Exploring Canada’s Maritimes in an RV

We started our cross-Canada journey from our home in Beautiful British Columbia and went ALL THE WAY to Newfoundland. Wow. What a journey. We loved (almost) every second of it. Canada is so HUGE and so BEAUTIFUL and we are incredibly grateful to be able to show our amazing country to our children. We traveled for just over three months from West Coast to East and feel like we barely scratched the surface.

Some of our favorite places we found were in the Maritimes. Think beautiful ocean vistas, isolated wilderness, cosmopolitan cities, and the friendliness that Canadians are known for.

After our cross Canada tour, we booked it through the States and down to Mexico in just five days (more on that later). We crossed in Maine and went diagonally through the USA to Texas. While we didn’t get to spend time exploring the Eastern States this trip, we do want to go back. From what we saw, we especially would like to return to Maine as it was very similar to the beauty we found in the Maritimes. But maybe next time we won’t drive all the way there. It would be so fun to fly and rent an RV in Portland, Maine on another trip. And this would probably be cheaper too….our biggest expense on this trip was the fuel. $200 CAD just to fill the tank and some days we had to fill it up twice!

We are now in Mexico, fully dug into the beautiful town of San Miguel de Allende. But of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about our highlights of Canada’s Maritime Provinces!

Here are our highlights from Canada’s Eastern-most Provinces:

  1. Prince Edward Island: I could live here. And that says A LOT. Of course, we’d still travel in the winter (yuck winters!) PEI stole my heart from the minute we crossed the confederation bridge. There was beauty around every corner with quaint houses, lovely farms, blooming wildflowers, and of course the ocean. I’m happiest at the ocean. (And my family liked it too!)pei1pei2pei3
  2. Boondocking in Nova Scotia: Oh my goodness, we found some of the most amazing boondocking locations in Nova Scotia thanks to the iOverlander App. Seriously stunning locations and all for free!nova scotia 2 Nova Scotianova
  3. Driving Cape Breton Island: One of the most scenic drives in the world. Seriously.cape breton
  4. Exploring the small towns and seaside landscapes in New Brunswick: New Brunswick had a really good small town feel kind of vibe. We loved exploring the little festivals and of course stopping for the requisite tourist photos.newbrunswick
  5. New Foundland….all of it! New Foundland for us is one of those once in a lifetime destinations. It is expensive to get to (we took the shorter 7-hour ferry to Port Aux Basque), it is incredibly remote, and it is just SO far away! But man, are we ever glad we went. The landscape is incredible, it feels a bit like a no-mans land. The emptiness of it was palpable and we loved that. We were able to camp for free almost the entire time in New Foundland because there is just so much space. newfoundlan6 newfoundland newfoundland2 Newfoundland3 Newfoundland4 Newfoundland5
  6. The Viking Village in Newfoundland: A small 434 km detour (each way) brought us to one our children’s favorite spots on our trip, the recreation of the Viking Settlement in L’Anse aux Meadows. The site was discovered in the 1960’s and proved that the Vikings landed in Canada over 1000 years ago. Worldschooling baby! Whoop!viking

We loved our time crossing Canada in our RV. What a beautiful journey for our family and one of our most memorable Worldschool Adventures!


Bonjour Quebec!

Ah Quebec. We love your French language, your European architecture, your amazing food, and your joie de vie!

We spent a blissfull four days with Mike’s Aunt and Uncle who live just outside of Montreal. Again, we were wowed by some over-the-top-amazing hospitality. How did we get so lucky to have such amazing family?


We had personal tour guides of Montreal who showed us the sites and even lent us their car so that we did not have to drive our RV into the city. Thank you Aunt Janice and Uncle Claude! Read the rest of this entry »


The Ontario Money Grab

Ok, I’m going to go on a bit of a rant here about Ontario. Well, not a super harsh rant, cause I’m an extremely kind person. But I gotta say that Ontario really turned us off.

I know I talk about money a lot on this blog and how our family tries to maximize our limited funds. Maybe this annoys you (it annoys my sister 🙂 ) but I feel that it is helpful… and saving money is just our reality. Not only do I like to write about how we can afford to travel, I’m quite proud of it.

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The Journey East

“Where are we going today?” Ask the kids.

“East!” We reply.

We’ve been pushing hard since Manitoba. We spent a few lovely days visiting family in Winnipeg and then made a straight shot to Ontario. Ontario is BIG. So BIG! And we had a bunch of friends and family to visit along the way. We’ve done so much in the last few weeks that I don’t even know where to start writing about it. I could write 10 blog posts and still have more to say. But since time is precious and Wifi limited, I’ll need to satisfy your curious soul by giving an overview of our amazing time crossing the most populated province in Canada, Ontario!

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RV Living – 10 Things We’ve Learned So Far

We are first time RV’s. We’ve travelled to South East Asia carrying everything we need in backpacks, we’ve explored Europe for months with carry-on only, we’ve camped our way through the Western States in a VW van, but this is the first time we have traveled in a proper RV. Let me tell you, this is not camping, this is glamping. We literally have everything we need. We are traveling with a tiny home. I even have a little oven, which makes me ridiculously happy.

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Riding Mountain National Park

We made it to Manitoba! It has only taken us a month to get this far. At this rate, we should be done exploring Canada by December. Ha! Canada is so huge and there is so much of it that we want to explore!

