When I first got into traveling, I thought it meant hopping on a plane and going as far as you could to another metropolitan. Only recently have I learned the beauty of my own backyard.
I count my lucky stars every day because I’m so blessed to be in such a beautiful country like Canada. Without even leaving its borders, we can experience the world. I realized this first in January 2016 when I went out west to Vancouver and Victoria. The vast mountains and forests often got me so frustrated because I couldn’t fit it all into my viewfinder – so I just put the camera down and kept my eyes up to take it all in.
Since then, I’ve taken a pledge to travel more in Canada, more importantly in Ontario (it also fits into my bored n’ broke plan of not being able to afford a plane ticket at the moment). Hamilton, Tobermory, Ottawa, and Saint Catherine’s were all part of this promise.
Through my internship and Ontario’s Central Counties, I traveled an hour up north to the lovely little Town of Georgina. I had the opportunity to stay in the historic landmark at the Briar’s Resort and check out some of the local activities.
We met with some First Nations Chippewa women who shared their culture and ideas about incorporating tourism and Native education. I also got to see a traditional Jingle Dress Dance performance and listen to Native songs.
Of course, I had to go ice fishing. Georgina is famous for ice fishing on Lake Simcoe and it was every Canadian stereotype come true: a bunch of heavily layered folks getting on their ski-doos and spending hours and hours staring into the cold, cold water waiting for a meal.
I caught my first and only fish just 10 mins in. They say it usually takes a couple of hours and even then many come back empty handed so I considered it a pat on my back.
Later that afternoon, I found myself sliding down the ROC’s massive hill in a giant doughnut, they call it snow tubing. Result: A peak in adrenaline and a really sore bum.
We wrapped up by getting a tour of the Clear Water Farms where local foods are grown and hear about some cool initiatives they’re organizing to get kids into agriculture again.
Cool thing #3847934 on this trip: Chef Cori
Turns out she was a graduate from the same program as me and worked in the media industry for decades in Toronto. After moving to Georgina, she found her passion for cooking and since has cooked side by side Chef Lynn Crawford and had CHEF RAMSEY (my ultimate celebrity crush) cook for her.
She and her team of students cooked us an incredibly fresh meal from locally sourced farm foods. My personal favorite: her famous Tomato Basil Soup…. yummm..
Better understanding culture, going on adventures, trying new foods, and meeting community heroes is travel, no matter where you do it. Learning and having new experiences has now taken priority over travel. There are so many things happening in localities all around us and we think of going to New York as an escape. If you get a chance, I highly recommend making the hour drive for the weekend.
Here’s a short video I made to document my travels to Georgina, check it out!