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Motel Marcel on the St Lawrence River

Motel Marcel on the St Lawrence in Rimouski, Quebec, looking like the dark side of the moon on a cold September morning.

This morning, we find ourselves in a tiny and perfectly acceptable motel in Rimouski, Quebec, on the Lower St. Lawrence. We’d actually planned to stay nearby at the Pointe-au-Père lighthouse, a national historic site designated a free overnight camping area, but… as usual, life had other plans.

An early evening meeting became not-very-early-at-all-anymore and produced more urgent work tasks. We’d been using this website to find free campsites along our route east, but someone was mistaken about the whole “this facility has washrooms” bit at this particular location. We realized this website maybe isn’t a very well-kept secret anymore as by dark, there were over a dozen other vehicles hunkered down at the end of this pier for the night. We couldn’t put the tent up over the large crushed rock gravel, so we blew up the backseat air mattress, which has been great for nights like that time the youngest had his friends out to the camper and I wanted to let them have the place to themselves.

Unfortunately, Trevor and I pushed its weight limit and… well, it was nice while it lasted.

Did I mention it was 11 degrees?

the Onondaga, the only submarine open to the public in Canada

The Onondaga, the only submarine open to the public in Canada, at the Pointe-au-Père Lighthouse national historic site.

So off we went, in search of heat and indoor plumbing.

See, part of this whole “seeking sanity” journey is that we feel this need to explore some other options for ourselves. Friends have been asking, “What’s next?” Will you buy another house in Owen Sound? Will you buy a house somewhere else?

And we wonder, is that what you do in this situation? When you worked so long and hard at something and, for one reason or another, it became royally screwed up, do you start over and do the same thing all over again? At this point (and this is really scary to think about so I’d rather just avoid the topic entirely), if we walk into a bank, ask for your typical 25-year mortgage and stick to that plan, Trevor will be 70 years old when we pay it off.

What we were doing wasn’t working, in a lot of different ways. We were stressed, overworked, underpaid, and quickly becoming incredibly unhealthy. I know it’s not just us, either… check this out. New research from the Canadian Payroll Association found that half of Canadians wouldn’t be able to pay their bills if their pay was a week late, and 1/3 feel overwhelmed by debt.

Do we want to sign back up for that life again?

We’re in bankruptcy right now. There was really no other option after being fleeced out of our savings and having the house put up as collateral for that scam of a “business opportunity.” There’s really nothing nice or good about bankruptcy; there’s a lack of control over your life that we’re finding it really difficult to accept. But what we’re seeing is that we really weren’t in control before, either. So many of us are just hanging by a shoestring.

Maybe this timeout from that life doesn’t have to mean just waiting on the sidelines to jump back into the consumer debt pool. Yes, your home is your greatest asset, and I don’t begrudge anyone for succeeding at working hard and ending up with that prize at the end of the race.

We’re just not sure anymore if that’s what life has in store for us.

So, in the meantime, I’m still working 40-50 hours a week on the road and we’re hoping the weather smartens up so we can get some decent photos. We walked a bit in Bic National Park yesterday, but it was really pretty grey and misty:

Bic National Park - Seeking Sanity

Trevor enjoyed much better weather over the weekend while he was in Quebec City and I returned home for a visit. I think he was in his glory staying in a downtown hostel that organized excursions like the one he took to Montmorency Falls, where he snapped this awesome pic:

Parc de la Chute-Montmorency

Parc de la Chute-Montmorency/Montmorency Falls, 12 km from Old Quebec City.

So on we go, in search of warmer weather and sunnier days.

Eastward. And onward and upward.

Miranda M

Miranda M

Canadian writer and photographer Miranda Miller is currently chasing sunshine and happiness in Central America. The owner of MEDIAau content marketing agency, she writes for travel brands and destination marketing campaigns.

You can connect with her on LinkedIn or Instagram.

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