When I told people I was going to drive 16 hours by myself around Quebec and Ontario, the only reaction I got was a worried look. They all repeated “alone?”, making sure they heard correctly. At first, I was confident. I stood by my decision and explained to them my detailed plan to which they all replied “be careful, it can be dangerous, especially for a young woman.” After being told that same thing many times, I’m not going to lie, I started to doubt myself. Should I travel by myself? Will I be able to drive so far without getting lost or falling asleep at the wheel?
I’m so happy I didn’t let those comments stop me from traveling alone. It was truly one of the best experiences of my life. Here’s why:
Does that sound fun to you? Maybe it’s the introvert in me, but I believe everyone should experience traveling alone at least once!
Here’s what my adventure looked like.
Tuesday: Moncton – Jacques-Cartier National Park
I left from Moncton not too long after 2 pm after I finished work and drove for 7 hours to Jacques-Cartier National Park in Quebec. I had to put up my big tent by myself in the dark… First mistake: bringing a 4-person tent. I think it took me an hour… That was my first night sleeping alone in the woods.
Wednesday: Jacques-Cartier National Park
The next morning, I woke up to rain. I could complain that it rained my entire first day there, but instead, I drove from one end of the park to the other to take pictures. The clouds surrounding the mountains made the rain so worth it. Just take a look at those beautiful landscapes…
I had so much fun using my new camera! Can you tell?
After driving around the park and taking pictures all morning, I took a nap in my crooked tent and ate dinner (the first of many peanut butter sandwiches.) That Afternoon, I braved the rain and I went for a hike. I hiked a trail called L’Éperon which was a 5,4 km loop with many beautiful views.
I relaxed for the rest of the day. I did yoga in my huge tent, I read my book and I took another nap. Yes, two naps in one day, that’s rare!
Thursday: Jacques-Cartier National Park – Gatineau Park
The next day, I woke up early for a big hike and the rain had stopped! I started hiking a trail called Le Scotora at 7 in the morning. That trail was the most beautiful trail I had ever seen! It’s a slow and steady uphill, you follow a river, see a few falls and then reach the top at 805 meters. The view at the top was phenomenal!
It was a 16 km hike (round trip) and it took me about 3 1/2 hours so I was all packed and back on the road by noon. That afternoon, I had a 4 1/2 to 5 hour drive to Gatineau Park, but my GPS decided to take me on the worst roads possible. 8 hours later, I arrived in Gatineau. I really don’t understand what went wrong because my GPS worked perfectly 2 days before. I arrived late and I didn’t feel like putting up my crooked tent alone again, so that night, I slept in my car and saved myself another hour of frustration. Instead, I went for a walk close to Philippe Lake before going to
bed the car.
Friday: Gatineau Park – Toronto
I woke up at 5 am (because who can sleep late in a car!?) and I did yoga next to the lake. After breakfast, I walked almost an hour around the lake and I read for a while before going on the road again, this time for Toronto!
I drove for 4 hours and I arrived in Toronto in the middle of the afternoon to see Shaun for the first time in a week. It felt so good to take a shower and eat warm food again! hah!
That night, we went to downtown Toronto and ate at Milestones restaurant and then we walked to the CN Tower with a coffee in hand. What a dream!
Today was probably the easiest day of my trip, yet I found it the hardest. It was the day of Shaun’s friend’s wedding.
What people don’t understand is that being alone doesn’t scare me. Not as much as being in a room full of people. I’m an introvert and I like socializing, but only for a small amounts of time. Socializing makes me exhausted! I spend so much time in my head, focusing on what I’m saying or doing that I’m left physically and mentally drained to the point where I feel like sleeping and crying. No, I don’t have social anxiety, but I’ve always been that way. I don’t have to tell you that spending the whole day alone in a crowd of complete strangers was far more difficult for me than camping in the woods or driving 16 hours alone. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed myself a little bit!
Sunday: Toronto – Moncton
We left from Toronto at 10 am for our 15 hour drive back home. Even though I really enjoyed being alone on my way to Toronto, I was happy to have Shaun on the way back. We took turns driving and we arrived in Moncton at 2 am. I had to work the next day, so thank god I could take a nap in the car!
That’s the end of my adventure!
I’ll be back next week with a new recipe, so keep your eyes peeled! You can also follow me on Snapchat (unsweetenedcaro) if you want to see behind the scenes. 😉