Were we anxious the night before? Absolutely. For some reason, everyone slept in the same room even though that will probably be the norm for the next few months. We got up too early (4 o’clock), did our walk, “fed” the kids (if you can count a breakfast of cucumbers as a meal) and posed for the obligatory Day 1 picture in front of the tree. Paigey wanted to take the picture to see how much or how little we change when we get back. If I don’t come back with a better tan, I’ll be surprised.
Anyways we were so anxious we actually packed the jeep the night before and hoped no one broke in. All I had to do was “fight” with the bikes and get them mounted on the back. I imagine many of my future posts will be ranting about the bike hassles. Morning departure was a breeze and we were on the road by 9am.
One of our dreams for this adventure is that friends and family will join us in different places around the world. Whether you have a week or just a few days, we’d love to meet you somewhere. If any of the locations below appeal, let us know soon (before I go ahead and book a tiny bachelor apartment there).
Some of our family have already signed up to join us in different places. My mom is coming to the Yukon, Bali and somewhere in Europe. My brother and sister-in-law are also coming to Bali for Christmas together. Mike’s sister is planning to come to Australia to discover kangaroos and koalas with the girls.
I know that others were waiting for our itinerary to be a little more locked down before making a plan to join us somewhere. Well here’s the plan! We are still flexible in our locations, especially for the second part of the trip. For example, we plan to spend spring in Spain but if someone we knew wanted to go to Croatia or Greece with us for a week then we’d probably just change the itinerary.
This is our projected itinerary for the second part of our cross-Canada journey. It picks up where Part 1 left off. The purpose of this leg is to get us down the west coast to Vancouver. There’s some decent mileage to cover but a far more relaxed atmosphere once we get to Vancouver Island. But getting there is half the fun right?
So as the days get closer, the excitement and nervousness builds. We are making progress as we have knocked a bunch of things off the list. All our vaccinations are wrapped up and paid for. We replaced the bikes that were “stolen”. We applied for new credit cards and opened a new bank account. And we have had fun conversations with friends and family about our plans. Recently a friend of mine told me: “You are supposed to be planning a trip around the world, when are you going to tell me something exciting about it”. So I’ve taken her advice and unlike previous posts about logistics, this one is focused solely on the journey. That is to say, no talk about budgeting, insurance or money, just places and things to look forward to.
I wanted to share with everyone a current snapshot of what the route is looking like right now. Some legs of the trips are further along than others so expect changes. I have gone ahead and shared a somewhat detailed route for the North American component of the trip. Here is that route. Not going to lie, the 11,000km plus of driving seems daunting. There will be some big travel days required.
For a glimpse of the current status of the whole trip including the Europe and Asian components of the trip, please click here. Might be too ambitious, might not be ambitious enough. But it is fun plotting the destinations on a map even if they are just placeholders. 50,000km sure feels like an ambitious undertaking.
As an aside, some of my friends had been teasing me about the gaps between my posts. I agree wholeheartedly with that critique. The good news is next week we cross the “2 years to go mark”. I am going to have to start buckling down!
In a previous post, I shared that we are only able to spend ninety consecutive days in Europe due to visa limitations. Our original plan of four months in Europe needs to be scaled back to three. That means we are going to allocate an extra month to our travel through North America. After a few weeks of pouring over maps of Canada and the United States, we have selected a “stretch” destination for the family. We should try and fit the Yukon into our dream trip. More specifically Kluane National Park.
Today I learned something. The Schengen Visa that we would have taken advantage of due to our Canadian nationality, is a short stay Visa. It allows a person to travel to any members of the Schengen area for stays up to 90 days in a 180 day period. I do not know why I did not pick up on this sooner but I always had this idea that people backpacked around Europe for months at a time when I was younger.
What does this mean for our plans? At a high level we had planned on staying from September to the beginning of January in the countries along the Mediterranean. That would have been something closer to 120 days which does not fit into the parameters of the Visa. We have a few options but two seem most likely.
We just wrapped up the Family Day holiday here in Canada. We had some free time so we wanted to share some initial alignment as it pertains to locations we aim to visit on our trip. As a reminder, we are developing a loose itinerary but each member of the family gets to vote for one place that we all must attend (even if it adds complications to the journey).
My wife and I have spent countless hours dreaming about our trip. So far the topic we’ve spent the most part talking about is the route we plan on taking. I wanted to go ahead and share what we hope to do in our first 3 months of the trip. I expect much to change over the next 900+ days but this is the current view we are working with.
We would begin our trip just after Canada Day 2022 (which is July 1st for everyone outside of Canada) and would spend the next 3 months driving across Canada and potentially the United States. We live in Toronto and would take a route along the north shore of the great lakes. From there we would cross the Canadian Prairies and then the Rocky Mountains. Paige’s childhood cottage was on the gulf islands in the Pacific off the coast of Vancouver so we would spend some time there. After reaching the Canadian west, we would then drive back but have not made a decision on the route.