• Ala Grace

Ding Ding Ding, Australia Vs Canada.

In the red corner we have CANADA and in the blue corner AUSTRALIA.

I have lived abroad twice now. Once in 2014 when I flew to Los Angeles - the city of angels and excessive food portions - and now to Canada. Many have asked me why I chose the land of the maple leaf, its really quite simple.

When looking to travel anywhere you should make a list, a list of things that you wish to see or experience. My list also had why this country would benefit me. I will raise my hand and admit that I enjoy making PRO's & CON's lists, its therapeutic and much like a shopping list I take far too much pleasure out of striking the items of the page!

Now I said 'why this country would benefit me' - that sentence alone definitely sounds presumptuous but given our current global economy and its leaders it is incredibly important to ensure your safety and passage to the countries you wish to visit.

So you start small, weigh up the similarities your home country and this foreign land have in common:

Canada and Australia are both listed under the Commonwealth, which mean we partly rule under the same Monarchy - My home girl Elizabeth II, when you share the same name you instantly become friends. Every girl knows that DUH.

Both Countries posses largely uninhabitable parts of continent, meaning just like the Nullarbor Plain Road in Australia there is many possibilities of travelling on less 'straightened' roads, right across country and seeing beautiful breath-taking parts of Canada - just like I like them: Off the beaten track. Plus who doesn't want to experience the possibility of a CANADIAN ROAD TRIP! *insert happy dance here*.

Dollar Dollar bills y'all! Valuing my monies worth before I jet setted across the blue bird sky was important too, I wanted to ensure that my hard earned income that I spent 12 months saving in a high interest account wasn't going to split in half by the time I reached my destination. Of course this isn't always an altering variable in travelling and sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and accept the loss of value. Also, the cost of living and every day needs is exceptional low in Canada! In any case, I would highly recommend downloading a 'Currency Converter' app.

Ah McCain you've done it again, I quickly learnt many brands of food inclusive of our Aussie crowd favourite Beer Battered Wedges were originally Canadian based. Meaning I didn't have to look too far to get my sweet chilli and chip fix... Don't hate because you ain't!

No worries mate! Our languages might not necessarily be exactly the same but its pretty damn similar. I can confirm from my insiders scoop, that Canadians most certainly do say 'eh' at the end of almost EVERY sentence and if in the rare case you meet a true blue local the way they say 'Sorry' literally sounds like they're calling out for the little lady Siri that lives in our iPhones. Much like the similarities in speech and colloquialism, it is true that most Canadians I have met thus far have been so hospitable and do be sure they would certainly move heaven and earth to make you feel welcome - Of course you will always attract the kind of energy you put out!

There are many other things I wrote alongside my determining process but for every PRO there are always some CON's.

Tippy, Tip Tip.. Now I COMPLETELY understand the process of giving a tip for the service you have received especially when that service is exceptional! Although let me tell you of a little experience I had with a waitress that we may not have tipped because truth be told we were a little (a lot) tipsy and didn't even think about what we were doing when we stumbled up to the bar to pay late at night. Back story: Australian’s do not tip. Now, when re-entering the bar the next day I had a "sit down" with the bar's manager, only for them to tell us that if we didn't tip the bar staff, the "bar staff" wouldn't feel like serving us. I understood what this meant, being that I too have been in charge of a group of employees before and it is your job to make sure everyone is happy BUT to suggest that we wouldn't be served because we didn't tip hit me in the face harder than a WWE smack down. Now thats enough of that story, safe to say if you plan to travel to a place that tipping is a custom be sure to be prepared for people to expect a tip. EVERYWHERE.

"She works hard for her money", so this will most certainly come off as money hungry or un-greatful but it is no lie that the pay grade in Canada is no match for how much the average Aussie earns. The minimum wage per hour in Canada varies from $9.95 p/h - $11.00 p/h when the Australian Federal minimum wage is $16.87 p/h. This of course can put a spanner in the works if you do not anticipate the differences. Proven fact: you will earn more money working for the McDonald's franchise than you will working for a Ski Resort. However, you don't haul your ass 14,143km's away from home to do the same old, same old. Plus the majority of jobs you find on a tourist Visa will be seasonal (4 months) max, so nothing last forever!

Tax. Enough said people.. If you have travelled to Canada before you will know what I am talking about. You are charged TWO SEPARATE kinds of tax here: PST (Provincial Sales Tax) and GST (Goods and Services Tax) only once you reach the point of sales cashier do you realize that there are these additional prices. Which in fact differ in each Province you travel too, although if we reflect Australia may not be all that different given tax is included in the price tag and we all know things are more pricey in the great old land of Aus. Cha Ching!

Always give way to your right, said no Canadian ever! Being they drive on the opposite side of the road everything is backwards, inclusive of which side the driver sits on in the car. Trust me I know from experience *Slaps forward* this may not really deserve to go on my CON's list but it is a strange concept to get used to - You could say my car horn gets good use.

The land before time, now this isn't quite as prehistoric news as my sub heading suggests but I will tell you now little foot and his gang of dinosaurs could most certainly give some of the Canadian ways a run for their money. I am not particular tech savvy but I do feel that when it comes to what is 'cutting edge' and ‘modern' Australia seems to have the upper hand. I will openly admit to being brought up as a millennial and as my Grandmother would say "back in my day" things probably were different - I can only imagine. Although most of my dealings in an official capacity with Canadian banks or mobile companies have all been so out-dated and frustrating, their dealings are slower and less advanced. Be it the mobile and internet reception, to the deals on offer or even the process in banking your bi-weekly (to those of you who are like what the that means fortnightly to us Aussies) paycheque. And quite literally I mean an actual paper wasting Cheque! Pause for reaction. 

I could go on although that's not what this blog is about. Many of these points will be your opposition if you choose to travel abroad to any new land, but that's why we travel isn't it? To be able to say we lived there and experienced something different to the normal we know so well. 

Every day I am beyond thankful to be here in Canada’s currently extremely freezing and wondrous land and I am so eager to keep exploring as the seasons change and show you, my lovely friends why you should travel to Canada. 

Until next time,


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