Mia Goes M.I.A. Road Trip Across Canada


As Canada celebrated its 150th birthday I tried to find some special way to celebrate the country that has given me so many opportunities. Then an opportunity came up that was more special than I could have imaged. An opportunity to move from Ontario to British Columbia came up this summer, and I figured it would be an incredible experience to drive across the country, experiencing parts of Canada I never dreamed of seeing.

As I started planning this trip I realized how guilty I was of always looking outside of Canada for the perfect vacation, not realizing everything that this amazing country has to offer right in my own backyard inside my own boarders.

I decided to take a full seven days so I wouldn’t have to rush this adventure and could really take my time experiencing all this country has to offer. The 4376 KM journey took me through 5 different provinces, and showed me the beauty that this country truly has to offer.

From the forest and lakes of Ontario, to the flat farm lands of the Prairies, to the mountains of the Canadian Rockies there was truly so much to see and do. Here are some of my highlights, recommendations, and experiences from each province I had a chance to visit






It took us three days to trek across Ontario stopping off in unique and quaint towns along the way. I have to say, this part of the trip was the most eye opening for me. I spent the majority of my life thus far living in Toronto and never really knew a life in Ontario outside of the big city. This was a huge and beautiful wake up call for me! Our three days in Ontario consisted of stops in Sudbury, Wawa, and Thunder Bay.


Things to do


  • Visit the Giant Nickle: Sudbury is famous for its nickel production and to honour the production, the town has created a giant nickel. It is a must see stop on the road trip.


  • Go on a Hike: Growing up near downtown Toronto, I had no idea of the beauty that was just to the north of my home. During the road trip I had the chance to stop at Pukaskwa National Park on Lake Superior. It was amazing to be so connected with nature. The tall trees, fresh air, and beautiful lake views really made this a must do.


  • Visit the giant Goose: There seems to be a common theme here. Wawa is home to a giant Goose and you need to get a glimpse and a picture before you fly out of town.


  • Terry Fox Monument: Thunder Bay was the last city Terry Fox made it to before his cancer returned. The Terry Fox Monument in Thunder Bay honours this Canadian hero and his amazing story. I had goosebumps just standing there and thinking of what Fox was able to accomplish. It is a must see.


  • Have a bite in Kenora: Muskoka had always been my go to summer cottage spot, but I found out that Lake of the Woods is equally has gorgeous. I stopped for lunch at Boathouse, a restaurant right on the water. I spent an hour here watching the boats crossing. I finally gained enough courage for a quick jump into the water.





It was hard to cross the border and say good-bye to my old home. Yet it was amazing to see the drastic change of this country’s landscape. One minute I was driving through forests, the next I was surrounded by flat lands and farms. I had never really thought about visiting Manitoba before, but I have to say I was amazed at the unique culture and beauty particularly in Winnipeg.


Things to do

  • Grab a craft beer at the Forks: The riverside attracting is in the heart of Winnipeg. It is a quaint market with a variety of restaurants to choose from. I highly recommend a craft beer and some poutine during the stop.


  • Dinner on the waterfront: After a drink I made my way down to Cibo Waterfront Café. The restaurant is in a former warehouse and has a very rustic feel to it. The Mediterranean food was delicious and the views of the Red River were beautiful.




The drive through the Prairies continued through Saskatchewan. I didn’t know much about this area before the drive, but learned about the beautiful city during my 24 hour stay. Saskatchewan offers a beautiful waterfront town with canoeing and even fishing. Plus Saskatchewan offered some of the most clear and beautiful night skies.


Things to do

  • A walk or a ride on the water: The South Saskatoon River is right in Saskatoon’s backyard. There are plenty of beautiful river trails and driving in September was the perfect time to see the leaves changing colours.


  • Dine at the Cave Hotel: This family owned restaurant has become a landmark in the Saskatoon area and after experiencing the unique dining inside a real cave I can see why.






