Home sweet home

Our ship docked at the Sydney harbour on the 7th of October. We could hardly sleep the night before, anxious with nervous excitement. We were up at the crack of dawn and went for one last meal on board the ship. We weren’t feeling all that hungry due to the butterflies so instead we made little sandwiches and stocked up on snacks for our journey that would take us from Sydney, Nova Scotia back home to Ottawa, Ontario. Finally we got the go ahead from the captain to disembark and our feet touched Canadian soil once again. We had a rental car waiting for us in Sydney to take us home.

We were swiftly reminded of just how huge Canada is. Yes we were back in Canada, but we still had a long long way to drive. Without delay, we set out from Sydney in the pouring rain. Our first stop was at a Tim Hortons for a coffee. We were swiftly reminded of just how terrible Tim Hortons coffee is. It doesn’t even smell like coffee. Blech! Alas, we loved it. It is, afterall, a quintessential Canadian establishment and we were so happy to be home.

We drove and drove across kilometer after kilometer of beautiful maritime countryside. We drove all the way to Caraquet, New Brunswick where we visited my good friend Nancy and her boy Allain. I know Nancy from Ottawa but she is originally from the heart of Acadia, Caraquet, which is also where her heart lies and why she has returned. She and Allain had been working and traveling throughout Europe for six months this past year and so we had lots of good travel talk to catch up on. Check out her great blog too if you have time (helps if you speak French). Our night in Caraqunt was the most wonderful re-introduction to Canada thanks to Nancy and Allain. They work at an incredible new restaurant in town called “Deja BU!”, she as a hostess and he as a chef. No offense to Caraquet, but we were not expecting there to be such an amazing restaurant in town. Caraquet is wee, only about 4,000 people and is pretty remote. It’s the kind of place you’d expect there to be poutine shacks and deep fried seafood. Deja BU! would fit right in to Montreal or Paris. And we were lucky enough to be treated by our kind hosts. On our first night back in Canada we ate oysters and foie gras — whodathunk? They have a great place right on the Atlantic ocean where we slept a few hours before waking up early again to get back on the long road home. Thanks so so much guys!

Day two took us through the spectacular gaspe region, skirting the St. Lawrence River, where the fall colours were at their peak. We followed the river all the way home, past Quebec City and into the thick of Montreal rushhour long-weekend traffic. The traffic was excruciating. We just wanted to be home already! After a lifetime of stop-and-go we were in the clear again, driving west into the sunset, back home. In two days, after driving 1,900 kilometers listening to Canadian content on the radio and stopping at Tim Hortons three more times, we rounded the corner onto my parents street and started honking our horn. They were outside waiting for us already with huge smiles on their faces and supper waiting for us inside.

We made it.

Comments

  1. Rob Villeneuve

  2. At this point o would like to raise an obvious question. When is the party?

    You’re very welcome! It was so exciting to see you! You’re welcome anytime.

  3. Chrissy B

  4. What an amazing story you’ve laid out for us all over the past 14 months. Welcome home! You will have to come and watch one of our Carleton Retirees volleyball games soon!

  5. Skott & Shawna

  6. Mark and Meghan – we just wanted to thank you for an incredible, inspirational blog. Shawna and I are in the midst of planning our own RTW, leaving next spring from Regina, SK. Yours is one of our favourite blogs to follow….along with good old Brock from Backpack with Brock :). Very well done…I loved the idea of ‘no planes’. Also, the budget page is very helpful..Can I ask, why did you end up deciding to do the Overland Safari tour? Would there have been cheaper ways to run this itinerary? I imagine overland travel in Africa can be a bit of a challenge…we do want to spend a lot of time in Africa (Shawna has been to Ghana and Togo previously), but are just trying to figure out what the best way to do it might be. Anyways, thanks again! I can only hope our trip is half as awesome as yours….Welcome Back to Canada!!

  7. Joe & Josie Rosen

  8. Thanks Mark And Meghan, What a trip! Enjoyed reading of your travels. Great writing and a joy to read.
    Love
    J&J

  9. Bettina and family

  10. Wow, you’ve made it all the way back, full of amazing stories and still healthy. Thank you for your wonderful blog that we all followed, it may have inspired the next generation of travelers – our girls. ;-)

    Say “hi” to the mountains from us and congrats to Melanie.

    Big hug,
    Bettina

    Thanks everyone! It’s great to be back in Canada again. We’ve made our way to Canmore, Alberta now, and we’ll be here for a few weeks. I’m so happy that our little blog has reached so many people. We have big plans to keep writing, and we have so much to reflect on, so I hope everyone keeps checking in on the site. It’s hard to believe that 15 months have come and gone so quickly, but I’m sure it’s not the end of our adventures by any stretch!

    Welcome home, can’t wait to see and talk to you two! How many Timmy’s have you hit up now, addicted yet? Yucky ashtray tasting coffee, I don’t know how they do it. Lovey!

    Wow, what an amazing trip! I have really enjoyed reading your blog, have you thought about making it into a book?

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