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Hitchhiking Canada: East to West Without Regrets, Part 4

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  I am thankful for how much you have taught me, from the small towns to the big cities. The whole province delivered nothing but extreme highs met with extreme lows over and over. That being said, if it wasn’t so intense, I never would have learned as much as I did. So I wouldn’t change anything that happened here, even if I could. Originally, I was going to try and get a ride from a trucker by sitting at a truck stop with a big sign that read “Ontario”. That lasted about 25 minutes before I got bored and decided against it. So once again I headed down the on ramp to the highway. It took about 20 minutes…

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Hitchhiking Canada: East to West Without Regrets, Part 3

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After a few rainy days in Fredericton, New Brunswick, I was on a quest to reach the province of Quebec. So I skateboarded down the on-ramp to put my thumb out on the side of highway as soon as the rain stopped. At first it took me about 45 minutes to get picked up but once the ball started rolling I was getting one short ride after another with less than 5 minutes of waiting. Before sunset, I arrived at an Irving gas station and I decided to toss up my tent in the field behind the building for the night. This would allow me to charge my cell phone using the outdoor plug outlets located behind the Irving before…

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Hitchhiking Canada: East to West Without Regrets, Part 2

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As of today it has been 13 days since I left St. John’s to hitchhike my way West to British Columbia before hitching my way down South to California. So far it’s been 1918 kilometers, 15 separate rides and one ferry from Port aux Basques to North Sydney. I have to admit, it has been nothing but fun. Currently I am in Fredericton New Brunswick and it’s pretty rainy. I’m hoping that it clears up today or tomorrow so I can get back on the open road as soon as possible because hitchhiking in the rain is like sweeping leaves in the wind. Standing on the side of the Trans-Canada Highway with my thumb out is always the most exciting…

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Getting directions in St. John’s: A primer for mainlanders

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OK. You’re new to St. John’s and need help getting around, so you ask for directions. People on this island are only more than happy to help. But beware. If you’re anything like me, growing up in Ottawa everything was either East, West, North or South and highways were referred to by their number (416, 417, Highway 16, you get the idea.) Growing up, to get from my house to downtown I go north on the 416, east on 417 and I’m downtown. However, I have come to realize that this is not how it works here in St. John’s. For example, Highway 1 or the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) is rarely referred to as such. It’s usually called the Outer…

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Tips from a mainlander living in Newfoundland

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When I began dating my wife in university I knew next to nothing about Newfoundland: it was an island way out East, it rained a lot, and people from there were very friendly. I think it’s safe to say that’s the impression a lot of “mainlanders” have about Newfoundland. After university we lived for a few years in my hometown of Ottawa before making the move out to St. John’s. I had a pretty good idea of what to expect having visited my wife’s family many times over the past few years. However I was still surprised by a great many things. Over the past four years of living here I have learned a lot about Newfoundland and Labrador and…

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