It’s Official: My Great Canadian Announcement!

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We’re hitting the road, for a massive roadtrip!

I am so excited for my upcoming travel plans this spring, and they are not too far off now! I’ve just begun the final term of the school year, after a lovely and much needed 2 week break. I came back from Thailand and literally hit the ground running after my food poisoning episode, so I was very grateful for a break to just chill out at home, and enjoy living by the beach.
Although I didn’t go anywhere overly exciting in that time, super exciting things started happening. As I spent far too much time perusing the internet, reading travel blogs and catching up with friends, I found myself on the skyscanner website. I’d been keeping my eye on flights for some time now, as Thom and I have been saving and planning travels for over a year now. We’d been humming and haa-ing about we would have enough money to go next year for what felt like equally as long. The time was fast approaching that I’d have to reapply to renew my teaching contract at school too. Skyscanner seemed to disappoint on this particular day.

Dreams coming true…

Then however it happened, I was on Air NewZealand’s site, comparing and searching tickets from Auckland to Vancouver, as I often do.
I had to do a double take. Auckland to Vancouver nonstop, $846 each!
I’d noticed ads on TV earlier for flights to Canada and the US on sale, but it hadn’t occurred to me that when we had wanted to go would be on sale, as when we were ‘planning’ was still so far away.
ahhh the anticipation!!!
I rang Thom excitedly, as I still couldn’t believe it. He said if I wanted to, we could make it happen. It was really happening!
I didn’t book straight away. I slept on it, I thought it over, and talked it over with some friends and family. The next day we booked. The tickets are paid for in full!
I told my parents and Thom’s parents, and some friends in person, as well as my boss why I’d decided not re-apply for my job, before finally putting it on Facebook (you know, to make it ‘official’ and all). Telling people that Thom and I had ‘big news’ generally leads them to assume 1 or 2 things at our age…  Those that know us well know that neither of which are in our plans for the near future, but it’s fun to let people think otherwise. This was my somewhat cheeky Facebook status:
I’m sure the next 6 months or so are going to fly by! After saving up, planning and debating for a while now, it’s finally happened.. Thom and I have some big news to announce for May 2013! I’ve let some friends and both our families know already and told my job that I won’t be able to work next year, so I guess we can tell the rest of you too!

That’s right, you guessed it, we’ve bought our plane tickets to Vancouver for May 1st! We’ll be driving across Canada and spending the summer seeing it all and visiting friends and family along the way… and not much else officially planned past that yet!

What were YOU thinking ;)

Our Plan

We leave New Zealand Wednesday 1st May 2013 at about 8pm, and arrive in Vancouver Canada on Wednesday 1st May at 2.15pm. Ah, the wonders of modern day time travel!
Now the only time I’ve ever spent on the west coast was 4 years ago, on a 2 day stopover on my way to New Zealand. Of all the people that I’ve met down under who’ve been to Canada, most will say they’ve been to Vancouver, Banff, Whistler… none of which I’ve seen or enjoyed. What a great Canadian I am, eh!
Hoping to keep it Canadian, but we could venture south of the boarder…
As well, over the years I’ve made friends with lots of different people from across Canada, and always said “I’ll come visit you one day” as people generally do make those promises that they don’t really plan to follow through with. I always had the intention of driving across Canada one day, when I made those promises. I’ve always wanted to see my own country.
We’re hoping to buy our own car and cruise at our own leisurely pace, eastwards. I want to catch up with friends and family along the way (this is your warning – I’m coming to visit you!). I want to see Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Whistler, Banff and Jasper, potentially even Edmonton, and definitely Calgary (and surrounding areas such as the lovely people in Strathmore). From there, I want to see the prairies, but not necessarily spend a lot of time there.
How can one decline such a request?
 The only confirmed dates we have to hold to, are June 30, one of my mates from university is marrying his beautiful girl in St Catharines.

Thom and I will be attending that, and then 3 weeks later, I’m honoured to be a bridesmaid for one of my best friends throughout university, in Toronto. She sent me the best bridesmaid request, I couldn’t say no!

