– [Gunnarolla] CanadianGeographic asked me to talk about my favorite place in Canada for their Our Country series, and I have traveled to a lotof places in this country from east to west, in thesummer and in the winter, through mountains, glaciers and ocean shores, but there's one placethat I visited recently that was so unexpectedly charming that it kind of reinforced for me the value of letting go, traveling solo, and appreciating what wehave right here in Canada.
It's on the east coast, and it's not very exotic, it's Moncton.
Moncton? I know, of all theplaces I could talk about today I'm gonna tell you why Moncton was special to me.
A few months ago I decidedto take a solo vacation.
Moncton is just a shortinexpensive flight from Toronto.
When I told people I was going there they were like, whywould you go to Moncton? But that just made mewant to visit it more, it made me want to find something there.
– [Air Stewardess] Ladies and gentlemen, we have arrived at Moncton, right now the time is20 minutes past 12 here.
Moncton is a city in New Brunswick.
It's a university town, it'sEnglish and French speaking.
It's most popular tourist attraction is probably Magnetic Hill but I don't think people think of Moncton as a tourist destination, it's more of an in between, somewhere that you stop on your way to Charlottetown or to Halifax.
I hadn't done much planning.
I'm really not a planner at all, I just wanted to see whatwould happen once I got there.
I'm really lucky that wherever I go I can meet someone whowatches my YouTube videos and these people become my local guides.
In Moncton I met up with Leez, super sweet, very gracious, and very proud to be from New Brunswick.
All the locals that I metin Moncton were really kind and I think that's somethingwe tend to overlook about the East Coast.
It's got some of the most friendly people I've met in my travels.
So the first reason you need to get out to Moncton is the food.
Let me tell you I love seafood, in fact I had just come back from a trip through the Mediterranean with Contiki, I had calamari every day.
But does anyone do seafoodlike the East Coast of Canada? I went to a gastro pubcalled called Tide & Boar.
They had oysters, mussels, scallops, lobster.
I am salivating just thinking about it.
There was another restaurant we went to called Catch 22, amazingfood, very friendly service.
The food is fresh, local, inventive and without any of the pretension that you can often find in bigger cities.
Which leads me to the nextreason to visit Moncton: smaller cities have allthese quirky things.
There's the laundromat thatthey turned into a cafe, there's the CBC, ournational public broadcaster in the same building as a supermarket.
Donair chips, actually this just kind oftastes like a burnt potato.
And there's a famous river that they've affectionatelydubbed The Chocolate River.
It's just really brown.
They sure like thecolor brown around here.
I love to drive, I love road trips.
Just being on the roadand being in control and having the freedom to stop wherever you want to discover things.
That's another reason why I loved Moncton, it's perfect for road trips.
Within 20 minutes to two hours there were so many things to see.
I drove out to Bouctouche and practically had the beach to myself.
I drove out to Shediac, again, amazing lobster.
Giant lobster, the world's biggest.
And one of the most beautifulsunsets I'd ever seen.
But what made me really fall in love with Moncton and the surrounding area was being able to observe the tide.
I drove out to Hopewell Rocks, which is just on the upper reaches of the Bay of Fundy, it's a beautiful spot where you can observe the ocean coming in and going out every day and you can actuallywalk on the ocean floor.
I have never done that before.
I'm walking on the ocean floor.
This is ridiculous.
It was really weird to be able to walk where just a few hours priorthere had been the ocean.
At times it felt like Iwas on another planet.
I've become fascinated withthe tide ever since that trip.
Alright, I'm kindatrapped with some rocks, but it's beautiful at least.
I'm literally waiting for the ocean to move that way, so I can walk.
It's great, everything's great.
There was one moment whenI was completely alone and I stepped a bit too farout onto the ocean floor and my foot sank and I got stuck.
And you know, I wouldhave had a ton of time before the ocean came back, but in that moment I panicked and I started thinkingabout how my phone was dead and no one knew I was there, and I was gonna be swept into the ocean.
It was just a funnyreminder of my own mortality and how insignificant weare on this huge planet.
I made it to the beach andI met a family from Vermont.
It felt like we were the only people on Earth in that moment.
Mom told me about howshe had taken a road trip through Eastern Canadawhen she was younger and how she wanted herdaughter to experience that.
– [Mom] I came when Iwas 16 with some friends and it just has always stuck in my mind, and I'm like, I wanna go back so bad.
So finally this year we could do it.
In that moment I just felt really proud to be Canadian, to be fromsuch a beautiful country, to be a traveler, to be someone who could just strike up a conversationwith random people, because I don't think we doenough of that these days.
Awesome eh? – [Mom] Oh amazing, Andrew, yes, enjoy your trip.
– [Gunnarolla] I took aphoto of them on the beach and she actually reachedout to me recently, so it's cool to just haveanother friend in the world.
I really enjoyed my trip to Moncton.
I had no idea what to expect, but I came away with anappreciation for a city that I think a lot ofpeople don't think to go to.
If you wanna feel connected to nature, if you want to explore in an environment that is safe and friendly, you should get out to Moncton.
There are so many things to see in Canada, and there were so many otherthings to see around Moncton, but I'm never worried aboutseeing everything when I travel because it just givesme a reason to go back and I can't wait to go back again one day.