In Paris I met two awesome guys who were just beginning their travelling (One of them is a writer. Check out his road stories here). They walked places because they were scared of the metro, so we drank with them, explained the system, our views on life… all the wonderfulness that I call travel friend magic. While they were talking about their trip and asking for advice and such, and they said, “one day we’ll be as wise as you”. It was weird, because I don’t think of myself as wise, and I’m pretty sure my liver’s with me on this one. But I guess I do sort of have a handle on this. A lot of the time I get asked to help people I’ve met with their trip planning process and it tends to go as smoothly as a trip can. So, I’m going to plan my next big trip. I’ll write about every part of the process.
Life just gets better when there’s a trip in the works.
The first question: Where?
I plan trips, look at trips, revolve around trips all the time. I need a constant supply of dreaming or else I get really, really depressed. This makes where the hardest question. Where do I commit to? In high school it was Europe. I love Europe. It calls my heart. But, I think on this trip I need to do something different. I think it might be a Canadian thing, but I’m big on knowing my ancestry- I know how my Nonno and Nonna came to Canada, and how their ancestors ended up in Italy. I know my dad’s a mix of English, Irish, and Scottish. If you go far back enough you’ll hit French and Dutch. I curse that part for making me the tallest person ever. I love knowing exactly what parts of the world make me, me. Seriously, that genetic testing thing rings all my bells. I would die of happiness if I’m part Neanderthal. Can you really know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’re from?
My Mother had a dream of packing up a car and driving across Canada with a map on the roof. I don’t know about doing that now, though my dad has delusions involving Vespa’s and teardrop trailers. No thank you. However, the cross Canada idea is a good one. How can I see other places and not appreciate where I live? Also, it’s super awkward when people are like,
“Oh! I love Canada! I did this, this, this and this.” Now, due to having family back east and a Mother who loves the dickens out of Canadian history I’ve seen more of Canada than a lot of people I know, but my response is usually, “I watch tv in sweatpants.” So, this next big trip? Let’s do some Canada.
The second question: Basic Logistics.
How do we get around? I’d love to rent an RV, but I’d need friends. Most of my friends think the idea of me in an RV 24/7 is a little… unfavourable. Thanks guys. Plus, while I have a sabbatical option for my job others can’t commit to a full however long that would take. I need a trip where it can be a “meet for a leg of it” option. Then I thought of it. Via Rail.
They have unlimited rail packages. Coast to coast by train. Including stops to Churchill- one in the summer for belugas and one in fall for polar bears. All the other appendages too, but polar bears and belugas get special mention because they’re freakin’ BELUGA WHALES AND POLAR BEARS!
The third: Broach it with friends.
I do this every trip. So far no one’s come with me. But, I did pop a little “hey guys, I’m doing this next summer! Who wants to come along?” into the group chat. Like I mentioned, this style is perfect for people to come on a leg or two.
Fourth: The dreaming.
I have a whole year. I need to get an idea of what I want to do and how much things cost.
Also, I am obsessed with travel books. I’m a writer, I’m obsessed with books in general. (side story, one time my friend Heahter and I were at a bar and she saw a guy she thought was hella hot so I struck up a conversation and he was like, “I’m a writer.” So naturally I was all, “what are you reading?!” and he just went, “I don’t read.” Heather and I looked at each other like wtf even is this guy? Writers read.) Upon further investigation I found Rough Guides is due for a new edition of their Canada book- it will arrive in my mailbox on June 23rd.
I love guidebooks, and I like Rough Guides. I find them laid out well, and they tend to hide the super history in the back so if you want it you can get it but it doesn’t like assault you with info you need to sift through.
Guidebooks are all well and good, but if I’m going to see some historical stuff, I want a good handle on it. And I need credits. So my course options are Canadian History to 1867, Post- Confederation Canadian History, and History of British Columbia. I shall take them, learn, and bother everyone around me.
Now I let it simmer. The next step is a budget and savings plan, but I like to save that for when my excitement is at peak. Right now I’m going to ride that sweet, sweet, trip anticipation high.
PS: Any suggestions/stories are much appreciated!