Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sometimes, Things Just Seem to Come Together;

Chance meetings and random conversations;
It's that kind of night where the world seems so far away; it's that kind of night when destinations are the only place to stay. Spring has come to the city of Toronto. No longer will the temperature tempt us with double digit highs, only to dip down into snow a week later. The days look to reach seventeen, which leaves the nights.

The nights are open, accessable, and free. In the city, a simple stroll down the street can lead to convorsations with people not seen for months, or new relationships born out of similiar destinations, or - nothing.

This night led me to the best nachos in Toronto. There, with a friend, I devoured the King's Crown to the best of my ability. Near the final moments, I was unexpectedly met by an old friend. Joining us, he brought two others into the mix. As life would have it, these two were travellers much like myself.

Were they better travelled than me? Were they less travelled than me? None of that mattered - they were travellers, with experiences, and stories to share.

For the next few hours, I listened to tales of the Japanese music festivals, the Korean music scene, the pedistrian haven that is Hong Kong, and stories of hiking through Tibet.

The travel cult;
It is these chance meetings, these sharing of stories, that I find myself craving - now more than ever before. Once endoctrinated into the travel cult, it is hard to escape. There are few things better than having stories you want to tell, be listened to by those who want to hear them.

Travel stories can often come across as photo albums, ominously sitting on someone's living room table. There are those that will, due to common curteosy, sit through brief explainations of the shots - others will fear the books presence, hoping that it remains the elephant in the room, forever unspoken of - then there are those who will see each picture, and ask for the details behind them all.

These are those wrapped in throws of travel.

Eastern Canada in a week and a half;
As the night drew to an end, as all eventually do, talk turned to Canada. Could a trip from Toronto Ontario to St. John's Newfoundland be completed in one and a half weeks?

Three thousand Kilometers. Six thousand round trip. Nine days. Eight hours of driving every day.

At first, I said it was impossible. Not even something worth trying. But the more I thought about it - the more I really considered the concept - the more practicle it became.

What does it mean to drive across Canada? I took more than twice as long to complete the same journey, but I was headed blind. I was out to see everything. I had the time off to do it my own way.

A rushed trip is better than no trip at all. Over the next little while, I plan to put together a custom google map (as I quite like this new resource) featuring a "to the east and back" road trip route, complete with places to see, things to do, and ways to make the brief trip somewhat more complete.

When convorsation turns, it pays to listen; when you have a question - feel free to ask it. You never know, there may be someone there to calm your fears, help you out, or make the impracticle practicle.

Then again, much like a Toronto night, there could simply be nothing.


  1. What a coincidence! My brother-in-law were just talking about a road trip to the East Coast with kids, perhaps, next summer. To do the Bay of Fundy 'Not Since Moses' run. Will be curious to see your map and routes. Enjoy the lovely weekend!

  2. I would love to go on this rushed trip East. Newfoundland is a place I want to visit. Cold, rugged, historic and beautiful.

  3. I'm going to do a rushed visit of the St. John's, Newfoundland area in late May. I'll be there mainly for a 3-day conference, but I hope to visit the area during my time off. Because of work, I have to return right back home within 4 or 5 days.

    Got any suggestions for what to see in this part of our nation?

  4. If you're in Newfoundland (which is quite possibly the most beautiful part of canada) you should definitely try to make your way to Bonavista. It's not the closest, but it's worth it. Also see if you can get yourself on a boat that will go to one of the small islands a few hours off the coast. That will definitely be worth the trip.


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