The Original Plan
No jobs, no plans, no obligations, just Thom and I driving with the bed and kitchen in the back on the TransCanada Highway making our way across the country at our own pace. That had always been the plan – to have no plans. The only deadline in sight was my university friends’ wedding in Niagara at the end of June, leaving us two months to get from BC to Ontario.
This was working for us so far. Going with the flow, we hunted for a used car. The flow had taken us to historic Fort Langley, Vancouver Island to see some of my friends, to Tofino on a whim, whale watching, in the pouring rain, exploring rainforests, searching for Jerky across the Okanagan Valley, watching all sorts of wildlife along the roadside in Jasper, and Thom meeting all sorts of my extended family in British Columbia and Alberta. May was shaping up to be a pretty unforgettable month.
I’m pretty sure that we had already bought our tickets to Canada when they announced that the annual Travel Blogger Exchange conference would be held in Toronto the first weekend in June. Looking at the dates, I thought, “No, I’m not going to change around my plans of freedom to get to Toronto and miss out something else”. I wanted to take my time to explore Western Canada, an area I’d never been to. If I had 2 months, I was going to make the most of them. I didn’t want to spend 2 months in Ontario (no offense, Ontario).
And so I had no plans of ever going to the conference. Much to the dismay of my dear Melissa from The Mellyboo Project, who would often remind me “oh I wish you were coming to TBEX. You should so come to TBEX”.
As other bloggers made their arrival plans, I had little pangs of envy, but at the same time, was completely happy with what I was doing. Not going didn’t make my road trip across Canada any less epic.
I’m blaming Thom for putting the idea back in my head. He encouraged the whole thing, knowing that writing and blogging were something I wanted to work towards pursuing long term, and that attending this conference would be a boost in the right direction. He’s so supportive of me and my crazy ideas and dreams.
I’d considered paying over $500 to fly to from Calgary to Toronto fort the weekend. But in the end Thom said no, we’ll just make a mission of the 3300km long hours between Calgary and Toronto in a short amount of time. We’re in this crazy adventure together, after all. We’re aiming to get there in 5 days.
I mentioned to Mel that I was considering attending, and she had accommodation for me, so I didn’t have to worry about sorting that. Nicole from Bitten By the Travel Bug had an extra ticket, and so that it was sorted
Unfortunately, this new deadline meant that I had to cut my time in Calgary shorter than I would have liked. I also had to cut out going up to Edmonton, and catching up with a newly wed childhood friend. I am disappointed about that, sorry Johanne!
We’ll also be racing through the prairies, not stopping to see much along the way. Everyone I’ve talked to said has that we won’t be missing much by doing this, but a part of me wanted to not listen to any of them and find my own fun and things to love. Thom’s famous words to me are always “you can’t do it all, Kate.”
Oh how I’d love to prove him wrong on that one. Some day I’ll have done it all, one day at time. But for now I will accept that we can’t do it all at once.
Being in Toronto for the first weekend in June also means that we’ve now got 7 weeks in Ontario. Exactly what I didn’t want! But that’s okay, I actually know quite a few people that it’ll be good to see without rushing around. I’ve got a few plans to kick back and get caught up on the blog too. We’ve had so many amazing adventures that I’ve yet to write about. I’m going to make it happen and it’ll give me a chance to digest everything I learn from TBEX and make a plan to put it into action.
Lots to look forward to, I am so excited to put faces to names of lots of bloggers! I even had business cards printed before leaving NZ (perhaps a sign that I was going to end up at TBEX all along, and was just too stubborn to admit it to myself).
Will I see you at TBEX?