Social media has been changing the way we interact, keep in touch, and meet new people. Through the use of Facebook Groups & Twitter, I’ve managed to meet some incredible people. After meeting so many other people that are passionate about travel, I felt inspired to change it up a bit. I’ve interviewed hostels in the past, even a Moose Travel guide, so I figured it was time to interview the travellers. Brendon Van Son has been on the road for almost 3 years now, and I thought it would be great to hear about his thoughts on his home province of Alberta, and see what kind of advice he could offer on exploring Canada. Check out his travel blog at Brendans Adventures.
Q. You’ve been on the road for almost 3 years now, what do you miss most about Canada?
My family and friends. The road is filled with great people to miss but there is nothing like being with your good friends and family. I go far too long without seeing them. I honestly don’t miss the cold. I do miss a good poutine though!
Q. Being from Alberta, what is “THE” Alberta Experience? Hiking in the rockies? Trailblazing through backcountry powder? Dawning on boots & hat and hitting up the Stampede?*
Yeah, I would say it has to be the Rockies. Moraine Lake near Lake Louise is still to this date my favourite natural site in the world. I have been there dozens of times since I used to work as a guide in the area, but seeing it never gets old. If you can get to Calgary Stampede, do it. That is my favourite week of the year whenever I’m home for it.
Q. What’s one place in Canada that you’ve never been that has recently been added to your bucket list?
I never really had any interest in heading north before, but after having such an amazing time in Antarctica I would love to head north in Canada as well. I’d want to see the Arctic as well as I’d love a chance to see the polar bears.
Q. If someone were to clip your wings tomorrow and you were forced to settle back down in Canada, what city would you live in and why?
It would be between Vancouver and Victoria. I love the West Coast. I love that you can ski in the day and then walk around in a t-shirt later on. I love having the ocean and the mountains both at my disposal. And on top of it all they are both great cities to live in, and they are warmer.
Q. Canadians are known for their stereotypes (Poutine loving lumberjacks / apologetic beer drinker / hockey fanatic / Understanding eco-hippy) – where do you fit in?
I probably fit slightly into just about every one of those stereotypes. I’m probably the exact person people think of when they think of Canadian: hockey fan, beer and whiskey drinker, poutine lover and I am a little bit hippie even though I’ve worked as a lumberjack as well haha. I love the Canadian stereotypes and I don’t think I realized how much I fit them until I got out of the country.
Q. The most majestic Canadian beast is…
The Rockies because there is no where else in the country that will make your feel so small and insignificant yet prideful.
Q. What’s the first thing a new visitor to Canada should eat, drink, and visit?
The first thing a visitor to Canada should eat is a stack of pancakes with either maple syrup or chokecherry syrup on it. You should then wash that down with a glass of Crown Royal Whiskey and then go check out the beauty of Vancouver Island.
Q. What’s your local Canadian go-to beer/liquor/beverage of choice?
When I drink beer in Canada it’s a bit of a mix and really depends on the time of year. If it’s winter there’s nothing that warms me up like a Sleeman’s Honey Brown. In the summer time I love a Big Rock Grasshopper. If it’s REALLY cold out I stick to whiskey.
Q. Enough about Canada – what have you been up to lately?
You know, travelling the world, seeing the sites, taking some pictures. I’ve been working hard on my website Brendans Adventures which has been a lot of fun. A couple months ago I also started a travel magazine called Vagabundo Magazine which is ready to publish the second issue in April. I’m very excited about that venture!
Q. Any tips, advice or wise words you can share with those who want a piece of your lifestyle?
Join me, there’s lots of room on the bus/train/boat for you and I’m always looking for people to tag along. The truth is that if you want to travel the world just do it. Stop telling yourself that something is holding you back, you are in control of your own life’s path.
Special thanks to Brendan for taking the time to answer some questions about Canada and his lifestyle as a pro-traveler. Be sure to follow Brendan’s travels on Twitter @BrendanVanSon.