eh Interview with “Family Travel with a Day Job” Blog.
“Canadians and their smiling faces are at the top of friendly when it comes to the world’s people. And as a traveler, that makes the country even that much more inviting!” Steve Grams
We are proud to introduce you to Steve Grams of the “Family Travel with a Day Job” Blog. Steve is also a regular contributor for NoWineLeftBehind.com.
Family Travel with a Day Job Blog: http://www.dadtraveler.com/
No Wine Left Behind Website: http://www.nowineleftbehind.com/
You can comment about this article with Steve on Twitter at @YourSocialHotel
Via the Twitter-verse, we have met many quality travelers and writers of travel in the short time we have been tweeting. Steve Grams, an American Blogger, has stood out when it comes to positively interacting, commenting and talking about (aboot) Canada and the adventures, cultures and traditions we hold close to our hearts.
As we have said for years the branding of Canada to the world requires much more focus and clarity from our tourism associations. Steve shines some light on the American perception of travel in Canada.
So… keeping with our country’s lack-luster branding practises we are conducting this interview from our Eskimo igloo while eating raw moose meat, dipped in maple syrup, surrounded by polar bears, Mounties and beavers.
In the interview Steve Grams shares with us his love of travel, his brand and his friendship with Canada and the brothers of eh Canada Travel & Adventure.
The “Friends of Tourism” program is an interview initiative conducted by eh Canada Travel & Adventure which introduces you, the reader, to some of the talented and, generally, good people of travel we have had the pleasure of working with including artists, photographers, adventure product companies, sponsors, travel bloggers and supporting tourism advertisers.
Welcome Steve! Thank you for your time.
1. Who are you, what do you do and where are you from?
(Family Travel with a Day Job Blog) I am Steve Grams the blogger in chief for Family Travel with a Day Job, contributor at NoWineLeftBehind.com and every day marketer/husband/father. I wear many hats professionally and wear 2 kids on my head at night. I was born, raised, and educated in the land of cheese, aka Wisconsin, and have spent most of my professional career in Omaha, NE. In my years I have grown from an American nomad wandering the byways of the USA in search of a satisfying career, to an international traveler in search of culturally rich experiences. My goal is to bring my past experiences to my children’s life and help them realize that the world is larger than our tiny point on the globe, and hopefully show them the world as I have been able to experience it.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) Nature Deficient Disorder is a growing problem in our country and your story hopefully will shine some light on an otherwise troubling situation.
2.(1) Being that you live in the USA what is your favourite thing about Canada?
(Family Travel with a Day Job Blog) Honestly I don’t think that there is anything in Canada that I don’t enjoy. It may seem like a folksy answer, but my favorite thing in Canada has been the Canadian people themselves. In business and personal travel, I have yet to find any Canadian unwilling to reach out and either help out a confused American at the gas pump, or explain the historical site that I’m looking at that I didn’t know the significance of. From an impromptu education on Niagara wines to help on which poutine I needed to be trying, Canadians and their smiling faces are at the top of friendly when it comes to the world’s people. And as a traveler, that makes the country even that much more inviting!
(ehCanadaTravel.com) It must be our please, thank you and sorry mentality. Joking aside… we are proud of our Canadian hospitality. And if we could, we would thank the people who left you with such a good impression.
2.(2) What is the biggest misconception about Canada?
(Family Travel with a Day Job Blog) From where I live, I think the biggest misconception is that Canada is this wild land filled with only lumberjacks and Mounties on red coats traversing the barren land on horse. I have not traveled the entire country, but just the Toronto-Hamilton-Niagara area alone felt more cosmopolitan than most areas of the US. Add in the Montreal area with it’s surrounding natural beauty and urban French feel and you have covered 2 of the largest cities in North America. As we in the US enjoy multiple landscapes with city-scapes dotting our land, so does Canada and many Americans don’t realize that.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) Yes, we often thank our national tourism associations with their branding efforts.
3. Tell us something unique about Family Travel with a Day Job Blog?
(Family Travel with a Day Job Blog) The one thing that I think is unique to my blog is that it isn’t just a travel skills blog. What I’ve tried to incorporate on the blog are different bits of my life from travel, to business, to random thoughts that pop into my head at the park on how swings and blowing bubbles can help bring the world together. If you find someone with a million things in their head as unique, you’ve found the right blog. Along those lines the No Wine Left Behind Blog has a unique flavor of blending travel and unique offerings of the drinks kind as well. So if my random thoughts on life are interesting, my random travels to areas you may have never thought of traveling for a drink may interest you as well.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) “… how swings and blowing bubbles can help bring the world together” Enough said.
4. What suggestions do you have for tourism in Canada based on your international travels?
(Family Travel with a Day Job Blog) Free Tim Hortons donut giveaway at the border. In all seriousness though, for many parts of the US the idea of a Canadian adventure is foreign, no pun intended. I think the diverse cultures and landscapes of Canada need more promotion. Again, a lot of people don’t see Canada as anything but a northern extension of Minnesota, when in reality there is even more diversity than in most parts of the US. From the people that make up Canada with heritage from all over the globe, to its city to prairie to mountains to lakes landscape, Canada is not just an extension of our border, but one of the most unique offerings in the world.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) Yes, we agree. Canada needs fresh thinking, bold marketing and clear messaging. It irks us in a big way how Canada is promoted by our national marketing bodies. Here is the catch… they think they are doing a good job. Thank you for being candid.
