Posted 04 Jun, 2018 | 106 Comments
Posted in: Canada, Our Story

After 5 wonderful months in Grenada we headed home to Canada for a quick 10 day visit. We needed to get some government documents in order and wanted to see our families as it had been two years since we had seen our younger siblings.

(Looking for the giveaway? Skip below to the end of this article to enter! *Note: the SUBWAY gift card is valid in Canada only.)

We’re in Barbados now (woo hoo!) and we thought we’d fill you in on how our trip up north went.

Usually when we visit Canada, I just drive my brother’s extra car, but as he’s trying to sell it, we decided to rent a car through When we arrived at the airport, we headed to the Alamo office to pick up our ride and to our surprise, we were upgraded! We would be driving around in our stylish 2015 Dodge Charger while in Canada…not bad, eh?!

Dodge Charger

We stayed at my brother’s house in the countryside and had a total of 9 family members (14 if you include my brother & his family) come and visit us, all within the short duration of 10 days! It was a hectic visit (as always) but it was great to see everyone.

We drank way too much wine, ate way too much food, did some shopping, played mini-golf & boardgames, and didn’t have nearly enough time with our loved ones.

From left front around table:
From front left and around table: Nick’s Mom, Dariece, Nick’s Grandpa, Grandma, Niece, Sister-in-law, Brother, Sister’s boyfriend, Nick.

Aside from family, one of the things that we miss most from Canada while travelling is the food! We cooked up racks of ribs, bean and beef chilli, homemade soup, roasted chicken and fabulous burritos.

Note: For those visiting Canada who are not Canadian citizens, whether on a stop-over or for a longer stay, you may need to apply for a Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). Visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through a Canadian airport need an Electronic Travel Authorization.

However, those entering Canada by land or sea do not require an ETA. Furthermore, a number of visa-exempt foreign nationals do not require an ETA, such as U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens and permanent resident, cannot apply for an ETA.

An ETA is valid for up to 5 years or until your passport expires (whatever comes first). If you get a new passport, you must also apply for a new ETA. With an ETA, one can visit Canada as often as one likes for up to 6 months at a time. For more information and to apply for ETA, see:

I had my mom cook a giant ham meal and the ham stuffed breakfasts that follow. We also ordered in from our favourite pizza place in the world, Coco Brooks (only in Calgary), went out for Japanese food, and ate out at Subway 3 times.

Oh ya, we definitely crave our favourite foods when on the road!

***Don’t miss the giveaway at the bottom***

Subway & Coco Brooks
Left: Nick eating a Coco Brooks Big Al’s Pizza, Right: Dariece eating a Pizza Sub

By the end of the 10 days, we were exhausted, but we completed most of the errands that we had planned to do. Unfortunately, we didn’t spend much time on our website and online business, so now we’re rushing to play catch up. Hopefully we’ll have another episode of GoatLife TV for you guys to watch next week… from Barbados!

On our final Sunday night in Canada, we hopped on a 3.5 hour flight to Toronto at midnight where we had a 3.5 hour layover before continuing on to Barbados. Arriving on the island was a breath of fresh air (literally). It felt so good to be back in tropical weather and our skin was instantly moist.

Really don't miss this very much!
Really don’t miss this very much!

While we were lucky with lots of sunshine and above-freezing weather in Canada (aside from the one day, depressing photo above), our skin, hair and lips, just can’t handle the dry, cool weather of the north.

Landing back in the Caribbean felt like an instant spa treatment and it feels so much better being in the heat and humidity.

We are house sitting here for 6 weeks and the lovely owner, Jenny, picked us up from the airport and drove us back to her beautiful home (about 10 minutes from the sea for those of you who are wondering) to meet her 2 adorable golden retrievers, Hesus and Honey.

Hesus & Honey
Aren’t they cute?!

She was kind enough to leave us with her car while she’s away, so we’ll be exploring the island and taking you guys (and Hesus & Honey) with us. We’ll also fill you in on house sitting and much more about how you can land a job like this one for a 6 week getaway in Barbados!

