EcoTravel (TO to BC) = Sleep Upright + 4 nights + no food $500

credit: viarail.ca

– In true hipsie form, just as we are settling into our secluded, peaceful log cabin, we are beginning to move on.  We are out of here in March, and I am again investigating Yoga Teacher Training and/or Waldorf Teacher Training.  Dylan plans to come along for the ride.

So far, the best match is to do my Yoga teacher training in Nelson, BC, Canada, for the month of May.  I could go to India for pretty much the same cost and the same training with a more cultural experience, but then I would have to fly, somewhat unnecessarily.  If I’m going to be working in ‘Education for a Sustainable Future’ (a field that has yet to exist in Canada), I think it would be nice to say that I obtained my Yoga training in a sustainable fashion.

However, now I am challenged with crossing Canada in a sustainable fashion.  Dylan’s bright-eyed, boyish expression makes it hard to say no when he exclaims “We can take the truck!”.  ‘No’ actually doesn’t register as he goes on fantasizing about how we’ll sleep on the roof (in April…), drive across the desert (it’d be the prairies, but the photos in his Landrover Magazine are overlapping reality at this point), drive over the Rockies etc.  Instead, I suggest the train, and as his awareness of who he’s talking to returns, he concedes “ya, that would be fun too”.

So, now I’m looking at what it would be like to take the train across Canada. $500 one-way, for a seat for 4 days/nights….no bed, no food, few stops, no shower.  That is worse than hitchhiking.  The bed and food options are available for $900 one-way.  Yikes.  Is it actually possible to sleep sitting up 4 nights in a row??  I remember the glamorous Via Rail commercials of the cross-Canada train, called “The Canadian”, with picturesque views of the mountains, food coming to your seat etc.  What they failed to mention is that you also sleep in that seat unless you can afford the “Sleep-Touring” option.  And I bet the meal being delivered in that commercial would cost $20 or so.  So, if Dylan and I were to actually take the train to and from Vancouver and keep our sanity (ie. get the bed option), it would cost us probably about $1800 each.  That’s over $3500 for both of us.  And then we need to take an 8 hour bus to Nelson. That’s a 1/4 of a house down-payment.  If riding a train across Canada was the purpose, ok, fair enough.  But, it’s actually just our transportation.  Yoga Teacher training costs $3000 for one month, full-time.  Plus accomodations and food and Dylan’s entertainment (skiing).  There is a bus option, with Greyhound, that takes 3 days (3 nights I think) that seems to only cost $200/pp return.  Has anyone reading this taken the bus or train to or from Vancouver?

If we drove (and it would be the Landrover), we would likely pay about $700 in fuel both ways, plus costs for wherever we rest our heads and what we eat.  But we could stop where we like, take photos, camp, frolic in the mountains, bring our bikes (!), couchsurf, take 10 days, serve food at soup kitchens, pick up hitchhikers, bring along a friend or 2 (anyone interested?), stop at friends places (Sarah in Winnipeg) and visit others while we’re in BC.

I haven’t resigned to considering flights yet, but perhaps I should.  Perhaps I should just accept the state of the world and technology and exist within it for my own happiness… I was going a little far there.

It’s a tough decision.  It’s like the paradox of ‘health food’: Actual food (ie. non-pesticide laden, GMO-free, local food from the ground) is more expensive and less accessible than the alternative convenient, prepared, packaged, foreign, full-of-ingredients-I-can’t-pronounce “food”.  To take a more planet and future friendly mode of transport is incredibly more expensive, less accessible and less comfortable.

I’m stumped for now, but the nice thing is we have another month or 2 of winter left to brainstorm.  Any suggestions?

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One response to this post.

  1. “leave now on your bikes and you’ll be there in 2 months” – Dylan

    Reply

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