What is your name and where are you from?
Delightful to virtually meet you. My name is Emme Rogers, and as for where I am from, I consider myself to be a child of the country, of Canada that is. While my roots are in Ontario and BC, I have been shaped by traveling across Canada, and my connections with the people from coast to coast. This is something I have appreciated more and more, with each trip abroad. I have to give a writing retreat on the French Rivera credit for my finally having come into my own and embracing me for me.
Do you have a blog? Tell me a bit about it.
I have two blogs of sorts ~ one Being Emme, which is a hodge podge of moments from my life ~ exploring life, love and relationships, along with my love for the indie arts and music scene. The other is a travel tale, Roamancing, told by both myself and a number of other talented storytellers (many of whom are Canadian, but not all) ~ the premise behind this tale is in uncovering the beauty around the world, and sharing our love of discovering new cultures.
As for me? I am a bit of a character and total storyteller, through and through. I tell stories to process what I see in the world around me, to make people laugh and share the sillier side of life, to encourage people to think and question, and to quite simply share things that I love.
What does being a Canadian traveler mean to you?
Interesting question. I suppose for me, it is representing my country with pride, and leaving people around the world with a positive experience of having had a Canadian visit. To me that means greeting them with a smile, being polite, respecting their culture, learning as much of their language as possible (at least greetings and thank yous), trying things local to the place, and treating their environment with care. Being a Canadian traveler to me, also means relishing in my own unique self, being able to dance the world over in our Roamancing red boots, holding my head high and looking others in the eye with a smile. I was brought up in a household with gender equality, to believe I could do whatever I set my mind to. In traveling, I believe as such a woman, it is important to carry myself as such, to empower women around the world to appreciate we are equal to all.
What got you started in your traveling endeavors?
My parents. As with many Canadians, my parents were travelers and in many ways children of the world, having our family roots spread out. This meant regular travel within the country, and to the US, since birth, with my first flight by myself at the age of 5 and my first trip overseas at the age of 10. I feel very fortunate for these experiences and to my parents for introducing me to travel and the world. I hope to do the same for my nieces and nephews.
Do you think you are more likely to be helped or treated better because you are a Canadian?
I think I am more likely to be helped and treated well when I travel, because I treat others with respect, am polite, and have an infectious smile.
What are the two most common stereotypes you have heard other travelers say about Canadians?
That we are polite and that we all speak French. Je parlez vous un peu Francais. I wish I spoke more French. I wish I was fluent.I must mention here that I am concerned that our government of the last few years is damaging our reputations as Canadian travelers, especially pertaining to the environment (and honesty and integrity).
Why do you think so many Canadians travel the world?
Canadians are natural nomads, as we all originally came from somewhere else. Meaning we all have ancestral roots and potential family to discover somewhere else in the world. This also means we inherit a sense of adventure from whichever of our ancestors made the journey to the new world in the first place. And as our country is already made up of people from around the world, we experience (especially in the cities) cultural celebrations, foods, dress and language of an international nature on a regular basis. I’d like to think that this takes away some of the fear of travel.
For travelers coming to Canada, what is your favorite spot?
I don’t have one. I like different parts of Canada for different reasons. On the East Coast, I love the music, welcoming nature of the people, the seafood and the Bay of Fundy. In Quebec, I love the food, trying to practice my French, the winter celebrations, and the culture overall. Ontario for me is time with family and enjoying walks with the dog, especially in the Autumn. Manitoba and Saskatchewan are my beloved film communities, with kitchen tables to enjoy some food and eccentrically delightful conversation, and couches to crash on. I also love Saskatchewan for road trips through beautiful fields of wheat and a natural sigh. Alberta I equate to adventures and challenges of early adulthood, which of course included the Rocky Mountains with it’s rugged beauty and wildlife. BC for me is summer homecomings, islands and beaches, and learning to slow down (just a little). And the North for me is the great unknown ~ land that I have yet to explore, but desperately want to.
Do you have any tips or advice to other Canadians traveling abroad?
Advice to other Canadians traveling? I think I laid it out above ~ be polite, respect the culture and people you are visiting, try new things local to the place, learn a few words of the language (so you can at least thank people in their language), and treat their environment with care. I also recommend researching the country and culture in advance, so that you pack with respect to the culture you are visiting in mind. Oh and please don’t travel with the attitude of “what happens on vacation, stays on vacation”, this just ends up impacting the travelers that arrive in a place next, and as a woman, I can tell you the last thing I want to be greeted with is the notion that we are all looking for a romp in the hay while we are traveling.
If you are a Canadian traveler and would like to be interviewed like Emme please head on over to the “Contribute” page to find out how to get in touch.