North America Countries


Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world’s second-largest country by total area. Canada’s southern border with the United States is the world’s longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra.

Toronto downtown skyline view from ferry to Center Island

We drove across Canada in 1980 to start our careers after university graduation, covering Kamloops, Revelstoke, Banff, Calgary, Moose Jaw, Regina, Brandon, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, and Toronto. While living in Peterborough, we visited Niagara Falls, Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City between 1980-1981. We moved to Kenora in 1985 for a career move, and we visited many small towns in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. Then we moved to Prince Rupert in 1987 and drove there via Saskatoon, Edmonton and Jasper. We visited many small towns in northern BC while we lived there for 2 years. In 1989, we moved south to Gibsons for another career move, and visited many small communities along the Sunshine Coast. After moving back to Vancouver in 1991, we have visited many cities in BC, visited family in Toronto, as well as Whitehouse and Kluane National Park in Yukon in 2015.


Mexico is a land of extremes, with high mountains and deep canyons in the center of the country, sweeping deserts in the north, and dense rain forests in the south and east. Mexico is the product of a rich indigenous heritage, three centuries of Spanish rule, and a shared border with the one of the world’s richest country, the United States. Today, most Mexicans are mestizos, which means they have a mix of indigenous and Spanish blood.

Mexico is a country with great problems and great potential. It is rich in natural resources, like oil, silver, copper, and agricultural products. But political and economic failings have kept much of the population in poverty.

Mexico City Cathedral on the north side of the Plaza de la Constitucon

We took a short family Los Angeles to Mexico cruise in 1994 after Disneyland, visiting Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. Then we flew to Cancun in 1997 for an all-inclusive family vacation, visiting Isla Mujeres, Tulum, Cozumel and Xel-Ha. We visited Mexico City and Teotihuacan in 2011 as part of our Patagonia and Antarctica trip. Then we took a three-generation cruise from San Diego to Mexico in 2013, visiting Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas.

We visited 3 USA-Mexico border cities over the years, including Tijuana across from San Diego (California), Nogales across from Tucson (Arizona), and Ciudad Juarez across from El Paso (Texas).

United States of America

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

The United States of America is the world’s third largest country in size and nearly third largest in terms of population.  More than twice the size of the European Union, the United States has high mountains in the West and a vast central plain. The lowest point in the country is in Death Valley which is at -86 meters and the highest peak is Denali at 6,198 meters.

Throughout its history, the United States has been a nation of immigrants. The population is diverse with people from all over the world seeking refuge and a better way of life. The country is a relatively young nation and it has become a global power since declaring independence from Britain on July 4, 1776.

We have visited 46 of 50 states over the years. We visited New York and Buffalo when we lived in Peterborough in 1980, then drove across USA in 1981, visiting Detroit, Chicago, Des Moines, Rapid City, Mount Rushmore, Badlands, Billings, Yellowstone National Park, Coeur d’Arlene, and Spokane.

While Tom worked in the pulp and paper industry and later in the development of a new SCADA system between 1985 to 1998, Tom attended many conferences and field visits, and he (or sometimes we both) visited Charleston (NC), Boston, Cape Cod, Rhode Island, Cincinnati, Louisville, Memphis, Nashville, Charleston (WV), Savannah, Hilton Head, Cape Hatteras, St. Helens, Houston, Galveston, Tucson, New Orleans, Austin, Baton Rouge, San Antonio, Waco, Dallas and Milwaukee.

We took family vacations in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Oahu, Maui, Orlando, Tampa Bay, Fort Lauderdale, Key West and the Oregon Coast, between 1993 and 2001.

We visited San Diego, El Paso, Carlsbad Caverns, White  Sands and Guadalupe  Mountain National Parks in 2013 as part of our 3-generation family cruise.

We took a 11-day road trip in 2018 to cover the 7 states, visiting Kansas City (KS), Topeka, Wichita, Oklahoma City, Hot Springs, Little Rock, Clarksdale, Memphis, St. Louis, Jefferson City, and Kansas City (MO).

See next – Central America & Caribbean Countries 

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