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America-Canada Wilderness: Journey Preparation

by Afonso
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The period of residence in Canada is going to be six years. Until I came here, I heard everywhere in the office-chat, people are going on vacation or gone! Vacation here means taking time off from work or activities or celebrating a holiday. Job means any kind of job or work, from ordinary workers to the chief executives of multinational companies or parliamentarians or prime ministers or presidents!

What is it like to go on vacation? Leave must be taken in advance, leave is granted on a rotating basis without stopping work at the workplace. Family-children-relatives (what else!) if not friends-friends together near and far, at home and abroad; Whoever has money or convenience, go there for vacation. Canada is part of the North American continent, it is a cold region. To celebrate the holiday, people from Canada or North America go somewhere far away for a two-five-day or two-week vacation.

Although Canada is a large, temperate country, federal (central), provincial, or local government authorities provide many opportunities for tourism. Many are aimed at tropical and hot coastal areas of America, Mexico, Cuba. And if the vacation is less than a week or two or four days, then go away with children, friends, nearby or at a distance of four to six hours by car. If it’s spring or summer, outdoor areas such as parks, lakes, forests, oceans, mountains, giant theme parks, etc. And if it is winter or indoor (called indoor) theme park or sports place.

Large indoor (so-called indoor) theme parks are the main focus of most. Because during this time, all kinds of outdoor parks and entertainment institutions are partially or completely closed. All around is covered with ice! Summer is full of endless parks, theme parks, marineland, wonderland, forest-jungle-mountain-marina, safari park, cultural fairs and festivals! But this account is not for everyone. For those with minimal consistency, everyone takes long well-deserved vacations from work in the winter. Among the most popular travel destinations are the coastal states of the southern United States, the Caribbean islands including Cuba, Mexico, and various South American countries. Many also travel to more distant destinations such as Africa or Asia. On the other hand, most of the people of the sub-continent plan to visit their respective countries during the winter season in accordance with the need to go home. That is seeing chariots and selling bananas.

Anyway, hearing about these things made me want to take such a vacation with the kids and plan it this summer! But not in the country, but in some areas of Canada’s neighboring country, the United States of America. The purpose is to gain some first-hand understanding of North American environment-environment-people.

This year I am in my first year of student life in Canada. Normally during the school holidays of the two girls I will also have a holiday. At that time I planned, instead of going to the country, to explore the different regions of North America! Taking the opportunity to see first-hand the similarities and differences of this continent with our ever-familiar geographical environment. But usually what everyone does here is to book a flight ticket and travel to the destination. He quickly went there and checked the area and returned to his seat as usual. But my travel plan is a little different! I will take the car by road, there will be an opportunity to know people’s identity and other details along with the geographical environment of the long areas of the way! But there are some people in Canada, like me, who enjoy long-haul road trips and travel!

I heard such a funny story! An Ottawa resident Bengali family wanted to take a car to California, USA. I will write about the fun journey! However, traveling is not only about desire, but also about time and ability! Calculated, this time of college vacation is the best time to travel! Almost the whole of the two months of vacation was therefore divided by choosing to travel to the three regions of Canada-USA. This travelogue is the result of that enthusiasm!

Those who yearn to come to North America especially Canada-America or those who could not come despite the desire or who love to read pure travel stories; This travelogue will open their eyes too. They will know about the houses of two great countries of North America. Without real experience which sitting in Bangladesh or India can never know and understand real facts! They will understand whether to go to that far country or not! Whether they’ve done well not going, or will be motivated to try again, my experience will help them make a fresh decision! You will see with your own eyes, how the people who have migrated from the country legally and illegally in different ways live, what they do, what they think, their privileges, their difficulties, in many such matters! You will learn more about the past-present activities of the indigenous peoples of the North American continent and the past-present activities of the colonizing Europeans; What did they think before, what do they think now; Whether there has been any change in their mentality due to the colonial position etc.! What is the relationship between the past and present of the economy of this country and the physical and mental labor dependent immigrants and foreign permanent or temporary workers like us! However, although it is called America-Canada wilderness, it is a story of travel in only a few areas of the two continental countries. Now let’s start the trip!

