This trip already happened. Check out The Epic Canadian Road Trip Tag for posts about my 2013 Road Trip from Calgary, Alberta to Toronto, Ontario.
On The Road Again
I’ve been quiet on the travel blog here, mostly because I’ve been busy with school not because I’ve suddenly stopped traveling. Well actually I had stopped traveling (on the account of school) but by the time you read this I’ll be on the road driving across Canada (or a fair part of it) to Toronto.
This road trip is the most ambitious one I’ve taken. I’m driving a vehicle by myself from Calgary to Toronto with a vehicle delivery company called Hit The Road. I’d heard about this company a couple years before, and I had wanted to take a trip earlier but this was the first time a trip came up that worked for the dates and places I needed to be. My drive will take me across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and part of Ontario to my final destination of Toronto.
Travel Blogging, and Self Doubt
Toronto is where the 2013 Travel Blog Exchange Conference is being held in June (the same conference I went to last year in Colorado and the year before in Vancouver). My ticket was purchase back in February, or maybe in September. In any case I figured I’d be going to Toronto, but it wasn’t until I got accepted in the Blog House that I knew I’d be making this trip for sure. The Blog House is a very awesome looking blogging workshop/learning opportunity extravaganza set up last year at the TBEX in Girona, Spain. When I applied for the Blog House in Toronto I half expected they’d look at my application and think, “well if she hasn’t figured it out now she never will.” Self doubt is a cruel…. and definitely something I need to learn to live without.
On Not Planning A Trip
A trip to Toronto was now definitely going to happen. I debated flying, taking the train (something I would still love to do), taking the bus, hitchhiking (just kidding grandma), but this road trip came up and I knew I had to go for it. It actually came up very last minute – I just finalized the fact I’m going a few days ago. For the girl who loves to plan and research and calculate her travels this trip is very much a mystery ans open ended. I don’t have accommodations booked for many of the places I’m going, and after the conference I don’t even have a return ticket home. When my parents asked when I was coming home I actually said, “I don’t know, because well I honestly don’t.” It’s not that I’m going to stay away forever, but I don’t know what kinds of opportunities could come up while I’m at this conference, or while I’m traveling in general. My goal is to stop restricting myself, and stop putting limitiations on what I can do, and to just see what happens.
On Being Rich and Famous…. Or Something Like That
My other goal is also to not deplete my entire bank account while I’m gone. Trust me I’m not living it up on my parent’s dollar. I’m a broke-ass student, and I still have to come back to another year of University and all of the debt that this entitles. My plan is to try to work (and get paid mind you) in my chosen career path as a writer while I’m on the road. This means I’ll not only be traveling, blogging, networking at conferences, taking photos, jotting down notes, researching, exploring, and more but I’ll be pitching different publications with stories to publish. Somehow I missed out that I’m 3 credits short of moving onto my final year of University, and because of this I’ll also be taking an online course while on this trip. Essentially I’m going to be busy, but I had been feeling so sluggish from not traveling that I’m looking forward (really) to all of this chaos. Go big or go home.
The General Idea
My plans aren’t set in stone, but I do know of a few places I’ll be visiting on my trip.
- 1 night in Calgary.
- 1 night in Moose Jaw or Regina.
- 1 night in Winnipeg (I’ll finally get to spend more than 40 minutes in Manitoba).
- Possibly a night in Thunder Bay, but that depends on the drive from Winnipeg (I might stop somewhere else).
- A night in Sault Ste. Marie
- I might take a ferry across Owen Sound (Lake Huron). The water level has been very low, so it might not being running. If that’s the case I’ll be spending a night in Sudbury for sure.
- I’ll head for a night or two in Toronto, then I plan to travel to Niagara Falls for a few days before The Blog House and TBEX.
- I might walk across the border to Niagara Falls in New York, because why not? Does anyone else think it’s exciting you can walk into another country, or am I just a travel noob?
- About a week in Toronto for Blog House and TBEX.
- After TBEX I’ll be going to Chattham-Kent, Ontario fora night. I’ll be on a press trip (my first one ever thanks to TBEX) where I’ll learn about the history of the underground railroad in Canada, and more.
- A blogging group on Facebook pointed out that Via Rail was having a sale until mid-June, so I’ll be taking a train ($30 score) to Ottawa for a few days.
- After Ottawa I’ll be going to Montreal. Finally I’ll get to visit the province of Quebec. Let’s see if I can’t try to remember some of the French I learned in High School.
I Don’t Know When I’ll Be Back Again
That’s it. I haven’t booked a trip home, or even a return ticket back from Montreal to Ottawa. I still have a week car rental that I can use, so I could use it to drive home. There’s a part of me though that wants to keep going, at least at this moment (I might be feeling different 3 weeks from now). I’m taking my passport with me so I can head into the United States, or over to Europe or Asia or anywhere if I wanted (I try not to limit myself – think big people). I could also head further east into Canada. I barely spent any time in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island when I was there in 2009, and I’ve never been to Newfoundland (and it’s one of the places I really want to visit in the next five years). The world is out there and I so want to see it all.
It’s a little stressful. It’s a bit overwhelming. It’s very scary, but it’s the good scary. This is what I’m learning – there are different types of being scared. I think there’s the “oh my god I’m in real danger” type of scared, like when you get that funny feeling that something is off, and you don’t know why but you know you have to go with your instincts. Or when there’s a bear/ninja/murderous madman chasing after you.
Then there’s the other type of scared. That scared that’s also nervous energy and excitement. The one that says to you, either in your own voice or someone else’s, “yeah but…” That’s the good scared. It’s the one when you feel it you know your doing something right and worthwhile. When I’ve tried to ignore this feeling it only ends badly, so my plan is to push through and use that fear and see where it takes me.
So what do you think? Does this trip sound epic? Any travel advice or tips for driving across Canada? Any scary traveling you’re planning to do?