As an avid traveller I have come to appreciate the value in it, the lessons you can learn and skills you can acquire by wandering the globe. Here are some of the skills and qualities I have gained through my travel experience;
Having grown up in a family that enjoys travel, and having attended a French language elementary school in Quebec, Canada; I gained an appreciation for diverse languages and cultures.
Not surprisingly, I found myself in the last year of high school among a small group of students travelling to Ecuador in partnership with Canada World Youth. Each participant was billeted with a family in a small town on the Pacific coast of Ecuador. We fundraised in their community and even built washroom facilities for a school for the disabled.
Through this experience I also developed a love for the Spanish language, and a serious travel bug. This experience led me to enroll in a double major of Spanish and Political Science at Acadia University. And, as a result, I completed a year of study abroad, attending the Universidad de La Rioja in Logroño, Spain.
Throughout this year abroad I immersed myself into the culture, forcing myself to speak the language in my day to day. I attended a variety of courses including Spanish grammar and conversation, art history, the history of ancient Hispanic towns, Spanish oenology, and Spanish gastronomy, all of which were received in Spanish. Barely a weekend was spent at home and an extra-long winter break allowed me to take advantage of European rail travel as I set off on a 6-week adventure with my roommate. After a year of studying abroad I not only gained a strong aptitude for the language and its cultural intricacies, but I was also exposed to a unique perspective of a diverse student culture.
A year and a university degree later I returned, this time to Madrid as a language specialist, teaching English as a second language in a public high school called Gabriela Mistral. Living and working in Madrid was a great experience and so signing on to a one-year contract soon turned into two. This position provided me with the opportunity to develop my communications skills (in English and Spanish), both written and verbal. These two years in Madrid allowed me to immerse myself in the Spanish culture by joining a local Ultimate Frisbee team as well as teach sailing to young Spaniards at a local yacht club. Both Frisbee and sailing provided me with countless opportunities to travel all over Europe. I documented my experiences of life in Madrid and all my travels through a personal blog called Navegante en el extranjero.
In September of 2013 I embarked on my latest adventure and moved to London, UK. A city with 6 airports, I look forward to discovering not only the rest of the UK but much more of Europe and beyond.
The following is a map of the places I’ve visited, and although plentiful, my list of places to visit in the future is much longer!
Here is the abridged version of my travel to-do list: