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Reflections on Toronto and Visiting Childhood Friends...

The expression "as comfortable as an old shoe" never made more sense to me than when visiting a dear childhood friend as an adult. There's just something about seeing a smile you used to climb trees with, feeling a hug that has been with you through some of your highest highs and lowest lows that is simply recharging and good for the soul. I am so lucky to have some of the most wonderful childhood friends and have had the blessing of keeping in touch with them and seeing them over the years after leaving Colombia. All of this to say, seek those things that feel like sunshine in your life. Ironically, on this particular trip I wouldn't quite describe the destination as "sunny" at all, more like "northern" or "cold". My best childhood friend lives in Toronto, Canada and shame on me for taking this long to make the short trip from NY to visit her, it was well overdue. While it was winter and chilly as I had expected, the warmth of the people we met there was quite the opposite of "cold". In a brief two days we got a great little tip-of-the-iceberg taste of Canada with a flash tour of Toronto. Of course the renowned CN Tower is worth a visit, grab a beaver's tail by the water and you must not leave without trying the famous gravy and curd/cheese bathed fries - "poutine". More than the tourist draws though, I was struck by a trendy, fabulous urban landscape that's clean, incredibly diverse and exceptionally friendly. We also happened to make this little weekend trip around the holiday season so we got to experience Toronto's fabulous outdoor German-style Holiday market, an eclectic collection of shops and eateries that was just the right balance between interesting and festive. I left Toronto with a real desire to visit again, a heart swelling with gratitude and love for my dear friend and an awesome reminder that it's not necessary to go very far to have a refreshing and exciting little adventure - some of these are the not-so-hidden and truly valuable gems, the meaning within travel.

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