While on my travels in Australia, I met someone who said, “Amie, there are no such thing as mundane places… just mundane people, go home and be a tourist.”
Now, more than ever, am I relying on this quote.
I really can’t and shouldn’t complain about where I am from. Canada is a pretty amazing place. We’re known as one of the friendliest nations around the globe, we have free health care, we border the United States, have the Pacific Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean. We have the Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes. We’ve got it pretty good. It’s my insatiable wanderlust that makes it so hard to stay here, but guess what? I have barely even explored my home country. While in Australia, I realized there is actually a ton of Canada that I really need to see. Why not start with where I live?
Living in the Niagara Region is actually pretty awesome… I can visit Niagara Falls whenever I want. I can hop over the border to New York in a heartbeat. I can hike the Niagara Escarpment or wander around Toronto if I feel like it. Why do I even complain?
The other night, I drove to Niagara Falls and walked down in the pouring rain to see their Christmas lights display and the Falls. It was weird, I actually felt myself bursting with excitement on my way there, I felt like a tourist and I loved it. I couldn’t get over how pretty all of the lights were and how pretty Niagara Falls looked at night. The mist rising above, the city all lit up, Christmas lights, and it was barren, likely due to the weather. It felt like it was all mine.
I had dinner with my friend Kaitlyn recently (who I actually met while nannying in Melbourne) and we had a really interesting conversation. We both talked about how after spending time away from Canada as a tourist in another country, you start to see things differently at home in regards to how beautiful things are. We didn’t really appreciate things as much when we were around them all of the time but now we look at things like a tourist, someone who has never seen any of it before.
I used to drive through the country to get to work everyday for two years without ever noticing how pretty it was. When I got home, I did the same drive but I actually noticed so much more this time. Watching the sunset through the trees in a farmer’s field was different this time around because I actually took the time to stop and look at it, to be mesmerized by it, to appreciate it in it’s entirety.
Last night I went for a walk down to Decew Falls, which is in St. Catharines, Ontario. I spend a lot of time there in the summer hiking and swimming, as it is one of my favourite places to be. I haven’t spent a lot of time there in the winter and I couldn’t get over how pretty it is and how close it is to me. The leaves have fallen off of the trees, the ground is orange and white and there are icicles hanging from the waterfall. I am glad I took the time to go see it, even though it was cold and I hate winter. It is one place that will never not excite me.
No matter where you are from, there is always something to do. You just have to look at things differently. If you were a tourist, visiting that particular area, what would you want to see and do? Every place is different and has something to offer, even if it is a place you’re used to being in every single day. Instead of always being sad and feeling stuck somewhere, get out there and make an effort to see it in a new way. Don’t be one of those mundane people that my friend talked about, be an adventurer, an explorer. You may as well make the most out of your time, no matter where in the world you are.