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Morgan Leet driving across the U.S. border from Vancouver. Right: The Canada U.S. boarder crossing.

Morgan Leet driving across the U.S. border from Vancouver. Right: The Canada U.S. boarder crossing.

This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

Even though the U.S. is just a short drive away from many cities in Canada, there are some undeniable differences that you'll notice as soon as you cross the border.

I drove from Vancouver, B.C. to the closest U.S. border town — only an hour away. It's a quick and easy trip getting into our southern neighbour, but you can tell right away that it's a very different country than Canada.

From an outsider's perspective, the countries can seem super similar, but to a Canadian stepping into the U.S., it's laughable how unlike we are.

Everything from the way we talk to how we pay for a coffee is different.

I'm not going to lie, there are a few things I'm pretty jealous of when I go to the U.S. — mainly Target.

I'm always excited to come back to Canada though and get a break from seeing American flags around every corner. A short visit is enough for this Canadian girl.

These six signs make it super obvious that you're not in Canada anymore.

Flags are literally everywhere

The Starbucks in Blaine, Washington.

The Starbucks in Blaine, Washington.

Morgan Leet | Narcity

I get having country pride sometimes — but the U.S. takes it to a whole new level.

It's not just the border crossing that's covered in red, white, and blue either. It's basically on every restaurant, house, and street corner you pass.

When I crossed over to Blaine, Washington, it wasn't hard to remember that I was in the U.S., because there was always a flag to remind me.

There was the odd Canadian flag too since it's a border town.

We get it people — you love America.

The way people talk

Growing up close to Maine, I am somewhat used to how Americans pronounce things. It's always funny though hearing little words said differently.

On the reverse, it's hilarious to see people click in that you're Canadian when you say "toque," "eh," or "loonie."

The stores are different

This is one of the things that I am so jealous about.

As soon as you drive into the states you are welcomed with signs for Target, Walgreens, Ulta, and Trader Joe's.

Who else misses Canadian Target?

Paying for things

I went to the U.S. when the border first opened back up, so it has been a solid two years since I had travelled there.

I totally forgot that the whole process of paying is different there, so was super confused when I had to sign the receipt after buying a coffee at the local Starbucks.

Going out to dinner was a whole other challenge. When they took my credit card from me I thought I was being robbed for a minute!

It made me seriously appreciate the waiter bringing the machine over to my table in Canada.

Going out with a group in the U.S.? Good luck.

It's not typical for them to split the bill as restaurants do in Canada, so someone better download Venmo.

The snacks

Stopping for a snack on your drive? You'll be surprised about what you find, and what you don't.

They have way more types of Oeros that I've never even heard of in Canada — like Gingerbreak and PB & J.

If you're craving ketchup chips though, you're out of luck.

I recommend stocking up on chips, Smarties, and Aero bars before taking a trip. Then explore the U.S. gas stations for all the cool candy you can bring home.

Checking your weather app

My first day in the U.S. I went on my phone to check the weather in Blaine for the next day. I was instantly confused.

Canada uses Celsius while the U.S. uses Fahrenheit. It definitely took me a minute to remember that.

Luckily the oceanside town is super close to Vancouver, so the weather is basically the same.

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

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