Tourist In My City

I have been very fortunate to have traveled to numerous countries and cities over the years, yet I somehow have not fully explored my own city.

I have lived in Toronto for 12 years yet people are shocked to hear that I have never visited some of this city’s landmarks such as:

  • Centre Island
  • Toronto Zoo
  • Ontario Science Centre
  • Royal Ontario Museum
  • Casa Loma

Why is it we take time to explore other cities but not our own? Is it because its very easy to procrastinate in our own city? “This weekend I will do spring cleaning, maybe next weekend I will explore” or “Looks like its going to rain.. let’s skip it and watch movies at home instead”.

Well, no more! The time is now people! I have decided that this summer and fall I will be scheduling days to explore this city and sticking to it.

First up: Centre Island.

The husband, Baby J and I didn’t have defined plans for Father’s Day, so about three weeks prior I put it in our calendar and decided we would go.

The morning of Father’s Day, I checked the forecast for the day and saw that it was going to storm around 3PM. My husband and I both looked at each other, wondering if we should cancel our plans, but I decided “No! We are going! A little rain never hurt anyone”.

We left home by 10:45 got downtown, parked the car, took the ferry and were on the island by 11:30. I was shocked, most of the island is a giant park, with a small amusement park for kids, a beach, splash pad, play structure, and numerous areas to have a picnic.

We started the day at Centreville (amusement park) which has free admission though you do pay for rides. Baby J loved the Antique carousel, the train ride and was brave enough to go on a few rides by herself! She was also fascinated by the numerous ducks and geese wandering about.

Centre Island, Centreville, shwetasays

For lunch, we decided to put out our blanket and have a picnic by the water’s edge. I was very glad to have packed a lunch as food was quite expensive ($7 for a slice of pizza and some milk). Afterwards as Baby J drank her milk, I lay on the blanket staring at the clouds. It was a true “stop and smell the roses” type of moment where I was able to fully appreciate being in nature, without the distractions of phones, iPad’s etc.

At the end of the day, I felt completely recharged, similar to how I feel when I go to the cottage for a weekend. Yet, instead of driving for hours to the cottage, it was a quick half hour ride to the island!

In the end, I am so, so glad that I toured a little piece of my city, and can’t wait to explore what more it has to offer.


P.S. We were at Centre Island for 6 hours and it only rained 4 drops 🙂

Switching It Up

My favourite show on television is House Hunters International. Watching people make the plans to move far away, the fear and excitement in their eyes is quite fascinating to me.

Since before I can remember I have always dreamed of living abroad. Europe, the Caribbean, South America, India, it doesn’t matter.. I just want to do it, no I NEED to do it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Canada and consider this to be my home, but I feel living in another culture would be an amazing experience which I would certainly grow from.

It seems everyone I know has moved countries. My parents and siblings moved to Canada from India; I have had friends relocated to Scotland, Dubai, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia and India just to name a few, yet here I sit year after year not making any moves. 

And now another move is happening. After years of constant visits and longing, my sister-in-law is packing up her life (literally) and moving to Mumbai.  With two suitcases full of hope she is off to start a new chapter in her life. Though I will miss her greatly, I am very excited for her!

Yet here I sit,  in my comfortable home, with my comfortable job in my comfortable life with my desire just as bright as it has always been. Having a husband, a child and home have made a move quite daunting. Jobs would have to be lined up, our house and belongings would have to be sold and our good-byes said. 

I can’t say for sure that we will make the move as life and the universe often have their own plans; but you never know; you may just see us on House Hunters International yet!

If you have any advice or stories to share about your own ex-pat life, please share them with me below!