BootsnAll Travel Network

Archive for May, 2008

« Home

Reality sets in & Gotta love BootsnAll

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Reality sets in & Gotta love BootsnAll


Here it is last day of May 2008, 2 weeks to my auction sale where 99% of the possessions I absolutely could not live with out are to be sold. All the family heirlooms have already been passed on to the kids. Then one month later the new owner takes over the shop & I will be homeless with no fixed address.

Had a meeting yesterday with my Chinese clients about bussing for this years summer camp, 6 weeks of  showing 5 different groups of students from China around southern Ontario many of whom will be returning to universities here. When the last group leaves in mid August my career in bussing is over.

Am I sorry to see it end? Yes & no. I will miss the  young people with their aspirations & a life ahead of them, I will miss taking tour groups of all different nationalities around & being exposed to their cultures, I will miss the Friday night shopping trips with the Mexican & Jamaican farm workers.

I will definitely NOT miss dealing with the petty mentality of the simple serpents (civil servants) that end up in charge of transportation at the school boards & other provincial government organisations.

Why now? When I first started on my own I had the good fortune to meet a man who told me the one thing to keep in mind was to know when to get out of a business. That information has served me well as I have changed directions a few times a the business climate changed. At this point in time with one US company & 3 from the UK taking over the bus industry in Ontario & the bigger is better mentality that is prevalent combined with rising fuel costs, now is the time.



After my last Cuba trip I came to the decision that there had to be a better place to live than Canada, a place where there was NO snow & the cost of living was lower. I had grudgingly been forced into the world of computers due to business needs & figured there must be some thing on the net where travel & retirement living was discussed. Consequently I stumbled on to the Trip Advisor forums, now they are ok & I have made friends on the Cuba forum where I hang out a lot but TA posters aren’t into the travel style I want.

From information on TA I came across other helpful forums like Flyer Talk, Seat 61 & Thorn Tree through which I came to realize not only my dream of going to Egypt & Oz was possible but so was an RTW which would enable me to visit the home countries of the people I had met on my buses, COOL.


Then the BBC bought TT & the new format made it almost impossible to use on dial up (I am only 1 hr from Toronto but high speed only available on satellite). Then another dissatisfied poster mentioned BootsnAll so I logged on & it has been a blessing.

Although I haven’t posted much I have lurked a lot & as I became more familiar with the site have gained a wealth of information from the site. The experiences of the regulars, the gear & adventure travel sections have prepared me for my RTW better than any other site I have been on.

I had planned on doing the whole trip independently but discovered that on some sections I could go with a tour group for basically the same price & experience a lot more. In one instance my original itinerary was too tight & not doable with out missing a segment, in another for the same money I spend an extra week & experience a lot more.

Hats off to BootsnAll  gotta love you guys/gals & happy travels to all that get to do their RTW before me.


Hi my name is Dave

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Hi name is Dave


Some back ground as my view of the world will probably be different from the run of the mill tourist.


Where to start??


Summer 1967    Montreal Que.     Expo 67     Man and his World   Terre des Hommes


This is a good starting point as it’s a kind of transition point between for both Canada & myself.


Expo 67 marked the coming of age of Canada with the Worlds Fair that attracted 50,000,000 visitors to a country of only 20,000,000 (a record that still stands). It was the last year of the old guard Prime Ministers as Pierre Elliot Trudeau would be elected the following Apr. & the Canada we knew would start it’s change (not for the better IMHO) to the country it has become.


Turning 21 that summer I was one of the multitude to visit Expo a few times that spring & summer. It was a good time to be young with the basic learning experience behind you &  whole life time of great expectations ahead. One perfect day sticks in my mind that summarises those times, half a dozen friends that grew up together spent the day at Expo then went for supper at a restaurant in China town where we talked about the old days & our plans for the future. Nothing momentous just a good time with good friends & the last time this group were all together at the same time.


I was brought up on a farm in a typical WASP family, father was a progressive farmer involved in the community & mother a school teacher. The main value learned & still live with to this day is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. I am not a believer in organised religion (too many people have been slaughtered because of it over the ages), just believe in common sense & decency & reincarnation (keep on living until you get it right). Told you my view might be different!


Might have had some thing to due with mother teaching but I couldn’t wait to get out of school where in spite of an above average IQ I just accomplished enough to get by (there was too much else interesting to do than apply myself)  so upon graduation went out & got a job with a local construction company & by the end of summer was driving truck.


Now the local pipe line had been upgraded the previous summer & I had mentioned that it would be nice to drive truck on it, father had said a local boy had no chance as only westerners had the contacts.




That summer evening in 67 at the Chinese restaurant in Montreal I was home (for a couple day shut down) from my job driving stringing truck on a pipe line job in London Ont.


Did try college for a while in 1968 but decided it wasn’t giving me what I wanted so didn’t return the second year. Had a union job hauling cars for a while but couldn’t put up with the BS that went along with the union (no wonder the big three auto manufacturers are in trouble. Greedy unions).


Went into business delivering trucks in 1978 which was good until the 1982 recession, tried a couple other things until after a separation, stumbled (nobody grows up with that as a career goal) into the school bus business with the significant other of the day. She’s long gone but the bussing turned out to be a challenging & rewarding profession until a couple years ago when the changing times & economics started forcing the small operators out.


Always stayed small (under 10 employees) to keep government interference to a minimum & due to the fact it is a service (minimum wage) business it’s hard to keep quality drivers. Could have gotten bigger but the way you have to do business to grow doesn’t go with my “do unto others—“  philosophy.


Now after 30 yrs. in business, the fun has gone out of  it & time has come to say adios. Sold the school runs 2 yrs. ago, when I saw the writing on the wall, finally sold the building last month & am in negotiations for the charter side. Should be free by Aug.


That’s me the good, the bad & the ugly.