THIS WEEK IN TRAVEL (ISSUE NO 21)


You may have heard that Canada is celebrating a pretty big birthday this year. And not a surprise (at least to us Canadians) and rather timely, Lonely Planet has named Canada the best country in the world to visit in 2017. You may remember reading this back in our very first issue of This Week in Travel. And as Canada 150 celebrations launch into full swing across the country, it’s not too late to book your Canadian adventure, especially with these Delta flight deals. But if you can’t be here for Canada Day, don’t fret; Delta is offering these low fares till the end of July for travel between September to December.

Photo from Getty Images courtesy of Huffington Post. 

If you do make it out for the yearlong sesquicentennial events, check out Lonely Planet’s feature on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spilling the deets on insider tips for visitors. From season to season, there is no shortage of adventures that await you. Trudeau’s tips: explore Canada by foot to do it real justice. Hike around the glacier lakes in Banff, cycle along the Cabot Trail, or kayak the waterways of Haida Gwaii. Our beautiful country has a lot to offer including Canada 150 perks, such as free admission to our national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas throughout 2017. These sites will provide some insight to individuals and events, which have helped shape Canada. As Trudeau said, expect a “friendly, festive and warm as ever” atmosphere. And if we Canadians happen to say “sorry” for something that doesn’t seem worthy of an apology…just roll with it! After all, we were voted the "most reputable country" and we are damn proud of it!

Got a Parks Canada pass? Here’s where to go to experience all the Canadian perks. Besides the obvious (Banff National Park), there are plenty of things to see and do. Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve in B.C. offers a newly revitalized, warm hot spring experience. Head to Pacific Rim National Park, B.C. where trekkers can check out one of Destination Canada’s newest “Signature Experiences”—a seven-day guided hike along the West Coast Trail. Or check out one of the world’s last true frontiers, the Northwest Passage, via the first ever expedition cruise. "Out of the Northwest Passage" voyage will feature visits to Canada’s spectacular and remote wilderness landscapes such as Qausuittuq, Simirlik and Auyuittuq national parks.

A Haida Gwaii hotspring in Gwaii Haanas National Park, B.C. Photo courtesy of Anvil Cove Charters/The Canadian Press via Globe and Mail.  

Haven’t had enough? See a list of these four underrated National Parks. Truly all 44 national parks are worth the visit with their spectacular scenery, but a couple may surprise you—in a good way. Waterton Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Alberta, is flourishing with beauty and wildlife – not mention a fair few Grizzly Bears. While Grassland National Park, far from the boastful beauty of the emerald lakes or Rocky Mountains, will shock you with its Saskatchewan wide-open plains and striking skies.   

Waterton Lakes National Parks. Photo credit Rod Brazier courtesy of Huffington Post.  

As much as we at Kosan are proud to celebrate Canada Day, we can’t forget the July 4th festivities taking place throughout our fellow neighbours’ homeland. Independence Day is just around the corner and with that, Travel and Leisure gives you a list of the best, and perhaps most patriotic, fourth of July celebrations around the U.S., which of course include fireworks. Boston, Massachusetts is your ideal place to visit during this American holiday as they host the largest festival in the United States. But if hotdogs and fireworks are your thing, Coney Island, Brooklyn should be at the top of your list.  

While fireworks have that shock value, you may want to take a pause from the celebrations to delight in some natural beauty, say one of the 59 national parks scattered throughout the U.S. From sandy beaches in National Park of American Samoa, glaciers in Gates of the Arctic National Park to fiery desserts in Death Valley National Park, these sites truly are exceptional.  

Gates of the Arctic National Park. Photo courtesy of Condé Nast. 

We’re fierce believers that travel is just as much about the people as it is its places. Yes, the list of amazing places to visit goes on and on, but even if your national birthday celebrations take form as a staycation, embrace them to the fullest and wish your fellow patriots (and those who happen to be tourists) happy celebrations as well.  

As Trudeau told Lonely Planet, “travel also exposes us to incredible diversity. We meet new people, hear their stories, learn new ideas and discover common ground.” And as we come to understand our differences, we “realize how many shared values and aspirations unite us.” So as we celebrate Canada Day and Independence Day this week, let’s celebrate together, not as Canadians, or Americans, but as people united together no matter our nationality or race.

Peter Hope Lake, B.C. Photo from the Kosan archives. 

HAPPY CELEBRATIONS!

The Kosan Team