Do you live in a boring old place?

I do! . . . except when I’m looking at it through eyes of people who have never been here.

Between comments from regular visitors from Edmonton, which is about 2 hours south, and Japanese exchange students who thought I must be a millionaire to have so much land surrounding me (boy are they wrong!) I started looking at ‘my place’ and my community in a whole new light.

When I ponder this, I remember that I ended up here because I was a tourist. I liked the landscape, the people and the ambiance of our little hamlet. Then I met my hubby and I liked him better and became a permanent resident.

While every town or place will be different, most comments from Edmontonians who visit here have to do with the peace, relaxation, wildlife and nature. For the Japanese exchange students the quotes boiled down to “this is what Canada is”.

I also did a stint as a part time worker at a visitor information centre.  The couple that really sticks in my mind were from Scotland. They were on their third trip to a Canada.  The first trip was described as like being penguins on a bus in the mountains. The second and third trips were to the Slave Lake region and they were planning future visits at 2 year intervals. Why?  Because they could go on any trail and feel like they were the first people ever there and within 15 minutes go experience culinary tourism, the beach and numerous other amenities.

Lesson learned!

I learned from these life experiences is that your home town is someone else’s dream vacation, and that to many the less traveled regions are just as, if not more, attractive as the major tourist attractions.  People just need to be able to discover them.

Sheila Willis
Culture, Community & History Connector
Project Manager of the History Check App

It’s takes two to tango and a group to line dance

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