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The Road Towards the Great Canadian Road Trip

Let's get this point out of the way before we go any further: I hate driving. I get the appeal of driving, but it's been years since I've experienced it for myself. And so I'm hoping a cross-Canada road trip will fix this. This is the start of the Great Canadian Road Trip.
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Let's get this point out of the way before we go any further: I hate driving.

I get the appeal of driving. Watching a car roll, top down, along the streets of Toronto is just as eye-catching as spotting someone walking down the sidewalk with their top off.

And if it isn't the sights that'll grab your attention, the roar of the engine or the screeching of rubber on pavement will warrant a turn of the head. At the very least, driving's a practical way to get from point A to point B.

There's an undeniable sex appeal behind cars. There's a definitive cool factor about getting behind the steering wheel. Simply put, you feel powerful whenever you're driving a car.

But it's been years since I've experienced anything like that for myself.

If the Fast and the Furious franchise epitomizes everything desirable about cars and driving, my life is the low-budget Canadian parody destined for a straight-to-DVD release.

My first family car was my father's 1988 Corolla. He jokes that he didn't depart with it until 2005 when he got pulled over because the police thought it was a safety hazard. The failed emissions tests certainly didn't help his cause.

My mom bought her first car in 1995, a used GM station wagon that no longer exists. Given the fact that it broke down in 1997, I can't say I'm all that surprised about its fate.

In 1999, my parents bought another used car, this time opting for a 1995 Toyota Camry. To this day, it still works fine but driving it is akin to eating a vanilla cupcake: a perfectly acceptable experience, but seriously, vanilla? You can do so much better.

In 2006, my dad also introduced our family to one more car, a 2003 silver Camry, sports edition.

It was the best.

Sure, the rear spoiler was unnecessary and made reserve parking a pain, but who cared when you were driving forward? I felt confident driving it, listening to home-made CD playlists with the volume turned up while the windows were down low. It was a car that looked great, inside and out, and in many ways, I felt the same whenever I was behind the wheel.

Then I crashed the damn thing in the summer of 2010.

We've moved on since then and I've moved out from the suburbs of Mississauga to Toronto. My dad sold the Camry for scraps in 2013, investing in a 2012 Nissan Altima that does the trick but reminds me too much of our dearly departed Camry.

I drive it time to time when I come back to visit, but I walk pretty much everywhere else I go now.

Despite my love-hate relationship with cars, I think it's still one of the best ways to travel. Between freedom, flexibility and fun, you can't find a better method of travel that beats the car in all three categories.

It's one of the reasons I'm embarking on a road trip across Canada this summer. I've learned from my time covering the travel beat/ as an armchair tourist that no country offers such a diversity of sights and experiences. I'm fact, the amount of it all can be downright overwhelming.

Like I said earlier, I hate driving but the thing I hate more than the combo of road rage, gridlock and the pain at the pumps is missing out.

Part of me is embarrassed that I've never travelled east of Quebec all my life. As for the West Coast, it's been over 20 years since I was last in Vancouver. Another part of me is afraid to admit I've never set foot inside the Prairies. Part of me is ashamed that I don't know my country well enough to really appreciate it when I travel abroad.

But I'm hoping to fix this.

Over the next two weeks, I'll be driving across Canada, accompanied with my friend Talia Ricci and aided with the support of Nissan Canada who've offered me one of their 2014 Rogues to borrow for the trip.

Will this car rekindle my love with driving? Maybe? Maybe not. That's a story for once I get back, but not the stories you can expect over the next few days. These will be the stories focused around people, places and special things in each of the 10 provinces. (My apologies to the Territories, I'll have to visit you next year.)

As for this? This post will be the start of a Canadian trying to learn more about the country that's housed and raised him the last 24 years.

This is the start of the Great Canadian Road Trip.

Cabot Trail (Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia)

9 Canadian Road Trips That'll Get You Pumped For Summer

Brian Trinh is the Huffington Post Canada's travel/ video editor. He's currently on a cross-Canada road trip with freelance journalist Talia Ricci. You can follow their adventures here or check out their Twitter and Instagram pages below.

Follow Brian @ProjectBLT and @TalRicci on Twitter or on Instagram here and here

Road transportation made possible thanks to Nissan Canada.

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