Pat and I recently returned to the States from a three month backpacking trip across Canada. We had the time of our lives. I have so many stories and pictures I just cannot wait to share!
This is our story of first coming to Canada. We live in Arizona and flew the 4.5 hours to Toronto, ON, CA. We thought we packed really light at first. Pat and I had a backpack each, then I decided to take a small carry on as well. Big mistake! You cannot backpack across country with a carry on with wheels. It just does not work out.
I decided I need a bigger backpack so this does not happen again. Backpacks are so much easier as well.
Back to the first days of our journey. We arrived in Toronto, ON, CA late afternoon. Customs was a little nerve racking for us. The security lady sat very high above us, looking down on us. We felt as though we were criminals even though we were not ha ha. We answered all her questions and she scribbled something on our flight tickets in big red print. I just knew we were going to have to get searched. I kept thinking, “Oh my gosh, she thinks I am up to something.” But as it turns out, that was just protocol and we were allowed to pass through. Why does authority give you that scared feeling even when you have nothing to hide?
We have been up for about 24 hours straight by this point because of packing and the flight and customs. I was excited but Pat was feeling the stress. I kind of make fun of him a bit for being a little more sheltered in life. I found out my Pat had never riden a city bus before. It was so much fun to discover all these new things about a culture with my best friend.
We discover quickly that we did not think this through enough. We have directions to our destination but no way of getting there. Imagine, your in a busy airport. People speaking several languages. Hussle and bussle everywhere. It was a bit stressful. We find a lovely man willing to answer our questions. He tells us the best way to get there would be bus, subway, then bus. We then realize we do not have Canadian currency to get on to the bus. Another obstacle we have to figure out. Easy as pie, we get coins for the bus and are on our way.
While waiting for the bus we ask an elderly couple if we are in the right direction. They were so helpful. Along the way they showed us how to us the subway. Told us how they use the subway and buses everyday, even at their age. That told us how safe their public transit is.
At the time, in the moment, we thought it was taking us forever to get to our destination. We had feelings of fear, excitement, and anticipation all at the same time. Along with lots of stress. It was becoming dark and we had not eaten all day.
We manage to find Lisa’s place, Lisa was our first lovely host in Canada. We thought it may be awkward to walk in to a strangers home and make ourselves comfortable but Lisa made it so easy to feel welcome. She got us water and settled in to our room. We would be staying with Lisa in her home for a month. Living like the locals. This is where our Canada journey really began.