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11 Ways To Commune With Nature If You’re A City Person

So you wanna get close to nature, but not too close. We get it. Get as close as you like in Canada — and you'll still be home in time for a cuppa.

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1. Sleep in a giant ball suspended from a tree.

Kyle Greenberg (CC BY http://2.0) / Via flic.kr

OK, just stay with us... Are you the kind of city person who fears both nature and the wild animals in it? Then what better place to sleep than a sphere hanging far off the ground? The Free Spirit Spheres at Qualicum Bay on Vancouver Island are spherical treehouses suspended from a web of rope. They're available all year-round, because every month in British Columbia offers you something new and different to see, especially if all you usually see is the inside of your city office building.

2. Meet a polar bear.

© Frontiers North Adventures / Via Facebook: frontiersnorth

Nothing puts your life in perspective like getting up close and personal with a 12-foot bear in their home — especially from the toasty safety of a big, heavy truck. Frontiers North Adventures specialise in bear encounters and do a nifty line in beluga whale watching trips too.

3. Go glamping.

Thinkstock / Via thinkstockphotos.com

Why would you leave all your home comforts at home and swap it for a bit of tarp slung over a branch when you can go GLAMPING? British Columbia has some of the most outrageously gorgeous places to stay, and you can experience them in a yurt far more glamorous than some of the places you’ve lived. What’s a yurt? It’s the one you should choose over the log cabin, just for the novelty. It’s a circular cabin with electricity, heating, and fireplaces, but no cooking facilities, so you can still toast your marshmallows on a fire outside and feel like you’re camping proper.

4. Rent a Jeep, but sit in the back like some kind of millionaire.

Brian Holsclaw (CC BY-ND http://2.0) / Via flic.kr

You can explore the wilderness of Whistler while being chauffeured around by your own professional driver. Don't know where you're going? It's not your job to. They have a guy for that. Just look out the window and be ~amazed~ by Blackcomb Mountain.

5. Take in Niagara Falls without getting wet.

Nicholas Schooley / Flickr (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: nickschooley

It doesn't get much more awe-inspiring (or easy) than this: Some of the border-straddling wonder's most spectacular views are enjoyed from the Canadian side, and you can walk back to the pub / hotel when you've had enough majesty for one day. Cushy!

6. See the Earth without any clothes on.

Flickr / Emmanual Milou (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: manumilou

That's the Earth with no clothes on, not you. Gros Morne National Park's jagged landscape shows the effects of continental drift in action, with ancient seabed and rocks from deep in the Earth lying exposed for you to shake your head in wonderment at. A wilderness that combines Scandinavian-style fjords with Iceland-like volcanic landscape? That'll put your local skyscraper into perspective.

7. Be blown away by the Northern Lights...from your tent.

Courtesy of Aurora Village

The Northwest Territories city of Yellowknife is famous for being perfectly situated to catch the Northern Lights by night. Aurora Village specialises in making the experience extra cosy on chilly spring nights with a wood burning stove in your tipi and all kinds of hot drinks and treats. Who said seeing a natural wonder had to mean cold toes?

8. Do some adventure sports while also having the Plan B of staying inside at your riverside resort.

hojusaram / Flickr (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via flic.kr

Canada has more lakes, rivers and inland waters than any country on Earth – and a healthy glamping industry has built up around them, with many providers going so far as to over high-end camping with chefs and hot tubs right by the riverbank. It’s almost overkill to mention you also get to go rafting, really. Take your pick, it's all good.

9. Go hiking, but not the kind where you need your whole life on your back.

Matt Morgan / Flickr (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: mashleymorgan

There are hundreds of hiking trails in British Columbia, but if you're a city person, you probably don't want to go too crazy, right? Maybe you're staying in the city of Vancouver and want to be able to pop back to charge your phone — in which case, a hike up the world-famous Stawamus Chief granite outcropping might be the ticket.

Start with an hour's drive out of town, and the walk itself is about three hours in total. It's a great spot to catch a meteor shower and a glance of the Northern Lights. Back in time for tea.

10. Pop to the beach, hear it sing, and hop back in the car.

Nicholas Raymond / Flickr (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: 82955120@N05

This Prince Edward Island spot is known as the Singing Sands beach due to the weird sound it makes when disturbed — a fun gimmick that, along with warm waters, consistently sees this voted one of Canada's best beaches. Nip to the beach, have a giggle, and head back to PEI's capital Charlottetown for dinner. Low fuss — that's how we like it.

11. See the outdoors — while kinda being indoors.

Courtesy of Bonnechere Caves / Via Facebook: 192122204173771

The winding limestone passages of Ontario's Bonnechere Caves once laid on an ancient seabed — and you can still see the fossilised octopi and other creatures in the stone. Take a guided tour by the family who run the place. It even stays cool on hot summer days. Perfect for the sunburn-averse among us.

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