Been there, done that – and still doing it

by Nick Wolochatiuk
Been there, done that – and still doing it
(Photo : Seaway News)


Come along with me as I interview some people who have hit the road. I’ll be asking them to share the pros and cons of the wide variety of travel and overnight accommodations they’re using.

Let’s say hello to this fellow sitting beside his bicycle. “How’d you spend the night?” He replies, “Right here, on this park bench, under a tarp, on top of this Therm-a-Rest pad. I have to travel light, really light.” When questioned about pros and cons, he explains, “Rain, mosquitoes and lack of privacy can be bad, but dollar outlay for equipment, camping fees and gasoline are zero. Sorry, gotta go, in more than one way.”

This couple over here are just getting out of their little Fiat. Same questions get this response: “Really snug, but we were dry, and my wife felt safe enough, but no privacy. Awfully stuffy – we had to keep the windows up to keep out the bugs. Our little four cylinder is real easy on gas, but we’re going to get a roof rack to give us some room.”

I thought this next vehicle was a plumber’s van. Many miles and several years back, it was, but it’s been converted into an affordable camper. “We’ve added some shelving, a bench that folds out to make a bed, some curtains and pop-in screening for the front windows. Our ice box and water jugs last us for three days. Fortunately, we get to use MacDonald’s and Tim’s facilities when we go for breakfast. They’re a Godsend.”

A CLASS A – Depending on your perceived needs, your budget, how much you travel and the kinds roads you like, this vehicle may be ‘it’. (Photo by Nick Wolochatiuk)



Let’s be off to a full-service campsite to see how folks in a 45-foot Class A motor home are doing. Be careful: don’t trip on those electrical and water hook-ups. And mind that flamingo. Nice little picket fence they’ve set up. Wow! They’ve brought in a plywood deck, set up some potted plants and mood-lighting and electrical bug zappers! Their air-conditioner’s running full-tilt and their satellite TV is a bit loud, so we’ll have to knock hard.

Nice people! They’ve even offered to give us a tour, but I’ll just share some of their quotes: “When we were able to take an early retirement from our government jobs, we decided to sell our Forest Hill home in Toronto and buy this beauty. We can easily afford the payments, but we hope the interest rates won’t shoot up. The $239.9 per liter won’t bother us this summer, because we just use our tow-behind ‘Beamer’ for grocery runs. By the time we head for Key West in October, I’m sure the price will go down.”

The first three of these ‘interviews’ are actually based on first-hand experiences that began in Expo 67 year and continue to this day. I’ve met some very nice Class A folks in my travels. When I was on my 2005 Sea-to-Sea cross-Canada adventure, on two different occasions, some even put me up for the night.

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