A little preface to this post – I don’t actually like coffee.  (gasp and horror, I know!) Luckily, coffee shops generally sells other yummy, hot drinks as well.

So whether you enjoy coffee, those funkily named drinks, tea, hot chocolate or even pop (depending on your coffee shop of choice), take an hour or and hang out in your local shop.

I’m partial to the local, “fair trade” type coffee shops over the National/International chains such as Tim Hortons/Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts/Whatever, but both have their benefits.  I like the ‘local’ places, especially TANS, for the good drinks (hot chocolate and yummy teas) but also for the quiet, but still interesting, environment to sit and write.  The free wi-fi is helpful, too.  There are enough people around (being next door, but not IN, a mall and close to a military base) for people watching but quiet enough to be able to concentrate on writing.  I feel more comfortable writing in these locations than the ‘more popular ones’ and supporting truly local establishments and/or chains.

I greatly dislike Tim Hortons and the like.  I despise the smell, the taste of their hot chocolate and the fact that they’ve taken over (almost) every corner and small town main street.  Having said that, as I mentioned before, it does have it’s advantages: there’s no better spot to people watch… as long as you skip the drive-through, of course.  It’s always busy, with a good cross section of the population to watch and listen too.

Not only is people watching good for writing inspiration but, especially if you’re a bit of  a loner like I am, you get to find out what’s going on in your neighbourhood.

So what’s stopping you?  Close your browser, grab some change out of your couch cushions and head down to the coffee shop of your choice.  Do it at least once a week.  At the very least, you’ll get some fresh air and then warm up with a hot drink while experiencing the local atmosphere.

Where are your favourite spots to people watch or write or just hang out?

This post is one in a series examining interesting locations in Canada and around the world.

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