When I was a baby, my parents moved from Montreal to Rawdon, to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I grew up surrounded by trees instead of traffic lights, and spent my days at the lake instead of at the mall.


Growing up in Rawdon meant more freedom at a younger age, and a quick familiarity with my surroundings. It meant camping trips in total isolation from society which were only a 20-minute drive. It meant that the hilly forest of Lanaudière was my backyard, and because of that, at a certain point, I forgot to see it.


Restlessness began building up. I wanted to see the world. I felt like it had so much more to offer than the ease of my hometown.


Once I graduated high school, I moved to Montreal, then to Ireland for a summer. I also travelled around Ecuador, and later Prague where I spent a year. I moved around, shocking my senses, growing more and more amazed at the world we live in.


But the sight that most recently took my breath away was the brightly coloured foliage at the Dorwin Falls. On an unseasonably hot October day, wading in the stream and revelling in the welcome feeling of the sun against my skin, I felt every bit as amazed as I did during my travels. The scenery was the same as it had always been, but my eyes had changed.


Rawdon is where my first changes occurred; it’s where I still have a spot by the fireplace in the cold winter months and where I can swim at the beach in total darkness and not fear unexpected currents. Rawdon is where my family remains, and in their presence I will always find home. These are the streets I could navigate with my eyes closed, the comfort zone I had to leave.


As I get older, I start to appreciate the little things more: the way the air feels fresher in the mountains, the crunch of pine needles under my feet, the curious, beady eyes of the squirrels. This is what some people travel for. In another life, maybe I would have too.


That's why I still come back, why I always will. Even if my family leaves, I'll still drop by to reminisce, to be amazed by what was once familiar. To remind myself how lucky I am to have this be a part of me.

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