When we first found out that my girl was accepted into the specialized art program at the high school of her dreams in Toronto, I posted the exciting news on my Facebook page. One of our friends back home in the Netherlands made a comment that this was quite the journey east. Facebook translated their Dutch comment as “Big Piece to the East”, which we just loved, so that became the title for our journey from Calgary, Alberta to Toronto, Ontario.

Lake Superior, Ontario

Our “Big Piece to the East” took place last summer when we drove across the country with our cat and dog. It was quite the journey, scary and exciting at the same time… Lots of feelings, sadness (it is hard to leave people you love behind) but also hope (starting a new chapter brings new opportunities)… and so many more.

With the help of dear friends we prepared for the trip and loaded up all our stuff in U-boxes which were shipped to Toronto for us. Our “Jo” (my trusty jeep who has traveled to so many destinations with us) was packed with the essentials, and together with our dog and cat we drove off in the last week of July 2021.

During the first two days we drove through three provinces – Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It was quite a thrill to watch the landscape change from dry and hot Alberta/Saskatchewan to lush and green in eastern Manitoba to lake country in Ontario. So much beauty all around. We loved Kenora and Lake of the Woods, great vibes…

Kakabeka Falls, ON, Canada
Kakabeka Falls, Ontario

We gave ourselves some time to explore the Thunder Bay area and were very impressed by Kakabeka Falls, Hillcrest Park, the Terry Fox memorial, the waterfront and marina. Upon leaving Thunder Bay, we were lucky and got to see Mount McKay and Sleeping Giant with clear skies. The drive from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie has to be one of the most beautiful drives I’ve been on. It’s already been decided that we have to do that drive again and spend more time in the many provincial parks on the north shore of Lake Superior. It feels like you’re driving by the ocean! I’m so amazed by the dense forests sprouting out of the rocks of the Canadian Shield.

Exploring the Georgian Bay was fun, but I think we’ll have to come back to do some more exploring as we didn’t have a lot of time before our arrival in Toronto to pick up the key to our new apartment.. 

Somehow the road trip east made it easier to leave our sadness behind and give in to the adventure that was waiting for us. Don’t get me wrong, traveling can be pretty exhausting, especially after months of preparing, but it is also quite inspirational.

We were sad that we didn’t have time to see everyone anymore, but we know this is not goodbye. We will see each other again!

~ See you down the road ~

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