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A fantastic year and half and an amazing chapter in life completed! What a great thing to do... two young people taking almost two years out of their careers to travel the reaches of this great country! It was not a holiday however, at least in the usual sense of the word, and it took a surprising amount of focus, effort and planning to make it happen. We initially thought that we would have time to do anything we wanted but in the end our trip turned out to be a survey of Canada that allowed us to see a lot of the country but not always in the detail we desired. It is a huge country and a month per province simply isn't enough time. Once or twice we got stuck in an area we really liked and had to make a real effort to get moving again!
All of this traveling did take its toll on us and after 18 months of no bed, sleeping on the ground and living out of a Toyota, Carol and I are longing for a place to call home. The 2004 summer was harder than the last due to a combination of factors. We were living out of a tent rather than a trailer, we had fewer friends and family members to visit and although last summer was wet this one was wet and cold. We get asked a lot what our favorite spot in the country was and we can honestly say we don't have one. There are simply so many fantastic areas in this country. Sadly, the young Europeans we met seem to have a greater appreciation for what we have than many Canadians do. I wish more Canadians would travel our own country rather than rush off to foreign destinations or continually buy toys. Carol and I have as many misconceptions about Canada and its various provinces as the next guy but traveling certainly helps dispel the regional thinking we are all so good at.
We are looking forward to our next adventure... the adventure of settling down and starting a family. This time instead of traveling we are looking for careers and places to put down roots. We have learned however, that trying to find the perfect spot for us that balances family, career and outdoor lifestyle is not as easy as we had hoped. Still, we have ideas and are excited about the future. It is sad though to end an exciting chapter of life and despite being wet and travel weary we will really miss our adventurous times! We certainly aren't looking forward to the workaday lifestyle and its two weeks of annual vacation that is awaiting us!
We are very proud of what we have accomplished during these two years. It has been a challenge, a lot of fun and a dream accomplished. Something different and memories for a lifetime! Thanks for following along. I hope we have inspired some to take their own adventure... whatever it may be!
It is already May and a year has passed since we began our great adventure. When we look back at where we were a year ago it is vividly clear that no matter how hard we thought about it we never could have come close to predicting all that awaited us - karaoke in Quebec, flat tires in Northern Labrador, canoeing the near flooded Ashuapmushuan, Mud Lake, jobs in Williams Lake and so many great people... unbelievable! An amazing opportunity this was and we are so fortunate to have been able to take it!
Our winter in BC was excellent and the highlights are detailed on the Winter in BC page. Work-wise we did well and managed to fill up the honey pot for this summers travels. Carol very much enjoyed her contract at the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Center and they have talked her into coming back this coming fall. I was supposed to remain at home as a house husband, research different career options and figure out what I wanted to do. I was however, unsuccessful at remaining unemployed (I will pay for this statement at some point in my life) and was lucky enough to find a variety of jobs over the winter. So... I made some money, learned a few things and never did figure out what I wanted to do or how to be a house-husband!
Any description of a trip that contains only warm fuzzies is not telling the whole story. Moments of doubt are a part of any adventure and when the long dark days of January set in the infinite possibilities open to us (both in regards to careers and locations to live) started to seem a bit overwhelming. There were certainly times when we wondered if leaving excellent jobs in Toronto was the right thing. But, these questions are fleeting at most. We are so happy to be out of Toronto and when we think of the people we have meet, the places we have been, the doors that have been opened and the opportunity before us we quickly realize what a great thing it is. Everything you see in these web pages simply wouldn't have existed for us and in place of these vivid and unique memories would be the memory smudge of our commute-work-commute existence that was life in the big city.
Looking ahead another year... I can't imagine what awaits us but it will be great fun to find out! Stay posted...
As the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder, it is time to stop for the winter and finish the rest of Canada next spring. Carol has been fortunate to get a job (in her field) in Williams Lake, BC - a very pretty forest town about 6 hours north of Vancouver. We had no idea what to expect of Williams Lake but we have been very pleased with what we have seen in the few short weeks we've been here. Some fantastic people, equally awesome mountain biking and what looks to be some promising white-water! Living in Williams Lake also puts us close to Stephen's sister, Kate, which will be nice. It remains to be seen what kind of job Stephen can dig up. For now he is a house-husband - an arrangement that Carol is very much enjoying!
What can we say now that we have completed the first half of our great adventure? We started in Nova Scotia, setting up at Stephen's parents and left May 31, 2003. By the end of September we had covered Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Labrador, Newfoundland and Ontario. We cannot get over how massive this country is. Although we were on the road for 4 months, we feel that we have only just scratched the surface of the provinces we have seen. We sure managed to burn a lot more gas than we expected! By the time we toured the north shore of this, the south shore of that and had driven hundreds of kilometers of dirt road on our way to Labrador City, we managed to cover a lot of ground. Our timing though was excellent; by leaving early in the season and heading northish we managed to follow the melting snow. This meant we beat both the mosquitoes and the hoards of tourists - nice!
It has been different than expected though - we had brought box loads of books thinking we would have all kinds of time for reading and relaxing. Instead we found our trip to be a constant cycle of researching, going, doing, fixing, getting organized and getting disorganized. I think we managed to finish only three books between us in the four months we were on the road! It has certainly been an exciting time and we are finding it difficult to put a start date or end date on our journey - when did it all begin and when will it all end? We worked hard to make our trip happen and now we have to work hard to build a home in a new place! It all just blends together. We certainly aren't in any sort of rut - we are gleefully bouncing over life's ruts and are having a great time of it!
Time permitting, there will be an update or two over the course of the winter - some changes to the look of the site, a page on the statistics of our journey and maybe a little blurb on Williams Lake. At any rate.... have a great winter and happy dreams of next summer!
Welcome to our adventure - a two year Cross-Canada trek.
After 5 years in Toronto, the time had come to say good-bye to the trials and tribulations of big city living and to opt for a more adventurous lifestyle. As such, we decided to leave our jobs in the spring of 2003, put the canoe and bikes on the truck and explore this great country of ours from one end to the other. We hope to cover eastern Canada during the summer of 2003, take a breather over the winter (ie. work a bit and make some money) and then continue the adventure the next summer covering the western half of Canada.
These simple web pages have been put together to allow family, friends and others interested to keep tabs on where we have been and what we are up to. The plan is to update them on a fairly regular basis dependent on our ability to get on-line. We figure we will be able to do an update about every 6 to 8 weeks.
Our e-mail address is at the bottom of the navigation frame should you wish to contact us (please remember we won't be near a computer every day to check). Also note that most pictures can be expanded to a larger size by clicking on them. The provincial links in the navigation bar to the left will not be active until we have actually visited the province.
Take care and enjoy...