It is always a funny feeling to go from living somewhere to then becoming a tourist in the place you call home.
Over a two week period I finally took the time, for the first time in almost four years, to really go out and see many of the sights that bring people from all over the world to the area.
From the Columbia Icefields to Lake Louise, Banff to Revelstoke, Fairmont to Emerald Lake and everywhere in between, I became a tour guide for my parents, who have never had the chance to see these places.
Simply put, it is easy for people who live in an area like this to forget how lucky they are.
While on our tour we spent a great deal of time snapping photos and stopping along the highways just to take a look at the mountains, lakes and the occasional Lamborghini or Model A ford that passed by us.
You really never do know what you will see on the mountain highways.
Over the two-week period, I had the chance to once again experience the mountains through the eyes of people who had never seen them before.
This is healthy, I think, because sometimes I do forget just how different this part of the world is for most people.
The second week, as I returned to work, my parents had the chance to explore Golden on their own.
They walked around much of the town, attended many a yard sale and met many people in the area. Once again there was nothing negative to say.
The town itself has been through a great deal over the past few months, but one thing is for sure, Golden has a great deal to offer people who want to come to our backyard to take a break from the hustle and bustle of every day life.
This is a great benefit for the town and needs to be nurtured heading into the future. It is easy to enjoy things as they are and wish that they never change.
However, change happens. It is inevitable.
The world will keep spinning, governments will come and go, and in the end everything must evolve if surviving is going to be in the cards.
The question is, how do we make this change a smooth and wanted goal of the people who call a place home?
The answer, it would seem, is simple. People need to work together towards a goal that will give people a reason to not only come here, but also a reason to stay, for a day or for the rest of their lives.
Though it sounds simple, as many of us know, these dreams and goals are tough to reach when people cannot break down walls and work together. That is an answer which may be found in the future.
As for now the one piece of advice I can give to people is the following:
Take a little time to go for a drive to see some of the natural wonders we are surrounded by. If you can, take someone who has never had the chance to go out in the area with you because before the end of the day it just may give you a different perspective on the people, the land, the food, and the area we all call home.