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  • Writer's pictureDavid Stamation


Imagine traveling for one month without reservations or concrete dates, only with a roughly stated goal starting at mile zero. That’s what I asked from my travel companion, Cynthia, my wife. I wasn’t confident my request would fly, imagining we’d negotiate for something in the middle. To my delight she gave a full-throated YES; just don’t get irritated if we can’t find a place to sleep one night, she said.

You the reader probably want to know if we’re still married after 30-days, side by side, in a car that covered 8,000 miles through Canada and Alaska. Yes, we are. We threw ourselves 100% into this travel style and chose not to work in any way, leaving our professional lives behind. We were relinquishing control.

Free from rigid schedules and predetermined itineraries we surrendered to the landscapes and our moods. Do we feel like camping tonight or enjoying the comforts of a hotel? Every moment was an opportunity for serendipity, where chance encounters and spontaneous decisions could lead to a small adventure. For me this is one of the purest forms of ‘freedom’.

Unplanned Lunch Spot

Let me tell the story of how a tire shop led us to the best hot spring we have ever visited. The alignment guy was booked forcing us to waylay for two days in a town we had not planned to stay in. Cynthia set out to see what there was to do and found a hot spring 15 miles out of town where we camped and soaked for two days. The pools and grounds were magnificent and done in the best Canadian style – one of the best we have relaxed in.

We love visiting hot springs; however, this one was not on our radar. Stepping away from the over-planning, we immersed ourselves in novel experiences and unfamiliar surroundings that led to this gem. The thrill of not knowing where you’ll end up adds a dash of excitement to the journey, making every twist and turn into an unforgettable memory.

Alaska Pipeline

Reflecting on this overland adventure, I can see we were free of the shackles of predictability and thrived in day-by-day travel. After thousands of miles of rural travel, going into a grocery store was a sensory pleasure where we found foods that suited our moods.

Artic Ocean

Back home I am already looking for ways to keep it going with less rigid planning and leaving open all the possibilities that serendipity brings. And serendipity brings me a smile and laughter.


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