Tuesday, 11 July 2017 08:00

Two students preparing for the journey of a lifetime

Written by  Demi Knight
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Ori Nevares and Philippe Roberge, 22-year-old University of British Columbia students, preparing for their voyage across the country. Ori Nevares and Philippe Roberge, 22-year-old University of British Columbia students, preparing for their voyage across the country. Photo courtesy Ori Nevares and Philippe Roberge

Two University of British Columbia (UBC) students are taking an extensive journey across the country in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Ori Nevares and Philippe Roberge, both 22 years old, are breaking down barriers this summer and travelling across the country they call home to all the cities, towns and villages they haven’t yet seen.  
“We were talking, and we both realized we had never really explored 99 per cent of our own country,” says Roberge. “What better time to get to know Canada than on its birthday?”
Nevares adds this project is special because the eventual timing and destinations of the trip is out of their hands.
“Part of the beauty of this project is that the route and timing is completely dependent on who picks us up and where they are going. There is a special energy of naturally discovering a place that we hope will also aid in sharing this energy to the people following us.”
Their plan to make this journey came with the realization that although this country is their home, there’s so many parts of it that they have yet to see.
The catch however, they plan to do it all by hitchhiking, with only $150 in their pockets.
“We’re pretty broke, but aside from being practical, the $150 thing is a fun challenge,” Nevares says of their added stipulations.
The duo will start their adventure July 8 from Whitehorse in the Yukon. They plan to move east from there and travel all the way to St. John’s in Newfoundland.
Although they know the timeline of their project is dependent upon others that offer them rides, they said they think they will be passing through Alberta within the first few weeks.
By celebrating Canada’s birthday in this way, the pair hope not only to get to know the country better, but also its inhabitants.
“We want to connect with the people of Canada and we think that hitchhiking will be the most authentic and personable way to do this. By hitchhiking we depend on random people we meet and are able to have a meaningful time together of which we hope to learn more about these people and Canada as a whole,” says Nevares. “This will also allow us to connect with locals in the area very quickly and ideally get leads on places to explore and interesting information to share about each location.”
Of course, this great conquest would not be as exciting if the pair weren’t planning to document their entire voyage on camera. Since they want to include the Canadian public in their journey, the two will film their entire adventure from start to finish in hopes of creating a full-length documentary and weekly video blogs.
With no set end date in sight, the two students plan for their journey to take between one and two months due to the research they have collected of other similar projects people have undertaken in the past.
Although, the adventure may seem like tough one, these two are no strangers to difficult journeys. Just last year Roberge, Nevares and friends took to the road to see how far they could travel driving non-stop for six days down the American West Coast. Their trip was later featured on CNN.
This year the two students hope to gain the media’s backing once again on the journey of a lifetime.
A release video and more information on their journey set to take place in July can be found at: https://www. expeditioncanada150.com/about.

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