Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

How are we able to be out of Canada for so long?

We had a question yesterday from someone on our Facebook page...

"I'm curious how you are able to be out of Canada for so long."

And we've had similar questions from other people over the past several weeks that we've been in the Unites States. Prior to this virus thing, we were originally supposed to return to Canada in April for 10 days, and then again starting May 1st for most of the following six months.

The last time we were in Canada was in November, for a day and a half. Prior to that, we were in Peru for three weeks. Prior to that, we were in Ontario for about 5 weeks. The last time we were in our residence province of Saskatchewan was in August... for three days!

So, getting to the answer to the question...

In actual fact, we can stay out of Canada as long as we wish... it is totally our choice. There is absolutely nothing stopping us from making that choice, provided there is another country willing to accept us as visitors.

Some people get confused about the time you are able to spend in another country, thinking that it is actually time allowed out of your home country. But that is not relevant. In the case of the United States, we are allowed 182 days out of any 12 month period.

Now, what stops many people from doing what we do is the possible loss of their coveted "free" Canadian Health Insurance. The rules are slightly different for each province, but typically if you are out of province for more than 7 months, you lose your provincial health insurance. And again, depending on the province, your health insurance is re-instated once you return to your residence province for 3 months.

In some provinces, you can also apply for an extension to maintain your health coverage while you are out of the province for more than 7 months. You can also of course buy private insurance.

So in our case, we simply make the choice to travel. We are both in good health, we eat properly, we get a lot of exercise, and we don't take any drugs... prescription or otherwise. Yes, we probably drink too much alcohol!

But essentially, we don't worry about it. If we need to see a doctor, we pay for it. And yes, we understand the risks.

Yesterday, we went for a nice hike in the woods.

We set off at about 10:30am.

Once we got into the forested area, we quickly noticed the number of fallen trees. But this wasn't a recent thing. You could tell that something happened, some kind of a big wind storm or something had brought these trees down 20 or 30 years ago.

I did the research when we got back to the motorhome. Sure enough, there had been a high altitude tornado that had touched down in this area back in August of 1993!

It wiped out 1,200 acres of trees, and was one of the highest altitude ever recordings of a tornado in the United States.

It must have taken them months of chainsaw work just to clear this trail.

Heading higher.

We started out at 8,200' and made it up to 9,300'.

Almost June, and there is still some snow hanging around up here...

Snowball fight anyone?

The trail.

It started to get too muddy.

Looking even higher up, you can see even more snow.

We never did get much of a view.

Back at the bottom.

Made it back to Sherman at 1:00pm.

We had a good 5.5 mile (9 km) hike.

Relaxed for the afternoon, and did some grilled hamburgers, potato salad, and Caesar salad for dinner.

After dinner, I saw some elk in the field opposite and we set off to get a closer look.

The things we do to get a better photo!

They were pretty skittish though and were quick to head off into the bushes as we got closer.

Today, we are meeting up with Bob and Denise again!

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  1. I can say I agree with your line of thinking. From following you for now... this many years later I think I remember you only needing a doctor a few times. Fresh air, less stress, exercise and eating well should be what everyone does. :) Love the photo of Ruth crossing the creek!

    1. Nope, we have hardly ever needed at doctor, and we hope this will continue.

      We do know that fresh air, exercise go a long way but it doesn't stop accidents from happening so we always use common sense and try to be cautious but if we lived our life the way many people do, then there is a lot of stuff that we would never have experienced.

  2. The problem in the world today, too many people are far too nosey. WHO CARES, really - who cares why you can stay out of Canada for more than 182 days. I know many folks who stay gone from home all year long. People just get too overly involved in knowing other people's business and its sad. In fact, many should and do need to get a life and spend the time they spend on other peoples lives, on their own lives. Just my humble opinion.

    1. You are right to a point but I think it is more curiosity that begs the question, especially if it is an American asking it. Too often they hear so many Canadians saying they can only we away from Canada for so long. As Kevin mentioned though, there are two things to beware of and the main one is the 182 days, it doesn't mean we can't be out of Canada longer than that, it means that a Canadian can't be IN the US longer than that. That 182 day rule is a US rule not a Canadian one. :-)

  3. Its great information for those of us that didnt know how to do it but want too. Thanks a million. Enjoy the heck out of it.

    1. So glad that you found the information helpful. And, yes we are enjoying the heck out of it. :-)

  4. I seem to also recall that some Canadians may have an IRS tax issue if they regularly spend more than 120 days in the US.

    1. I am not sure of the exact number of days this entails as I believe that they have changed that slightly in just the last month or two but yes, staying in the States 182 out of every 12 month period does also mean that you you need to count your days carefully as the IRS rules are different and very confusing. However, in our case this has no relevance to us as we never are in the US for that kind of time frame, plus the question was how can we stay out of Canada for so long, not how can we stay in the US for so long. :-)


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