The road trip; a great North American past time. It’s easy to see why: we’re glued to our desks, clothing racks, papers, and board rooms for 52 weeks of the year, expediently going from home to work.
We long to change the landscape that we are in (we are naturally nomads after all). To satiate this almost innate urge, a road trip is the perfect way to quench our adventurous thirst; it’s budget friendly and unbelievably involving.
It’s great to do with a couple of friends but what if your schedules don’t sync up? Go solo!
I relocated to BC from Southern Ontario in November 2018, driving across the beauty of Canada, completely alone. This was an amazing time to see the changing landscape of a country I’ve called home for the last 30 years. From the never-ending 20 hour drive through Ontario to the endless plains of Manitoba to the humbling and immense rockies bridging Alberta and British Columbia, it was an amazing 42 hours.
I arrived in one piece and this is how I did it:
1. Are we there yet?
Map out your daily distance goal
I mapped out where I wanted to be by the end of the day and how long it would take me. That way, I knew where I needed to be to stay on schedule. Plus, driving without structure or aim can lead to endless driving, becoming a hazard on the road – no bueno regardless of where you are.
I also booked all my AirBnBs the day before – I didn’t want to plan too far in advance because I know that circumstances can change, such as weather, unplanned stops, etc. It felt great to get to my temporary home for the night but also great knowing I was that much closer to my actual goal across Canada.
2. Black Gold
Plan out your gas stops
Black Gold. Petrol. Fuel. Gas.
Canada is a wild country, with many unknowns along the way. One of those unknowns is when your next gas stop is going to be.
The Trans-Canada / Hwy 1 stretches from coast to coast and some of it is just forest, mountains, animals, the blue skies above, and no cellphone signal… Beautiful sure but not somewhere you want to be left stranded, with no knowledge where the next town, Petro-Canada/Shell/Husky/Esso/Ultramar gas station is.
What did I do to make sure I wasn’t stuck in the middle of Minnedosa, Winnipeg without any resources? During the first leg of the my trip, I tested to see how far a half tank of gas would take me. Then I would use that as my standard for how far I’d go until my next gas stop. Black gold issue solved!
3. Be Like Play-Doh
Stay Malleable and Make Adjustments
4. Google Map Raps
Tunes and Dancing
Guys… let’s be real. There’s a real reason why “hangry” entered the Merriam-Webster dictionary… we’re an emotional bunch.
Don’t let your stomach/emotions get the best of you and feed your damn self. You won’t be able to judge your driving ability properly and you might miss some sweet views because you’re looking for the next pit stop to satiate that munchie habit you don’t admit to.