I think there is much more value in travelling within your own country as opposed to travelling internationally.

When I was a young boy, fresh and new to the rural setting of Glengarry, Ontario, the outdoors fascinated me, especially the farm next door. I spent every moment I could exploring, learning and having adventures in the world around me.

While I don’t often have the time or the opportunities to do this as an adult, travel and exploration is still a passion that has carried on from my childhood.

Growing up, my mother planned various trips for our family. We’ve been all over Ontario, pieces of Quebec and the east coast on multiple occasions. More local trips included museums and parks.

Her dedication to organizing those trips is what has inspired me to want to experience as much of our country as I can.

So often I hear or see social media posts from people wishing they could get away from their everyday lives and travel somewhere warm and relaxing. They’re using travel as an escape and I believe that is the wrong way of thinking.

What is the point of spending thousands of dollars to sit on a beach all day while drinking the nights away with the same people you see at home? What do you gain from going to that country and sitting inside a resort the entire time you’re there?

(Answer: Absolutely nothing except for a wicked sunburn, potential alcoholism and the loss of however much money you sank into the trip).

Travel should be done with purpose and the intention of discovering something new. Whether it be something cliche like ‘self-discovery’ or something educational like learning more about a certain culture, each and every country has a deep and rich history. Canada is no different.

It’s in our backyard — discover a piece of it.

Our country is the second largest in the world with an area of roughly 10 million square kilometres. Of that, roughly 75 per cent of the country is uninhabited wilderness.

There are places in our country that haven’t been touched for maybe hundreds of years, maybe even places that have never been seen before at all. There aren’t many places left in the world where that is a possibility. Urbanization is taking that opportunity away from us.

Exploration is written into our country’s history. It is a part of who we are as Canadians. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to discover yourself.

It might cost you some money, but arguably not nearly as much as travelling abroad.

Canada is also one of the most diverse countries on the planet. You can go into nearly any urban area and come across people from many different countries, ethnic origins and walks of life. We, as Canadian citizens, have the opportunity and duty to learn from these people.

If we are going to label ourselves as being among the most progressive countries, for the sake of being inclusive and making people welcome, we have an obligation to learn of the different people that make up our nation.

What better way to do this than going out into your own backyard and exploring?