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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 the 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…

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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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Hitchhiking Canada: East to West Without Regrets, Part 1

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Some people have goals and dreams and apparently, there are even some people that know exactly what they want out of life. Well, that’s what I overheard somebody say on a bus once. However, I cannot confirm those statements because I have never been one of those people. The first to flee from commitment and the last to formulate any form of plans. I am unable to concentrate on the future and unwilling to make any decisions until the last minute. Now, although this may seem strange to some, this is the way that I’ve been for as long as I can remember. My family and friends were not surprised when I told them that I would be hitchhiking across…

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