Thursday, October 18, 2018

Cross-Canada Travels & Winter Plans

Winter plans? Yes! For the first time in 2 years, we will spend an entire winter in Canada.

If we are being candid and say things like they are, I am not looking forward to being cold, dressing up like an onion to go out, or practice my ice skating skills on city streets. I'd rather go south and be in my sandals. Sorry! 😊

Seriously, we are willingly heading east for the winter. For starters, we need to be back in Ontario to meet our vehicle insurance and provincial health plan requirements. Spending time with my parents is another reason! 

But in order to do so, we have to cross Canada. In case some of you might not know, Canada is a wide country and for us, that means driving 4,000 km (or 2,500 miles approx) in order to reach Montreal, QC. 
  • We could fly, but we are 3 hours away from an airport, we need to bring a ton of stuff with us and we need a vehicle for the many plans we have. We figured the cost of airplane tickets will be the same as cost of gas and hotels (one-way). So we will spend a little more money in the end, but we will have our truck to go whenever/wherever we want.
  • We could take the RV with us and save on hotel rooms, but in Canada, most campgrounds close in October. We would also have to deal with the hassle of finding a storage at our destination. Towing means more gas money. We have storage taken care of here at the farm.
  • Leaving the RV out West means we are obligated to come back here and keep on RVing! 
  • The experience of driving across our country is new to us, therefore it is exciting!
  • We are planning to cross in 11 days, 7 hotels and 1 stay with friends. 
Leaving our home for 6 months included a lot of preparation, such as consuming almost all our food (we plan to cook while driving across), safely transporting canned goods, cleaning all the nooks and crannies and bug-proofing our rig as best as possible. 

An early morning on the mountain, looking for mule deer.

We burned off our 6 months' worth of work at the farm!
As for our winter plans, they include spending time with Chantal's parents. We also have a few house sitting positions lined up. What is house sitting? It is taking care of someone's home while they are away for an extended period of time. It meets their home insurance requirements to have your home lived-in. Some of the homeowners might have pets that they cannot bring with them at their home away from home. For us, it provides us a place to stay and also, is a way to do tourism (for example, if you were house sitting in Tuscany... hmmm maybe one day). All mixed into those plans will be visiting friends back in Ontario and trying to find seasonal, short-term work. And we might be looking for a piece of land too! 

Chantal and I have seen just how beautiful winter can be. And embracing the coldest season of the year can be just as challenging - and fulfilling - as escaping it was for us two years ago. We both grew up with snow banks, ice rinks and tongues stuck to frosty poles. We both shoveled, scraped and cursed under our breaths (and over them) as we got older. We both put up trees, wrapped presents, shopped at the last minute, slid across black ice. and did all the other fun things that make winter tolerable - except merely marveling at the sheer beauty of it. We are looking forward to getting back to that simple childlike wonder of enjoying the winter season (no we're not crazy) as part of embracing what is a uniquely Canadian experience. Snowbirds, eventually, must return home, and so will we.

So next spring, we will return to the farm, work and hang out for a bit, then hitch up and explore our country! Where we end up is still a mystery to us... and we are quite alright with that.

Tucked away for the winter at our farm/RV park.

Thank you for reading,

Chantal & Rob

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