5. #1 Reason you decided to become a travel blogger?
(Family Travel with a Day Job Blog) Honestly the reason I joined the travel blogging community was to connect with other travelers and adventurers to find out more tips and destinations to fill my passport with. And with the aforementioned millions of things in my head I felt that putting some on to virtual paper could give other people an insight into travel beyond just seeing a site like I do. After thinking about it, maybe I hoped to become some sort of global ambassador of good.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) We wish you continued good travels and you have our vote as a “global ambassador of good”.
6. What is your funniest photo moment?
(Family Travel with a Day Job Blog) Funny and unnerving at the same time is how I would describe it. And a travel skill for all. When on an early RER train in Paris from St.Germain to Paris CDG airport, an announcement came over the speakers. Obviously it was in French, and beyond a few passing phrases my French is anything but Tres Bien. Everyone departed the train, but we had a plane to catch and figured this is where people got off to work. Until the train started rolling and the lights inside were turned off. Then it hit full speed and whizzed through every platform in Paris. Not knowing where we were headed panic sunk in. Where are we going, will we miss our flight back to the states, will we be arrested as stowaways? In the end our train pulled into the final stop on the line, Paris CDG Airport, and I was able to pry the doors and we sneaked off the platform getting away from a shouting conductor. We will never forget it, and now that it is over, tears of laughter replace the tears of fright in the moment. Tip, if you don’t understand what someone says, follow the group of locals, they probably know what they’re doing.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) It is always wise to learn the language of a foreign country prior to travel as you know. Sounds easier said than done too. Like you, we have been in foreign lands and language has created some very funny moments.
7. What do you love about Canadian winter and summer seasons and why?
(Family Travel with a Day Job Blog) Growing up in the northern reaches of the US, I love being able to skate on a frozen pond which I can find throughout Canada in the winter. Pair that with skiing, curling, and just building a snowman and you have full winter activity at your fingertips which is wonderful for a winter kid like myself. In summer the warm days ( or hot days if you were in Ontario and Quebec this past July like I was) bring a full array of activities themselves. Fishing, mountain climbing, swimming, and touring the cities can all be comfortably achieved in Canadian summer. The “going to the lake” vacation in the US is amplified by the remoteness of many of the lakes north of our border, which adds a real back in time feel to the cabin experience.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) Yes, we are fortunate here in Canada to enjoy two top quality peak tourism seasons. We have to continue to educate the world so to clarify our brand so everyone knows.
8. Based on your research and knowledge of Canada where should travelers visit when exploring Canada?
(Family Travel with a Day Job Blog) I don’t think that there is anywhere you can go wrong honestly. The lakes of Ontario for sport fishing. The beauty of Nova Scotia for an Atlantic coast experience. Banff and the surrounding area for a Rocky Mountain high. Vancouver for a Pacific experience with a touch of wonderful craft beer. Toronto for a clean big city experience. Quebec City and Montreal for France in North America. And I will say, seeing Niagara Falls is a must do, especially with wonderful wine only a stone’s throw away. I could go on, but again people may question my citizenship down here if I continue to gush.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) There is always dual citizenship. LOL. We look forward to hooking up with you sometime in the future down there or up here.
9. Where would you like to travel in Canada for your next adventure and why?
(Family Travel with a Day Job Blog) Well, I want to tick Vancouver and Victoria off the list. My wife and I were in the planning stages of a 2010 Winter Olympic run to Vancouver until we found out that we would be parents so shelved that idea. I think the landscape and diverse offerings of the area put western BC high on our list. The other area that is very high is Banff. We make yearly treks to the Colorado Rockies for adventure and relaxation and the pictures and videos on Banff that we have watched, now don’t tell my American countrymen I said this, put what we see in Colorado to shame. The stunning beauty of Lake Louise and Banff are high on our list, as long as these can be achieved with a meet-up of our favorite Canadian adventure brothers as well.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) Looking forward to a hook up in the near future.
10. Please give us some insight on what, you see, as the biggest mistake travelers do?
(Family Travel with a Day Job Blog) What I see people, including myself, doing is trying to do everything you are “supposed” to do in a destination and never taking any time to relax and enjoy the moment. So many people get wrapped in going to the biggest sites, wearing the “correct” attire, and eating at the restaurants in their guidebooks, that they miss a quiet park or a street market or an unbelievable view. If we all slowed down and took in our moments a little bit more it may also trickle into our everyday lives
(ehCanadaTravel.com) We are enjoying this moment as we speak. As always it has been a pleasure to chat and talk travel with you. Thank you for your insight and comments about Canada.
You can comment about this article with Steve on Twitter at @YourSocialHotel
ehCanadaTravel.com (eh Canada Travel & Adventure) is the largest and fastest growing booking, planning and researching tourism and travel website for Western and Northern Canada currently expanding into Eastern and Atlantic Canada. The EH Team Brothers (Co Founders) also author the eh Canada Travel Blog which was recently awarded “A Top Canadian Blogger” by FlightNetwork.com.