This is hard for me to admit, but it’s important, so bear with me.
I live in one of the best wine regions in North America. I’ve never gone on a wine tour. I live in one of best golf areas in the country. I don’t play golf. Heck, we’re even known for some kick-butt ski hills out this way, but I don’t ski or snowboard.
There, I’ve said it. Judge me if you must.
But know that I’m not the only person who lives in the Southern Interior who doesn’t drink wine and I’m definitely not the only non-golfer or non-skier out there.
So does not taking part in some of the things our region is so well known for mean I’m taking the natural beauty for granted?
Not a chance.
I may not be a wine connoisseur or a golfer or a skier, but I am a hiker, a snowshoer, a photographer, a geocacher and a lover of pretty much all things B.C. My family chose to move here several years ago because of all the area has to offer and we are advocates of exploring your own backyard.
Between farmers’ markets, orchards, festivals, hiking trails, scenic drives, lakes, rivers, wildlife, and well, the list could go on and on, there is so much to enjoy about living in B.C.
We find our willingness to get lost and enjoy our backyard is something not everyone does though, especially those who have lived here all their life.
Ever seen the purple lake near Kamloops? Neither have a lot of Kamloops residents. (Buse Lake in case you were wondering, and no, it’s not purple every year.) And ‘hidden in plain site’ in Kelowna is Kathleen Lake on top of Knox Mountain. Have you ever toured the SS Sicamous in Penticton? Neither have a lot of South Okanagan residents. Many orchards offer tours as well, though it seems many locals don’t even realize that’s an option.
Being a tourist in your own backyard means you can enjoy your free time more easily and, usually, more cheaply. It’s worth getting to know and love the place you live, it’s hard to brag about something like how great the place you live is if you don’t really know what makes it so great.
There’s a reason why ‘staycations’ have become so popular in recent years and living where we do means our ‘staycations’ can be better than almost anyone else’s, so take advantage of it.
— Jennifer Stahn is the Kamloops editor of Infonews.ca