A couple of days after landing back in the tropics, it was my 31st birthday! We headed out to the beach for some sunshine, beers and swimming. We went to Payne’s Bay Beach and there was a funky and affordable little beach bar right on the water where we sat and enjoyed tasty fish sandwiches and french fries while watching the waves gently lap on the Barbadian coastline.

Not a bad birthday!

Birthday in Barbados

We can already tell that we’re going to love it here and there will be plenty of blogs, guides, photos and videos from here in beautiful Barbados, so definitely stay tuned guys!

Enter below for your chance to win a $100 gift card from Subway Canada! Please note that the gift card can only be redeemed at SUBWAY locations in Canada. Sorry to our readers from other parts of the world! Stay tuned though, we have other giveaways coming up πŸ™‚ 

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Have you ever been to Barbados? Give us your tips below!

Visiting Canada + a Giveaway from Subway!

Special thanks to Coco Brooks, Subway Canada and Economy Bookings for helping to make our trip to Canada extra special. As always, all thoughts, opinions and views remain solely our own and are never altered by services, products or payments offered.

Disclaimer: Goats On The Road is an Amazon Associate and also an affiliate for some other retailers. This means we earn commissions if you click links on our blog and purchase from those retailers.

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Written by

Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,Β  WiseBreadΒ and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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106 thoughts on “Visiting Canada: Our Whirlwind Trip Home, and a Giveaway!

  1. I haven’t gotten an upgrade in the longest time but it’s always the best feeling. Can’t wait to see all your adventures in Barbados!

  2. BARBADOS – well jel. Good luck with the planing. We also now back home for Xmas with family before heading to Latin America in the new year. Great to be home but the coooold!

    (Hesus and Honey are so cute!)

  3. Oh man that much snow already at this time?! I bet you’re glad to be hopping on a plane to Barbados!

  4. what a wonderful place to go house sitting! And you get to borrow the dogs too!!!

    Looking forward to hearing more

  5. Heading home for short periods can be really nice sometimes and let you centre yourself again. Only for short periods though! ;D

  6. I really am fascinated by the idea of house sitting, but it’s just not the right time for us yet because of our own pets. Enjoy your time in Barbados, although I must admit I was excited by that snowy photo up above! It’s the skier in me. I can’t help it!

  7. Sounds like you had a great time back with your family. I agree trips home can be crazy but always worth it.

  8. Ah I’d love to nip home to see the family dog! Not so much the family (ha ha!) It’s getting chillier on the Westside but I don’t think I could handle what you guys go through at Winter. Contrary to belief, we don’t get much snow in the majority of Scotland so Vancouver is ideal for us!

  9. It’s always nice to spend time back home, especially with a sweet ride! lol
    Bummer that you had snow though, we haven’t had much more than a light flurry on the east coast so far this year!
    I am excited to see your videos from Barbados! πŸ™‚

  10. Every time I go home, I feel the same. Running from house to house to visit family and eat all the FOOD! And let’s not forget my 3 cats.

  11. I have seen snow only ONCE in my life. It was in the Himalayas πŸ™‚
    Canada looks beautiful.

  12. From the tropics to the snow back to the tropics! Home always will be home though These two puppies look sweet!

  13. It’s great that you were able to see so much of your family while you were home. It’s always so hard to get around to see everyone. I’m excited to hear about your time in Barbados. That sounds fantastic!

  14. we lived in India for almost a decade and every trip home was exactly like this – trying to fit in as many family/friend visits as possible along with doing shopping of necessary “western” items and of course eating all of our favorite foods as much as possible. now we are back in the US and go back to India and have to do it all again there πŸ˜‰

  15. Happy birthday! And wow, nice car upgrade there on the rental! I find it’s always fun revisiting home, and catching up with everyone and satisfying that craving for what was once local food!! You’ll have a fabulous time in Barbados though – looking forward to future updates!

  16. Always a great idea to get together with family. Honey and Hesus are indeed very very cute! And yeah, belated happy birthday!

  17. Happy 31st to you! Sounds like you had an incredible birthday. My 30th is coming up and I hope to spend it as fabulously as you did!

  18. Hi I’m happy for you guys, one more warm Christmas in sunny Barbados, enjoy life the best way you know how because life is short before you know it it’s all over. You hear me enjoy and say well.

