Our Big Adventure Final Trip Update

by Pam on August 31, 2011

Well, our big road trip adventure is officially over.  After driving nearly forty thousand kilometres to various places around North America, we have decided to wrap it up.  We had a lovely time.  We saw many amazing places and met beautiful people.  We have created some awesome memories that we will surely treasure.

We initially had wanted the trip to last six months, but we ended up traveling for just four months for a couple of reasons.  One, we underestimated the cost of traveling, and two, we got tired of driving and tenting.  It is fun to be homeless for a little while, but it’s also nice to have a place to call home.  We spent the amount we had agreed upon for traveling within four months, so we knew it was time to start to settle down.

While on the road, we took advantage of free Internet whenever possible.  Most McDonald’s locations provide free Wi Fi.  We also used Skype a lot when calling long distance to keep in touch with family.  Skype offers a service where you pay a low rate per minute and you can call directly to someone’s land line or cell phone.  It’s very convenient and works pretty well.

Of the money we spent for our trip, more than one quarter of it went to gasoline.  Ouch!  Gas prices were so high during our travels (and they still are high), so we had to sacrifice some other things in order to travel for as long as we did.  Whenever possible, we opted for free accommodations.  In Alaska and Newfoundland we were able to pitch our tent in various places for free, which allowed us to spend more for entertainment.  In California, where camping is much more expensive (state parks charge you $35 per night), we had to limit the amount we spent on entertainment to counter balance the cost of camping.  There was always a trade off for us, so we could limit how much we spent.

When we realized how much we were spending on eating out, we decided to buckle down and only buy groceries and make our own meals.  We bought a lot of smokies and made sandwiches for the next day.  This saved us a lot of time and money.  We decided that unless it was pouring rain, we would always eat a picnic rather than opting for a restaurant meal.  This saved us a lot of money and we often ate better than we would have in a restaurant.

Before we left on our trip we bought clothing suitable for camping at a local thrift store.  That way if it got ruined during our travels we wouldn’t worry about it.  The clothing turned out to work out very well and many items are still wearable even after the trip.  Our cooking equipment also held up really well and will still be usable on our next big adventure, whenever that might be.

To wrap this up, we had an awesome time, and I would recommend taking some time off to travel if this is something you have always wanted to do but just never did it.  For us it worked out well because we had extra cash from selling our home and we had saved and planned for a long time.  We will never regret our decision to travel, and although sometimes it was tough being on the road, it was worth it.

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