Laura Fortune

No Sugar Coating

Life Learning, Roadtrip, International TravelLaura Fortune1 Comment

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.