Have you checked out our recent post on The Ultimate Canadian Road Trip? If you haven’t, you’re morally obligated to open up a new tab right now and check that out first. How can you possibly plan out your super-awesome-road-trip-playlist if you haven’t got a route mapped out yet? Navut’s Ultimate Canadian Road Trip guide can help with that! What else would you be listening to on a cross-country road trip than an all-Canadian line-up? Check out Navut’s Ultimate Canadian Road Trip Playlist for our picks of some all-Canadian talent!
Find a Travel Buddy
So you’ve decided to hit the open road eh? First things first, you need to find a driving partner, because really, who wants to drive alone? And by driving partner I mean, of course, someone who you can thoroughly annoy for the entirety of the ride. Why not call up your best friend and just be like, “You got a fast car, I got a plan to get us out of here!” And she’ll be all like, “I got no plans I ain’t going nowhere” and you can respond, “Run as fast as you can” and get to my house now! Or how about embarking on this cross-country voyage with your significant other? You can call up your sweetie and be like, “baby, baby, baby, oh” and proceed to use flattery to get him/her to agree to join you. Definitely tell them, “I like you the way you are when we’re drivin’ in your car and you’re talking to me one on one”. If that doesn’t work, resort to guilt. Tell your other half that life with them is getting too predictable and that you want to be one of those spontaneous couples because you hate when the moment’s expected and you don’t want to let your life pass you by! I’m fairly certain that at this point, whoever you’ve chosen to accompany you on this pan-Canadian voyage, will have surrendered defeat.
You should probably explain why you felt the sudden urge to pack up and go… Tell them, “I had to escape, the city was sticky and cruel”. Then roll the windows down, put the top up, radio on and enjoy the open road ahead. As you drive along the highway, you’ll feel exhilarated and just want to shout, “I’m glad that I’m alive!”
Start in the East
There is lovely, scenic beauty in Newfoundland and Labrador with great national parks along the highway. As soon as you get to Nova Scotia, the Cabot Trail and Peggy’s Point Lighthouse are absolute musts! It won’t be long before you’re singing, “It’s a beautiful day and I can’t stop myself from smiling”. Prince Edward Island, P.E.I for short, is Canada’s smallest province, but big on history. You can’t leave the province without seeing Green Gables Farm in Cavendish. Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables Novels were set on this idyllic farm. You need to cross the Confederation Bridge to get from P.E.I to New Brunswick. It’s an architectural marvel, so you surely wont be saying, “That don’t impress me much”. New Brunswick is famous for the Bay of Fundy and boy is it impressive! It boasts the largest tidal range in the world! Your driving partner is sure to appreciate your knowledge of random, Canadian fun facts.
The Trans-Canada actually passes right through Montreal, Quebec’s largest city. It’s a vibrant and multicultural place with lots to see and do. We recommend you bathe in all the pretty things the city brings, counting the cars on the freeway below, lost in the music. Definitely check out Montreal’s Old Port, its cobblestone streets and small boutiques are a marvel to behold. Next up is Ottawa, our country’s capital! Be sure to check out Parliament Hill and maybe even get a tour of the buildings!
At this point, prepare for a long drive through the prairies (with tons to see and do along the way, of course). It’s around this point in the drive, after hours on the road in the dead of night, that it’s ok to get philosophical and begin questioning the meaning of life and existence. Be sure to ask your driving partner, “If today was your last day, and tomorrow was too late, would you live each moment like your last?” Encourage them to live each day to the fullest by sharing, “You know it’s never too late to shoot for the stars regardless of who you are”. You’re sure to both feel better after this deep and meaningful talk.
Don't Drive at Night
After a long day of driving, finding rest stops and places to turn in for the night is important. A sign that it’s getting late is when the night sky is changing overhead. Some drivers have that whole pride thing going on, being all, “Traveling, I only stop at exists, living this way I stress less”. Make sure to stop, or take turns, when one is tired of driving, because if your partner turns to you and says, “Is that alright, I drove all night?” No, no it is not. The driver may argue and protest that they aren’t actually tired, “Sleepless long nights…that is what my youth was for!” It’s your job to set them straight and say, “Why do you have to go and make things so complicated? Tell them that tired eyes do not belong on the road! That should do it.
