I travel the world looking to experience different cultures and ways of life. I’ve realized that a lot of the map is taken up by what I’d like to call insignificant small towns. You know what I’m talking about. The less than 20,000 population towns that don’t hold any special or significant landmark where, when you mention the name of the town, the only response you’ve ever received is “Where’s that?”. Yea. Those places. I like calling them insignificant small towns.
Growing up I lived in a few of these towns hating ever minute of it. I was always dreaming of being a rockstar in the gritty big city walking around anonymously among all the action. I couldn’t understand the appeal of small towns. Why would anyone choose to live here? Thankfully, I’ve matured over the years and don’t view things so black and white.
Recently I’ve been spending some time in the small town my dad’s family is from: Ingersoll, Ontario. When I asked a local what there is to do in town the reply was “there really isn’t much”. Which is exactly what I was expecting to hear. So, why did I end up having a good time there? How does that work out?
I’ve concluded it is the people that made my time in this insignificant small town enjoyable. I met a few people, took some quads out the country roads, had a few drink, and a really good night. I actually enjoyed myself in this small town with nothing very special to its name. I’d like to think that this wouldn’t have been such a good night without the people.
Even though I firmly believe the joy of insignificant small towns lies with the people, sometimes you find a little more. During one of my visits, I was taken to a tracker pull. I have never even heard of a tractor pull in my life. It was explained to me as “modified tractors pulling heavy things”. I was expecting tractors driving down a short dirt path with a few hundred people gathered around to watch. Oh boy was I wrong! This event had $15 cover (which is way too much in my opinion. I rarely spend that much on cover in Toronto), wristbands, bleachers to watch the pull, and way more than a just couple hundred people (not that I counted). This was a legit event happening in a middle of nowhere town. Now, I know nothing about tractors (or any vehicle for that matter) so I probably would have enjoyed myself more if I understood more but, I did end up getting pretty into it.
What at first glance seems like nothing but an insignificant small town might hold more than you could imagine. Maybe every small town holds some merit. Maybe it’s possible to live a happy life in a small town despite what I thought when I was a teenager. Maybe every insignificant small town is only insignificant to those who don’t know it.