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The joy of travel, near or far

By Stewart Grant

I think that May is a perfect time to travel.

As an accountant, I’m naturally inclined to feel that way now that the April 30th tax deadline is in the rearview mirror. It’s also the month in which Laurie and I celebrate our wedding anniversary, so that holds special meaning for us.

But a more universal reason why May is an ideal month to travel is because the weather is nice (not too hot) and the crowds aren’t as high as during the peak summer months.

Reflecting on this month of May, I’ve recognized that we’ve had some great experiences not just on the other side of the world but also right here close to home.

Sometimes we may take it for granted, but St. Marys is a quality travel destination. One of my personal favourite things to do here is to walk the Grand Trunk Trail and enjoy the beautiful views, and most days I try and get out there. But, of course, there is so much more (the Quarry, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, downtown shops, et cetera). At the newspaper I’m reminded of this as we put together our annual St. Marys Visitors’ Guide which is jam-packed full of ideas for how to spend a day here in the Stonetown. The 2024 Guide just came out recently, so have a look for it when visiting downtown and enjoy exploring on your own or by inviting friends and family to see what all our town has to offer.

While the charms of St. Marys are relatively unknown to many people who drive past on Highway 7 without stopping in, the same can be said of nearby New Hamburg – just one example of a nearby place worth visiting. It’s only through my work that I’ve gotten to know this town so well, and on our wedding anniversary this month we went for dinner at Puddicombe House, which is a beautifully restored 1868 mansion in downtown New Hamburg. Simply put, our meal there was “world-class” and provided me with further evidence that sometimes you can have incredible travel experiences without even driving an hour away.

This week, we are a little further away and I write this editorial having just arrived in breathtaking Santorini, Greece. Laurie and I first visited here 20 years ago when backpacking, so it’s quite special to return to this place and see it again from a different point of view (for example, we’re not staying at a youth hostel this time).

Whether it’s near or far, I think that travel is a state of mind. It’s about appreciating where you are. This month we’ve really enjoyed visiting the Greek Islands of Santorini and Paros, but similarly we really savoured our anniversary meal in New Hamburg, and I loved travelling to cheer on the Lincolns while they played across the county in Listowel and across town at the PRC.

So, where’s your next trip? Will it be Puddicombe, or Paris? The Great Ocean Road, or the Grand Trunk Trail?


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