Having seen the seven wonders of the world, volunteering on an archeological dig in Israel, and surveying on an animal reserve in South Africa, I’ve had experiences which would send chills through your body and also others that would warm your heart. Join me on my adventures to inspire your travel goals and help you avoid some of the critical mistakes I made.
Unlike your average kid, I was a massive introvert. Very unsocial. My two earliest best friends moved away before I was five. And, with a home bursting with activity and two brothers, I spent most of my time seeking solitude . My mom was overjoyed when I finally found a passion with computers, and threw me into lessons right away.
Shortly after that, I met Ross — a recent import to my elementary school whose parents were from Scotland. He quickly took the role of best friend. From hours plugging away on Spiderman Cartoon Maker to fighting over and inventing cheesy computer games of our own using HyperCard.
Launching my software business properly in high school, I made my first sale and was blown away that people actually “paid” for apps. A friend suggested that I design him an alarm clock that would play his favourite music in the morning. Sales took off, and I was featured by countless websites and magazines.
When I was 21, I bought my first condo with my mom as a co-signer. Things were getting serious with business. After ditching my day job in internet marketing, I went full force with apps and my life was very much routine until I turned 24. I always felt older than my age. I skipped the partying phase of my teens. Never drank, never did drugs, and never smoked. Money was my high. I diversified into real estate and bought and sold a number of rental homes over the ten years that would follow.
My world shattered, my hair dyed purple, and wine became a new best friend in my mid-20s after a breakup and move to a nearby city. I fell in love with people and hosting. I started a club and hosted nearly 500 hikes almost 40 communal canvas art and 40 cook nights. Not to mention a smattering of other creative events like an in-home self-made pirate-themed escape room, meditation Mondays, hot spring camping trips, game shows, and murder mysteries.
Perhaps I partied a little too hard, and lost track of what mattered in life. I lost a long-term relationship and set off abroad to rediscover myself. Every time I would come back from travel, I’d be a new person. Solo travel is incredibly humbling — especially when you’re staying in hostels and forcing yourself to meet new people daily. A task that would’ve destroyed me as a youth.
Coming back years later, I had a brief stint in politics with the vision of bringing the compassion and empathy I found abroad back to my home city which had seen a rise in violent crime of 60% in recent years. I was going to run without taking any pay, and give up my home to bring attention to the local homelessness crisis. While I gained a lot of traction, and was able to change the voice of that particular election, I dropped out when it came time to acknowledge my own personal limits due to lack of experience.
I bumped around various new places I wanted to call home over the years that followed, including toying with the idea of going back to school. I even tried migrating to Ireland at one point. In the end, there truly isn’t anywhere quite like home and I came back to Canada. Our vast stretches of mountain ranges, free and unshackled crown land, our pristine nature, and substantially more stable political landscape makes it a dream — a dream I didn’t realize I was already living in.
Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.
Today, Canada is my launching point for adventures. My spectrum of past experiences both a warning and inspiration for things to come. I seek that feeling of being in fear amidst the unknown and I quest for all things to challenge and inspire my soul.