Tag Archives: travel

What if I went for My Dreams in Spite of everything?

What if I Went for My Dreams In spite of Everything?

By Barb Rees

On our dream board was a picture of a woman crossing the finish line of a race. That winner pictures me! My face is ecstatic, bursting with happiness and pride. My arms are raised above my head in victory. It was a long journey across Canada with minimal income but first let’s go back to 2003. My husband took early retirement at 58 and I at 54 didn’t have a “real” job. I was making money where ever I could. No more mill pay cheque every two weeks, just a much smaller pension once a month which seemed to rule out our dream to RV across Canada.

 “What if we sold stuff at farmer’s markets to pay for the trip?” I asked Dave. It was the first of many years of him rolling his eyes at my hair-brained dreams but bless his heart he keeps going along with them. People thought we were crazy. Ever had a big dream your friends said you were nuts or irresponsible to even think of? That was us and not spring chickens anymore either.

Halifax flea market
Halifax flea market

I am a big believer in abundance mentality. Hold out your left hand and make a fist. Hold out your right hand and keep it open palm up. If the universe (or God, call it what you may) is going to send abundance your way, which hand will receive it? That is the difference between scarcity mentality and abundance mentality. Always stay open to ideas and opportunities. Avoid naysayers. Sweep fear and doubt out the door before they poison your dreams.

 June 2003 we left Powell River, BC, $300 in hand in a 1977 motor-home loaded with driftwood, brandied blackberry sauce, my first book “Lessons From the Potholes of Life” and a ton of faith that we would make it to PEI and back. Boy oh boy did that trip test us but we made it and I was the woman doing the yippee skippee dance around the tourism lot in PEI singing, “We did it. We really really did it!” In 2006 I wrote my first RV Canada book about the trip, “RV Canada On A Dime And A Dream” then in 2007 took it back across in a cranky van I named “Boo the menopausal van.” She grumbled her way across, repeatedly breaking down towing a 27 ft trailer. She became the title for the next book “RV Canada With Boo the Menopausal Van” which we took up to Yukon and Northwest Territories in 2009, and stood in the Arctic Ocean.

Barb and Dave at Miles Canyon, YK

It was the same story; not much money, humongous dreams, vehicle problems and lots of creative selling to keep us going. It became the third book “RV Canada’s Far North On A Dream” which we took on tour to Hudson Bay, MB in 2011. That trip is the latest book “RV Canada And The Polar Bear Dream” which we are taking to Newfoundland this summer.

Money is tight but we have faith we will sell enough to help pay for the trip. I’m sure we will be tested but oh the joy of standing at Cape Spears as we greet the first sunrise in NA.

Each trip has taught us not to give up on our dreams. They have taught us to be grateful each day for what we call “gifts of abundance” those big and small gifts people give us. It can be a vendor giving us extra potatoes or no charge for camping. We are grateful for them all.

 Our favorite quote posted on the wall for all our trips is from Dr. Robert Schuller, “You don’t have a money problem. You have an idea problem.” Anytime we have been stuck far from home down to our last few dollars, we look for ideas and with them comes the money.

 Spread out both your hands palms up. What abundance could the universe send your way if no matter what happened or what people said you followed your dreams? Can you live with the worst that can happen? Then go for it!!

Spring camping in Powell River
Spring camping in Powell River

RV’ing With Your New Puppy

RVing With Your New Puppy

Summer is finally here, and with summer comes sunshine, warm air and the open road. For many people, summer is all about RVing and the adventures ahead. For RV enthusiasts that may have picked up a new puppy since their last trip, it is not uncommon to feel anxiety towards taking your new dog with you RVing. After all, puppies are delicate animals and the road can be difficult even for seasoned travelers. This should not discourage you from taking your puppy on your next RV trip, however, as it can be safe and enjoyable for everyone involved.

When taking your puppy on an RV trip, it helps to have an idea of what you will be doing with the dog for fun, as dogs – especially puppies – can get extremely restless if not exercised on a regular basis throughout the day. Taking this into consideration, you may want to plan ahead and make a list of outdoor dog parks that run along your route, as this can be a great way to give your puppy his or her own little vacation. Touring dog parks can be great fun for both the dog and the family, and is completely free. It can also give you time to stretch and clear your head before heading back out on the road.

Another great way to help your dog let out some energy is to stop at rivers and streams along your route, as puppies love to swim. While you must use caution (IE skip the large lakes, always use a leash), allowing your dog to swim while under your control can be a great way to both occupy and tire out your puppy rather quickly, ensuring a restful ride in the RV.

