“Why aren’t you guys coming here?”
“It’s so big!”
“It’s too expensive!”
“There’s no way to see everything I want!”
Ah! Ha! It was my moment, and everything clicked into place. They were right. From what I saw, unless you rent a car, the options for travellers were pretty slim in Canada, especially outside the Toronto-Montreal corridor. And Canada is so much more than that bottleneck. We have some of the most expensive flights around the globe. Our expanse is enormous; Most of the backpackers don’t want to travel in a personal bubble. They are the people who want real experiences of the places they visit, and they want to meet local people, impossible things to do while handling the wheels of a car.
So, I’ll be honest, I never imagined myself starting a business, but after hosting travellers in my home for the last three years and seeing that no one else is catering to the market of tourists I love so much, I felt it absolutely necessary to do something. So, I’m doing something, and I’m excited to have all of you be a part of it. I can’t wait for our first ride on July 1st, my perfectionist side says that’s too soon, but my good side: the fun side says: “let’s do it!”
I’m that other freckled redheaded kid from across the strait (the Northumberland Strait that is), who upon moving to Nova Scotia, immediately fell in love and starting calling it home. Ten years later and better travelled, I decided I want to make this place more accessible so that others would get the same opportunity I did to fall in love.
When I first had the idea for Alternative Routes, I was traveling across Canada, from Edmonton to Halifax. It was the third time I’d made this journey, but the first time I noticed how many hotels, motels, and campgrounds were almost empty, or already shut down— and it was the middle of summer. This piqued my longing and my curiosity. I had just returned from a lengthy journey backpacking through Europe and Africa, and what I saw just wasn’t matching up with what I was hearing from my peers:
“Oh Canada, you guys have the best nature.”
“Canada is amazing, so wild and so much to see.”
“ I can’t wait to visit Canada.”
These were the phrases echoed by everyone I came across during my hostel stays. So, I couldn’t help but wonder: why aren’t they coming? If they were coming, these beautiful little towns, which had evidence of a once booming tourism industry, wouldn’t be coughing up so many ghosts. So, I got on the social media and started asking these friends: