Travel to far away places…Experience the unknown…Learn about the beauty of life.
We all have them…the highlight reel of our life that inhabits our memory bank. It gives us joy and fuels our passions. Extraordinary experiences are called so because they allow us to feel elevated, they break up the mundane routines, they give us a sense of relief, and remind us that we are in control of our lives.
The adventure of immigrating to Canada filled me with tremendous excitement and anticipation. I reduced everything I owned into two suitcases and embarked on my first flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
I arrived on a sunny February day.
The wilderness of the Chilcotin
The snowcapped mountains, the ocean glistening in the sunshine, the high rises of the downtown core perched next to Stanley Park…it was the perfect postcard picture. I had a huge smile on my face as I disembarked the plane and took a few sweet words from my fellow travel companion, a woman from Victoria: “Have a wonderful life and welcome to Canada”. With that, I had arrived on my first truly extraordinary experience.
My first year in Canada was filled with many outdoor adventures. My wilderness training and hunting course prepared me somewhat, and my husband taught me the hands-on skills of chopping firewood, building a fire, setting up camp, fishing and filleting, and prepare meals over an open flame. It was all brand new and a thrilling challenge to me. I was definitely nervous at times of running into a bear, especially a grizzly as we were spending a lot of time in the Chilcotin region. My fears became reality one day when my husband insisted of splitting up to follow the tracks of the moose with the intent of meeting at the end of the ridge.
On the way, I surprised a big grizzly and, to this day, I have no idea how I made it up the tree next to me. What I remember in detail is the fear I felt as I hung on to the tree for dear life with my rifle over my shoulder, which was completely useless to me as I would have fallen out of the tree if I had tried reaching for it.
Flying in to British Columbia, Canada.
Fortunately for me, grizzlies cannot climb like black bears can because of their long claws. Instead, they dig down to the roots and try to topple down the tree. The bear was agitated and his grunting sounds terrified me. Eventually he lost interest and wandered away. But I had learned during my wilderness course to stay on the tree as the bear will return within a few minutes and repeat the digging process. And he did. I let him come back a third time, and after he left, I climbed down and hightailed it out of there in the opposite direction.
I was grateful to return to camp unharmed, a bit scratched up from the tree, and with a story to tell. I became more cautious from then on. I paid more attention to sounds and avoided areas with poor visibility when walking in the bush. I quickly learned not to turn your back on the wilderness, and that was one of the first moments in my life I realized “extraordinary" doesn't always mean you’d like to do it again.
My most exhilarating experience was pursuing my Private Pilot’s licence and learning how to fly a plane on my own. A plane! It was something I had dreamt of as a child. It took a long time to master the skills, but my instructor (who would become my second husband) took great pride in teaching me the tricks of the trade. I remember the hours of practicing engine failure over the meadows over the Fraser Valley. It takes practice to remain calm when the engine is cut and the plane glides faster and faster to the ground. I learned to steady my nerves and focus.
Solo flight - Pitt Meadows - Oct 25, 1989
The exercise of mastering a spiral dive, which is achieved when you combine an excessive angle of bank, a rapidly increasing airspeed and rate of descent, and it can be deadly if it occurs too close to the ground. Learning to recognize an inadvertent spin after an aggravated stall, where one wing produces more lift than the other and the plane starts rolling, gave me an appreciation of the intricacies and reaction time of a pilot when put to the test.
At first I was terrified. I practiced the feeling of experiencing the fear rising within me but staying in control, over and over again. Eventually, I could handle these extreme procedures and it trickled into other areas of my life.
The minutes of my first solo flight still cling so vividly in my mind, from the moment I asked permission to take off, to the climbing into the air realizing it’s all up to me. I remember thinking: “I’m in control of this machine and I need to land this plane by myself…no safety net.” There were a few seconds when that feeling hit me, but then quickly surpassed by the joy of being in the air in my little two-seat Cessca. There I was: handling the controls, flying the landing pattern, reporting to the tower, asking for permission to land, lining up the plane with the right speed, remembering flap controls and flare, being in control and not tentative.
Commercial flight in Twin Engine - Sept 1991
They drill many procedures into your brain and you practice them so many times they become second nature. And what a feeling when it all comes together in a real scenario. I remember hitting the radio button unintentionally shouting: “I did it!” and this low voice from the tower responding: “You sure did, glad to have you back on the ground”.
