WE LOVE CANADA. (That’s the royal “we”: this magazine and presumably its readers, too.) But many of us also like getting away — Canadians take some 30 million trips to foreign countries each year — so Canadian Geographic Travel has dedicated this issue to exploring the international destinations Canadians visit. As one would expect, the United States is our number-one destination, with Canadians making nearly 3.5 million visits each year. Perhaps also predictably, we spend the most time in Florida. Count me among those tourists, as I visited Miami last October to explore the city’s arts and culture scene (see some of the highlights in “One city,” page 20). During my visit, however, I was struck by the Canadiana I came across in the city best known for its Cuban and Latin American influences. (I suspect many Canadian travellers find similar pockets of their culture in nations around the world.) The Canadian connections kicked off shortly after I arrived at Miami International Airport: my taxi driver was a former Torontonian, with family back home in Mississauga, Ont. At lunch two days later at the hip Wynwood Kitchen + Bar, which overlooks the Wynwood Walls outdoor graffiti gallery, I was staring at a wall of artwork by Faile, a New York City-based street art duo, one half of which is Edmonton-born Patrick Mcneil. Little over an hour later, while touring the Wynwood neighbourhood’s renowned graffiti, I ran into street artist Jas9 (Jasmine Dearden) — a Montrealer — in the midst of creating her latest mural. (The world’s greatest graffiti artists flock to Wynwood to strut their stuff. See above.) Two cool Canadians I wouldn’t have heard of if not for being in Miami. That evening, I went to the New World Center to see the New World Symphony, the world’s only full-time orchestral academy dedicated to grooming young musicians for careers with the planet’s foremost symphony orchestras. The Canadian connection: the stunning, state-of-the-art theatre, which blends into Miami Beach’s art deco architecture, was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. Two days later as I headed back to the airport, the connections came full circle. My driver went on at length about his dreams of visiting Canada. It seemed a fitting conclusion to my trip. As much as it’s a getaway to visit other nations, it’s also refreshing to return home to the land we love.