Remember that your puppy is somewhat of a fragile animal, and most be shown significant, personalized care throughout the trip. Always make sure your dog has cold, fresh water at all times, as dehydration – especially in the summer – can jeopardize your dog’s health. Be sure to check for bugs and ticks if the dog runs through wooded areas during your trip to avoid bringing them into the RV. Also, be mindful of your puppy’s time in the sun – if it’s too hot, bring the dog inside. Finally, always make sure the dog gets exercise every two hours or so to prevent restlessness and over-excitement.

Article submitted by Victoria Knight from Pet-Super-Store in Victoria. Link below.


Great Northern Book Tour Journal Entries

Greetings from the way far north!
We are at day 25 of our four month book tour/exploration of Canada’s great far north. We’ve been in Whitehorse, Yukon for four days and leave tomorrow for Dawson City. What a vast land this is where there are more caribou than people: 165,000 to only 32,000 people. All that contributes to expanses of quiet wild beauty.

So far we haven’t seen any grizzly bears but as we head farther north we are bound to. The Yukon river is an incredible green that the Yukon River Quest paddlers tackled yesterday. 170 paddlers in 77 boats set off from here destined for Dawson City on their 750 km quest.
We’ll meet them there.

As a travel writer many opportunities have opened for me. I am so priviliged to have the best of both worlds: write and travel while making an income at the same time.
Watch for articles in Sun Cruisers RV magazine, Whispering Winds, RV Times and anything else I can find.

RV Canada with Boo the Menopausal Van is getting lots of exposure thanks to the sign on Boo’s front: Boo the Menopausal Van. We’ve been stopped at gas stations to sell books. Flag ladies just grin at us as do anyone standing on the streets.
We are having such fun exploring and learning so much about Canada’s early literally ground breaking history. This is the land of gold miners and the famous Alaska Highway.
If you want to follow us sign up at: http://mytripjournal.com/rvcanadawithboo

When we get to internet we’ll be updating. We are following our dreams all the way to Tuktoyaktuk July 12. We will be standing at the Beaufort Sea sharing our blackberry wine with someone just like we dreamed it would months ago. Hard work,determination and courage is all it takes.
Keep following your dreams and never give up.

July 19 in Carcross, Yukon:

July 11 will go down in our history as a very memorable day. It was the day we took a river boat tour up the McKenzie 180km to the Arctic Ocean.We did see two grizzlies on the river’s shore and got wonderful pictures. Our dream destination Tukotoyaktuk which sits at 69 degrees north. By then we’d already crossed the Arctic Circle at 66 degrees by travelling up the northernmost highway in North America, the Dempster. It is 760km of gravel and spectacular scenery.

But I digress that’s what got us to Inuvik, NWT where we hooked up with Up North Tours, Kyle and the guys who are so accomodating and knowledgeable.

In Tuk with our guide Boogie,we took our Powell River water and standing in the Arctic Ocean we poured it and refilled it to take back home. We hauled our bottle of blackberry wine all the way up there but never got a chance to share it so that had to wait till we were back in Dawson City.

I could hardly believe I was standing there in this totally differnt world of cold, no trees, sewer and water lines above ground, 24 hour sunlight, hunting whale and polar bears as a natural way to feed families, and pingos. What an eye opener!

We flew back to Inuvik over the pingos which are giant pyramids of permafrost pushing through the ground. In Inuvik we had a private tour of the famous Igloo Church built in a style that defied tradional building by putting down a foundation which isn’t done because of the permafrost.

The day was capped off when we attended the Great Northern Arts Festival cultural ceremonies. Watching the drum dancers, throat singers and whip artist demo made us feel like July 11 was a perfectly rounded day of really seeing and feeling the far north culture.

But now we are starting to backtrack from Whitehorse to Watson Lake, we are discovering yet more beauty. We’re currently in Carcross, Yukon and the smallest and most northern desert in the world. Majestic mountains and blue lakes abound.

Everyday we meet new people, learn more history, inspire and be inspired. This has been a journey of rediscovery of what is really important to Dave and I: keep it simple and enjoy each other without distractions and stress. Once again, as we did in our two previous adventures we are rekindling the depth of our love for each other and this great land we live in…and life in general.

Teslin, Watson Lake, Liard Hot Springs and Yellowknife lie ahead and yet to unveil their beauty. This was my last journal entry for this trip. 115 days since we left home, we drove back into Powell River 14,493 km later. For more complete journal entries go to: http://mytripjournal.com/rvcanadawithboo




Sassyscribes online writers group
Sassyscribes is a friendly, encouraging group of writers with many levels of expertise from around the globe. No harsh critiquing , but rather a shoulder to lean on when necessary and a “KIP” …kick in pants if needed. Monthly meetings are held in Powell River.