Hamilton to New York-Washington-Myrtlebeach

The plan for this part of the trip to North America includes the city where we live in Canada, straight south from Hamilton, the famous New York-New Jersey metropolis of the United States, various sights, scenic and natural beauty and the pleasure of sailing on the Atlantic Ocean, visiting the capital of the United States, Washington DC, South Carolina, England. Visit the famous tourist town, Myrtle Beach, and finally, visit Charles, North Carolina’s most populous city. The travel outline of this episode is as follows; Hamilton-New York-Washington-Sharley-Myrtlebeach-Sharley-Hamilton! Since the journey starts from Hamilton, Canada to the United States of America, this border region of Canada will be crossed by the Hamilton region of Canada and the adjacent world-famous Niagara Falls area. Then when the United States crosses the border, it’s about there. In this text, the United States of America is sometimes referred to as America or sometimes the United States. In local pronunciation, ‘America’ is pronounced ‘Merica’.

Note that the distance from my home to Niagara Falls is only 65 km, it takes 45 minutes. And because of this, Niagara Falls and the adjacent shores of Lake Ontario, the city seems to be its own area!

The road distance from Canadian border area Hamilton to New York City is approximately 800 (eight hundred) kilometers. It takes 11 or 12 hours if you drive on the highway with slow breaks. It takes a few hours less if you continue continuously. However, there is regular bus service on this long distance Hamilton to New York route. New York can be hopped on those buses from Toronto and Hamilton. Bus services generally use highways in populated areas. I have traveled to New York by bus three times before. There are at least 11-12 bus trips from Toronto to New York daily by various companies. These comfortable bus services take an average of 20 hours. This is because many passenger services on the route of the bus service include stops and breaks for pick-up and drop-off of passengers. Adequate air connectivity exists between these two cities. The flight takes an hour and a half. The cost is not too high. However, the cost of tickets from Toronto to New York is quite low compared to Canadian airlines! As a result, it seems, many people in the region travel by car or bus across the Niagara Falls city border and book an American airline ticket from Buffalo International Airport instead of using the Toronto airport and Canadian airline flights to go to various destinations in the US.

City of Toronto.  Photo: Author

Note that Toronto Airport is one of the world’s most expensive airports! However, I chose to drive the route that the Toronto-New York bus service runs on for safety reasons. Because on this route, several hundred kilometers of highway pass through the largest mountain range in North America covered with forests. If you go through a populated area, it is possible to get help and assistance quickly for convenience and inconvenience. Which is one of the most important safety aspects of highway travel. However, in both Canada and the United States, helicopter ambulance services are available to the general public in remote areas where roads are not available.

All in all, taking our own car for our four-person trip to New York was both time- and money-saving, as well as convenient for getting around whenever we wanted. If you go by bus, the apparent cost seems to be less, but reaching the destination becomes a hassle. Then you have to take a car from a local rental service again, or you have to use the tourist bus, city bus, or subway train of the destination, traveling to an unfamiliar city doubles or triples the travel time and cost. Then the basic purpose of traveling, the time to look around the destination is reduced! With our low budget and short time travel plans, I don’t know of any readily available alternatives to owning a car! If you have a GPS machine in your hand as a companion, you have a wheel attached to your feet! When you want, where you want, movement is open in the shortest and shortest time! I wanted to rent a car from Hamilton due to lack of confidence as my car is quite old, but they said that New York, my main destination, is not covered by their car insurance. Can rent a car using my personal insurance. But it reduces the financial savings a lot. So I decided to go with my personal car, which will happen! Own car insurance covers the entire North American continent as well as Canada and the three countries of the United States and Mexico. That is, if the insured vehicle meets with an accident or the passengers suffer physical damage, loss of limbs or loss of life, the insurance company pays the expenses and compensates.

(to be continued…)



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