My siblings and I have taken after my father when it comes to travelling. We crave it. Our dad has never passed up an opportunity to show us the world. When I look back at our childhood pictures, there are more pictures of us in unfamiliar places than in our own backyard. I suppose this is because the unfamiliar can be more appealing and rewarding than the comfortable. Travelling allows you to explore not only physically new places, but it also allows you to explore new places within yourself. You step out of your comfort zone and open your mind to new experiences and new worlds.
That said, I believe that a lot of people these days, especially youth, are delving into travel for superficial reasons. To have said that you have been to a place weighs more in social interactions than to have said that you have learned from a place (even if that place is an hour away from your home). This is one of the reasons why I, personally, do not prefer “all-inclusive” or “resort” trips. Yes, you may have been to Mexico, and maybe you may have interacted with a few natives, however, if you have not left the comfort of your resort then, I believe, you have not really travelled to Mexico. I can understand and appreciate the security that comes with a tourist exclusive resort, and even I, myself have travelled far to live comfortably for five nights in a resort, but if you do not take as many opportunities as you can, to explore outside the boundaries of your resort, then you are not allowing your mind and body the true experiences unfamiliar places have to offer.
Hats off to my friends that work hard to travel the world and experience unfamiliarities. They come back a different person – perhaps a better version of themselves. They are not doing it for the sake of scratching it off a particular list, but to grow from and to appreciate the world we live in. These same people who seek the inner workings of natives of a foreign place, are not travelling far and high to enclose themselves within their travel group. They are more interested in the unknown over the repetitive days and nights of being intoxicated and hazy in a relatively warm place.
Anyway, that was my little spiel about travelling. I love it, yes, but I am very meticulous about where I go when the opportunity presents itself. Affordability plays a large factor in where I go and intend to go. In the last couple of years, I have been more inclined to discover and explore “my own backyard”. If you are familiar with this term, you will know that I do not mean quite literally my own backyard – which is usually only appealing if I want to soak up some sun and still have WiFi. I mean in the broader sense, I want to explore the country where I currently reside. Here is where I grew up and here is where I will be for the near future. A place, especially like Canada, which spreads out from east to west, covers all sorts of demographics and geographic wonders.
Living in a big city like Toronto, especially in the downtown core can be very monotonous over a course of time. In order to change things up a bit, you really have to seek out opportunities to explore different cultures and understand different kinds of people. Toronto has a lot to offer, no doubt. If you travel by foot in some of the districts downtown, you will definitely find a lot of hidden gems. However, since my move to Mississauga – a suburban subdivision of the Peel Region in the Greater Toronto Area, I have sought out places that offer more than the hustle bustle in the downtown core. My trip to Dundas Peak last year, although short-lived was very rewarding. When I go again, I will definitely spend more than a few hours.
I was fortunate enough to have a friend who already lives in Mississauga and he took the opportunity to show me around. This one particular place that he showed me briefly, completely teleported me outside the city. We didn’t have a lot of time on our hands, but being here felt like I was in a different part of Canada. The area we explored was a part of the Streetsville neighbourhood. It was serene and you could only hear the sounds of nature – water flowing, birds chirping and bugs buzzing. It was a nice day out, breezy but still sunny. We went during the evening so we didn’t stay for too long. On our walk, we stopped to admire many things of nature. The Credit River was one of the longest breaks we took, we sat on rocks, talked about life and listened to the sounds of nature. Here my friend shared with me reasons why he prefers places like these over the more “popular” touristy choices. This place is a place where you can relax, reflect and chase all your worries away for a moment in time. Therapeutic? Indeed. Here are some pictures we took on our way around the trail.
We came across an old man who was walking his dog around the park. He was so friendly and of course, so was the dog – she’s a full Husky breed.
Where have you explored while still being in the city and felt detached for a moment? Let me know, I would love to hear about it! Comment below!