Stepping out of my family’s rental car, and walking down the steps to Toronto’s subway, a new sense of adventure burned inside me.
I grew up coming to Toronto every other summer to visit my extended family. Richmond hill and Markham, those are the areas I can identify with but drop me anywhere else and I’d be lost. I never enjoyed Toronto because I was always stuck at home reading, watching TV or finding entertainment for myself. A few weeks ago, I made it a mission to explore TO while I’m here this summer. It was time to see what this city has to offer, what adventures it’ll bring and why many of my friends like it here.
Today I started that mission. Breaking free from the constraints of getting around with a car, I rode Toronto’s TTC from Finch to Osgoode station. I may have taken it before but it felt foreign. I was never old enough to ride the train myself every time I came.
Arriving at Osgoode, I turned around in circles and tried to locate where I ended up. Where is my cousins office? Which road looks lively? Which street should I walk down? One of the scariest but most exciting feeling is that of arriving in a new place with no sense of location.
Subconsciously pulling out my phone, I remembered I had no Internet and could not press a small arrow and have my iPhone tell me my location. “This street looks less commercial, I guess ill walk down there”, I told myself.
Bingo! Music record stores, vintage black markets and coffee shops everywhere I looked. Blocks passed and I see from a far “The Marilyn Denis Show” TV station; the very talk show I watched just a few hours ago at home.
With a tad bit of familiarization, I wished I could go in and tell them how much I enjoyed the show. Sometimes exploring a city is not about that new adventure you get to brag about, sometimes it’s simply about finding familiarity in the midst of blind exploration.
It allows you to connect the dots from the places you’ve been and the stories you’ve experienced. Everything you see, hear, feel, eat and smell will shed light to your next travel story, but the best part is, you don’t know how yet.