There also were moments when I pushed the envelope and did things I was not supposed to do. Both times, I made it out alive because of luck. There were rules about crosswind take-offs for pilots-in-training, put in place to protect us all.
One day, I took off from Pitt Meadows airpot with 30 mph crosswinds and gusts. I was clearly over my head. The whole plane was shaking and tilting around. I was kicking in the rudder control to keep the plane level, praying to the universe to let me see my children again, crabbing in the plane, aiming for the runway, keeping the wings as level as possible, and keeping centred with the wind pushing back hard. When the plane came to a halt and I was taxiing back to parking, I remember being so thankful for having survived. You realize in these instances that mother nature is so much stronger and your only option is to be smart…and lucky.
My second incident happened on a cross-country flight to Hope, B.C. Everything was going so well and I decided to fly just a bit further. I got surprised by the valley narrowing around me, the clouds lowered, and suddenly I had the hydro wires in my turn radius. It took a long time to figure out my 180 degree turn back in the direction of the airport, and I landed on fumes. That day, I learned that being cocky with insufficient skills may get you killed behind the column of an aircraft. It’s nothing like driving a car…you can just pull over and get out. Every decision has a consequence and once you get yourself in a mess, only a cool head will allow you to think things through.
A Piper Warrior C-GNGG on a trip to California - August 1991
Many years later now, and I have given up flying. The constraints on time and money mounted as my life got busier and more expensive. Now there are so many other things I want to pursue. Yet, every time I watch a small plane glide through the sunny skies it brings a smile to my face and all the amazing memories of my solo trips and the flights with my second husband come floating back. Our dinner flights to Friday Habour, the trip over the Rockies, and our weekends to California and Lake Tahoe…they all still have a special place in my heart.
Becoming a pilot was my childhood dream, and it became an extraordinary experience in my life, not surpassed by any other so far.
In front of the peaks of Everest.
The idea of climbing Mount Everest entered my mind when I decided to volunteer in Kathmandu, Nepal. It’s a 40 minute flight over the scenic Himalayans into Lukla airport, the second highest and most deadliest airport in the world. The short runway of 1,729 feet requires propeller planes and highly skilled pilots. The terrain is challenging and the weather is unpredictable. Precision is required, there are no second chances. The plane needs to touch down precisely at the beginning of the runway and full brakes applied or it will hit the cliff wall at the end of the runway. At take off, pilots use full engine power and every inch of the runway to achieve enough speed to allow the plane to climb after an initial dip off the cliff…which makes your stomach drop much like a roller coaster ride.
I was fascinated watching the two pilots execute their tasks, my friend Manon held on to her seat bravely with white knuckles and terror all over her face.
Manon, I had met in the spring of 2012. She came from France with a work visa and applied to a job offer at my daycare. Her resume was not exceptional, but her volunteer work in Nepal in an orphanage caught my eye. That was the only reason I considered talking to her, because I remembered my work in the orphanage in Germany when I was young.
Meeting her in person gave me more insight. She had a big heart and a passion for childcare. I knew we would have to work on her weak English skills and she came from a troubled home situation. It was all similar attributes to my entry into Canada. I took a chance and hired her, and it was a great plus in many ways.
In the late summer of 2012, Manon, who worked at the daycare too, asked if it was possible to take a leave of absence for a month and go back to Nepal to volunteer in the same orphanage. I pondered her request overnight, and by morning I agreed and that I would join her, not as her boss, but her equal, a travel companion ready to learn and explore new things. I changed the plan to a nine-week stay to accommodate a seven-day trekking adventure to Everest. Preparing for this physical challenge gave me reason to push the envelope of my fitness regime and by the time we left Canada I felt pretty confident.
Right from the beginning, we knew we did not have sufficient time to make base camp, at17,700 feet altitude, and we planned for a shorter, more relaxed version with a guide and one porter. It was an amazing experience on so many levels. Our knowledgable and seasoned guide was a kind man with a great sense of humour and interest in many topics. So, the four of us hiked up the base of the gigantic mountains and along the shaky rope bridges. Manon swore under her breath as we navigated the steep assents and descents. I would complain about my throbbing knee on the descent. So we were slow going up and down in this steep terrain. Our guide took it all in stride. We always stopped for lunches and dinners together, always chatting and laughing. There was no segregation, like in so many other groups we observed along the way. Instead it was a rich cultural experience, learning about each others country, people and life in general.
