Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Road Trip to Beat All Road Trips

I would say I have been planning this mega road trip for several years now.
This road trip is not only North America, but the entire globe.
Stay with me here folks, let me explain.
The mother of all road trips....the road trip to beat all road trips.

This is Mo.  He road trips with me.

For me, it has to be by road, by boat, by train.  But not air.
 Not that I have any problems with flying, it's just that flying is simply not my thing.
I want to take the long way.  The very long way.
I am one of those people that has to see everything, stop everywhere, take photographs, stop and smell the roses.
I need the rhythm of the road, the embrace of the mountains, the sea on my face, breath the heavy heat.
I want to ponder ancient ruins.  Walk the path of the great world wars. Follow the echos of history.
And I'll be driving....well for the most part anyway.


I have it all figured out.
The route, the cost, the means of transportation.  The passports, what to bring, how to pack.
Small stuff, big stuff.

I am more comfortable driving on the right side, so I am focusing more on countries that do.
And for those that don't, I am going to drag along a family member or friend who can.

This ultimate road trip will be almost an entire year.  Yup, a year.
With trips back home here and there, but for the most part, on the road, sea, or train.
The cost would be in the ball park of $10-15K.
I budget for this amount from the sale of one of my houses.
This excites me to no end, yet it terrifies me.
I am the bravest woman to do this, I am not brave enough to do this.
I really want to, I'm to afraid to.
I can do North America piece of cake, it's everywhere else that intimidates me.

The transportation
Let's have a look at the means of transportation....

My jeep.
You know I love my Jeep.  My sweet ride will get me from point a to point b in North America.
I take my time, explore, travel the highways and byways.
Shop, explore, stop here stop there.  But my very favourite thing to do in North America, just drive.
Drive to my hearts content.

I have been coast to coast, I have been top to bottom.
I don't really need to see the sights anymore, I already have.
I have been to every State in America (well, there might be about three I haven't yet....minor detail), and every Province in Canada.
So now I just wonder around this beautiful Continent.  Me and my Jeep.

The sea.
It took me a while to figure this out and to find it....freighter ships.
 Sea voyages via freighter travel.  They literally go the across the globe.

There are some Freight Lines that offer taking a few civilian passengers on their voyages.  
They literally can take you around the world, as often as you want.  Whenever you want. Wherever you want.
Good prices.  Nothing fancy.  No organized tours. Just you, a bunch of shipping containers and the open sea.

The train
So far, only one destination via train.  And that is Churchill, Manitoba to see the polar bears.
You can only get to this remote city in the far north of this Canadian Province via train.
And maybe if I'm lucky I will see the Northern lights.

Not all that wonder are lost....
Being a single empty nester, I will be traveling on my own.  Not alone, but by myself.
I could ask family members here and there, but for most of this journey I am going solo.

The Route
Let's see the route so far.

I start in North America....aka home.
From the Windsor/Detroit boarder, I head slightly west to visit a few antique shops. 
Then I start turning my wheels in the direction of the Carolina's....south east.

 Destination South Carolina.  A spa retreat I have been planning for a while.
On route, I stop for a few days in North Carolina, visit a few antique shops I have been following on Instagram.
Enjoy a relaxing week at my spa retreat in SC.
With my Jeep completely full with my finds and treasures, I visit my local FedEx and have my stuff sent home.
 I send it to my sisters place, and will pickup when I get back home.

Now it's time to head to sea.
The Transatlantic
Destination France.  Don't necessarily need to see the rest of Europe, I already have.
But I would love to spend some quality time in this beautiful romantic French country.  And shop.
And guess what....if I buy large items, I bring it on the ship with me, because I am on a freight ship...ha!
I would tour the vineyards. The open markets. The antique shops.  The antique shops of France...can you imagine!
I would visit the D-Day beaches of Normandy.
  Not sure how long I'll stay, however long I can afford it I suppose.
And speaking of sister, I will ask her to spend some time with me there.
Maybe she will take the ship with me or maybe I will meet up with her at the airport.
This sea voyage takes 42 day with port stops in America and Europe.

It's almost like one of those hop on and hop off buses.
I would pickup this voyage in either Charleston or Savannah and get off in France.
Cost is approx $200 per night, plus your freight and port fees of approx $800.
When I am done France, I hop back on and finish the other port stops in Europe.
Then head home.
I pickup my Jeep where I left it in SC, head home.  Stay home for a while, get over the jet lag.

The Transpacific
A few months later, or whenever I am ready.  I start heading west.
I will take my usual route West.
I take the Jeep.  I visit daughter in British Columbia.


Then I start the journey south to California USA.
I board the Freighter heading to Australia.
I am hoping daughter comes with me on this epic road/sea trip!

Sixteen days on the sea.  Arriving in New Zealand first, then onto Australia.
If daughter doesn't come with me on this trip, I would sign up for one of those designated tour groups.
Again, don't know if I am ready to drive on the other side.
As I said before, sure I'm a brave woman, but not that brave.  Ok, call me a chicken!
This voyage down under is a 49 day journey.  Again, the hop on hop off deal.
I would only stay the length of my tour group and get back on my ship.
From there I would explore the port stops.  Do day trips around and about and then head back to the ship.

Head back to America.  Collect my Jeep where I left it in California.  Head home.
Home sweet home.

Truly, this post is for myself really.
Putting down in words my ultimate road trip, including the sea and the train.
And I'm seriously talking myself into it.  Seriously.
As I get older and wiser, I can say for certain that you truly only get one chance at this life thing.
Take the road trip, jump on that ship, and bundle up with a parka and go see the polar bears.
Carpe diem mon amie.

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