This trip has been an ambition of mine for a while. Although not officially on my Dreams List, it’s something that I’ve been thinking about for several years, and it will provide an opportunity to fulfill other dreams that are on my list. Initially, I had only the vaguest of ideas.
We left home with only the vaguest of routes in mind. Head south to the warm weather as quickly as possible. Turn left in Southern California. Visit family and friends in Arizona. Continue East until Florida. Turn left again. Drive North until we cross the Canadian border. Turn left somewhere in the Maritimes. Drive West until we return home. Along the way, stop as appropriate. That was it.
Our only constraints are:
- Canadians can stay for a maximum of 6 months less a day in the United States for immigration and taxation reasons
- we want to be home in British Columbia before the Canadian winter makes travel difficult.
The basic idea is to follow the sun while circling and seeing as much of Canada and the United States as possible.
Before leaving home, I made a list of the things that I wanted to see, those that I could think of off the top of my head. I also searched the Internet for ideas of places to visit (e.g. “top travel destinations United States”). I combined several of these Internet lists into a spreadsheet. I also added in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites from both Canada (16) and the United States (21). I sorted my list by state and province, and hoped that I might get to as many of these places as possible.
Now that we’ve been on the road for a while, we’ve had some time to think and some excellent advice that has allowed us to refine our route further. The overall plan hasn’t changed, but now we have an expanded list of places to visit, attractions to see, and even some places to stay. The details remain to be worked out. We try to roughly plan a route as we enter each state, but not the day-by-day details. We’d rather take it one day at a time. And of course, everything is subject to change.
We have also gained a few contacts in various parts of North America, people who can give us their local suggestions. We would really like your input also. Please leave a comment with your North American travel recommendations — places to visit, routes to drive, ‘must-see’ attractions, favourite restaurants, places to stay, etc. If you have a friend who can provide us with recommendations on any of these, please forward this post to him or her. We would be very grateful. I look forward to blogging about some of your favourite places!