Take off from Lukla airstrip.
We endured the temperature range of minus 10 degrees Celsius in the morning to plus 25 degrees Celsius by noon. We were constantly peeling off layers of clothing and putting them back on in the afternoon. Our nightly accommodations in the teahouses were very basic. There was no heat and rarely warm water. It was only in the small town of Namche Bazaar were we able to warm up overnight with extra warm blankets and savoured apple strudel for dessert — my culinary highlight of the trek. By the end of the evening, an earthquake of 6.1 rumbled and Manon, who had been asleep early, quickly appeared back in the dining room as we all weathered the aftershocks together.
Along the way we connected with the friendly locals and watched in awe as the porters carried huge loads of supplies on their backs. We learned about the privilege of being hired as a porter, a position of status and high salary but bone-breaking labour. The locals climbed these mountains effortlessly by comparison to us tourist who were barely managing the physical challenge of the steep routes and the acclimatization process.
On Nov 6, 2012, we made it close to Mount Everest. We were blessed that the mountain showed itself off in glorious sunshine. That afternoon, we began our two-day decent back to Lukla to make our scheduled flight. Bad weather changed our plan and we had to stay another cold night in a teahouse bunk bed. That night, the rats came to visit us. I woke up to scurrying sounds and my flashlight confirmed there were multiple rats on the floor, under the bed, and in my hiking boots. We both were a bit freaked out, and sat in our sleeping bags with the flashlight on for the rest of the night.
The next morning, it was time to depart and say goodbye to our new friends. I gave our 18-year-old porter extra money for new hiking boots, he had done the whole trek in flip flops. He grinned from ear-to-ear, and said:
“I don’t need shoes. Is it ok if I use the money to buy a phone for my girlfriend?” I smiled: “It’s your money, you decide what to do with it” and he gave me a big hug.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “No man or woman can sincerely help another without helping himself” and I learned the truth of this through my volunteer work. In Nepal, India, and Africa, my work brought me tremendous joy and a profound appreciation for the privileges we have in North America.
Our guide and porter at the end of the trek.
At times, it was very difficult to observe the poverty and hardship. It was foreign to someone coming from a wealthy, self-focused place. On my morning walks in Kathamandu, I met the 25-year-old woman with her eight-year-old daughter selling chai tea and campfire eggs, living in a makeshift tent. They lived there year through, through all the tremendous temperature shifts. Yet, her outlook on life was positive. She worked hard to maintain clean clothing and keep a friendly disposition every day.
At the end of my stay in Nepal, I gave her enough for three months income for the little extras that could rarely be afforded. But you always wish you could do more.
I developed great connections at the volunteer house, sharing meals and making plans on how to contribute time and effort to the cause. We developed a weekly cooking project of feeding 250 homeless men every Tuesday. We spent hours chopping up vegetables, cooking rice, frying roti, and loading all the food on a truck to take to Durbar Square in front of the old royal palace. This was the gathering place where the homeless men would line up and we would serve the food. At times we ran out of containers and we would only have plastic bags to ladle in the rice and the dhal (lentils with tomatoes, garlic and tumeric). There were no utensils, either. The men, starving and grateful for the nourishment, would sit on the ground and inhale the food. For many of them, it was the only meal of the day or even days.
Most of our early mornings and afternoons in Nepal were spent with the children at the orphanage, helping with homework and setting up games. Nepal Orphans Home is a sanctuary for over 125 children, most of them were rescued from child labour and sex trafficking. Often, volunteers in my group helped out at the local hospital, animal shelters, or monasteries. There were many options and there was no pressure to participate. I chose the orphanage.
Aside from the volunteer work we would explore the temples, monasteries, the dream garden, and the downtown square (Thamel) in our spare time and in the evenings. I felt blessed and guilty to be able to step away from the sadness, at times.
Manon and I with volunteers in Kathmandu - November 2012
Friendships grew and, after all these years, I am still connected with many men and women around the world from these experiences.
My India adventure can be describes as a love-hate journey. It was a 28-day travel and volunteer experience, all by bus and rail on a shoestring budget and a backpack. There were seven of us from various European countries, including Manon and I.
