs of the people.
With English being the most widely spoken language in the world, Canadians are able to easily communicate while abroad. And in countries where that’s not the case, we still have a bit of an advantage. Canadians are accustomed to hearing English spoken in a variety of accents and different levels of fluency. A large number of Canadians are also able to speak a second language, whether it's their mother tongue or the country's second official language, French.
9. Opportunities Abroad
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Being a Canadian opens you up to a wealth of opportunities to teach, volunteer and work abroad. Companies worldwide are constantly seeking educated individuals for employee and management positions in exciting fields. Certain programs are offered specifically for English-speaking Commonwealth countries and the opportunities are endless. Even for Canadians with no teaching experience, speaking English is a valuable skill that can often be taught in exchange for a salary, accommodation or language lessons of your choosing!
10. Greater Appreciation for Canada
For us that are fortunate enough to call Canada home, one of the greatest things about being abroad is in the coming back. Travelling has a way of putting things into perspective and really allows Canadians to appreciate all that this country has to offer. Once you’ve learned life lessons all over the world, there’s no sugarcoating the fact that we’ve got it good, eh?
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