2350 to go.
It has recently been brought to my attention that what I am doing may not be considered normal by a lot of people. Right before I left, I had breakfast with a friend, who expressed concern over my 6 day, solo road trip. I hadn’t really thought about it, I just saw it as a series of six days of driving for 8-10 hours. I guess that most of what I do isn’t what a lot of people would do (drop everything every six months and move to England, Africa, New Brunswick…?), but I don’t notice anymore, because I’ve just been surrounding myself with like-minded people, and so my lifestyle hasn’t seemed extraordinary (my friend Jason just completed an overland trip from Zambia to Egypt!). I understand everyone’s concern, but this isn’t just something that I’ve always wanted to do – this is something that I’ve always known I would do one day. So that day has come, and I’m doing it. Pretty simple, yes? Well, it is to me anyway. I’ve flown across the country, I’ve taken the train from Vancouver to Halifax, and now I’m driving it. Maybe one day I’ll be really fit and I’ll ride a bike across. (Ha!)
The other things I’m hearing are incredulous comments about how long I’m spending driving. Believe me, I get it. I used to HATE driving. Just ask the girl that I went to Cape Cod with last year – I made her drive for the entire 8 hour trip back. And now, 8 hours seems like a breeze! Let me be very honest. I don’t always enjoy the driving. When it rains for 8 hours straight, I want to punch myself in the face. More than once, out of sheer boredom, I’ve wanted to pull over for a nap, only to find that it’s impossible because all of the stuff that’s in my car. My back hurts on and off, and when it’s really bad, I want to just leave my car somewhere and fly to Vancouver. I drive myself crazy because I can’t make up my mind about what music I want to listen to. I get angry at annoying drivers. Have I mentioned the rain?! When it rains, I want to punch the world in the face (which, on another topic, has me a bit worried, considering the weather patterns of my final destination…).
But you know what? I’m so happy that I’m doing this, especially solo. Believe me, I’ve spent some time wishing I had a partner in crime, but about 90% of the time, I’m super happy with my own company. I don’t have to talk, and most of the time I don’t even think. I can listen to whatever I want, and sing along in stupid voices and accents. I can listen to the same song on repeat 10 times, or skip songs every 25 seconds. I can say “Ooh! My boyfriend!” every time a Darren Criss song comes on. I still get really excited that my car only has one windshield wiper. I’ve named him Carlos, and he makes the rain slightly easier to bear. It’s like he’s waving at me every time he swooshes by. I can stop 10 times a day to stretch my back or go shopping or just look at the scenery. The scenery! When it’s not boring trees, it’s beautiful. I just got to the Prairies, and there’s so much sky! And old abandoned farms, and bales of hay everywhere. And because I’m by myself, I can stop and take pictures. I can take 100 selfies and not feel stupid, because no one is there waiting. I can take pictures of Carmen (my new car) and not feel weird that I’m taking pictures of a car. (To be fair, I’ve only taken two. Here she is, hiding in some tall grass. Hey, I never said I wasn’t bored.)
So, just so you know, things are great. Tomorrow, I’m heading to Regina, and I’m hoping to see more giant roadside attractions featured in the movie One Week. In the meantime, here’s a picture of me with my driving face on. (This was me being really excited to finally be out of Minnesota and back in Canada!)
See you in Regina!
October 11, 2012 at 08:48
The spouse and I are in full support of your cross-Canada drive! You seem like you should have grown up in the prairies, where driving long distances are required to get, well, anywhere. Send my hellos to Saskatchewan, as I’m sure it misses me. 🙂
October 11, 2012 at 01:33
I love the alone time of driving, it’s just my body that can’t handle that long sitting. It makes my stupid horse back riding injury FURIOUS and then I get headaches and my hips ache and yea. I did my “big” drive this weekend with Ted so I had a lot of one sided conversations. See you soon!!
October 10, 2012 at 22:48
Je suis vraiment très heureuse d’apprendre que ton expédition se déroule bien….et que tu aimes désormais conduire de longues distances (Cape Cod ;-).
Sois prudente pour la suite des choses, bonne installation dans ta nouvelle vie et à très bientôt j’espère!
October 10, 2012 at 22:09
Wise words dearie- and although I support your quest to cross our country in a car alone, I do worry….not a lot, just a little. You are a ‘big girl’ and are fully equipped to take care of yourself, you are not reckless. Most people can’t spend 10 minutes alone, let alone a week in a car in ‘foreign’ territory. Be grateful you are not like that! So keep singing, keep taking pictures, keep ‘seeing’ what is in front of you and enjoy. Keep looking at this trip in the positive light you always have, and if in your heart all is well, then believe it!
P.S. drive safely -Carmen and Carlos will take care of you and get you to your final destination! xxx