What It Means To Be A Canadian Traveler: An Interview with Charlotte Jablanczy

This is a post in a series here at Whirlwind Travel. Every month will feature a new interview in
the “What It Means To Be A Canadian Traveler” series. If you are a Canadian traveler and would like
to be interviewed like Charlotte, please head on over to the “Contribute” page to find out how to get in touch.

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Charlotte, and I am from beautiful Invermere, British Columbia!

Do you have a blog? Tell me a bit about it.

I do have a blog, CHARJARBINX.

I started the blog about 3 years ago, when me and my friend took a two month tour throughout Europe and wanted to share our little adventures with family and friends back home.  Little did I know that that fateful trip would lead me onto an even BIGGER adventure of moving overseas, with my handsome sidekick black lab, to attend university in Austria.

Charotte in Garmisch, Germany, cheering on the Canadian Alpine Skiiers.

Nowadays, I chronicle my life as a Canadian living abroad!

What does being a Canadian traveler mean to you?

I think it means embracing other cultures and experiences… it means trying anything and EVERYTHING at least once… but mostly, it means being an ambassador to our country.  As a nation, we have the reputation of being friendly, caring and considerate of others, and I am proud to embody that stereotype ;)

What got you started in your traveling endeavors?

Like so many others, my traveling adventure started with heartbreak and a profound need to take a break from reality and discover myself along the way.

Do you think you are more likely to be helped or treated better because you are a Canadian?

DEFINITELY!

Charlotte on a summer vacation to Lake Garda, Italy.

What are the two most common stereotypes you have heard other travelers say about Canadians?

1: It’s cold in Canada. Like, realllllly cold.

2: We are scared of the dark. Thank you Robin Sherbotsky from HIMYM!

Why do you think so many Canadians travel the world?

We are very fortunate to have the freedom to do so, and most countries around the world allow Canadians to cross their borders relatively hassle-free.  I also think it might have something to do with the fact that Canadians generally come from another ancestral background… so perhaps there’s an allure to discover your roots, wherever they may be.  Personally, I felt drawn to Austria and Hungary to see the places where my grandparents came from.

Charlotte in Salzburg, Austria touring the "Sound of Music" city

For travelers coming to Canada, what is your favorite spot?

Anywhere in B.C. :) The Rocky/Purcell Mountains in the east for skiing and hiking.The Okanagan region in the center for swimming and boating in the gorgeous, massive lakes. The west coast for the ocean. And Vancouver, for a little taste of a big city! (the sushi, the beaches, the seawall… ahhhh!)

Do you have any tips or advice to other Canadians traveling abroad or for travellers coming here to Canada?

Tips for Canadians abroad: A friendly smile goes a long way in getting good service or help. Be appreciative and pay attention to local customs.  Air/cheek kisses are the norm when greeting someone… and be sure to look people directly in the eye when saying “cheers” or “prost”!

Tipping a whopping 10-20% isn’t the cultural norm… generally just round up to the nearest Euro (within reason).

Tips for travellers to Canada: Handshakes when meeting someone… And be aware of the gratuity charges in the service industry.  While it IS technically optional… 10-20% added to the bill is quite common practice.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Charlotte and her beautiful black lab, Tomba.

ABOUT CHARLOTTE: I’m a twenty-something Canadian currently living in Austria to attend university. I packed my life up into 2 Canadian-Tire-hockeybags and one massive dog kennel, and set off on my adventure over a year ago. When I’m not studying, you can usually find me and my blacklab, roaming throughout the Tyrollean Alps! Check out my “about me” page for details ;)

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