Let’s be honest, this is hard.
Anyone who thinks this trip is all gorgeous views and sunsets and that I just magically float in a self-driving car from place to place is just wrong. I think about all that goes into each stop I make, each mile and route I chose to take, when to get gas, how to stay hydrated, eating healthfully and driving hours and hours at a time. I have to listen to my body and decide where and when to stop when I get drowsy and need a nap. I have to consider where to sleep for the night, how to feel safe and good in my surroundings. Also, I am not totally free with time, I have places I need to land at a certain times. I mean, I have a dentist appointment in Mexico and I am currently in Canada.
All that was difficult, but manageable for me. I enjoy the challenge and adventure and I like these problem solving moments, I was getting by.
Until I got sick.
There has been no scarier situation than waking up in the middle of the night in a parking lot in a small Canadian town and needing to find a restroom fast, but not being able to sit-up, much less climb into the front seat to drive to who-knows-where. I made it to the one open gas station, and I used the bathroom, bought some medicine and made friends with the attendant, Tamara, as I thought I might be seeing her again that night. As I returned and re-parked in the parking lot I was staying at, I climbed into the back of my van and thought to myself, “I deserve a freaking scout badge for the past 30 minutes.”
Another relief to see the sunrise as the morning came.
I have been sick for the past two days, and with all the strain I have put my body and mind through for the past month, it’s not a surprise that my body has said, “stop, I need a real rest.” I also needed proximity to a real toilet. So I drove until I needed to make the next decision.
I am currently at a hotel room smack in-between two gorgeous and famous Canadian National Parks. Glacier and Banff. It’s heartbreaking, but I have to accept that I still have a long way to go and a lot more to see, and I need to be healthy for the journey ahead of me. So drinking water, Gatorade, sleeping and watching trashy TV is how I’m rolling for these 36 hours.