We all take trips every now and then. Although, I have met people who have not been outside their cities of residence in over 15years and, strangely, they are happy. Not that I expect them to be sad. I know that there is more joy and fun when you travel outside your domain. I recently discovered the beauty of planning your trip. Particularly, a long road trip. This is what this post is about. You can do it if you plan and work your plan fearlessly.
To help with planning your road trip are so many tools and gadgets these days. Using those tools can help you to predict your trip to the second. When I was planning my long drive to Calgary I had to consider a lot of things. Things that I had never had to deal with in all of my previous trips. First, it was going to be longest drive I had driven in my entire driving life. The road trip from Mississauga, Ontario to Calgary, Alberta is a 4,000km drive! If I drive at a 100km per hour speed it would take me 2 days with a total of 8hours stop. The 8hrs would include, 4 stops for fuel, 2 stops to get something to eat, and 1 stop to sleep. At that rate, it would have been a tight schedule. The second challenge was that I was going to drive alone! I was not scared; just apprehensive of any eventualities. The third issue was that I was going to drive through 2 time zones and weather systems. I was driving from South East Canada to Mid West Canada.
The lessons from this planned road trip can be applied to other parts of our lives. Planning is an essential part of a successful venture. The timing must be right. The resources must sufficient. The manpower must be prepared. The motivation must be high.
The time of the road trip was the fall of 2012; specifically mid November. It had not snowed in the Greater Toronto Area but there had been snows in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. I had not driven through such weather prior to this trip. So I spent a lot of time researching the weather forecasts for the period of the trip. I also planned my stops. Calculating the fuel consumption rate of the car, I was able to use the interactive maps online to determine where to stop for fuel. I was also able to determine where to stop and rest at the end of each day.
The online maps system I used also helped me to find and book hotels for the two nights I slept in those two cities of my rest. The first day I spent the night in Dryden, ON. The second day I spent the night in Medicine Hat, Alberta. This I did because the Calgary hotels I saw online were not within my budget. The journey started about 5.30am in Mississauga on a warm Friday morning and ended on a cold Sunday afternoon at 1.30pm in Calgary. The plan was for me to drop the car in Calgary and take flight back to Toronto. That was 50% of the reason for this long road trip.
Along the way I saw the shoulder of Thunder Bay, I slept in Dryden, I saw the white lands of Winnipeg, I saw the glistening rear of Regina, I saw the oil fields in Brandon, and I walked through the cold downtown of Calgary. It was a well planned trip. I drove for a minimum of 16hours each day. While driving, I listened to music, inspirational messages and sang along at the top of voice!
The weather was beautiful; not a drop of rain or snow. I also did not tell a lot of my friends before I took the road trip. After I came back and told them, their reactions confirmed to me that it was a good thing that I did not tell them!
There is a lot more to this long drive to Calgary that I will share in the next part of this post. A lot of interesting stuffs happen when you are all alone for a long time, no matter how prepared you are.