About Us

The Open Road Project exists to spread kindness and meet the needs of strangers. We travel in a 1979 GMC Vanguard named Lily. These are our stories.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


We woke up to the smell of sizzling bacon. Yes please. After a delicious breakfast made by Julie, we were off to hit the town, thankful for our full stomachs. Tom was an excellent guide and gave us the insider’s tour of the city. We stopped at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) and explored some very impressive buildings. Naturally, we left our mark for any other tourists who may be visiting the classrooms.
Tim dancing because he's so stoked about parking
U Pitt
Monkeying around at the antique shop

As our tour continued, we found ourselves at Peace Love & Little Donuts. Outside, we met a young lad, Derek, who had recently been seriously injured in a skateboarding accident. The pictures his mother showed us were quite gruesome. After we chatted for a while, we left Derek with a small gift for his bravery, some Skittles. We also checked out Enrico's Biscotti, which apparently is on of the best bakeries in America. We also saw the Heinz factory and where our good buddy Sidney Crosby likes to toss a puck around.

Derek, his family, and a little love

When we got back to Tom and Julie's lovely abode, another sweet, sweet aroma was filling the house. We sat down for an amazing Spanish jambalaya and enjoyed every bite after our busy morning.

Thank you Tom and Julie for your amazing hospitality!  You gave us the perfect beginning to our adventure. 

After signing the guest book and saying goodbye, we pulled out onto the road, our sights set on DC.

Home is where you park it, 
The Boys

Love Dollars

As we were preparing for our trip, I found about a cool thing that a community in Philadelphia, called The Simple Way, has been doing lately. It's called the Love Dollar. Essentially, dollar bills with the word LOVE in bold letters are shared in creative ways.

Since we will have nothing to do with our American $1's when we get back to Canada, we have decided to take part in the Love Dollar initiative and give them all away. Look out, one could be coming your way for simply passing us on the street!

Home is where you park it,
The Boys

Rockville, Maryland

Currently we are about 20 minutes from DC, planning our trip into the heart of America (we will write a detailed post about Pitts very soon). When we got in last night, we saw a diner that looked like a classic spot. When we got to the door we noticed a sign for 50% off the entire menu. What!? Needless to say, a feast ensued. A good one, but also one that begged us to question the food system and the way we eat. Steak and rib combos should not cost $10. More posts to come.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Steel City

We have made it safely to our first stop: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We are comfortably lounging in the basement of Tom and Julie's house. These two have stayed with my parents a few times over the years during their vacations to Niagara, so they were excited to return the favor to four wandering travellers.

The drive was pleasant and the boys are doing an excellent job becoming familiar with Lily's quirks. The border was an easy cross, which is always a pleasant surprise. Most of the drive was rainy and we napped, read, ate and chatted as the wiper blades sloshed away.

The rain had stopped once we reached Pittsburgh and we were amazed how the big city sort of popped up out of no where. When we arrived at Tom and Julie's, we became reacquainted after a few years having not seen eachother. We were welcomed with open arms. Over a delicious pizza dinner, we had some great conversation; stimulating and enriching.

As the meal was ending, Tom asked us if we wanted to see Pittsburgh at night. An unwritten rule with The Open Road Project is that we always say yes. So we headed to the top of Mt. Washington and enjoyed this beautiful view.

In the morning, we are going to see some more of Pittsburgh and then continue on our journey. Starting off are trip with such hospitality may very well have spoiled us. Breakfast in the morning will not disappoint.

Home is where you park it,
The Boys

Thoughts before hitting the road

Currently, I am sitting in the RV outside Tyrone's house, stealing his Wi-Fi in classic Open Road Project fashion. The morning will bring a whirlwind of activity as the guys pack their stuff into their designated cubbies and get familiarized with their new home. The air always smells a little sweeter when another adventure is lingering.

This week was good for me, as I gave Lily a long overdue and thorough cleaning. Vacuuming, washing dishes, organizing gear and fixing leaks were on a list that is now neatly checked off. During this time, I noticed a small picture frame that has been hung above the table for two years now. I had looked at it hundreds of times before. It is a picture of a dart heading straight for a bullseye with the quote, "Aim for service and success will follow."

Aim for service and success will follow.

As I cleaned and went about my daily business, this quote danced around in my head. I guess I have found it to be quite true. Over the past few years, we have taken this RV to each end of our grand country (and dabbled in the States as well) with the goal of serving others. This has taken on many different forms (just read any of the stories on this blog) and in the meanwhile, we have also been served in ways that I never could have imagined.

As we travel, I want this quote to encompass everything we do. Not because we crave success and not because we desire to be served in return for our deeds, but because a life dedicated to service, in my opinion, is one worth living.

Oftentimes, our trips take on different forms. Some trips have been more service-based than others. Especially when trips are shorter, it is important to be more intentional with the opportunities that arise. Thank you for reading, and please be thinking about us as we seek to navigate the open road!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Open Road Project takes on Washington DC

Well, we are back at it again. Surprise, surprise :)

We are pleased to announce that The Open Road Project is heading down to DC!

Starting on Sunday, April 28th, myself (Jeremy) and three great friends are once again hitting the road with the goal to help and meet as many people as we can. Joining me in this adventure are drumrolllll please..... Tim Van Meer, Tyrone Maguire and Zach Grant. For the past two years, I have been living with, and consequently have grown very close to, Tim and Ty. Zach has been friends with Tim and Ty for a long while, and I also know him from working at Camp Mini-Yo-We.

Now that you have a little background information on the guys, I would ask you to be thinking about and praying for us; that we have an enriching time with each other and also are able to find and hlep people in need. That we would be perceptive to the things going on around us while continuing to grow our friendships.

The way it's looking right now, we have established contact with a family in Pittsburgh to stay with on our first night. From here, we will head into the capital of the US of A and check out as many free museums as we can and go with the flow.

Whatever happens, it will be an adventure. We are all looking forward to it. Follow along for updates, we will post as often as we have free Wi-Fi.

Home is where you park it,
The Boys