About a two hour drive north of Toronto is Muskoka (also known as cottage country); a conglomeration of lakes set in masses of precambrian shield (aka granite – lots of it), surrounded by dense forest, and populated with thousands of cottages.
I’ve just had the good fortune to spend the last couple of weeks with family at a friend’s cottage.
I have a lifetime of memories in Muskoka.
Visiting cottages owned by family friends since I was a child, Muskoka is responsible for planting a lot of seeds of discovery:
- It’s where, as a child, I first learned to appreciate a beautiful sunset.
- I had my first canoe ride (and later, motorboat ride).
- I learned to waterski.
- I developed a fierce love of water lilies and lily pads.
- I discovered that perception of distance is skewed on water, after nearly drowning trying to swim across a bay.
- I fed chipmunks peanuts until their cheeks were stuffed so disproportionately full that they couldn’t walk straight.
- I learned to sail, and had fun with my teenage girlfriends overturning our little sunfish and pretending to have trouble righting it so we could meet cute boys in passing boats.
- I fell in love with hummingbirds and frogs, and learned to hate mosquitos.
Later, in my 20s, I discovered how much fun the roads in Muskoka are to ride on a motorcycle, and I attended the annual Sportbike Rally in Parry Sound (pictured above – that’s me, 12 or so years ago).
Muskoka is Unique
A childhood friend of mine who lived in London (England) for a while and worked at a travel agency laughed when they sat all the employees down one day and said “today we’re going to learn about ‘Cottage Country’ – a world famous place in Ontario, which is in Canada”. Growing up in Toronto as we did, Muskoka was just next door; I guess sometimes we have to travel around the world to find out what we’ve got on our own doorstep.
After traveling around the world – a few times over – here are some pictures of what I discovered in Muskoka:
If you want to have the financial freedom to design the life of your dreams – whether that means having a house and popping out 1.5 kids, or chucking in the lot to travel full-time – then here are 5 financial lessons you should be practicing by the time you hit your 30s.
Here’s an excerpt from my latest book, published on the venerable site Transitions Abroad. Check it out to get a flavour for my book!
In this interview with Stacey Ebert, I discuss my 7+ years of full-time travel, including how I got started, how I sustain myself (and do practical things like save for retirement), how I deal with naysayers, and how things are changing.