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Facing Fears Head On

If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would get on a plane to go to Gatineau, Quebec to drive a vehicle in the Ford Fiesta Drive Program, I would have stared at you blankly while thinking you were completely crazy.

I may would have even cried after the conversation.

2014 Ford Fiesta

Facing Fears


I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and one thing that not many people know is that driving has always been one of my biggest fears. I have learned techniques during the past 5 years to help me get past the worst of my driving fears, but when that email arrived in my inbox from Ford Canada I had to stare at it for a while.

It was time to face my fear head on! Off I went on a jet plane, to get in a 2014 Ford Fiesta and drive around the urban and rural areas of a city I was completely foreign to.

I arrived at the beautiful Hilton Lac-Leamy and took the time to relax and prepare myself for the day ahead.

Hilton Lac-Leamy

I sat through breakfast watching the Fiesta Presentation begin and before I knew it, it was time to put my fears aside and hit the handling course. Racing fast, swerving faster and breaking hard, it was all part of the course. Since this was in a safe parking lot I felt pretty good – I did not even hit any of the orange pylons.

Each of us were paired up for the urban and rural drive route. I was secretly hoping to be paired up with someone who was familiar with the area – but of course that was not meant to be. This was going to be a true test. Marlo and I took our turns driving and navigating – I could not believe I was doing it. There was one point that we had to go over a high bridge with a very small guard rail, and of course it happened to be while I was driving, but I did it. Even though the Ford Fiesta is a small car, I felt safe in it and I felt that it handled really well.

GatineauWe had check points along the drive where we had to park and then get fresh veggies that would later be donated to charity. I loved seeing the beautiful countryside and I loved that I was able to face a huge fear head on. Gatineau is an beautiful place!

After our busy day of driving and seeing the beautiful countryside, we enjoyed a “Let’s Fiesta” Celebration. It was like an indoor circus – there was wonderful food, great entertainment and of course, fabulous company!

fiesta celebration

Truthfully, I still can’t believe that I did this, neither can my husband. Thanks Ford Canada for sending me on this adventure. I faced one of my fears and am stronger for it.

This was a true adventure, one I will remember for a lifetime.

Disclosure: Special thanks to Ford Canada for inviting me to be a part of the 2014 Ford Fiesta Drive Program (#FordFiesta). As part of this experience , I received for myself 2 nights of hotel accommodations, flights, meals and attendance at special events. Opinions are my own.

Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel

Friday 6th of September 2013

Good for you for taking on this challenge and facing your fears - you are the better for it and had some amazing experiences. Love the pictures of the area - beautiful hotel and wonderful location.

Thank you for sharing at Travel Tuesday!


Wednesday 4th of September 2013

Wonderful that you are overcoming your fears about driving. I have a fear of flying, though I do fly with the help of meditation and medication. For years I missed out on vacations and seeing family because I would not get on a plane so I do know how you feel. I bet you had a terrific time racing around all the pylons, that's something I would love to do.

Jody @ Mommy Moment

Wednesday 4th of September 2013

I used to have a fear of flying too - almost missed my own honeymoon ;) Glad I have concurred that fear - it only took 10 years!


Tuesday 3rd of September 2013

I only got my drivers license in my early 20s (almost 30 now), as a newlywed with the help of my husband. My issue was part nervousness but mostly never having had the opportunity to drive. Prayer really helped me to get through. I passed my drive test on our wedding anniversary and am so glad I overcame that obstacle. Thank you for mentioning your GAD. I have a doctors appointment tomorrow and your post has given me the courage to bring up the episodes of anxiety I have been feeling lately.

Jody @ Mommy Moment

Tuesday 3rd of September 2013

Mel, I am so glad that I mentioned my GAD too - I hope your appointment goes well tomorrow. Let me know how it goes, and if you ever have questioned for me, feel free to ask! {Hugs}

Lori JB

Tuesday 3rd of September 2013

Good for you. Congratulations on this huge achievement. :)

Lori JB

Tuesday 3rd of September 2013

What a great example you have set for your children.


Tuesday 3rd of September 2013

Great review. This sounds like a ton of fun!