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Season seven of The Amazing Race Canada finally kicks off on Tuesday night (9 p.m. ET CTV), but for host Jon Montgomery it’s already been a pretty long haul of travelling, as he’s journeyed to all of this year’s top-secret destinations with the brand-new contestants during the already-wrapped filming.

Even though the host recognizes that criss-crossing the world is the experience of a lifetime, and despite many of the show’s pit stops traditionally taking place on Canadian soil, being away from his wife (fellow Olympian Darla Deschamps) and his two young children definitely takes a toll—as it would on anyone.

“Thank goodness for Facetime,” he told etalk. “I get to usually connect with my family once sort of mid-season too and so there’s that aspect, that helps carry it through. But you lean into the fact that if I wasn’t doing this, well what would I be doing? To be able to do The Amazing Race Canada is a great honour.”

Montgomery reveals that having a positive mindset is everything and when he does get a bit lonely, he tries to remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel so he’s not “grinding [himself] into a fine dust” for months on end. He is, of course, aware of the kind of commitment signing up to host the series requires, and because he’s eager to get back home, it means he doesn’t belabour when a team goes home.

“Are you kidding me? We’re out there for 30 days and I need to get home to my family, so if I don’t say goodbye to people it drags on forever,” he says. “I’m not happy to do it, but I do it without a heavy heart. I say, ‘Smell ya later, you have enjoyed an opportunity of a lifetime, you’ve made hopefully the most of it, and it’s up to you to really appreciate what this might have meant for you.’ This is the end of the line. I’ve gotta go home at some point.”

Homesickness aside, Montgomery is all-in on this year’s theme of second chances. He says that his own second chance in life came when he discovered skeleton after growing up with other sports like baseball, golf and hockey, and that many viewers this season will find someone to connect with on the show—especially Canada’s choice team, returning racers Jet and Dave.

“Canada is definitely the land of opportunity. For some people just coming here is a second chance, and for lots of Canadians we are the type of people that won’t hold you down,” he says. “Canadians want to see people succeed. We don’t want to be oppressive or an oppressive society. We don’t want to hold people back, we want to give people the capacity to realize dreams, to see things through to completion and as Canadians have shown, they run this race a little bit differently.”

Let’s see how differently this season goes when it kicks off Tuesday, July 2 at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.