As my chances of scoring a reasonably priced plane ticket from Edmonton to the Dominican Republic were slimming by the day, I’ve realized that it was only going to get worse and started to look at alternative arrangements. Combining my flight to the Caribbean with car sharing drive across Canada seemed like an amazing option as it offered two hits with one blow. I’ve never done a cross Canada car trip so why not do it now? Besides, flying south from Edmonton in the middle of Summer was way too expensive, but some of the cities in the east still had reasonably priced tickets. So if I could car pool with someone to Toronto, Montreal or Ottawa, it would allow me to see Canada from the Cross Canadian highway and avoid outrageous fees for plane tickets originating from Edmonton (Calgary, the nearby city in the same province of Alberta wasn’t a big win either).
Sunwing.ca had amazingly cheap plane tickets available to the Dominican Republic from Toronto and Montreal so if I could get to any of these two cities, I’d be able to fly for less than $200 + fees and taxes. Compared to $800+ prices from Edmonton or Calgary, this was definitely a steal. Unfortunately, domestic flights are oftentimes more expensive than significantly longer, international flights so flying to Toronto or Montreal from Edmonton would bring the total cost of an entire flight to the level comparable to direct flight from Edmonton. This was definitely not an option. I’d be better off buying that overpriced, but direct ticket rather than flying via Toronto, paying the same amount but spending twice as much time getting there.
So instead I started searching through Kijiji.ca and Craigslist.org to see if anyone is looking to share a ride from Edmonton to the east coast of Canada. Surprisingly, There were many classified ads posted in Car Sharing category and since both Edmonton and Toronto are on a major cross Canada highway, vast majority of requests involved the two cities. Excited, I have responded to a bunch and started keeping a closer look at plane tickets to synchronize my arrival in either Toronto or Montreal with departure to the Dominican Republic.
Things were looking pretty good. With so many people driving across Canada and looking for someone to share their ride with so we could split the cost of gas and swap behind the wheel as well as keeping each other company so the ride doesn’t end up being a boring, 6 day long journey of torture, I was sure there would be a positive reply. And to be honest, I did get many – but ended up going with none. While the premise of car sharing and taking a drive across Canada is fantastic, you would be stuck in a confined space of a car with a person you don’t know – for 6 or more days. It’s a long trip and I was getting wrong buzz from the responses I have received. None of the people seemed like anyone I would be comfortable having a drink with, nevermind sharing a ride with for almost a week. Those were also the people I’d be entrusting my life in the hands of believing that they are responsible and safe drivers, but had no idea of verifying that it truly is so.
The premise definitely seemed exciting, but the risks involved seemed to be too high. What if a person I was sharing a car with decided that he didn’t want me in the car half way across Canada? I’d have a plane ticket booked in line with my anticipated arrival, but would be stuck somewhere in Saskatchewan. There are all kinds of weirdoes out there and unless you have a lot of time on your hands, or it is you who owns the car and makes the rules, you are looking at a rather risky bit of business. None of the people I exchanged emails and phone calls with sounded trustworthy. The benefits were definitely not worth the risks so I have concluded that I will not do a cross Canada drive in a shared car this time. I knew I was gonna do it one day, but it will be with someone I know and can rely on, someone who is fun to be around, someone who is not unstable and will act maturely and responsibly throughout whole drive. At this time, car sharing to drive across Canada was not a good option. So I was back at being stuck.