Trade Show Season

For many years I avoided going to the almost endless range of trade shows that show up in the Greater Toronto Area. For the most part the exhibitors didn’t change from year to year and the deals were really not good enough for me to want to part with my money. This year though with potential large purchases on the way will be different.

First up this year was the Motorcycle Supershow. I usually go to this event to dream up new adventures on my bike. I have spent the time looking at racing schools, motocross adventures and different tour routes. As with everyone else there I also check out the new bikes and spend time dreaming about what I would do with this new ride.

This season wasn’t any different. Having not been on my bike for about 3 months now it is nice to get out and think about riding again, and maybe my next motorbike.

Today was the Toronto RV Show and Sale. From some of my research it is a good idea to buy at shows like this. Even today I was told that the best deals happen as the dealers have paid a lot of money to be there so they want to sell product. The RV show gives a very good snap shot of the industry in Canada and it unfortunately does not really cater to the Overlanding ideal.

Looking for ideas for the Overlanding vehicle.

Most of the vehicles on sale are massive bus style RV’s or travel trailers. The market in Canada is apparetly too small for the variety of different options available in the US to bother being sold. Big for me is the fact that very few dealers in the area bring in Truck Campers, something I was hoping to see more of. I met with Paul Harris from Lance Campers and had a great chat. He told me that he was trying to convince dealers to bring them up but so far no good.

So what next. There are a lot of choice if I choose to purchase a van conversion. These are nice vehicles but they are very expensive. It will also mean I have to use an RV as my daily driver as I am just not able to maintain two cars. So if I am going with a truck camper I may have to head south of the border and import one back. According to Paul the closest place I can see a Lance truck camper is near Montreal! I am not certain what issue I will have in importing a camper from the US. Sounds like a bunch of paperwork to me!

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Temptation…. and Teeth

It happens almost every 3 to 4 months. Someone or something presents me a chance for a trip some place. The people who know me know that I am interested in traveling to just about any place on the planet. Most recently the offer was to travel to Cambodia and Vietnam at some point this coming year.

Most of the time the answer is Hell Yes, and then either my own ambitions take over, the time they want to go isn’t combatible with the school calendar or I am so far in debt that springing for a $4,000 dollar trip right now would not be a smart idea. Being an adult sucks some times. Being spontaneous and having a long term plan do not really match up some times.

The plan for this year included a trip to B.C. with my sister to try out living with a truck camper for two weeks. We had planed to travel from Vancouver to Whistler and spend a couple of days mountain biking, from there head over to Vancouver Island and go whale watching and explore the rainforest. I was excited to show my sister a part of the world that I know she would love.

And then the dentist happened. They always seem to provide the worst and most expensive news possible. My tooth needed to be removed and the best option for it is to have an implant. The cost of the entire process is more than the cost of renting an RV. So decision making time…. have a permanent gap where a very big tooth used to be or do the better long term option, not really a choice is it.

I guess it is time for some Adulting. The temptations for just saying #@$% it and go are such as a driving force over the last few years. I really want to go to all of these. Maybe just a motorbike trip this summer (oh ya…. did I mention heading east on the bike again??). Lets see how well I can do :).

A Christmas Gift & The Rules

This year my sister got me possibly the coolest gift that I have recieved in a long time. Those who know me understand how important maps are to my life. Along with a good photo, they are in my opinion a fanstistic form of art. So this past season my sister got me a map that allows you to scratch off the places you have been to.

Scratch Map gift from my sister! Best Gift Ever!

Now the question is, What determines where I have been? Some countries are small enough that visiting one or two major cities would be enough to say you have been there but in the large countries such as Canada this just is not the case. So in order to know where I should scratch there needs to be some rules.

In order to determine if I have visited a place I need to have spent a night there or have traveled through it via some land based transportation (on my motorbike trip to Alaska I rode across Manitoba twice without staying the night…. I think I can still count Manitoba on my list of visited places though!). For countries large enough to show up on a world map with separate provinces or states entire countries can not be crossed off. This means that while I have been to the USA many times there are still some states I need to go to still as well as some provinces and territories in Canada. The final rule in this process is that there is no time frame that restricts this, in other words my travels as a kid with my parents count.

And so, today I have spent an amazing time scratching off the places I have been. Each place has a story based on fond memories. And what have I learnt? Well beating my sister in our race to get to all 7 continents first will be a challenge and second is that for a person that some think travels a lot there is way too little of the world that I have been.

If you are interested in your own map check them out at scratchmap.com