On The Road #23: The U.S. or the Taste of Déjà vu


As soon as I can, I’ll update you on my one year trip. I’ve decided to leave everything behind and spend real time with the people that matter the most in my life: my wife and three children. This is my story, I hope it will inspire you to create yours.

You can read my previous “On the road” articles:

  • On the road #1
  • On the road #2
  • On the road #3
  • On the road #4
  • On the road #5
  • On the road #6
  • On the road #7
  • On the road #8
  • On the road #9
  • On the road #10
  • On the road #11
  • On the road #12
  • On the road #13
  • On the road #14
  • On the road #15
  • On the road #16
  • On the road #17
  • On the road #18
  • On the road #19
  • On the road #20
  • On the road #21
  • On the road #22


Date: from April 11th to April 30th

Countries/States/Province traveled through: Texas, Louisiana, Florida


As I’m writing this part of our trip, I literally live some “vacation” in our trip. My wife writes a French blog about our journey and one of her reader invited us to stay at her lot on a privately-owned campground in Florida. Sometimes, life could be harder, hahaha!

Back to the U.S…. or a Taste of Deja Vu

We were quite happy to arrive in Texas. For one, no more running after resources! Everything is so easy, so simple. At the same time, it is also quite shocking. My eyes hurt to see so many ads signs on the road and so many stores everywhere. We enter in a Wal-Mart and we end-up with the trip’s largest grocery bill! But they had FRESH SALMON!!!

We get in contact with friends of friends who are on a 4 months trip across the U.S. We then decided to meet with them in a State Park. Ah…. The feeling of walking into a forest, making a fire, smelling Mother Nature sweet perfume… It felt like paradise!

Oh! And don’t forget egg bagel sandwich with bacon on the fire!!!

It was fun to discuss with people thinking the same way we do. To be honest, I feel a little bit like an alien since we entered the States. Like many of you, I’ve been raise to go to school, get a good job and settle with my family in a nice house until retirement. I’ve been told to avoid risk as it would only cause me pain. That my family is safer in a suburb than in Central America.

And now, I’m back from 8 months from the “terrible south border”. My family is healthy and happy. Nobody has been abducted nor amputated. In fact, the place where I felt the most unsafe during my whole trip has been in some Wal-Mart parking lot in the States. Nothing came close to this in Central America. When I tell people I took a sabbatical year to travel, they look at me as I’m either filthy rich and I don’t need money… or I’m crazy to have left financial security for such a dangerous adventure. On my side, I look at people running around like cheeps trying to buy always more stuff, work more to pay their stuff and finally take the few minutes left free in their tight schedule… to take care of the stuff they bought. Funny. I’m telling you, I feel like an alien.

After our stay at the state park, it was time for us to visit San Antonio and do what we like best when we are in a city… EAT! We were lucky enough they had a Turkish festival right besides Alamo. This is how we ate delicious kebab after visiting The Alamo. I was fascinated by this story. A long time ago, Texas belonged to Mexico. A small group of rebels took Alamo. They were 200 soldiers. They were surrounded by over 2,000 Mexicans. Instead of running, those brave soldiers fought until their last breath in an impossible to win battle. They did lose, but the spirit remained. A few weeks later, The Alamo was taken back by the Texans and Texas eventually became a State and joined the U.S.A. years later.

After our lunch, we enjoyed walking on Riverwalk, a canal right in the center the of town. San Antonio was a really cool city to visit! After our stay in this city, I was lucky enough to be invited in Houston by another of my reader, Ameen. This guy and his family were super nice with us. We had the chance to chat about our trip and his business (he does have an online business too). We were lucky enough to eat Pakistani’s food for supper and sleep I a real bed before leaving for another State Park.

You can tell we are missing the nature by the number of State Park we hit since have returned in the U.S. It seems that we missed forest so much! This time, we had more time to think about our return. It’s a good thing we don’t go back directly to Quebec as we benefit from some time to adapt to this new life. To be honest, we don’t really want to get back to our “old life”. We are talking about we will raise chicken and triple the size of our garden. We want to live with less stuff and more time. Time to enjoy our life, time to do activities with our children, time to realize our dreams. This is what we want to do when we return. But we know we will face the “rest of the world” and we will have to make compromises. We will also have to find a way to compensate for the lack of our daily dose of adrenaline we have since we left. Right now, we are already missing this adrenaline, the magic disappeared a little when we entered in Mexico again a month ago. I started running again, oh man it hurts! For my first run, I did 5km in 5 minutes more than usual. But my body hurt like I ran 50km! arg… being back to reality hurts! But at night time, we light up a fire and make some more Smores!

Since we arrived in Texas, we are little bit on a run. We keep driving the distance as we don’t find a good reason to stay somewhere. While we enjoyed the latest State Park we were in, we had to leave prematurely due to car problems. The battery drains each time we stop the car. I tried to repair it in Houston but all mechanics were too busy. We finally find a place near Lafayette, Louisiana. It’s a family owned garage where Dad was still running the show. Well I can tell you he is good as he fixed our problem in 2 hours! We then hit the road to find a good restaurant. After all, we were all about eating Cajun food! The first place we want to stop is closed… all right, no biggies, we will find something else. Then, the second place we found is also closed! Darn! The sun is about to disappear and we haven’t found a place to eat nor to sleep… We finally find a cool Cajun style joint where we ate crawfish and drank local beers. We decide to get back to our old habits and we sleep in a Wal-Mart. Funny enough, I’m not scared any more…. But I didn’t sleep either! Hahaha! Drunk people all night coming and going… and screaming! Yeah… not exactly the quietest place. Oh well, that’s part of the trip!

The next morning, we decide to go a little bit faster  and reach Florida. I found a super cool spot by the bay and it’s free! We stayed there 2 nights and 3 more nights at Fort Pickens. We had the chance to visit the Fort (kids just love running around ruins!) and the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola (this is a must for kids and it’s free!!!). It was nice to do things as we drove a lot of miles recently.

We spent some time at the beach too. The sand was incredible (white like baby powder!) and the beach almost empty. This was definitely the kind of place we enjoy!

I’ll take a “break” of my On the road as the next three weeks will be quite “normal”. We are staying at the campground for 10 days, the time to do some shopping for kids (they grow so much, nothing will fit for school!!). Then, we will go to Disney World (I know, that’s a big paradox but I assume it completely). We go there for the magical aspect of the park. Kids will have a great time but we don’t buy stuff there. Just exploring the park will be awesome!

We will then hit the road, get outside Florida and reach the Great Smoky mountains for 5 days around May 19th… If you are on the East Coast and you want to meet, let me know!



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