This weekend I went on my first road trip to Canada. It was the most fun, stressful, crazy and confusing trip I have ever taken. This road trip challenged my patience and how to be able to stay calm in very stressful and new situations. It helped that I also had a friend along for the ride because that just made the road trip more interesting. Here is my first road trip experience.
My first challenge was driving from New York to Canada was the longest I had ever driven. The drive was about five hours long. Before this trip, the longest I had driven was three hours. I know five hours isn't terribly long but I don't make long trips often so for me it was hard. The good thing was the directions were relatively easy but driving for five hours straight is still pretty tiring. The good thing was I had a friend with me so we could talk or sing together so that helped keep me awake and focused, although she almost steered me in the wrong direction twice. We also arrived later than we expected because we forgot to figure in time getting across the border.
Our next challenge was border control. When I travelled in Europe it was usually either my plane or bus so I had never driven across a border and didn't know what to expect. There was a bit of a line so it took about fifteen to twenty minutes to get the officer's window. I was a little nervous because I didn't know what he was going to ask and also are nervous naturally when I talk to people with authority. We got through all the question and then we had to go inside so they could run our passports, which I wasn't expecting. That took an extra fifteen minutes and then we were finally through.
We then had to refigure our time and what we wanted to see because we lost so much time at border control. There were a lot of places we wanted to see but they were scattered throughout the city and some of the places closed a lot earlier than the others. We had to try to see four different places in one day because the next two days we had other events planned. We ended up having to eliminate one of the places and decided we could fit it in on the last day.
The last challenge we faced was money. Not only was it a complicated challenge to figure out how to split the cost of everything between us, but also had unexpected fees. We did not expect to pay for parking, which only added more money to the cost of our already expensive trip. Trying to figure out where to park was also a challenge because you can't park on the side of the street in some places like you can in New York. Also, the Canadian dollar cost more than the U.S. dollar so things seemed more expensive in Canada than in the United States.
Overall our road trip was both fun but also stressful. I have learned that road trips are very long and personally I could never take a road trip by myself. While it might be a long while before I take another road trip, I am not going to say I will never do one again. In the future, I will definitely make sure I have one other person who can also drive, especially for a trip longer than five hours.