3 Weeks, 3 Plane Tickets

Buying a plane ticket on a whim? Over and over again, that’s what I do. Hell, it’s how I ended up in Belize, Costa Rica, New York and Hawaii.

In the last 3 weeks, I’ve bought 3 plane tickets. Oh me, oh my.

London, UK – December 2013


I spent about 24 hours debating if I should go to London for Christmas. My bestest of best friends, Melissa, lives there and it’s been about 6 years since we have spent more than a few days in the same city. She wasn’t going home for Christmas this year — and I was in need of a vacation, so… there you go, flight booked. The plan? We don’t have one — and I’m stoked for that. As long as the trip includes wine and each other, I’ll be a happy little girl.

Sydney, Australia – February 2014


Australia has been on my bucket list since the beginning of time. I’ve struggled with it because I have always thought I would never go for less than a month. I was always expected that on my first trip to Australia, I would tackle the whole beast – yep, all 7,692,024 km. :/ Last weekend, a Norwegian airline, Wideroe, published mistake fares and I hopped on the deal. Vancouver to Australia for $800. Boom. Done. The plan? No idea, other than I will likely spend a week in Sydney and a week in Melbourne. I’ve made a promise to myself that I won’t get stressed out over ‘seeing’ everything. Through my Contiki trip in 2005, working with Team Australia at WorldSkills 2009 and getting to know JCI Australia over the past few years, I’ve met a ton of amazing people down under. Can’t wait to see their friendly faces and soak up the beauty that is Australia.

Stockholm, Sweden – May 2014

A few years back I met a fab young woman named Cecilia. We met while attending a conference with 7,000 young global leaders in Osaka, Japan. She’s a dynamo and someone I clicked with instantly. We’ve stayed in touch and been following each other’s running {and life} journeys. Last year Cecilia completed the GotesborgsVaret Half Marathon and she sent me a note saying that one day I should come and run it with her. Wideroe’s mistake fares, included Europe, and I just knew I had to book it. :) The only thing I didn’t think through? The race is already sold out ha ha. ;) Need to negotiate my way in through a charity race bib… more to come on that note! The plan? A couple days in Stockholm, the half marathon in Gothenburg and some time with my soul sister soaking up Sweden.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Last year I started to think about how I wanted to celebrate turning 30 {next June by the way}. I knew I wanted to travel… I thought about taking 3 months off to just roam the world and see where I ended up. Back then, I was consulting and hyper-flexible. My plan was to compress 1 year of work into 9 months and then walk away from work with no worries. Sounds easy eh? ;) Now, I’m working for fast-paced company with an exciting role and I can’t imagine walking away for 3 months — at least not in the next few years. These individual trips will be my gift to myself. An opportunity to relax and recharge. An opportunity to get comfortable with the unfamiliar. An opportunity to put down the map and get wonderfully lost.

Do you have travel tips or must see’s for the UK, Australia or Sweden? Holla at me. I’m keen to live like a local and have the time of my life. xx

international travel adventures part 8 – world debating

So this morning came early… real early…

I had talked to Erik last night at the Global Village re: World Debating this morning and we planned to meet up at 8:30am this morning to go over all that he missed this far (ie. point structure, JCI debating expecations, etc).  Well I dragged myself over to the conference centre nice and early – and he no showed.  So disappointing… sent a few panicked texts, hoping that he would show up before World Debating started at 10:30am.  I headed over to the JCI Morning Show… fun times. It’s kinda like Regis & Kelly, but without the celebrities, and instead internationally renowned business people.  Patrick Knight from JCI USA hosts the Morning Show, and today the speaker was Wayne Clark.

Wayne Clark is an economics graduate who has spent 12 years building his career as an internal communications and employee engagement practitioner.  He has worked extensively internationally in the design and delivery of complex people engagement programmes for global organizations. He is the Managing Partner of the Best Companies Partnership who help to produce the Sunday Times “Best Companies To Work For” lists.

The Morning Show is always entertaining – lots of laughs and a dance party, BUT guess what? It was actually my first time attending!!  After Wayne spoke, an Ambassador from the UN Foundation spoke to Nothing But Nets and all the money JCI had raised to end malaria in Africa!

JCI Japan raised the most amount of money for Nothing But Nets!

JCI Japan was presented with an award for raising the most amount of money for Nothing But Nets! I rushed from the Morning Show to World Debating Championships to meet our missing debater, Erik.  No luck on that front he never showed up and I had to find a replacement debater at the last minute.  Thank you Hassan from JCI Calgary.  English Debating was supposed to run from 10:30am to 5pm and French Debating from 2pm to 5pm (we had a French team entered too – from JCI Quebec!).

So I was quite concerned at 10:30am… well we had Hassan, the newest member to enter the team – who was absolutely not up to speed on JCI Debating and it was time to get started! Well thank you Miss Jillian Walker, because when we drew #’s to see who would go first, I picked #7, which meant… Team Canada gets a “bye”!  Odd number of teams meant we got to skip the first round and head straight into semi-finals.

The bad: we don’t get to practice our debating skills.  The good: we get to fluff our way through the morning and hope for the best!  JCI Netherlands went against JCI Hong Kong – and newbie debater Winnie Leung from Hong Kong showed them who was boss! Then JCI Norway went against JCI Turkey – and JCI Norway reigned as the best.  JCI UK had a unfortunate morning when one of their teams didn’t show, so they were down to 1 and went head-to-head with JCI Australia.  A fairly even battle, but JCI Australia won.

Semi-Finals went as follows:

2010 World Debating Championships - English Teams

In Canada’s first debate against Australia the topic was “a farmer loves his tractor more than he loves his wife” and we had to argue AGAINST.  The only way to sum up this debate was BRUTAL, BRUTAL, BRUTAL.  The topic was brutal. Our argument was brutal. Everything was brutal. I admitted defeat in the middle of the debate, knowing that we did a poor job.

As soon as it was over, Per from JCI Norway came over and gave us some feedback on how to debate better next time.  The scoring came back and Australia 801, Canada EIGHT HUNDRED SEVENTEEN. What the?  Some how… from a scoring perspective, we did better than JCI Australia – Woohooooo!!!

Who were we to go up against next? ;) JCI Norway (and all that helpful information they just gave us)!  The topic: “media is concerned only with the truth” and we were again AGAINST.  The topic was strong, the argument was strong, and Team Canada was ready to kick some Norway…!!  We had a room full of delegates cheering Canada on and everyone was very impressed with my 2 minute closing statement! [Results are announced at the Awards Ceremony on Saturday night].

Team Canada vs. Team Norway

It was a very long day, with English debating lasting over 8 hours.  It was back to the room for a quick change then off to JCI Japan Night at the Kyocera Dome.  JCI Japan Night was comprised of various local Japan chapters setting up booths, offering an opportunity to learn about each city/chapter/etc.  By the time I got there, most of the festivities were ending and I met up with Marta who wanted to head into Shinsaibashi for karaoke – this girl, was exhausted. I skipped out – giving attention to my headache instead of my singing lessons. :)

Me at JCI Japan Night after playing golf to win a Happi Jacket!

JCI Japan Night!