So here I am, living in Vancouver – the rain capital of Canada, and also the only place in the world that I have felt the need to spend and excessive amount of money on an umbrella. But this city doesn’t deserve a bad wrap, the stunning snow capped peak of Grouse Mountain in the distance continues to give me hope that nature isn’t too far away and reassures me that I haven’t just been sucked into the daily grind of city life. I have been living in the hub of the city – Gastown. Surrounded by ultimate hipsters, homeless and heroin addicts. With rent prices so high, I have resulted in living with 5 people in a studio apartment. What a time to be alive. But things are great; I’m working in the kitchen at Cirque Du Solieil, an incredibly fun gig with a daily menu change and lots of magic. As much as I have loved my time here in Vancouver – it’s definitely time to move on in the New Year and see what else this freezing cold country has to offer.
Well now lets talk about the dream – It all started with a hangover – one of those mornings where flashbacks of the previous night keep popping into mind. You start to question your own sanity but never have any regrets – you know it was fun. Those mornings have become oh so frequent for me lately; Vancouver has delivered two months of mayhem, magic and probably a touch of liver damage, but throughout this battle of body and mind came the best idea yet – “I’m going to buy a van and drive across Canada in the middle of winter”. Brilliant!
Within a week the dream was well and truly alive, I became the owner of a 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan. Fully equipped with five seats, fridge, bed, gas cooker and a map of Canada. Never have I even attempted to drive such a large vehicle, let alone through snow and ice, surrounded by an air chill of -20 Celsius. Am I crazy? Oh for sure. But so is my mad companion – Holly. We are in this together now. As I started to mention this idea to local Canadian folk I received very mixed reactions. The classic – “you’re absolutely bonkers”, clashing with the “awesome! Go for it!” – responses. And then people start to question how much you know about where you are headed, how robust your vehicle is and whether you understand the severity of the cold that we are to encounter. But I love an adventure, especially one that is spontaneous, slightly dangerous and one that can tell a story in the end. There is no harm in giving it a shot.
Holly and I have named our beloved van- Dorothy. She is currently undergoing a few enhancements including a sexy set of winter tires and will be well and truly ready to hit the road in early January. The goal is to get to Montreal – 4565km away – but lets be realistic, we will probably get to Kelowna -389km away. It all comes down to how much cold an Aussie and a Brit can handle in the Canadian Winter! Wish us luck!