Book Travel

Proof that nothing beats the window seat

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We’ve always said that the window seat provides the best views during a road trip and our friend Britta managed to prove this when traveling from Brampton, Ontario to Nanaimo, B.C. this summer. (Read: almost entirely across Canada.)

As an anthropology student, Britta has an avid interest in urban anthropology and planning with her studies focusing on local agriculture. In her spare time she helps at a large community vegetable garden that is all for donation to the local food bank. She also has an eye for photography and telling stories through her Instagram.

This summer, she left home to visit her aunt and uncle in Nanaimo before hopping back on the road with her uncle. After arriving in Nanaimo, we were able to catch up with Britta about her trip so we could share her story with you. Take a look at her gallery and our interview below.

Britta McBride GH bus

Terrace Bay, ON

The Hound (TH): What made you want to travel across Canada by bus?

Britta (B): I wanted to travel across the country by bus mostly for the experience of seeing Canada along the way. The cost of taking the bus better factored into my budget than other means of travel, so it made the choice very easy.

TH: Who did you travel with?

B: I traveled by myself. I thought that solo travel would be scary and intimidating but the experience has actually been quite liberating. It affords you the freedom to be more spontaneous.

Winnipeg, MB

TH: How fun! Can you tell us more?

B: I began my trip in Brampton, Ontario, which is home for me. I took a bus and the subway to Toronto, where I boarded the Greyhound bus. I was headed to Nanaimo, B.C. to visit my aunt and uncle. The trip was planned earlier this year and I had my ticket for a while, but my return ticket was purchased as a birthday gift for me last minute by my awesome co-workers (to make sure I come home).

Hello Calgary!

TH: How long did it take you for this trip?

B: The whole trip is 3 weeks long, but the bus here and back takes up about a week of travel time.

In the province of Alberta.

TH: As your photos show, Canada has some really beautiful scenery. Do any cities or provinces stand out to you?

B: The trip isn’t over yet, but so far the most memorable experience has been the change of scenery while driving through Canada. It’s amazing to see how the scenery and character of Canada changes from province to province and how different the people are from place to place. Different provinces almost seem like different countries, and it serves to highlight how large Canada actually is.

TH: What is your biggest motivation for traveling?

B: My biggest motivation for travelling is to experience culture, food, and places beyond my own frame of reference. I love to collect new experiences, meet new people and hear their stories, try new foods and visit hidden gems. There is a level wisdom that comes with being well-traveled and I hope to tap into that someday. The world is a big place and I don’t intend on limiting myself to one particular part of it.

Canadian Rockies

TH: What was the most memorable part of your journey so far?

B: In my opinion, Alberta is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. (Editor’s note: we have to agree. Alberta is stunning.)Banff and Canmore especially stood out to me because of the beautiful locale, but also because of how each place has been planned and laid out. There is so much to see and do. Vancouver also stands out to me because of the amazing night markets there. I find that Vancouver is much better at incorporating nature and green space into the city than Toronto is, and I love that aspect of the place.

Canmore, AB

TH: How did you pass the time while traveling?

B: I took lots of pictures! I had a chance to catch up on some reading and writing. Also, I had the opportunity to make friends with some very interesting people. I met a couple from Germany who were backpacking across Canada, and other travelers from Australia, New Zealand, and England. It was interesting to hear about their perspectives on traveling throughout Canada.

TH: Did you travel directly across the country or did you take breaks in cities along the way?

B: I took the bus straight from Toronto to Nanaimo, but during the road trip we will be making stops in a few cities. Steveston, British Columbia (to visit the town that my favourite show, Once Upon A Time, is filmed in); Coombs, British Columbia (to visit the Goats on Roof market); Tofino, British Columbia;  Victoria, British Columbia; Vernon, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta and a camping stop near Bragg Creek, Alberta are a few of the places we will be stopping in.

TH: What did you enjoy most about this trip?

B: The trip isn’t over yet, but I’m looking forward to camping because I’ve never been, and I’m looking forward to my visit to Steveston.

TH: Where do you want to road trip next?

B: I’ve traveled extensively through Western Canada, so I would love to do a road trip through Eastern Canada. I’ve never been to Montreal, so that is a definite must see on my travel bucket list. The New England region of U.S. also interests me. I’ve heard that the fall colours are a sight to behold, so a fall road trip would definitely be on my agenda. I also have more than a passing interest in American history, so I would love to visit cities like Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, D.C. I would love to visit many of the national monuments there.

If you want to share your story from the road with our fans, tag your photos #GoGreyhound on social media or tell us about it here.

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