If you follow Cailin O’Neil and I on Twitter, you’ve probably overheard us discussing our grand Trans-Canada adventure plotted for next month. It all started with a Westjet seat sale to Halifax on May 18th.
I’ll be spending some time in Halifax with my very pregnant BFF Jo picking out baby clothes with intermittent trips to my favourite haunts (i.e. The Split Crow Pub) before hopping the train with Cailin to Montreal…a whopping 21-hour trip, economy class. We plan on downing a few beers and sneaking into the dome (just kidding, Via Rail!), but those cramped quarters will be rewarded with a two-night stay at the snazzy Omni Hotel in downtown Montreal. Montreal! Finalement!
Then it’s off to Ottawa to spend two nights with my amazingly awesome family, and THEN we roll into Kingston on the 1st of June to pick up our free ride from HittheRoad.ca before heading to Toronto…where we will celebrate Cailin’s birthday with gusto and glam.
After that…well, we have no itinerary. I’ve never been to Toronto OR Montreal, and I haven’t been further west than Ottawa. We need to be in Vancouver by June 10th (ideally the 9th) for TBEX, which I figured would be enough time for a leisurely drive through the prairies, but wow…Ontario is big. Like, real big. Our ideal route meanders up through Winnipeg > Regina > Moose Jaw > Calgary > Banff > Kamloops or Kelowna > Vancouver, but Cailin is doing most of the driving and we want to spend at least two days in Banff. Does anyone have any suggestions about the quickest way to do this route? We don’t want to necessarily spend 10 hours a day on the road. Seems like it’d be best to go through the USA, but hey, we’re trying to do Canada here.
We also have places to stay in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and potentially Banff. If you have any suggestions on where to lay our head in between, please let us know! We’re also open to itinerary ideas, including WTF to do in the prairies. Frolic in a wheat field? Skinnydip in a lake like you see in all those awesome Molson commercials? Okay!
Why are we doing this?
Well, as far as I know, I’m the only person representing Newfoundland at TBEX, and Cailin and I simply cannot let the west coast steal all the glory! We’re probably gonna show up haggard and dirty from all the wheat fields, but damn it, we’re gonna bring some east coast pride to Vancouver. I am thrilled to be exploring the west while bringing so much love from my Rock.
Secondly, I’m doing this during the launch of my new social media management business for travel & tourism in Atlantic Canada to prove that I can live a location independent lifestyle while still kicking ass on the employment front. This might be my biggest challenge: not the cramped quarters, not listening to Cailin talk endlessly for hours, not the tedium of driving for days on end. Oh no, it’s the push to get shit done when you’re exploring the second-biggest country on earth, from the Great Lakes to the Rockies to the Pacific.
Oh, the things we do to escape the cubicle.
Unfortunately, I’ve already been thwarted. Via Rail’s economy class doesn’t even have power outlets, who knew? How do people occupy themselves without electricity? Surely they don’t expect us to read books! Never mind, then. I’ll figure it out.
Also, I have no idea how I’m getting back from Vancouver. I may backtrack through Whistler, then Jasper, and fly into Ottawa for Canada Day. By that time, I’ll be broke and getting ready to travel around Newfoundland and (potentially) Labrador for the summer. My god! CAN YOU JUST. FEEL. THE. ENERGY?!! I can barely sit still.
We want you to follow along with Cailin and Candice’s Cross Canada adventure via our blogs and Twitter. We’re gonna have some ridiculous stories to share, and we can’t wait to do it. We probably need a hashtag. Cailin suggested #CCCC, but I don’t think I could remember that one.