A trip to Niagara Falls
After experiencing Iguazu Falls from both the Brazilian and Argentine sides a few years ago, I’d been warned by several people that Niagara Falls may be a let down and that I might have been better off visiting them first.
While it has never been near the top of my list of places to go, I always thought that checking out one of the so-called wonders of the world (official or otherwise) wouldn’t be such a bad idea, so I jumped at the chance when the opportunity presented itself around ten days ago. I can’t say I was worried about the advice I’d been given on whether I would find it worthwhile, but it was definitely in the back of my mind.
It’s definitely true that travel can turn you into a bit of a ‘travel snob’ and when you’re on the road it’s not uncommon to hear phrases such as, “you’ve seen one old church, you’ve seen them all”. I can’t deny that I’ve had similar thoughts at times, but if we go back to one of the principles of mindful travel, focusing our consciousness on the present moment, it’s important to try and view each experience independently and not compare it to others.
A 1am flight, a long day of travel to Toronto and an early bus ride to Niagara Falls the next day may not have been the best preparation for my visit, but I was genuinely surprised at how impressed I was when I finally got there.
Sure, the city of Niagara Falls itself leaves a lot to be desired, with casinos and a ridiculous number of tourist ‘attractions’ likening it to a mini-Vegas – which is in stark contrast to what you will find at Iguazu Falls – but you can’t help but be captivated by the horseshoe-shaped falls.
The following day, rather than taking the boat to get a closer look at the falls, I considered heading to the top of the Skylon Tower in order to get a different perspective. I’m generally skeptical about doing this type of thing (part travel snob, part tight-ass) but the brilliant weather and the fact that I may never be in that part of the world again eventually convinced me to give it a go.
I can safely say that I’m glad I did, as the view from the top easily justified the $14.50 CAD price tag and, for the second time in two days, I was taken aback at how much I enjoyed the experience.
It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, seen or experienced before, mindful travel can help you to appreciate all aspects of your travels, even when you least expect it!