I had always dreamed of visiting the turquoise waters and endless mountain ranges of Banff and the Canadian Rockies yet seeing it in person was beyond my wildest dreams. It was like a painting brought to life. Yet what I realized was Alberta has so much more to offer. From the beautiful Badlands, to the unique museums. This province had so much to experience that two days was hardly enough


Things to do  

  • Visit the Badlands: I had never known the Canadian Badlands existed until I drove through Alberta and saw them with my own two eyes. I spent a few hours walking through the hoodoos. These Hoodoos have been around for millions of years and legend has it they used to be giants that would protect the area from intruders.


  • Hunt for dinosaurs: Drumheller is known for its dinosaur discoveries and so I decided to take a stop to the Royal Tyrrell Museum to check out some of the amazing finds right in Canada.


  • A hike in Banff: Banff is one of the most popular spots in Alberta and for good reason. The beautiful lakes of Moraine and Louise, the beautiful hikes, and the beautiful town it is a must see. To avoid the busy crowds, I headed out early and hiked up to the Lake Louise viewpoint to get a stunning view of the famous lake.


British Columbia




Finally, after seven days on the road I made it to my new home, British Columbia. I had visited before, but had never truly experienced the beautiful B.C. the tall mountains, endless, rivers, and ocean side beaches, B.C. has so much to offer, so much to explore, so much to discover. During my road trip I had a chance to experience just a few of B.C. offerings.

Alas the road trip came to an end and along the way I learned so much about this amazing country. I learned there is so much to experience within our own walls. I learned that Canada offers beauty unmatchable. I learned that even the Provinces that I never imagined visiting offers beauty beyond belief. It was a reinforcement of just how proud I am to be a Canadian and to call this magnificent world home.


Things to do

  • Unwind at Sparking Hill Resort and Spa: After a long car ride, some rest and relaxation was just what the doctor ordered. Sparking Hill Resort is covered head to toe in Swarovski Crystals and it overlooks the beautiful Lake Okanagan. The resort offers unique saunas to help re-energize the body. I felt like a million bucks after my two-day stay.


  • Taste the region: The Okanagan is known for its wine and so what trip would be 21317442_10213870977064539_1569766772332514610_ncomplete without a wine tour and tasting. I made a trip to Gray Monk Winery to learn about their award winning Chardonnay and try some of their delicious foods.


  • Visit Stanley Park: When I finally arrived in Vancouver, before even unpacking my bags, I made a trip out to Stanley Park. One of the more famous parks in all of Canada it offers everything from beaches, to forests walks, to local art. You can spend days on end exploring or relaxing in this stunning park.


My Love Letter to Canada


Dear Canada,

It is hard for me to find the right words but I guess I can start off with Happy Birthday, you look damn good for your age. I was born in this country exactly 28 years and 6 months ago, the first Canadian born member of my family. My family had moved to Toronto from South Africa in 1987 with maybe $1000 to their name. They made this move in hopes of a better life and more opportunities for the family. It was hard to know back then, but it was indeed the right move.

After a few years of finding their feet in Canada, my brother had the freedom of studying whatever he wanted at school, my parents had the freedom of starting their own business, I had freedom to roam around my neighbourhood safely, something uncommon in South Africa. All of the dreams that they sought out in Canada was starting to become a reality.


Growing up I had the chance to follow dreams of my own. I made an incredible group of friends, I played competitive tennis, I studied interesting classes at school. Eventually I moved to the United States to pursue my tennis career and even received a full tennis scholarship to school in America. I got my first job as a news reporter in Texas. Yet Canada was always my home, and after a few years of exploring other places, it was time to return home.

Living in America, I was always asked why I loved Canada, what made it so special to me? I didn’t quite have the right words to say. It was an indescribable connection that made this place my home.


Maybe because it had blessed my family and myself with so many opportunities. My dad became a successful director and was able to provide a life from my brother and myself. My brother graduated top of his class in chemical engineer from the University of Toronto and went on to become a professor at the University of Victoria. I, myself traveled around representing  Canada at various tournaments as a competitive tennis player. Yes, Canada had sure blessed our family with amazing opportunities.

