Ok, so this photo doesn’t show anything about where I was at the time (somewhere in Ontario)
However, it represents two things to me: the complete freedom of a solo road trip, when you can stop anywhere, at any time to take the picture you want; and it shows that you don’t need fancy camera equipment to take some pretty sweet pictures. Sure, it took some time fiddling with auto focus on my point and shoot, but I think you’ll agree that this picture worked out pretty nicely.
My two main passions are travel and photography. It’s really convenient that they go so well together! Here is one of my favourites. I took it last October, when I drove across Canada. The prairies were so beautiful, with all the golden fields and the hay bales. That day, the drive took me a lot longer than planned, because I just had to keep pulling over to take pictures. In true canadian tradition, someone pulled over to ask if I was ok while I was taking this picture.
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!)
When I was planning my itinerary, I got really excited about going through Sudbury, for one very specific reason : The Big Nickel. Most people don’t get it, but for me it definitely was a highlight. This movie is why :
I’d like to think that my journey across Canada is my very own ‘One Week’, obviously without the whole cancer diagnosis thing, and not running away from anything, but towards an exciting new job!
In order for you to feel like you’re a part of this journey, here are a few more highlights :
– I managed to leave on time! I left Ottawa at just before 9 this morning, and arrived in Sault Ste Marie just before 7 tonight!
– It was a beautiful fall day, which made 10 hours of driving through tedious Ontario forest so, so beautiful!