AI and Travel Writing

Our robot overlords are coming, and they’ve got some travel tips.  This month saw the launch of ChatGPT, the most advanced AI chatbot engine yet, capable of churning out articles and stories in seconds, and freely available to test drive.  “Looks like you’ll soon be out of a job,” texted a friend.   If that’s the case, I thought it would be fun to let ChatGPT write my December blog post.  As you can see below, it does a perfectly acceptable, albeit mind-numbingly dull job, the kind of stuff you’d find on crappy SEO-web traps that feel like they’ve been created by robots  anyway.  Bear in mind, these stories were generated in mere seconds.

There are many things that could be on a Canadian bucket list, as Canada is a vast and diverse country with a lot to offer. Some possible items that could be on a Canadian bucket list include:

  •  – Visiting the stunning national parks, such as Banff and Jasper in the Rocky Mountains, or Algonquin Park in Ontario
  •  – Seeing the beautiful Niagara Falls, which straddles the border between Canada and the United States
  • –  Experiencing the vibrant culture and history of Canada’s major cities, such as Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver
  • –  Taking a road trip through the Canadian countryside, with stops at small towns and scenic locations along the way
  • –  Enjoying the great outdoors, with activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, or skiing in the winter
  • –  Discovering the rich First Nations cultures and traditions that are an important part of Canada’s heritage
  • –  Trying some of the delicious local cuisine, such as poutine (French fries with gravy and cheese curds), maple syrup, or Nanaimo bars (a type of no-bake dessert).

Canada offers many unique travel experiences, due to its vast and diverse landscapes, rich culture, and abundant natural beauty. Some of the most unique travel experiences in Canada could include:

  • –  Taking a boat tour through the spectacular Niagara Gorge to get a close-up view of the mighty Niagara Falls
  • –  Going dog sledding in the snowy wilderness of the Canadian North, where you can see the Northern Lights and explore the frozen tundra
  • –  Going whale watching off the coast of British Columbia, where you can see orcas, humpback whales, and other marine life in their natural habitat
  • – Visiting the Bay of Fundy, where you can see the world’s highest tides and explore the unique ecosystems of the tidal mudflats
  • – Going on a safari in the Rocky Mountains, where you can see bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, and other wildlife in their natural habitat
  • – Visiting the First Nations communities of Canada’s West Coast, where you can learn about the cultures and traditions of the indigenous peoples of Canada
  • – Going ice fishing on one of Canada’s many frozen lakes, where you can try your hand at catching fish through a hole in the ice.


That’s a decent variety GPT, but travel writers like myself write stories, so let’s try one of those:

Once upon a time, a couple decided to take a trip to Canada to explore the beautiful landscapes and rich culture of the country. They packed their bags and set off on an adventure that they would never forget.

As they flew over the vast expanse of the Canadian wilderness, they were awestruck by the stunning views of snow-capped mountains, deep forests, and crystal clear lakes. They landed in Toronto, a bustling city known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. They spent their first few days in Toronto exploring the city’s many attractions. They visited the CN Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the world, and enjoyed breathtaking views of the city from the observation deck. They also visited the Royal Ontario Museum, where they marveled at the vast collection of artifacts and exhibits.

After a few days in Toronto, they decided to rent a car and drive west to the beautiful province of Alberta. As they drove through the countryside, they were mesmerized by the stunning views of the Rocky Mountains and the vast expanses of untouched wilderness.

In Alberta, they spent their days hiking in the mountains, marveling at the breathtaking beauty of the landscape. They also visited Banff National Park, where they saw stunning glaciers, waterfalls, and wildlife.

After a week in Alberta, they continued their journey east to the province of Quebec. In Quebec, they were enchanted by the charming French-Canadian culture and the beautiful architecture of the old city of Quebec. They spent their days wandering the cobbled streets and enjoying delicious French cuisine. Their trip to Canada was an unforgettable adventure that they would always cherish. They returned home with a newfound appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the country, and a desire to explore more of its wonders in the future.

Once a upon a… zzzzz.  Only a robot that never sleeps would drive from Toronto to Alberta and then head to Quebec City. Check your itinerary ChatGPT!  Where’s the colour, where’s the personality, where’s the real-life funny stuff?   So I asked ChatGPT to have another go.

There was once a group of friends who decided to embark on a journey to complete their Canadian bucket list. The first item on their list was to visit Niagara Falls and take a boat tour through the spectacular Niagara Gorge.

As they arrived at the falls, they were greeted by a gruff and weather-beaten tour guide who seemed to have seen it all. “Welcome to the Mighty Niagara Falls!” he boomed. “Are you ready to experience the thrill of a lifetime?”

The friends nodded eagerly, eager to get started on their adventure. The tour guide led them to a small boat that was moored at the edge of the falls. As they climbed aboard, the tour guide gave them each a yellow raincoat and a safety briefing.

“Now listen up!” he yelled over the roar of the falls. “If you fall out of the boat, don’t panic! Just grab hold of one of the life rings and we’ll fish you out!”

The friends exchanged nervous glances as they donned their raincoats and prepared for the ride of their lives. The tour guide revved up the engine and the boat set off into the heart of the Niagara Gorge. As they made their way through the swirling mists and roaring waters, the friends were awestruck by the beauty of the falls. They cheered and shouted with excitement as they passed under the powerful Horseshoe Falls, getting drenched by the mist and spray.

But just as they were beginning to relax and enjoy the ride, disaster struck. A sudden gust of wind caught hold of one of the life rings, sending it flying out of the boat and into the raging waters below.  Without hesitation, the tour guide leapt into action. “Man overboard!” he yelled, diving into the water after the life ring. The friends watched in amazement as the tour guide fought against the powerful current, finally emerging triumphantly with the life ring in hand. “And that, my friends,” he said with a grin, “is how you survive a tour of the Niagara Falls!”

The friends laughed and cheered as the tour guide helped them back aboard the boat, grateful for their brush with disaster and the unforgettable experience of a lifetime.

Holy maple syrup, that’s a lot more exciting than my visit to Niagara Falls!  Never mind the rapids, readers of that story must be careful to avoid drowning in thick and deadly cliches. 

This has been an entertaining exercise to reassure myself that real writers add authentic, creative flair to their stories, the kind of unpredictable twists that AI bots – no matter how sophisticated – will always struggle with.  We will either become more valued as a result, or future advances in the technology will be able to mimic our voices to make us redundant. 

As a travel writer, I have had the opportunity to visit many amazing destinations around the world. But there is one country that always manages to surprise and delight me, no matter how many times I visit: Canada.

From the breathtaking natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains and the Bay of Fundy, to the vibrant culture and history of its cities, Canada has something for everyone.

One of my favorite things about Canada is its diverse landscape, which ranges from icy tundra in the north to lush rainforests in the west. This diversity is reflected in the wide variety of outdoor activities that are available, from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking and fishing in the summer.

But Canada is more than just a paradise for nature lovers. It is also home to some of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world, such as Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. These cities offer a wide range of cultural attractions, from world-class museums and galleries to lively music and arts scenes.

But what really sets Canada apart from other destinations is the warmth and hospitality of its people. Canadians are known for their friendly and welcoming attitude, and they are always happy to share their country’s rich history and culture with visitors.

Whether you are looking for adventure or relaxation, Canada has something to offer. So pack your bags and head north to experience all that this amazing country has to offer.

With that generically vanilla, paint-drying editorial effort, I think my job is safe.  For now. 

Happy holidays.  And happy holidays to you too ChatGPT.   

Great Canadian Bucket List