We all met at a rooftop terrace in New Delhi and our Indian guide asked us, in excellent English, all to give a short introduction of our background, age, and purpose. I quickly learned that even though the ad had said: “Guided exploration across India for 18 to 70 year olds,” our group consisted of most very young people, Manon being the second oldest at 24-years-old. I, the oldest, was 60 with a happy outlook and plenty of energy. The youngest member was from England, the only male, and was barely seventeen. I could sense the worried thoughts at the disclosure of my age. But it was never a problem. All the women would bunk together, and we all found our rhythm of sharing one bathroom, keeping our clothes organized around our backpacks. I got a lot of brownie points from the others when I agreed to take the top bunk at the Goa house under the fan that was within a foot from my face. It took acrobat moves to get into bed with the fan switched off. Getting out of bed in the night for a pee break was not possible unless I threw a shoe a Manon to wake up and switch off the fan.
During this trip, in very confined quarters, I learned again that I so much enjoy the company of younger people, the energy, and the fun. I am very blessed to have good health and stamina allowing me to keep pace.
All was going well…until the diarrhea hit.
It was in the town of Goa, our last volunteer stop, many of us got sick with the stomach flu, including Manon and I. We were fighting it bravely at first, taking our nausea meds, but we both got progressively worse.
-India - on the rooftop in the desert - February 2015
The day our fellow volunteer from the Netherlands got admitted to hospital I decided it was time to leave the unsanitary volunteer house and the fan bed behind. Manon and I shipped out into a basic hotel on the beach. We stayed there for a week very slowly recovering on rice and toast.
Every day the thermometer would rise to 45 degrees and the humidity would rob you of your breath. One day, I could not take the sweating anymore. There was no air conditioning, only a noisy slow moving fan above the bed and Manon so sick she couldn't keep food or liquids down.
I decided to go for a dip in the ocean to cool down. Fully clothed, I thought I would be safe, but I was wrong. I got surrounded by six men trying to drag me off. I was screaming for help, but nobody helped. A handful of onlookers watching without making any moves. I quickly realized I had to act fast. With adrenaline pumping, I bit the hand of the man to my right who was pulling my arm and then kicked the other man pulling my opposite arm. The element of surprise was my saving grace and I ran straight back onto the hotel lawn where the hotel staff protected me by forming a human wall, and the men gave up their pursuit.
On many occasions, we would meet wonderful and kind people, inviting and helpful. But we were only safe in the company of our Indian guide, especially as a woman. Frequently men would intrude our personal space, take pictures within a couple of feet or try to grab or touch us. We dressed fitting for the country with shoulders and knees covered, at times covering our hair as well so we would not stick out much. To little avail, the lighter complexion, blonder hair, and blue eyes would always give me away.
I was shocked experiencing the lack of respect at times. We learned from our guide that in areas where tourists rarely travel many local men associate western women with prostitutes.
Watching a local woman get beat up with a stick by her husband was another incident that I found hard to bare. I was told by our guide: “It’s not your business, you cannot intervene, you will get hurt or killed”.
Eating on the floor - sleeping in the goat barn.
We spent some time in Udaipur, a beautiful city on our road trip. I had opted to help out in the kindergarten class that day, a large group of mostly boys. A bit of sign language and modelling the appropriate behaviour were the only tools I had. I quickly felt that the male teacher did not really want me there, the children on the other hand were flocking to me on the carpet as we were drawing pictures. Then, there was screeching sound. I looked up, and the teacher had grabbed two boys by their necks and hit there heads together multiple times. And then he turned to me and told me in perfect English: “I don’t want to hear a word from you”. I was filled with sadness and anger, tears running down my face, and I left the classroom.
That evening Manon and I decided not to return to the school, the other volunteers had given up the day before. We all knew our presence was not enough to make change in that place.
Instead, I decided to buy 100 pairs of shoes for the barefoot children, we delivered them the next day to the principals office. His words: “We don’t want shoes. We want money. We will sell the shoes.” I left speechless.
Those were the shocking and overwhelmingly sad moments, many tears were shed, many conversations took place to understand the different way of life. Our limits were being tested and all we could do was humbly observe and try not to judge the vast cultural and economic differences in circumstance.
The children, though, were beautiful and kind, as most children of the world are. The girls at the slum school, another project we volunteered at many days, invited Manon and I to visit their basic rooms and to meet their families. They were very kind and hospitable, offering us cooked food and chai tea. My memory takes me back to the little four-year-old boy, waiting patiently every morning for us to arrive at the school. He loved playing the “tiger game”.