Pack a Map/GPS
After a restful night, be sure to follow the directions carefully when getting back on the highway. There’s nothing worse than hearing a combination of, “We’ve been down that road before” and “I don’t know how I got here”. Panic ensues and suddenly you’ll be screaming, “How the hell did we wind up like this? Why weren’t we able to see the signs that we missed!” Don’t despair though, you’ll get to Winnipeg soon enough. Besides, half the fun is getting lost and figuring it all out along the way. Lost stories are awesome! After the fact, of course.
Downtown Winnipeg has an awesome meeting spot called The Forks. Be sure to check out The Forks Market, too, for some homegrown, local produce. It’s around this time that friends and family will be calling incessantly asking when you crazy kids will turn the car around and come on home. Family will say, “You’ve been far away for far too long” and disgruntled friends (who wish they were with you) will snidely ask, “Call me, maybe!” But don’t let them get to you; their hearts will go on. You and your driving partner will laugh it all away singing forever young, singing songs underneath that sun.
Finish in the West
Saskatchewan’s’ Moose Jaw is situated right on the Trans-Canada and lays claim to the world’s largest moose. Yup, you read that right. From there, Alberta has great nature to behold. You absolutely must see Lake Louise and Banff National Park. Its jaw-dropping beauty will definitely have you saying, “It isn’t too hard to see we’re in heaven”. Finally, our courageous pair will have made it to Vancouver, British Columbia. You should feel mighty proud as you bellow, “Started from the bottom, now we’re here”. Definitely don’t miss Stanley Park and the Seawall that hugs the park along the waterfront. Its beauty will leave you speechless; you’ll turn to your buddy, awestruck, and say, “If you could read my mind, love, what a tale my thoughts could tell”.
That will have concluded your cross-country adventure. You may want to do it all over again, but more likely than not, you’ll be about ready to turn the car around and head back home. You’ll start to feel like I’ve had my run, baby, I’m done, I gotta go home. The beauty of the places you’ve just seen and experienced may entice you to keep driving, but at a certain point, you’ll begin to feel I’m lucky, I know, but I wanna go home, I’ve got to go home. There may be one amongst you that wants to continue the trek; they just won’t understand. They may resent you for ending all the fun, and lament, “Honestly, what will become of me. Don’t like reality. Why do all good things come to an end?” You’ll need to explain to them, calmly, “But it’s my home, all I have known, where I got grown, streets we would roam”. Explaining to him/her your homesickness may help; tell them, “I miss that town, I miss the faces, you can’t erase, you can’t replace it. I miss it now, I can’t believe it”. Sooner or later, reality will set in and even though it’s hard to say it, time to say it, goodbye, goodbye. Your partner will come to acknowledge that they can’t drive forever and, admitting defeat, will say, “Just hold on, we’re going home”.
Enjoy the Memories
On the way back home you’ll surely reminisce about all the memories you’ve made on the road. Some of the memories will leave you baffled; you’ll think, “All those crazy things we did. Didn’t think about it, just went with it”. Some, however, will leave you proud; you’ll say, “There was only you and me. We were young and wild and free”. At some point, one of you is bound to get flooded with emotion and break down in tears. Not being able to resist a good sob fest, the other will join in, offering, through dry heaves, “Weep not for the memories. Remember the good times that we had?”
Even the best adventures have an ending. Eventually, you’ll be home, singing that familiar tune, “It feels like home to me. It feels like I’m all the way back where I belong”. But no matter what, you will always carry the memories of that road trip:
If you’re looking for your new Canadian home, be sure to check out Navut’s incredible Neighborhood Finder to find the ideal neighborhood for you.
The following songs and artists were used in the making of this blog:
- Shania Twain: That Don’t Impress Me Much
- Michael Bublé: Home and It’s a Beautiful Day
- Nickelback: Far Away, Photograph, Someday and If Today Was Your Last Day
- Celine Dion: I’m Alive, I Drove All Night, My Heart Will Go On
- Carly Rae Jepson: Call Me Maybe
- Justin Bieber: Baby and Believe
- Drake: Hold on, We’re Going Home and Started From the Bottom
- Avril Lavigne: Wish You Were Here and Complicated
- Nelly Furtado: All Good Things Come to an End
- Bryan Adams: Heaven, When You’re Gone, Summer of 69
- Tegan and Sara: Closer
- Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind
- K’naan: Wavin’ Flag
- Sarah McLachlan: I Will Remember You
- The Weeknd: Earned It
- Feist: 1234
- Chantal Kreviazuk: Feels Like Home
- Our Lady Peace: As Fast As You Can
- David Usher: Fast Car and The Music