  19. We have just been in Canada and thoroughly enjoyed the two cities we were able to visit, Montreal and Quebec. Haven’t been to Barbados but am certainly up for it. Happy Birthday and enjoy the house sit.

  20. I feel the same way about my skin and hair every time I return to Nova Scotia in the winter. I love visiting my family and I love seeing the snow… from a distance. I hate shoveling and the cold.

  21. Looks like a lovely visit! But you’re right that you get used to the benefits of a warmer climate. Central heating dries everything out! It’s nice to go home, but nice to hit the road again,

  22. It is always nice to visit family however short the visit is, put documents in order, and plan for the next phase of your travels!!! We’ve been doing it for 6 years now! Enjoy!

  23. Happy birthday, young ‘un! Glad to see you got to spend your “birthday season” visiting home and then enjoying the warmth of Barbados. πŸ™‚

  24. Happy 31st birthday πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to read about your housesitting experiences, this is something we really want to get into for our future travels. Nice car πŸ™‚ Xmas in Barbados though?! WELL jel xx

  25. You packed quite a bit into a short trip. I always eat WAY too much when I go home too (also a snowy place with lots of comfort food). I’ve been considering house sitting too – thanks for providing more info

  26. Happy Birthday! Barbados would be a wonderful place to celebrate. It is always nice to have the opportunity to connect with family and eat local food – there is no place like home! Enjoy Barbados – Hesus and Honey look so cute.

  27. Living in Germany, of course we miss our family, but we are the same way about food when we go home…I always have a LOOONG list of things I MUST get (REAL Mexican food, STEAK and all my favorite local mom and pop shops just to name a few!!) I always gain 10 pounds just from a return visit home!

  28. Good to see that you made time to spend with the family. I imagine it helps to keep the balance and prevent travel burnout that is increasingly common among bloggers.

  29. There’s nothing like home cooking when you’ve been traveling for awhile. I’m glad you got to enjoy being with your family. The more we travel, the more we appreciate our loved ones.

  30. Those are good climates: either cold and dry or warm and moist. Far worse is cold and moist which is what we have most of the time… (and not healthy either)

  31. It’s always great to spend time with family after being away for so long. Even though it can be a little crazy to try and spend time with them all. Enjoy your next adventure in Barbados and happy belated birthday!

  32. I never miss the dry Calgary air when traveling πŸ˜‰ Would love to house and pet sit in the future but for now I prefer traveling around an entire country when I’m on vacation for 3-4 weeks. Can’t wait to read about your next adventures

  33. That looks like a wonderful family! I love getting together with my big family and sitting around telling funny stories about each other. I’ve never had a bad time with my loved ones. Ok, that’s not entirely true, haha! It seems like you picked a great time for a visit and you had a fun celebration!

  34. Family and food are the things we are all about on trips home too! Looks like you had a great visit, and I’m sure everyone was so happy to spend time with you. Can’t wait to read more about your adventures in Barbados!

  35. I’m leaving Canada in Jan for the Caribbean, this post helps get me more pumped up (plus the fact that it snowed here yesterday).

  36. Hi, I do beleve your website may be having internet
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  37. I have two kids going to university, (the same one) and I’ll give this to them so they can eat!

  38. It’s scary to say I haven’t been home in 7 years. My family have visited me here in Canada but flying to NZ is too expensive for me. I’d like the subway card so I can eat well and save some cash.

  39. I love all your articles!! You guys are living the life. I really hope we can meet again one day sooner rather then later. Happy Holidays you two! Love ya both. XO

  40. That subway card would be perfect for our 6 weeks in Canada now that we’re unemployed and homeless! πŸ˜‰

  41. Love love love your blog guys. We are in Costa Rica right now and heading to Nicaragua in the morning to do our first house sit! But we are from Canada and will be returning in the spring, so a Subway gift card would be awesome.
    Can’t wait to hear more about Barbados!