Another National Park was on our radar, Riding Mountain National Park. Having heard nothing of it before this trip, we spotted it on our map and did a google search. The pictures looked great and it was sort of on our way with a slight detour, so we thought we would give it a try.

We entered the park from the North Side. The road was one of the most terrible roads we have been on that wasn’t an off road mountain road. Wow. It felt like the road we took from the Thai border into Cambodia! Not a first good impression. But as we know, first impressions can be wrong….

Eager to find a place to camp for the night, we explored Moon Lake Campground. Meh. Not impressed. The sites were uneven, and the picnic tables looked like they hadn’t been maintained since the 70’s. So, while we do like it with less crowds, we thought we would make the trek to the South end of the park to the popular Wasagaming (Wa-Sa-Ga-Ming)Campground. Ugh. Not impressed again. The unserviced sites were again uneven, unweeded, and unraked. And while we are just fine with rustic campgrounds, when we are paying $27.40 per night to basically park our vehicle, I expect the picnic table to be washed.

By this time we were all very hangry. Hangry is a real and dangerous thing in my family. Before we all either started crying or yelling, we decided to be-line it to the beach parking lot, make a quick lunch of cheese and crackers and then reassess our options. Life is always better on a full stomach.

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Breezing through Saskatchewan

Before we left on our journey, we became members of Harvest Hosts, which is a really cool membership program for RVers. Farms, wineries, breweries, and businesses can list their properties on the website and then members can request to camp overnight on their properties. Camping is free but it is expected that you will purchase something from their business. We think this is an awesome idea (seriously, I need to think of something like this for a new business). We love getting a free place to camp and we are more than happy to support local farms. If you sign up, tell them Amy from Worldschool Adventures told you about it!

Our first night in Saskatchewan was spent at a Harvest Host property. We camped in the parking lot of the Western Development Museum in North Battleford. We probably would not have otherwise visited this museum as it was not on our radar, but because we camped there, we were happy to check it out. What an interesting museum. We learned a bunch of new things about the history of Saskatchewan…they were the first province to introduce medicare, the first province to have credit unions, and they invented Canola oil in Saskatchewan. The museum was huge, with the indoor displays giving a fantastic timeline of history and the outdoor museum built like a mini town where we could peek into old houses and shops and imagine life 100 years ago.

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Roadside Trouble and Elk Island National Park

Soon after leaving Jasper we encountered our first problem with our motorhome. We were driving along at a good clip down the Yellowhead Hwy when we heard a strange sound and felt like we had run over something. My first thought was that the bikes or scooters had come off the bike rack and we had lost them on the highway. But it was not the bikes, it was a blown tire!

No problem, my dependable and capable husband took out the spare tire, his tools, and jack and prepared to switch out the tires. Unfortunately, the tire jack, which we bought at a garage sale before our trip but didn’t test on the motorhome, was busted. Hydraulic oil sprayed through the O-rings. As we pumped it up and it would not hold pressure. La-sigh. Luckily we have BCAA (AAA) so we called to get someone out to help us. It ended up taking three hours of waiting on the side of the highway for help to arrive. The tire was changed in 15 minutes. Ugh.

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Exploring The Rockies

We LOVED the Rockies. From the time we first saw them in the East Kootenays to the time we left them in Jasper we were in awe. No wonder millions of people come to these towering, snow-capped mountains each year. We explored Kootenay National Park, Banff National Park, and Jasper National Park which all border each other.

Unfortunately, the weather for almost our entire time in the National Parks was rainy. My friend Josee says that there is no bad weather, only bad clothing. Well, we had bad clothing. My spring jacket soaks in the rain instead of repelling it, and my kids, well, they have decent spring coats but refuse to wear them. They always opt for their hoodies much to my dismay, saying, “It’s FINE mom!” Mike also had an unexplained pinched nerve in his back that started giving him trouble a few days before. This meant that we didn’t get in as much hiking as we would have liked. We kept most of our hikes to the well-trodden 5km or less hikes but we still saw jaw-dropping scenery and enjoyed some amazing camp spots!

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Our Next Worldschool Adventure: A One Year Road Trip

The idea started when our oldest son turned 12 last Fall. We had a family meeting where we talked about what the next six years would look like for our family. Twelve felt like a big deal to us. It is that in-between age where you are no longer a child, but not yet a teenager. Twelve means there are only about six years left with our oldest son at home. At our family meeting, we asked our children where they wanted to travel to next. Surprisingly, they both said they wanted to travel across Canada.

Traveling across Canada presented a problem financially. Going across Canada meant traveling in the summer months. We make most of our money in the summer with Mike’s carpentry business, our popcorn vending business, and our imported clothes business. But even though we had no idea how we would ever pull off a trip across Canada, we pretty much committed to it in our mindset then and there.

Next came the planning. Over the next few weeks, our minds went into overdrive….How could we make enough money to travel if we did not work in the summer? We own a camperized VW Van but it is getting way too small for our family of four. With both our kids in their pre-teen years and the size of small adults, camping in our van for months at a time simply would not be feasible. So what would we travel in? If we traveled in the Summer, that would mean not traveling in the winter because financially, three to four months at a time is what we can save up for. Would we be willing to give up a warm weather winter abroad? Read the rest of this entry »

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