Leaving Newfoundland as a young adult was exciting—to travel and see a bit of Canada was something I looked forward to. Later, when I began to return home for occasional visits, I came to appreciate the beauty that I had grown up around. I had climbed Gros Morne as part of my job when I worked for the park, but it took the passage of 20 years before I truly appreciated the beauty that the mountain offers to hikers who make the climb.
As a child, I sat many times looking out my mother’s kitchen window, but it was only years later that I would find myself absolutely captivated by the views through her window.
The tourist industry is alive and well in Newfoundland. Many local people now make a good living, as they open their doors and their hearts to the “come from away” people who arrive on vacation every year. It doesn’t take visitors long to realize that vacationing in Newfoundland is never about the weather—it’s about the experience. And the people.
I am so lucky that I get back there to visit with family and friends a couple times a year. I am also thrilled to talk with the tourists who invariably tell me that they must come back. The local pubs have “screeched in” many a traveller, and I have watched them perform all the little rituals required to become honorary Newfoundlanders, all in the spirit of having a good time. Such a night may start out with a roomful of strangers, but end with lifelong friends.
My hometown of Rocky Harbour sits in one of the prettiest places on the planet, and people from near and far have been going there for the past 40 years to experience my little piece of heaven. I may not live there anymore, but those who know me well understand that “home” for me will always be that little place down by the sea.
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