Exploring is the greatest adventure I can imagine. Traveling to new places and seeing this great country of mine has been my dream since I struck out on my own at 17. I’ve travelled by bus, foot and by car across three provinces, one territory and eight U.S. States during my lifetime.
I’ve been traveling solo for the past two years. I’ve logged more than 45,000 kilometres and I’ve done my fair share of stops in new cities or towns with either motel stays or stopping roadside and camping in my vehicle. I have a fair advantage nowadays by way of a vehicle to get me places, but I think about my personal safety all the time even though I’m in my metal box.
The following is tip four of my top five tips while traveling alone:
When the bug hits me and I have to get out and do some adventuring the first thing I look for before I head to my destination are guides and books that talk about the history of the places I’ll be visiting.
I skip the internet for this part of my adventures. There’s something quite beautiful about flipping through a paperback on local histories. One of my favourites written specifically for British Columbia is, A Travellers Guide to Historic British Columbia, by Rosemary Neering.
I also plan a stop to the local museum wherever I head to in my travels. Not only can a museum give you a great sense of the history behind the place you’re visiting, it can also point you to a variety of other interesting places to check out during your stay.
As a photographer I also enjoy the challenge of shooting interesting phone photos of taxidermy animals while I’m checking out the displays.
The most important part of adventuring is knowing what you love to do and then throwing in a couple of new things that you want to try. I try and pick at least one new thing, sometimes it’s checking out North America’s largest Army Surplus in Oregon or stopping to view the lava fields in Yellowstone National Park; it’s also a great way to meet people who are interested in the same things you are.
Don’t be afraid to make a U-turn if you see something that sparks your interest. I always build in time to make a couple of stops when I’m traveling, just in case.
Mix it up, have fun and try new things even if they seem a little scary at first.