From there, we will continue on out to the east coast, stopping to see Old Quebec City and a bit of Montreal (try out rusty my French?), on through to New Brunswick where I’ll meet the first Great-grandbaby in our family for the first time – she’ll be over two years old by then too!
We might as well pop over to PEI too, before heading down to Halifax, Bridgewater, and the Annapolis Valley where I grew up. We could maybe even end up in Yarmouth for a day.
I also really want to see and drive the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, but I think that I might just save that trip until the autumn leaves are out in full force, as autumn is my absolute favourite time of the year back home and I want to bask in every moment of its glory. At the moment the Pumpkin People are taking over Kentville, and I keep reminding myself that NEXT YEAR I will be amongst it all!
When I told my mother “so I’m not sure what we’ll do once we get to Nova Scotia…” her priceless reaction was immediately “fly back to New Zealand?” I guess I know my place. She was just kidding, she thought I’d have a job that would be expecting me back promptly.
I tentatively have it in my head that we might stay until Christmas time, as I haven’t had a white Christmas with my whole family in 4 years, I think it would be nice. We might be able to get some sort of work between the end of summer and Christmas, so who knows. I’m not worrying about those sorts of details just yet, I’ve got plenty of time (in my mind at least). Thom will be meeting all of my extended family for the first time on this trip as well.
It’s all one very big exciting adventure. We’ll really putting the CANUCK in CanuckiwiKate, seeing it all!
With a mere 9.5 weeks left lingering in the school year, you better believe this primary school teacher is entering one of the busiest times of teaching, with the school gala 2 weeks away for which my 6 year olds are learning to make flax flowers, practices starting for the whole school production of Charlie and Chocolate Factory and of course the daily teaching and learning before final year end reports are written… Whew, I’m tired already just thinking about it!
Since I am just blogging as a hobby at the moment, I do apologise for the inevitable hiatus that I am anticipating from my blog in the next two months.  As much as I’d love to devote my time and energy into writing and blogging, I know that I have to focus my attention on school otherwise time will get away from me.  So while I will continue to post Photo Fridays, I will be quite likely be breaking all the rules of building a blog by not writing often. That will be remedied as soon as I can. I will definitely be writing about my upcoming roadtrip through New Zealand with my Gram in January!
Also, I have recently purchased my self-hosting and domain name, so over summer I hope to launch a .com so that you can follow not only the epic roadtrip with Gram through NZ, as well as our journey across Canada on that.
Very exciting times ahead! I will be hanging up my expat hat to become a traveler of my home and native land!

Are there any hidden gem/off the beaten track kind of spots that we must see on our Cross Canada roadtrip? Would you fancy a visit, or like to meet up with The Thom and I somewhere along the way? Let us know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • MapleLeafMel October 22, 2012, 3:48 pm

    Chris and I are so excited that you have booked to come “home”. I (we) cannot imagine spending my (our) special day without you in attendance. It will definitely be a whirl-wind trip, but it’s been far too long since we’ve seen you, and it will be great to finally meet Thom too. Lots of Love, Mel!

    • Kate Clarke October 24, 2012, 3:47 am

      I’m so looking forward to it, too! I can’t imagine missing it, my FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) has been something CHRONIC in the past 4 years, so this is definitely THE thing to be ‘home’ for! Thanks for that extra incentive to make sure it happened ;) xx

  • Kenin Bassart October 22, 2012, 5:06 pm

    That’s an awesome road trip! You must absolutely plan to spend a few days in Banff. We were there for two days and it wasn’t enough. We spent the one day there hiking, but we missed the hot springs and a few of the other awesome attractions nearby like the ice fields near Jasper. We will be hitting Vancouver next after we finish up with Alaska! I’m so excited for you two!

    • Kate Clarke October 24, 2012, 3:44 am

      Thanks, Kenin! Banff is most definitely on our list of areas to hang out in! I’m really looking forward to the freedom of a roady :)

  • Erik Smith October 28, 2012, 1:01 am

    I love long road trips, and this one looks epic!

    • Kate Clarke November 12, 2012, 10:40 am

      It’s definitely epic in my mind! Travel means something different to everyone, and I am itching to explore and experience my own home country before I tackle the rest of the world ;)

  • Tom November 12, 2012, 5:32 am

    Congratulations! I LOVE finding amazing deals online that can make a previously expensive to get to destination (not that $800+ is cheap!) more accessible. I didn’t think I’d wind up in California next year, until I found a great deal from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco. Excited for you – any chance you’ll make it over to Toronto for TBEX in June 2013?? Would love to meet up!

    • Kate Clarke November 12, 2012, 10:39 am

      Thanks, Tom! $800 may not be ‘cheap’ but it is certainly easier to swallow than some of the other prices that were floating around! Such a relief that our way there is bought and paid for, and now the rest is all savings!

      In an ideal world, TBEX would have been the first of JULY instead of JUNE and I’d have been there FOR SURE. At this point, I’m a big fat MAYBE, because as much as I am dying to attend and meet everyone, I don’t want to rush across the rockies/west coast, as that’s the area I’ve never been, and am most excited for. But, who knows!

  • Rika | Cubicle Throwdown May 26, 2013, 11:58 pm

    Ohhhhh, so jealous! It’s been YEARS since I’ve done a cross Canada road trip. I won’t be back to the motherland until August so I will miss you guys, but I hope you have a blast! If you have any questions about Vancouver Island, Vancouver, or Saskatchewan, I’m your girl :)
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..Could you live off a dive instructor’s wage on Roatan?My Profile


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