What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been.
- The Grateful Dead
My love for travel and outdoor adventure began at an early age. Growing up on my family’s farm in Canada, I spent my days exploring the great outdoors and my evenings reading Nancy Drew mysteries and books that featured a lot of horses. Big adventures beckoned. Modest family trips in Ontario and upstate New York spawned my growing postcard collection, which mainly included free cards from the small motels where we stayed. Nonetheless, my travel career was launched and I was determined to see the world. As a teenager, I read stories of Ernest Shackleton, Edmund Hillary and other pioneers. With her book Annapurna: A Woman’s Place, Arlene Blum made me realize the possibilities for women and inspired my lifelong love affair with mountains.
Fortunately, I married a man with similar interests. Someone once told me it’s a good thing Jack and I found one another as it would have been a shame to ruin two families. For both of us, travel is a compulsion. It is therapeutic, addictive, life-altering, enlightening and absolutely necessary. Jack and I have travelled to all of the continents together. We once spent a year circling the Pacific by plane, train, bus, foot and elephant-back. We have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and hiked the Inca Trail. We have bartered for groceries in Marrakesh and we have been charged by a mountain gorilla in Rwanda. As they say, it’s all good. I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything.
One of the best things about travel is the stories. I have an entire closet crammed with journals I have written while on the road. Encouraged by family and friends to tell my stories to a wider audience, a few years ago I began marketing my articles for publication. My stories have since appeared in several publications, and I am proud to be a regular contributor to Snowshoe Magazine. Starting with my “Dispatches from the Ice”, a series of reports sent from Antarctica to classrooms in Alberta and California, I have recently expanded my writing to include younger audiences.
As a writer and a traveller, I believe in living life to the fullest and constantly challenging myself. However, this mandate is secondary to my concern for the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants. Jack and I consistently practice “no-trace camping”, and understand the importance of contributing to and being sensitive of the local economies we encounter on our travels. In return, the world has offered us a long, strange trip filled with wonder and beauty that I feel privileged to share through my writing.