Volunteering in schools in India.
I would chase him and he would chase me, his eyes twinkling with great joy every time as he growled with delight and shouted: “I am the fastest tiger, faster than you!” He never seemed to tire of it.
While the trip was one of the most difficult of my life, we did travel to some incredible places. We slept in goat barns, on buses, and on trains. We visited the Taj Mahal, the monastery of the Dalai Lama in Dharmsala, and the beautiful city of Udaipur with magnificent architecture. We took part in watching music and dance performances, at times even being invited to participate. We learned to cook with our hosts and learned about the local cuisine.
My little Tiger.
My favourite memory brings me to the sand city of Jaisalmer, close to the Pakistan border. From there we went by Jeep to the desert for our two-day camel ride. High off the ground and holding on tight to the reigns, I was blessed with a very cooperative camel. Not everybody was as lucky.
Arriving at our overnight camp site, a mattress under the sky, we all enjoyed a beer, sliding down the fine sand dunes and our campfire meal and music entertainment by the cook and camel guides.
Surprised by a thunderstorm late at night, we rushed to the only house in the area, abandoned and hence a rescue haven. There was not enough room for all of us, so some of us slept on the roof, only accessible by concrete molds going up. In the dark with a flashlight it seemed ok, getting down in the morning was more scary.
Our 10,000 foot hike in the Suni mountain region, overlooking the Himalayans was long, hard, and spectacular. We listened to the barking of the snow leopard near the summit. The view clearly can only be described as “the top of the world”.
At the end of our journey, weak and nearly ten pounds lighter, we said goodbye to the group and checked into the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai for two extra nights. The hotel room was $250/night with butler service. It was a vast and dramatic change from the majority of our trip, but our western bodies needed rest. That evening, as Manon ate buttered toast and had finally stopped vomiting, I had a bubble bath in the deep luxurious bath tub.
Two-day camel ride through the desert.
It was heaven on earth. I so appreciated this luxury after living in depraved conditions for weeks — a reality so many people cannot escape.
What a blessing this trip had been on so many levels, allowing me to gather tremendous insight of the human condition. I spent the hours on the flight home reflecting on my trip and the blessings of my life. I was overjoyed as I fell into the arms of my sons Peter and Mitch at the airport in Vancouver.
Excited to see the soaker tub at the hotel.
Another childhood dream has always been to visit Africa — connecting with the locals, teaching in a school, climbing Kilimanjaro, and exploring the Serengeti. Hours of reading many stories and watching the movie “Out of Africa” with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford filled my imagination. I dreamt of flying a plane over the vast grasslands of the Serengeti, watching the herds of wildebeest below…much like Redford did in the movie.
The day came, just over a year ago, when all the pieces came together and I embarked on this incredible journey to the big continent. Landing at Kilimanjaro International airport in Tanzania, on the foothills of Kili, as the mountain is called lovingly by the locals. Welcomed by Rhiannon, the manager of a women’s school, and Ben, a fellow volunteer, we drove over country roads to Moshi to the home of “Give a Heart to Africa” — an organization I would come to cherish over the years. Greeted by a young woman, Sofia, who stood smiling at the door, instantly knew, this was going to be an incredible and beautiful experience.
And it did exceed my wildest dreams!
With Sophia and Rhiannon.
Every evening, Sofia and I would share our thoughts and dreams as we lay in our mosquito-netted bunk bed. Our wish for this world to be a better place for many, with less suffering and more joy. Our mission: to give 50 women with limited schooling the extra skills to broaden their overall knowledge in english, math, business, and vocational skills. The hope was for many to continue on with more schooling if they could find sponsorship, while giving others the opportunity to become self-sustained entrepreneurs.
After dinner, which was lovingly provided by the cook Margaret, the three of us would sit together and prepare lessons plans, mark tests, and find ways to make our message more clear and understandable for those with broken english. Ben, who was from the U.K., was teaching business, Sofia, from Sweden, was in charge of english, and I was in charge of the math component. There was a general idea of what to teach, but it needed lots of adjustments. Day one in the classroom was a huge learning curve for me. Teaching group one was the group with the least english skills. All of us teachers had translators working with us side-by-side, helping us to transmit the knowledge in Swahili when we could not relate sufficiently in english. In addition, I found out quickly that many steps in the math curriculum had been glossed over for many of my students. Hence, going back to basics was required, teaching things like place value, percentages, and fractions.
