I've had the travel bug since I was 9 years old.
- My Parents Joe and Margaret moved to Toronto, Canada in the late 50’s, from Belfast Ireland. When I was a child I was told they had a choice to move to Canada or Australia, which may be why I always wanted to go to Australia.
My father worked for Air Canada so we got to fly cheap growing up, just had to pay the tax on a ticket. Our flights were about $6.00 per person to Florida, so we spent lots of time in Florida. I remember my mother was a real trooper, she took my three sisters Carol, Janet, Colleen and I to Ireland. She took us on a train to Connecticut through New York and to Grand Central Station, I became a leader on those trips to help my mom out.
I think I was about 19 when I decided to hitchhike west to Calgary. Mom and her friend Evelyn dropped me off on the 400 highway in Toronto and off I went on my hitchhiking adventure. Once in Calgary my friend Rick got me a job in the union, back then everyone had to be in the union. Rick and I had a plan to save up to go to Australia, but the partying got to us, and then we got laid off so we did not enough money to go to Australia. A change of plans, we ended up going to California. I stayed in sunny California for a couple of months my friend rick never left. He lives in Anaheim with his wife and family.
I came back to Calgary, and soon after I met my now ex wife Paula. We had two amazing daughters Crystal and Tiffany. As a young family we went on mostly road trips. We travelled to Florida from southern Ontario and Ontario to Alberta a few times. We flew to California and rented a car to drive the coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
All this time I still had a strong desire for and adventure in Australia. When my ex wife and I separated, I decided to book a flight to Australia. I backpacked for a month for my first time ever and I was hooked!
About 14 years ago I took an all around the world trip, solo. I started in Tahiti and then went to Cook Island, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Mexico and finally Brazil for Carnival. It was pretty fast as I did all of that in three months but I really enjoyed it all.
My kids have been grown for a while now and I am recently retired so now I am wide open with no plans. I am happy if I can wake up in the morning and end up somewhere else. The past few years I have been hanging out in Australia, Cuba, Mexico and Central America lots and it all has been amazing. I love all the places I get to see and all the people I get to meet.
Recently I have spent my time in Cuba, Mexico and Panama, where I can always find great deals from Calgary.
A memorable road trip I did in 2015/16 was from Calgary, Canada to Panama City, Panama. Nine countries solo, while on the road I met so many great people and was mostly living in my van at hostels. I was able to meet other travellers that would join me for some of the trip and they’d help with expenses.
On the way back home from panama I decided to put my campervan on a boat to Miami because it’s was a pain going through the borders in Central America in my campervan. Once in Florida I caught up with an old friend Tim who I grew up with in Rexdale (Toronto). I stayed at his place in Florida for a week then it was time for me to head home after almost six months on the road. I returned home near the end of March and Tim called me in June and asked if I wanted to do a road trip across Canada. Always wanting to adventure outside of my country I never really consider an across Canada road trip before. Canada has the second biggest land mass in the world next to Russia, so there is lots to see. Tim came out to Calgary in his new motorhome, right in time for Stampede. We then hit the road in my campervan (old faithful) which ended up breaking down about an hour outside of Calgary. We decided to leave the van until we come back from the western part of our trip. The furthest west we went was beautiful Tofino and then north to Whitehorse. I’ve never imagined of going up north as I enjoy warmer weather, the drive from Vancouver to Whitehorse was beautiful and so worth it. We arrived in Calgary about a month later to pick up my camper van then to go see the east coast. First we spent some time back at Tim’s place in King city Ontario. Tim has a massive car collection that I was so excited to see. I love cars but this was something I’ve never seen before. After spending about a week back in King City (near Toronto) we continued heading east. We took the scenic back roads as oppose to the main highway which I would normally take as I tend to like to get somewhere fast. It was all so amazing to take it a bit slow. The furthest east we went was Cape Spear (St John’s) Newfoundland it is the easternmost point in Canada and North America. The road trip was about three months in total and very rewarding.
There will always be another adventure!