I've dreamt of traveling my whole life, and I've done a lot of it. Husband and I have been fortunate to live and work in several countries, and to travel to many more. But the older I get, the more I realize there really is no place like home. Not just because it's where I grew up, but because it is - objectively speaking - a pretty wonderful place. It may not have as many grand landscapes or as much high culture as other spots on the globe, but Nova Scotia's combination of geographic beauty, warm caring people, temperate weather and non-pretentious lifestyle suits me perfectly.
The subject's been on my mind lately as Husband and I make plans for my retirement in a few years. What are we likely to want to do then? Will we be disappointed if we can't afford to go gallivanting to exotic locales as many of our friends do? Or will be content to stay home and savour our own little corner of the planet?
Much as we both enjoy seeing new places and meeting new people, I expect we'll be happy to stay home when the time comes. The internet offers endless opportunities to satisfy our curiosities, we both tire of traveling more quickly than we used to, and our consciences will be clearer if we're not generating thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases for no useful purpose.
If I'd needed to be reminded that we live in a gorgeous part of the world, this past weekend would have done it. The weather was exceptionally mild for late February. On Saturday, I tackled a 20k long run along the river and trails in the sunshine and felt strong throughout, which I hope means all the training is beginning to pay off.
On Sunday morning, after a quick snack of Husband's homemade cinnamon buns, we headed out for a short hike along the Centennial Trail.
We all enjoyed meandering beside the river, and the girls were patient while I snapped photos of them - though they couldn't resist hamming it up a little when I asked them to pose.
The highlight of the walk was exploring the old rail cut along which the trail runs. Husband and the girls spent at least 15 minutes searching for shapes in the icicles clinging to the rocks.
Katie was particularly taken with the ice mermaid she spotted.
After our hike, there was just enough time for breakfast at a local diner before we delivered the girls home. Needless to say, we feel very lucky to live near enough to be part of their growing up.
The rest of Sunday passed pleasantly as well. We spent the afternoon by the fire (Husband reading while I caught up on some work), and returned to the city soon after supper so we could squeeze in a short recovery run around the lake before bed.
All in all then, an excellent weekend. My runs went well, we got to spend time with the girls, and I was once again reminded of how fortunate I am to be living my life in this beautiful, gentle part of the world.
Happy running and writing!