Well, that was a TRIP!
Mike, Willie, snacks and music. We hit the road and drove clear across Canada!! Seriously from the Pacific to the Atlantic. We chose this option as soon as we decided to move to NL, knowing it was a unique opportunity.
Update: We've arrived safe + sound in St. John's, NL.
To bring anyone up to speed who missed it, we have moved from Vancouver to St. John's - a life choice that we are SO happy to have made.
Aug 29th we packed up the Outback, and headed East. After a pit stop at Willie's vet, who I shed tears saying goodbye to, we drove to Revelstoke for the night. Our first of many incredible stops after days filled with driving, laughter, picture taking while hanging out the car window, and more Tim Horton's coffee, bagels + timbits than I can count!
I seriously drank more Tim's coffee in 10 days than have in the past 10 years. And for this coffee snob…it. was. painful.
Let me say straight up, this was the trip of a lifetime. When we told people we were driving across Canada, they thought we were crazy. Like certifiably nuts… having completed the trip drama-free, I can unabashedly say, it was without a doubt, one of the greatest vacations I've ever taken.
Our country is spectacularly beautiful, with so much culture and so much to see. I learned a ton about small communities (like EVERY small town has a french fry truck!) mined my own Amethyst in Thunder Bay, stopped to see road-side buffalo in Saskatchewan, and managed to order breakfast in a small, french-speaking town.
Most of all, my time with Mike + Willie were some of the best times I've had all year. Early morning walks in random towns, lunch pee pit stops and tired dinner decision evenings made for unforgettable memories.
How we enjoyed (LOVED!) what could have been a hugely stressful time:
- Create a vision. Duh. Of course. We declared this trip to be a vacation…we'd take our time, stop whenever we wanted and were clear sleep + fun were a priority. Vision it, create it.
- Set boundaries with the travel schedule. Boundaries…always gotta have them, all the time, in all aspects of life. Even vacation. I made it super clear I only wanted to be on the road during daylight. Long hours and wildlife make trans-canada driving too risky.
- Maintain a routine. How I begin my day at home, how I begin my day anywhere. I know what I need to feel 100% (Power Comes From Wholeness) My days started as they do always: coffee, walk with Willie, wee meditation (maybe combined with the walk somedays) a shower, green juice or smoothie (if possible) and food.
- Enjoyment. What's the point otherwise?! We listened to great music + baseball games. Thank Sirius! We ate french fries + timbits, because sometimes that's all that was available. We had salad and fresh fruit when possible, and ate poutine in Quebec. This added to the cultural experience, and honestly, what we ate some days became a running joke…
- Good Coffee. Life is too short for bad coffee. Hotel coffee is nasty, so I employed a trick taught to me during yoga teacher training: add a Starbucks VIA. It magically gives any dirty-water tasting coffee amazing flavour!
- Water: To counteract all the coffee. Just kidding! AC blearing in your car means dry eyes. Dry eye = tired eyes in my world. Lots of water for all during the hot temperatures kept us alert and happy.
- Making time for the important + fun stuff. We spent time with Mike's aunt + uncle in Saskatchewan, drove 60 mins off the highway to check out Mike's Grandparents place, took photos with weird, local icons…the Kenora Goose anyone? Living + learning became the name of the game.
- Sleep: We had grand plans of camping or sleeping in the car, then the reality of 8 - 10 hour days kicked in. There's something to be said for a warm shower and clean bed when you're on a 10 day road trip. Plus, this chick is a bear without sleep.
- Safety: If the weather was bad or one of us got tired, we pulled over. We also took Willie's safety seriously and got him his own Snoozer Lookout seat, plus the SleepyPod Sport so he'd be belted in.
- Pack lightly: Lugging bags in and out of the car every night after driving 8-10 hours per day is a total pain in the ass. After the first evening, everything went into one bag that could be brought in easily at each stop. A simple change that made life much easier.
Here are some of the snaps I took along the way. Enjoy! xo