Thoughts on exploring Canada from the girls who are of on their trip. Jessica Gilbert is a Toronto-born adventurer and recent film school graduate with a passion for comedy and travel. She produced several award-winning short films during her time at York University and is currently working on the series Two Girls One Trip with her travel buddy and co-creator Emma Scott.
Outside my Front Door is a series of posts by fellow travel bloggers who share what is … outside of their own front door
Hello there reader. You’re looking lovely today. Is that a new shirt? Allow me to introduce ourselves. We are Jessica and Emma, two young graduates from Canada who decided to travel the world one day and document it all.
The whole thing started with a conversation over beers, as most brilliant ideas do. Emma, a good friend of mine for many years, mentioned she’d wanted to travel for a few months to New Zealand and visit family. Maybe even stop in Europe to see a few friends along the way. Fresh out of university, I couldn’t think of a better way to take advantage of my new-found freedom.
“Why don’t I come along too?”
With my expertise in film, her graphic design skills, and our quick sense of humour, I knew we could make a really great series out of it. We started brainstorming ideas, names, logos etc and soon decided on the very fitting title Two Girls One Trip.
We began by figuring out a timeframe. We decided to head for Europe towards the end of October, kick around the continent for six weeks, then fly out to New Zealand just before Christmas. I found a good deal on a flight from Toronto out to England. One way.
Those two words rang alarms. I don’t think I’d ever purchased a one way ticket to anywhere before then. Though we had both travelled in spurts before, it was always with a return date in the not-so-distant future. Leaving without a set agenda or real plan of any sort was a frightening concept.
Getting these tickets would mean the trip was officially happening and we were leaving everything and everyone we knew behind us. I called Emma and mentioned the price. It was too good to pass up. Hesitantly I clicked the ‘purchase’ button. And just like that Two Girls One Trip was born. The days leading up to our departure hit us like a whirlwind. Goodbye parties, launching our website and first video, packing, ironing out last-minute details. It wasn’t until the final pack the day before that the anxiety hit.
Toronto has always been home to me. I was an urban adventurer and the city was my playground. I had walked down the same streets, slept in the same bed, and looked out the same front door for twenty-three years. I’d grown to love it and there wasn’t a place in that city that didn’t spark some sort of memory. Now every place we’d come across in the next months would be completely new and alien. I called Emma only to find the same anxiety had hit her too. I hung up and tried to get some sleep.
The next day we arrived at the terminal and clumsily mounted our travel backpacks; a talent we would soon have to improve. We stomped to the counter like well-balanced pack mules as our families snapped some last pictures. Emma handed her passport to the lady first. This was it. It was happening. I had always fancied myself an adventurer. This was my chance to prove it to the world. Two inexperienced and geographically challenged ladies travelling together. What could go wrong?
“This passport is not valid.”