We’re not in Kansas anymore

My sister and I have been on a road trip in Canada, and it is the first time we have crossed this northern border together. It has been a lovely long weekend and we will return by Monday night to our parent’s home to recount our adventures.

I really enjoyed this time with my sister. She is a wise and compassionate person and as a registered nurse, gave me a lot of insight into the healthcare system. We have talked nearly nonstop the whole trip and I really appreciate her perspective. She has noticed some of the charming peculiarities about Canada that I love so much. And we knew we were in a different country with a different culture.

Thunder Bay harbor
Harbor in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Many signs were in English and French. In the U.S., they are typically all in English, occasionally in Spanish or some other languages. Temperature is measured in Celsius, not Fahrenheit, gas is measured in liters, not gallons.

Canadians are friendly and welcoming. They seemed to lack the tension and paranoia that people seem to have in the United States. Canada feels relaxed. We are not sure if this is related to their lack of anxiety on health care. Or maybe they have good government?

They sell “Commonwealth mix” in their convenience stores. They have one-year maternity leaves, from 17 weeks to 52 weeks without penalty. Typically the first 15 weeks are paid. In the U.S. FMLA policy provides 12-weeks of unpaid time off.

Gun ownership is somewhat controversial, but because they do not have a constitutional right to bear arms, they seem less ardent on being able to carry guns everywhere.

As Minnesotans, I believe we have a lot in common with our Canadian “cousins.” But there are subtle and fascinating differences. I know my sister will go back again. And now I have new ideas where hubby and I can vacation in Rainy Lake/Fort Frances area. Gorgeous.

Happy week, amigos/as. I look forward to catching up with you when I get home.


9 thoughts on “We’re not in Kansas anymore

  1. Love Canada and Canadians! We Northwest Angle residents drive through a remote piece of Manitoba to get back to Minnesota proper (and to get groceries, run errands, etc.) Even that small rural piece feels very much like a different country and culture, though there’s not much more than a road sign to mark the border. Winnipeg is our closest “big” city and we are so fortunate it is the cultural epicenter that it is. P.S. Your trip sounds like it was lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol. Oh, we had a few small arguments. But I love my sis so much. She is 4 years younger than me and I think now that in our 30’s we started appreciating each other. Now that we are in our 40’s and have parents in their mid-70’s, we can relate to each other very well. I also appreciate her care and kindness toward my folks. She lives closer, so the elder care has fallen more to here. Also, neither of us chose to have kids so we kinda bond over the ways that we are a little different from the “norm.” 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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