On May 13, 2016, we left my mother-in-law’s place in Nova Scotia to embark on an epic road trip throughout Canada and the US.
Just myself, Laura, a 2001 Pontiac Sunfire… and just about everything we owned. We drove all around Nova Scotia, west through New Brunswick and Quebec, and explored a lot of Ontario before settling into Toronto for about three months.
While earlier plans had us traveling through the western part of Canada, we ended up opting to see more of the US instead, routing ourselves through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee on the way to my brother’s wedding in North Carolina. We ended up in the Tampa Bay area for about three months.
On our way out, we hit up some of the Florida panhandle before driving across Alabama, western Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan over the course of a couple weeks. Since crossing the border back into Canada, we’ve driven back across Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and into Nova Scotia to finish where we started.
We put around 17,000 kilometers (a very conservative estimate) on the Sunfire, but this journey is complete…
As I type this, we’ve spent the last week-plus in Nova Scotia at my in-law’s place, planning, typing, and otherwise catching up a bit. Seeing the family. Sleeping in. Giving the car as a gift to the in-laws. Cancelling the car insurance. Repacking our bags. We saw most of what the area has to offer last year — and March is not the time to be a tourist in Canada.
…it’s time to start a new journey.
We expect to be traveling around Eastern Europe for most of 2017, and probably a good part of 2018 as well.
Why Eastern Europe?
Never been, personally. Our previous trip through Europe in 2015 mostly took us through Western Europe (Spain, France, Germany, Czechia, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy — thus the reason you see some stars on the map). Laura traveled through the region a bit before we met, but most everything will likely be new to her as well.
Eastern Europe is cheap, accessible, and has plenty to see. It helps that there’s also a mixture of Schengen Zone countries (thus making it easy to travel in the region) and non Schengen Zone countries (places that give you a visa on arrival separate from the Schengen Zone system). This makes it easier to comply with the Schengen Zone rules (in essence, you can only be in the Schengen Zone for 90 days out of 180 days. There more to it than that, but that’s the gist. (Wikipedia has more, naturally.)
As of this post, Schengen Zone countries include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Non-Schengen countries (that typically have a visa-on-arrival process for American, Canadian, and other passports) include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, and Serbia. We’ll be starting in Croatia — Zagreb, to be specific — and branching out a bit from there.
So, you said you had an announcement…?
Croatia, we’re coming your way! Look for posts related to life as an expat and traveling through Eastern Europe, but also…
What The Florida has a release date! It’ll be officially released to the world June 1st, 2017 — and yes, you can pre-order it now if you want.
Are you in Croatia? Been there recently? Comments are open — what did you enjoy about the country?