Watson, Saskatchewan, Canada

When I Went: September 5-11, 2011

Was That the Best Time of Year to Go? Right after Labor Day, the weather is absolutely gorgeous. Warm, breezy days. Cool nights. A perfect respite from the oven we call summer in Dallas.

Why I Went There: Because the thought of sitting around on a beach or partying up didn’t seem like the best way to really reset for when I returned to my daily life. I went up and visited friends who own a farm in rural Saskatchewan. From early mornings doing maintenance on farm equipment to hauling 40 metric tons of grain across the fields, it was a perfect way to challenge myself to do something that I’d never done, gain perspective on what I value, and firmly take a break from my cubicle. My favorite part? Sitting in the cab of a combine, watching acre after acre of wheat be harvested while having hour-long talks about life, sports, food, and sex with a longtime friend. (We had decided that the only topics of conversation that didn’t inspire some type of consternation were the aforementioned. No religion, no politics, very little finance. So I apologize to all my exes: your secrets are floating in the dust of a Saskatchewan harvest.)

We Stayed Here: With friends on the farm. I’m sure they’d take a visitor or two if you can learn how to run an auger and drive a 13-speed farm truck.

You Won’t Want to Miss: The giant Santa Claus statue in Watson. The serenity, violence, and beauty of the harvesting process. Take the time to process everything around you on the farm. Appreciate it.

Eat Here: In Canada? Tim Hortons. Order the double double and some Tim Bits. On the farm? Home-cooked meals made with sugar and fat.

Play Here: This vacation isn’t for play.

If I Went Again: I’d change not a darn thing. It was perfect for what it was supposed to be: An escape and challenge.

How Did You Get There From Dallas? Flight to Minneapolis, flight from Minneapolis to Regina, Saskatchewan, and then a two-hour drive to Watson.

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