As an entrepreneur of an , i’m incredibly grateful that i’m able to travel whenever I please and continue to build my business wherever my adventures take me. From Tokyo to Rome to Rio, i’ve visited some of the most amazing cities in the world.
This past month, however, I stumbled upon what I think may be my favorite city yet, and it’s not as far away as you might think. So which city tops my list? Well, let me rephrase that….So, which city tops my list, eh?
If you haven’t had a chance to visit our neighbors to the North, I highly recommend making it a top priority on your travel list. Between the generosity of the people, the culture, the high quality of living, and the thriving economy I think I might be investing in Canuck real estate sooner rather than later.
Beginning of August I had to make a last minute trip up to meet with some execs at Corel Corporation, a tech firm that designs some high end media and design apps, based in Ottawa, Ontario.
I had never been before, so I did some digging on what I should do while I was in town and damn was I impressed at all they have going on. Turns out, Ottawa has the second highest quality of living standard out of any city in the America’s (for those that are wondering, the other one is also a Canadian city). It’s also known as the third cleanest city in the WORLD. Needless to say it was going to be a nice change of scenery from NYC.
Flying in, I was blown away at the beauty of the Rideau river in the backdrop of the skyscrapers of Centretown, the cities financial hub.
As I exited the plane, I took a long, drawn out inhale and allowed the crisp, clean, strikingly fresh air fill my lungs. Yep, not in New York anymore, Dorothy.
Airport security was as easy as airport security can be. I was even allowed to keep my shoes on when I walked through the metal detector. What is this place!?
I was met at the terminal by a chauffeur from The Ottawa Limo Company (I hate taxis) who not only guided me through Canadian customs, but went out of his way to help me with my luggage and even had a bottle of champagne waiting for me at the car. Hands down the best service I’ve ever experienced.
My driver dropped me off at the Westin Ottawa where I was staying and after tipping him ever so deservingly, I was off to my room. As I was checking in, I overheard a couple talking about Jazz music, and immediately my ears perked up. For those who don’t know me, I grew in New Orleans so jazz has always held a special spot in my heart.
I interjected, not so graciously, and asked about their conversation and let them know I was a die-hard jazz lover.
“Well you picked the right weekend, then! Tomorrow is the first day of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival.”
No. Freaking. Way.
Why did no one tell me that Ottawa was home to one of the largest Jazz Festivals ever? Well, I mean, someone just did, but how did I not already know that?! This place keeps getting better and better.
So after finishing business at Corel Corporation, I called my wife and told her my stay was going to be extended through the rest of the weekend.
As hard for me as it is to understand this, I realize that not everyone is as hardcore of a jazz fan as I am, so I won’t go into extreme detail on the festival. I will say, however, that the Canucks sure the hell know how to throw a festival. There must have been at least 10,000 people there over the course of the weekend. Some of the most positive, good spirited people i’ve had the fortune to meet.