Group One at the Give Your Heart to Africa women's school.
Rhiannon, the school manager, worked endless hours every day and was incredibly good at motivating and supporting us. We continued to adapt lesson plans, work with the translators, and develop new projects.
Final exams ended and the glorious day of graduation arrived. The women were so proud as they arrived in their best dresses with the graduation gown over their colorful outfits. Rhiannon gave an inspiring speech and filled each woman’s heart with hope for the future. For Ben, Sofia and I, we realized the impact of our contribution as we handed out certificates and gifts to our hardworking students. There were 46 of them ranging in age of 18 to 58 years.
Our hearts were filled with love and our faces were wet and salty from tears of joy.
Not only was this nine-week trip filled with volunteer work, there was also time for weekend trips to hot springs, the town of Arusha, and the coast of Tanga at the Indian Ocean for us to enjoy. We also spent our evening meals by candlelight or taking a taxi ride to one of the special restaurants. One restaurant, called More Than A Drop, was my favourite…we would enjoy a bottle of wine with a cheese fondue.
I met the female chef from Switzerland. I learned about her cooking school and talked to the cooks in training. She had found a great way of teaching young people the art of creating exotic dishes and they served them on the cozy patio, which was in a five-room bed and breakfast.
The time in Tanzania was too short to climb Kilimanjaro, an idea that still nags at me, but I found eight days for a safari into the Serengeti. An incredible experience I’m wishing to repeat many more times. Lots of incredible encounters with the animal kingdom were gathered during those days. Watching three lion pups close up from the shelter of our jeep was the high point, closely followed by the herd of marching elephants and the baboons in the tree watching me take an outdoor shower in my treehouse the first night. That was also the night I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. listening to the sounds of the jungle in the dark.
Kilimanjaro view from our house.
My safari experience allowed for one night of tenting out in open. I awoke to lions strolling between our tents at 5:30 AM. I held my breath for at least a minute peaking out the small mesh window from the inside of my small tent. My guide, Cornell, was across from me in his tent watching the lions and my face peering back at him. He had warned me the night before, as we were having popcorn and red wine, that the lions most likely would visit before sunrise. All was good. The lions passed through and we both came out of our tents and set up breakfast as four elephants hung out near the concrete bathroom. We had our coffee and cereal and waited for them to leave. We waited for two hours before packing up our tent and driving to the doorstep of the bathroom before taking off for the day. From the beginning, I was told the only safe place is the car, except for baboons who will climb in to steal food. This happened a few times to us, and all our cookies, chips, and sunglasses ended up on a tree with the monkeys.
My safari guide and the Jeep.
Our camp site.
My trip to Africa, also planted the seed for a graduation program for the women of “Give a Heart to Africa”, as well as allowed me to meet the caring women and founders of Excel Education Foundation. Two missions I deeply care about and contribute to. I am planning to return to Tanzania this November (2018) to visit and contribute further.
Every time I return from my travels I come back changed, a bit more open and a bit wiser. I so enjoy soaking up the different cultures with all it’s unique elements. My love for food propels me to taste and explore many new dishes, and since all of us need to eat every day, every day is a new food love affair on the road.
Over the past six years I have travelled to many exciting places, and my food experiences in Turkey, Bali, Spain, France, Italy, Tahiti and Japan have been exceptional. Unexpectedly, Japan offered the best beef steak, cooked to absolute perfection. The cuisine in French Polynesia was expensive, but without question is the best in my world travel food diary up to now,
On top of that, the incredible warm and clear waters of Bora Bora puts it on the top of my list for beauty, taste buds, and sea life experiences. It’s truly a tropical paradise that makes my heart soar.
Traveling has now become my favourite activity, giving me immense insight and learning, allowing me to appreciate the new and the different.
I strongly believe, the world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only one page.
New experiences are entering my life, like my interest in learning more French and Spanish, my desire to pick up the guitar, and learning the game of golf. I am growing beyond my passion for hiking and needing new challenges to feed my competitive mindset.
Forever evolving and adding richness to my life, my extraordinary experiences have given me the spark to keep life exciting. And we all need this piece of the puzzle to feel alive, to enjoy the passing moments, and to feel life surrounding us with all its beauty.