My sister Christine and I conceived of this trip, which we named ‘sistersXcanada’, less than a year before we executed it. We just knew we wanted to spend a lot of time together and see as much of Canada as we could within our six-week timeframe. She took a leave from her photography studio job, and I was working as relief at the shelter so I just booked the slot off. We both figured that if we didn’t do it then, we never would.
Through many days with countless tabs open on my computer, and several itinerary iterations beginning with 60 days, we finally had a navigable 45-day cross-Canada road trip mapped out.
Our plan was to camp in National Parks. This was the celebration of 150 years of Canadian colonization, which means that the entrance fee for national parks was waived. We also knew we’d be spending a lot of time sleeping in the car in parking lots.
About my sister: Christine is three years younger than me, hilarious, excitable, and an adventurer. She spent almost a year living in New Zealand and working across the country. She is my best friend and the person most like me on the planet in so many ways. I think we really understand each other and delight in one another’s company.
About me: 31 year old lesbian writer and feminist. Good communicator; poor city driver.
Because Christine lives with our dad and I am living with my mom, we had care for our cats. I had a friend looking after my 50+ plants, and I’d saved up enough money that I could still pay rent while I was away so I didn’t need to worry about my mom.
Christine bought a car just a few weeks before our trip began, a 2015 Honda Fit. Yes, that’s what we would be sleeping in, along with 6+ bins of belongings.
For you nerds, here are the bin contents!
What we had paid for before the trip commenced was the Ferry to Newfoundland ($205.21), the ferry from NFLD to Labrador ($10.00 deposit) (we ended up not going to Labrador, alas), $50 at Shoppers Drug Mart for dry food, $15 at Dollarama, $30 at Independent Grocers for perishables, and $70 at Canadian Tire for bear spray and an air horn.
The night before our last day in Huntsville, I worked an overnight shift at the shelter, trying to get together as much money as I could. Christine picked me up from work in the morning and we went to my friend’s house, and she cut both our hair (we both keep shaved sides). Christine went to visit her friend, and my friend came over for a bit. After, Christine and I went through all the binned items and tried to pare it down as much as possible, and pack up. I was merciless in demanding that my sister give up certain items, knowing that overflowing bins just wouldn’t work. We made our final stops for groceries, and then went to Dairy Queen for celebratory blizzards!
We packed up the car – it was getting dark, but believe me, we got amazing at organizing in the dark.
We’d been given these cute hand sanitizer holders from my friend Tanis, the local yoga studio donated two used yoga mats, and my mom’s cousin Joan sent us a $50 Tim Horton’s gift card, which would promise to come in VERY handy!
Christine and I enjoyed some down time with our mom before calling it a night. We were excited, nervous, and I know I felt so blessed.
sistersXcanada travelogue will update every day at 5pm for 45 days!