(Also in a shell of a nut)
I grew up in a city where the biggest attraction is a replica of “Springbank Snow Countess” the cow, the largest producing butterfat dairy cow in the world. Woodstock, Ontario has a population of 40k and today home to the newest Toyota plant in Southern Ontario. I graduated from high school, a year late…. I was never crazy about school, the idea of sitting in a classroom taking notes and learning from books never really caught my attention. I have always been a hands-on type of gal. Which is why one morning I woke up and decided that I should go to college like everyone else! I got my hands dirty and had the ‘pleasure’ of being a practical nurse for a whole seven months before I realized it just wasn’t my thing. Kudos to all those health practitioners out there it’s not an easy job!
This was around the time that “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne came out and I decided to follow her advice and create my first image board at the age of 20. I had never left the country, not even the province at this time. My image board consisted of palm trees, an airplane, a mini cooper, and a picture of a healthy-looking girl. This was around the time that my mother mentioned the idea of working on a cruise ship. I decided to do some research and paid an agency in the U.S. $500 to ‘help’ me find a job. It turns out they just took my money and never really helped me do anything. At the time I was living with my Dad working as a waitress, and we didn’t have internet, so I had to drive down to the public library every day to do my research and apply for jobs. 2 months had passed, and I was reflecting on my image board every morning and every night, but I wasn’t receiving any replies. I decided to go out and buy my first ever suitcase and pack it up. I remember my sister saying, ‘I don’t want you to be disappointed, why don’t you go back to school and work on your career?’ Honestly, this gave me more of a drive to keep going, and I knew it was going to happen for me it was just a question of WHEN.
I worked for Costa for two years and travelled to around 40 different countries. The craziest contract starting in Brazil, crossing the Atlantic, Northern Africa into the Mediterranean, through the Baltic and Norwegian Fjords up to the North Pole! Perhaps I got homesick and fed up working every day for 6 months straight, but I headed back to Canada. The only thing I could imagine myself doing was working in the Travel & Tourism industry, so I went to a private college for six months to get a degree and 16k of debt. I enjoyed the course but didn’t need the education after the amount of experience I had.
Anyway I graduated with Honors but I missed the ship life, so I decided to try Carnival Cruise Lines, and worked for them for another 2 years as a Guest Service Rep. It was cool too as I travelled mostly within the Caribbean and Eastern Canada before I moved back to be a full-time travel agent. I always thought I wanted stability and routine and fought with myself for a while about what I truly wanted. Family and friends influenced my decisions, and I thought it was time for me to ‘settle’ down. I moved back to Canada, got myself a cute apartment and bought that mini cooper that I had dreamt of 4 years earlier on my image board. I worked myself up to Assistant Manager and was booking and planning people’s vacations to exotic destinations from a computer in a dark office. I was doing what society wanted me to do, paying my bills, rent, and living pay check to pay check trying to make ends meet.
Then one day my life changed forever… I met Michael