Maybe it was the fact that Canada made me feel safe. I heard these horror stories from life in South Africa. Countless robberies, and shootings, and violent acts. Yet in Canada I felt safe and secure. Like I could walk down the street alone and not have to fear for my life. Something that I think I take for granted, but something that many places in this world do not have.

Maybe it was because Canada opened up my eyes. It is so multi culture and so welcoming, it taught me about acceptance, about sharing, about peace. I never grew up understanding discrimination, hatred, violence.

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Maybe it was your exterior beauty. Your mountains, oceans, landscapes. Your exciting cities, your wildlife. There is just so much to explore, to see, to do. There is no where else in the world like you.

I had the chance to follow my dreams, to pursue my goals. Something I too think I take for granted because how many countries still don’t allow women equal rights. Would I have been able to study broadcasting and become a sports reporter if my family had stayed in South Africa? Who knows, but what I do know is that here in Canada no matter what I dreamed for myself, I was given the chances, the education, the opportunities to follow those dreams.

Canada thank you, thank you for the lessons, thank you for the opportunities, thank you for welcoming my family with open arms. Thank you for your hospitality, your safe neighbourhoods, your history, your beauty, your peace, your love. For allowing me to leave, but always letting me back.


On your birthday, I hope that every single Canadian takes a moment to say thank you, because I know there are many just like me, first generation Canadians who were given a chance thanks to you.



Mia goes M.I.A: Why you should visit Canada this Summer Part 1


Because Canada is so large, it was hard to write just one blog on it, and so I have broken it down into two parts. Today I am going to share with you why you should visit Canada this summer, and tomorrow I will tell you where you should visit ( since this blog will convince you that you have to visit). Full disclosure I am also stealing (kindly using) a lot of my dad’s photography in this blog since he just knows how to capture the beauty of this country a lot better than me.

Why should you visit Canada this summer?


With summer right around the corner, it is time to start planning those summer vacations and there is plenty of reason why Canada should be making your summer to do list. From the country’s natural beauty and outdoor activities, to cosmopolitan cities the Country has something for everyone. This year is actually the perfect year to make your way down to Canada because the country will be celebrating it’s 150th birthday meaning plenty of events and celebrations country wide.


Especially right now the Canadian dollar is struggling making it a much more affordable destination spot than the US. Even Toronto which is considered the priciest Canadian city only sits at number 82 out of 100 most expensive cities. You won’t blow your budget on this trip.

The Natural Beauty


To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in style, all of the national parks are offering free entry. That means you can explore the countries natural wonders without dropping a penny. In fact did you know Canada has more coastlines than any other country. It is also full of mountain ranges, lakes, forests, arctic, and even small deserts. Canada’s diverse landscapes are full of surprise that are waiting to be discovered.

Cool Cities

Nature isn’t your thing? Don’t worry, Canada has some of the biggest cities in the world to visit and each one has plenty of cool and unique spots to check out. Like the business of New York? Take a trip to Toronto. A fan of french cuisine and culture? Make a stop in Montreal. Want to find out why Vancouver was named the best city to live in the world? Now is your chance. Each city has its own diverse cuisine, culture, and atmosphere perfect to discover this summer.



As I have already mentioned, Canada will be celebrating a big milestone this year, its 150th birthday. With the big birthday comes big celebrations nation-wide. Get ready for incredible firework displays, parties, and entertainment across the country this summer.

Canada is Safe

Canadians are considered some of the nicest people in the world ( I am not just saying that because I am Canadian it is a fact) and along with a really nice population, it is also considered very safe. Canada is considered one of the safest countries in the world, and police crime has been on the decline for more than two decades

Now that you know why you should visit Canada, the next question is where. With so much to offer it could be difficult to pin point the exact location to put on the list. So I am here to help with a few ideas of what each province has to offer, plus must check out parks since they are free and all, but like I mentioned, that is just going to have to wait until tomorrow.

Until then, happy exploring my friends,