Dear Canadian backpacker: Travelers all over the world are quietly rolling their eyes at you. Why? it’s that red and white patch of patriotism you’re wearing on your backpack. Do you realise only Canadians do this? Except for a few Americans who have self-identified as a Canadian to avoid questions and comments related to Trump.
So Why Do We Do It?
The best I can ascertain, this habit started back during the Vietnam War. Many traveling Canadians were concerned that they would be confused for an American, and given the political climate at the time, they simply wanted to disassociate themselves.
Now that Trump is the POTUS, I’m worried this bad fashion trend will become popular again.
So Where are You Headed Anyway?
Seriously, are you going to North Korea? If not, relax, Americans are well-liked in most countries, there’s no danger if someone mistakes you for a Yank. Maybe Americans are painted with a wide brush that says they are all loud and too talkative, but I think every nationality has one or two negative stereotypes. I personally love Americans, they are always the friendliest people I meet when I travel.
So why do we care if we are mistaken for Americans? New Zealanders for example, are mistaken for Aussies all the time. Do they go around wearing a red, white and blue….never mind, Australia and New Zealand basically have the same flag…but you get my point.
But You Want to Meet Fellow Canadians
It’s really nice when you travel to some distant place, and you run into a fellow Canadian. So how do you spot them without looking for a Canadian flag on their backpack?
A Final Thought
You’re in another country. Enjoy their customs, language and food and completely immerse yourself by letting go of your flag. Become a citizen of the world instead. You can discreetly show your pride by wearing famously Canadian gear from Roots, MEC or Canada Goose instead. If you do, I’m sure to spot you and say hello.
This post was written based on my personal experience and/or knowledge of the brand(s) herein. I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to any of the companies listed above.