I am fortunate that through a combination of my work, my natural wanderlust and my upbringing as an Air Force brat, I love to visit new cities. I'm not one of those cosmopolitan travellers who can regale you with tales of exotic locales. You're more likely to hear of gritty inner cities in unlikely destinations. This is one such story.
I am in Saskatoon as I write this. I've never been. So far we're off to a good start with a nice meal in a small "global café" (their words) called St. Tropez. The front desk agent recommended it and pronounced it traw-pez, but hey, she pronounced my surname correctly (teer-rül) so I won't quibble.
This morning started with a run along the river on some nice trails and I was impressed at the fitness level of the locals Not a sloppy, overweight, out-of-shape person in sight, yours truly excepted. It occured to me how much I would enjoy living here, going so far as to be a little envious that our little city isn't more like this little city in so many ways.
Truth be told, living here is different from visiting. I would imagine the citizens of this city experience frustration probably as much as anyone. They may not even recognize their beautiful river and vibrant downtown (sidewalks dutifully rolled up on Sundays) for the gems that they are, seeing them every day.
That this town, or any town including mine, is a good place in which to live, visit or work, is not by accident or happenstance. It takes political will, vision, trust, cooperation and an engaged citizenry. That didn't just happen here.
It is happening in my town. Sometimes you just have to leave to see it.