Growing up, the world as I knew it was gigantic. It expanded as far as my legs could peddle to and from. Wooden Fences, dog chains, and no trespassing signs could never limit my explorations. To me, China was Perrysburg and everything I ever truly needed was in a four block radius. Those four blocks were my world and now looking back, that’s why life once seemed so comforting. Living a sheltered life is impossible when you never step foot outside of the shadows. As I grew older, so did the world. Friendships grew distant and traveling depended greatly upon the price per gallon and how heavy my wallet felt. Leaving Toledo was either something you did, or wished you had. With the knowledge of a truly endless world of opportunity, I literally outgrew my own backyard. The world that allowed me to grow into the man I have become, was now limiting me from everything I could possibly ever want in life.
I almost let the love of my life go for something “prettier” and perhaps superficial. I really had a great thing going and it took me nearly fifteen years to realize that Toledo is more than everything I ever wanted. Northwest Ohio is the girl you want to take home to mom and dad. It’s the love of my life that I grew to appreciate and understand the opportunities it has offered. Every day, I see it’s beauty and every day, my world once again begins to shrink. I am no longer reluctant to find comfort within the confines of the only place I will ever honestly call home. We have several small outlining communities that posess all the necessities we need and unfortunately, that does not force us to explore outside of our tiny bubble. The surrounding cities in each and every direction, the metro parks, country roads, and dilapidated barns were all quietly awaiting my appreciation for my Midwest beauty queen.
Specifically pinpointing locations and highlighting must see spots around our city is exactly what limits our imaginations and our appreciation for the simplistic comforts and hidden gems that present themselves all throughout the upper left corner of this great state of Ohio. I can’t possibly imitate the sounds of the tall swaying pines in Oak Openings, the smell of fresh leaves burning in Tontogany, and the horses roaming the open fields in Swanton. I challenge anyone to gas up the truck, pack a lunch, pick out your favorite playlist, roll down your windows and explore what our city and the surrounding areas have to offer. If I am correct, you’ll fall in love as well. Just know that I found her first..
Photos of NW OHIO- Facebook