Thursday, May, 12, 2011
I love our life in Haliburton. We are so lucky to live in this part of the world. I do however, really appreciate it when I get the opportunity to head out of town and visit new places - in Ontario, across Canada and around the world. I'm a better person when I have time to explore and learn and, I always come home with new ideas and more appreciation for where I live.
We live in a tourist area and I always feel the need to go somewhere else and be a tourist and be pampered and taken care of and feel no responsibility. I love to discover good coffee shops, yummy food, interesting yoga studios, local markets, good book stores etc. And, when I travel I'm always on the look out for new ideas that I can bring into my life in Haliburton (the hip trends in yoga, a new craft idea, some new music etc.) I'm also interested in how other communities function and what issues they are dealing with and what their focus is. Every community and area is unique. I'm curious when I visit tourist destinations about what they do to help people feel welcome and informed. On my March Break adventure this year I realized that in every area of the province there are many people out there using our roads for different reasons. My family was in the Kitchener Waterloo area and we took Steffy (Rotary Exchange Student from Ecuador) to Mennonite Country to experience the beautiful open farm land and the culture of the area. What we noticed right away was how the Mennonites who use horse and buggies for transportation have to share the road with the cyclists, cars and people walking. We also spent a day in Niagara Falls and that area of the province targets family vacations as well as romantic get away weekends for couples. There are extensive biking and walking trails so people can move from the Butterfly Conservatory to Wolf Lodge and to the Falls. I have friends who were on vacation in the Florida Panhandle during the March Break, and they showed me a picture of a "share the road" campaign sign, and it had a picture of a golf cart on it. I understand that in Florida there is such a high population of seniors, and so golf carts are used extensively. It is interesting that every area is unique and has it's own opportunities to work with and highlight. Every area has to figure out what works best for them, and to encourage safe tourism. I'm pretty sure that the Disney Customer Service Training emphasized the importance of safety in all programs. I hope that we can continue to support the growth of the cycling community in this area. It is a popular vacation past time, as well as a great mode of transportation. I want my 10 year old daughter to ride more this year and I trust that the roads will be safe for her up here.