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Today we’re continuing on our journey across North America with the Exploring My Hometown guest post series. Please welcome Becky from Trekking with Becky as she takes us on a little tour of Kapuskasing, Ontario. I’ve been reading Becky’s blog for a while now, and am always so inspired by her journeys around the world. No matter how far you travel, though – it’s lovely to come back home!
Exploring Kapuskasing, Ontario
-by Becky Osawa
When I tell people that I’m originally from a small town in northern Ontario, Canada, I usually get asked if I’m from Barrie, which is a little north of Toronto.
When I say that I’m from northern Ontario, I really mean NORTH…if you drive pretty much non-stop north of Toronto for about 9 hours, you’ll reach my small hometown, Kapuskasing (Kah-pus-kay-sing) in Canada.
It’s RARE to even come across Torontonians who have heard of Kapuskasing since it’s so small and so far up north. It’s not unusual for winter to get down to -40°C with wind chill during the day.
Kapuskasing, Canada is known for its frigid winters, which is great for skiing, snow-shoeing, skiidooing, ice fishing, or anything else you can think of. People head to Kapuskasing in the summer for outdoor activities too and of course, for the famous Lumberjack Festival. Sadly, I’ve always been either out of town or working during the festival, and having traveled a great deal, I’ve had the urge to see Kapuskasing and other parts of Canada as a tourist.
Anyway, since it’s such a small town and so cold in winter, I could never wait for the next opportunity to leave town and see some other place while I was growing up. I always wanted to go anywhere that had more to offer, but after having seen so much more of the world in the last few years, particularly Japan and other eastern Asian countries, I realized that I appreciate my hometown more than I thought.
When I was back home this past Christmas break, I realized just how FRESH the air is in Kapuskasing. The air is pretty good in my medium-sized city in Japan despite the pollution coming from Beijing, but there’s no comparison to Kapuskasing’s fresh, crisp, clean air. I realized just how much I had taken fresh air for granted growing up, especially in winter.
Aside from the fresh air, I realized just how much I miss friendly people. Don’t get me wrong – people in Japan are very polite, especially to strangers and customers, but it’s formal and you can’t really relax. People’s smiles and general courtesy in Kapuskasing are so welcoming, relaxed, and friendly, and that coupled with poutine makes any mealtime in Kap unbeatable.
*You can read more about Becky’s hometown ofKapuskasing here. If you’d like to explore more posts in the series, check out:
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It took me 30 years to have my eyes opened to just how nice my hometown really is, and for the first time, I realized that I’m proud to be from Kapuskasing. Originally from northern Ontario, Canada, I’ve taught English in Japan for over 5 years, and I take every possible opportunity to see more of the world. My blog, Trekking with Becky, is full of tips, tidbits, and treasures about my travel experiences and living abroad. Come trek with me!