Retreat 2 Write
An online writer’s retreat that at times morphs into the real thing …a retreat held in an exquisite setting in the Powell River area.

Driftwood by Dave
My husband Dave has sold his driftwood across Canada in many forms. From cute little ornamental pieces to large garden roots to glass topped tables, he does it all. He also carries cottonwood bark for carvers.

Powell River Writers Conference Created in 2003 to give writers and wannna be writers a place to learn the craft, this festival grown up into a conference is truly a celebration of the craft of writing and the joy of reading. Held in the spring as a two day affair it has motivated many writers to not only get started but continue on to become published authors.

The purpose of the society is to provide literacy and the craft of writing through writer’s festivals, public readings, and workshops. Secondary purposes are: to work towards building an international network of similar services and to research ways to improve and expand public access to resources dealing with reading and writing.”

Friesens Printing
This 100 year old printing company in Altona, MN are very helpful to work with. Printers of my second book, they worked patiently with me and turned out a professional looking product. Their BC rep Jorge Rocha works with several types of BC printers for specialized needs: jorger@friesens.com

Island Blue Print

A family run printing business in Victoria with a  long history of great customer service, they printed my third book. Contact: info@printoriumbooks.com

Precision Proofreading
Deborah Wright,  editor of RV Canada On A Dime And A Dream has a lifelong involvement with the joys and intricacies of the English language. A retired English professor with a wonderful sense of humour, she’s easy to work with. Punctuation Tips.com (Booklets)Deborah’s six “don’t be without” handy booklets on punctuation and grammar.

Sunshine Speakers Toastmasters

Powell River’s friendly, fun club is also one of  the strongest clubs on the west coast.If your communication and leadership skills  could use a boost, check us out. Our meetings are held 1st and 3rd Thursday at 12:05-12:55 pm, and 2nd and 4th Thursday from 7:00-9:00 pm in the lower board room of the School District offices. Call me for directions or information: 604-485-2732

Toastmasters International
Communication and leadership skills taught in a safe, friendly setting. It’s not just for those in public speaking, it’s for anyone interested in improving their communication skills. Join this international organization with clubs around the world. I’ve been part of Sunshine Speakers club in Powell River for almost 10 years, and without it I wouldn’t be the proficient presenter I am. Check out the club nearest you.

Gwen Enquist Author    
A new and exciting author burst onto the scene a few years ago when she came to her first Festival of Writers. Since then Gwen has published two books both of them “page turners.”

BC Association of Travel Writers
A member of the BCATW, an organization for those involved in writing about travel.

Miracle Thinking
An inspirational book written by Randy Peyser in California, with my story about our 2003 cross Canada trip included as one of many miracluous experiences. Unique stories are told in the book about those who could have given up but didn’t because they believed in miracles. My favorite quote from the book is “A tragedy is an opportunity for a miracle.”
It can be purchased directly from Randy or if you’re local from me for $20.

Practice Linkin’-Thinkin’ vs Stinkin’-Thinkin’ and watch your world expand.
Greet each day with the question “Who can I link up with today?’


 RV’ers Links

RV Times Magazine
Free BC magazine full of tips and stories from RV’ers, and many of my articles.

Snowbirds & RV Travel 

Free BC magazine that carries my series about our 2009 northern trip.

RV Lifestyle Experts

Jaimie Bruzenak, publisher and full-timer for longer than I’ve owned an RV has a web site and very useful newsletter. Her ezine “RV Home Yet?” is full of trips, tips and tidbits. I wonder how many times I asked Dave, “RV there yet” on a long trip?

RV Lifestyle magazine
Published seven times a year it has many interesting stories. Once a year it includes a BC campground guide.

RV West magazine
A free magazine out of Cranbrook, it’s practical and once a year includes an RV dealer directory.

Fulltimer RVer
If you’ve dreamed of selling everything and living the RV lifestyle full time, this is for you.

RV Bookstore
An online book store whose cyberspace shelves are brimming with every kind of book on RV’ing you could wish for.

RV Lifestyle Seminar
An annual June event held at the Okanagan College in Kelowna, RV’ers not only listen to presenters for three days but they also camp onsite making this an impromtu RV rally. Go to the college page, then click on RV Lifestyle Seminar.

Never again will we wander around looking for a sani-dump because this site keeps adding new locations. A click on the map and you know exactly where you’re going to dump.