The 4 Legs

From London to LA, Ben begins his Stage 1 Review by looking back at how his four legs have shaped the journey so far

For the first time in my life I was outside of Britain. Yes, it had taken 24 years but I had finally done it. I had actually left the country.

Starting in Toronto, Canada, the first leg of my journey took me six weeks, during which I gave myself a good insight of things to come. Made up of a series of consecutive CouchSurfing stays and Work Exchanges, my trip from Toronto up to Quebec was incredible. From transplanting blueberry bushes to refitting bathrooms, making new friends to meeting new Prime Ministers, each and every day was packed with the sort of energy and excitement that for so long I had been craving.

However, relative to what came next, the 1st leg was somewhat of a bore, for starting out in the capital Ottawa, I decided I would make the journey west using only my thumb. That's right, during my 2nd leg I hitched right the way across the second largest country in the World until some 5,739km later I found myself out on the west coast in the city of Victoria. 

Taking me exactly four weeks to make this journey, it was during this time I realised just how great people can be. From the 29 people who gave me a ride to the numerous others offering me places to stay, I felt at all times so incredibly lucky to be put in the company of such wonderful people.
Around the lakes, across the plains and over the Rocky Mountains, this trip was unlike anything I had ever imagined doing at home
Best of all though was being able to really see Canada and it is with confidence that I can say that these four weeks were without doubt the greatest four weeks of my life.

Moving on from the excitement of hitchhiking, the entirety of my 3rd leg was spent on Vancouver Island. Whilst it wasn't the Rockies, Vancouver Island was still remarkably beautiful. From hiking the Juan de Fuca to camping in Tofino, the highlight for me was without doubt the time I spent with my three host families, who collectively not only made me feel like one of their own but made me realise just how much I want to one day have my own children.

The Journey So Far: 1 Stage, 4 Legs
Then finally, the time came. Six months after I had arrived, I boarded the Greyhound and over four weeks made my way down the west coast of the States through Washington, Oregon and California. 

Admittedly, my 4th and final leg was never going to rival that of my time in Canada, but my time here was still pretty incredible. From rainforests to volcanoes, cities to beaches, I in four short weeks still managed to see and do everything I had hoped to.

So there we have it. 213 of the best days of my life, tidily summarised in just a few short minutes.

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