  42. Thanks so much, Nancy! Sounds like a wonderful adventure–good luck with your first house sit!

  43. Whoo-hoo!! Soon you’ll be seeing sand instead of snow! Hope that adventure goes well for you πŸ˜€

  44. We truly did enjoy our time there! Seeing all of our family again felt amazing.
    Can’t wait for you to hear about what we’ve been doing in Barbados so far!

  45. They’re the best, hahah! We have our differences, but we all love each other despite (and sometimes because of) them. Getting the whole family together always feels good πŸ˜€

  46. Oh no–I’m not sure I’d enjoy that mix! You’ll have to make a trip to your dream climate soon. πŸ˜€

  47. Exactly!! It was incredible! We’re really happy we got the chance to go back and see them, even though it was for such a short time. πŸ˜€

  48. Sometimes the biggest challenges of living away is not being able to see family as often as you would like. Hopefully you guys will find a way to see each other again soon!

  49. Even though during our travels our friends become our family, nothing compares to going “home” and connecting with our roots. πŸ˜€

  50. YES!! The food is the best part of going back! (Haha, just kidding–we love our family.)

  51. It was the perfect place to spend my birthday πŸ˜€ We’re loving Barbados so far–and these pups are seriously awesome, haha!

  52. We seriously did do so much, it was crazy–but amazing. πŸ˜‰ Glad to hear the information on housesitting was useful to you!

  53. Thanks for the birthday wishes! πŸ˜€
    We’re excited for you to read about this adventure so far, too. It’s been amazing.

  54. Aw, more updates coming soon, don’t worry! We can’t wait for you to hear all about Barbados πŸ˜€

  55. Aw!! We hope you’re enjoying the time home with your family. It’s always the best on holidays, isn’t it?! Good luck trying to survive the cold weather! πŸ˜‰

  56. Yep, that’s Calgary for you! So crazy how happy we were to have our toes in the sand again. πŸ˜€

  57. Hahah–you’re crazy! πŸ˜€ We’re loving every second of being here in Barbados.

  58. Thanks!! It was such an awesome birthday–so glad I got to be in the warm sun for it πŸ˜€

  59. Six years…that’s awesome!! πŸ˜€ Good luck on your (hopefully many) future travels!

  60. Sure is!! Though it was an awesome trip, we definitely missed natural heat and sunny days. πŸ™‚

  61. Haha, that’s precisely why we don’t make it back too often!! It was definitely nice to do this once, though. πŸ™‚

  62. Aw we’re glad you enjoyed what you saw of our home country! Barbados is quite beautiful too–we totally recommend that you visit one day!

  63. We sure liked it too πŸ˜‰ hahah! Everything was SO tasty–from home-cooked meals to subway we enjoyed it all!!

  64. Thanks for the birthday wishes!! πŸ˜€ Our time spent with loved-ones was wonderful…so happy to be cuddling these sweet pups under the warm sun, though!

  65. Ah, you’re lucky!! We (obviously) don’t enjoy snow, but hey–seeing all of our family was worth it. We’re stoked for you to see the videos of Barbados, too πŸ˜€

  66. Yes!! The FOOD! Hahaha! πŸ˜€ Going home is always so hectic for us, but truly wonderful all the same.

  67. That’s crazy!! I must say, I’m a bit jealous you’ve only seen it once…snow can be beautiful, but it always means cold weather!

  68. Exactly–no matter where we are in the world, home is always home πŸ™‚ And the pups really are such sweethearts!

  69. Thanks, Meg! I couldn’t have said it better myself–visiting home is the best for those reasons exactly. We can’t wait to share our stories of this amazing island so far πŸ˜€

  70. Hey Goats! Heard about you over the past few months, but just recently started watching your YouTube videos. Great cinematography, BTW! By far some of the best travel videos I have ever seen. I didn’t realize you two are fellow Canadians! Me, too. I am based in Toronto. What part of Canada are you two from?

  71. Hi Ray,

    Thanks for stopping by! We really appreciate the kind words about our YouTube videos, thanks so much πŸ™‚ We’re from Vernon in the Okanagan, B.C., but we lived in Calgary for around 6 years as well. Never been to TO!

  72. Canada is so fascinating! There are many breathtaking spots to explore and it’s definitely worth to visit every province as there are very diversified. Thanks for sharing!

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