leaving the Rain Forest, I returned to my friend's house in Sea Tac,
WA, and drove to Vancouver, Canada.
I went to the Vancouver Downtown Hostel on
Burnaby Street. The Hostel USA book gave an excellent review
for this new hostel. Unfortunately, there were only 6 parking
spaces. Which makes sense because most hostellers are
backpacker's and take public transportation.
So I went
to the Jericho Beach Hostel.
is also a very large, crowded hostel , but the bunk rooms were
arranged in such a way as to give the illusion of
semi-privacy. So it wasn't bad.
# (604) 684-4565
$19 Can. $14 US
Hrs. : 24/7
was ample, safe parking.
was located right on the ocean, and a shuttle bus provided
transportation to downtown Vancouver. What more could you ask
the morning, after I left the hostel, I went to Denny's for
breakfast in Vancouver. I sat there for quite awhile trying to
figure out whether or not I could afford to drive to Alaska. I
don't know where the idea came from--it wasn't in my plans at
all. I knew I didn't have enough cash. I wondered if I
could use a credit card. If I was extra frugal (more peanut
butter sandwiches and tuna out of the can), maybe it wouldn't cost
I'm so close to Alaska. I'll never be this close again.
Should I try it? Could I do it? I had no idea how far it
to go back to the US and stay for a night or two at the Birch Bay
Hostel right over the US-Canadian border. Maybe there I could
get some information and learn more about what it would take to
drive north to Alaska. Had some thinking to do.
year later after taking this road trip some people still ask, "How
could you afford to take a trip like that?" Well, I afforded
it by scrimping and cutting corners--roughing
it. Every meal that I ate out of a
can was money saved to pay for a hostel or campground for the night.
During the later stages of the trip, I discovered that it was
possible to sleep in the back seat of my Kia (I only did that about
5 times when I had no other choice). It was tight, but
possible. Also, I bought the cheapest, fuel efficient car
that I could find--plus it still had the 5 year bumper to
bumper warantee and 5 yr. free roadside service (which I never had
to use). I didn't go out and buy a SUV or motorhome (I
couldn't afford them anyway--even if I could have, I wouldn't have
unless they were small & fuel efficiant.
were many roads where motorhomes could not travel because they were
too big and heavy, or the road was too narrow or steep. My Kia
could slip in just about everywhere.
that first trip, I've learned even more ways to--rough it and save
money. Learned not to buy a bunch of useless "things" as gifts
for people at home--no one really wants some T-shirt, cup, etc. from
your trip. The person taking the
trip is the only person who really
cares to remember it. During the first trip, I bought tons of
gifts. Often ended up having to pack them into boxes and
mailing them home because I had too much stuff in the car.
sent out too many post cards, too often, to too many people.
Every other day I was buying and sending 17 post cards each
time. I think it was because I was so excited about the trip,
I wanted to share it with everyone at home. Now I've narrowed
that list down. There were people who really did enjoy and
looked forward to receiving my post cards and letters--I kept them
on my list for the second trip. It's fun sharing with people
who really care. (Man, I'm really in a mood today.)
"cuts" here and there can make the trip more affordable--if your
willing and able to rough it sometimes. If I was rich, I
probably wouldn't rough it. Or maybe I would--it just wouldn't
be so scary knowing that I had some "extra funds" to fall back on if
I needed them.
wonder if anyone has actually read this far down in the page.