A blue(bird) Christmas | France & Italy 2019

It has been so long since I last wrote, WordPress’ template has changed! Honestly, I have returned to this page numerous times to draft my post about our extravagant Christmas in Chamonix, but how does one use typed words to do such a whirlwind of a week justice?

So, let’s start at the beginning. While suffering a bout of homesickness in London, I looked up flights to head back to BC for Christmas (you know, back when the world was just a flight away?) The cost was immediately a deterrent, but I realized that I could spend a little less and celebrate the holidays the best way I know how – on a mountain. Not just any mountain, but Mont Blanc.

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Exercises in Arctic diplomacy during the COVID-19 pandemic: New opportunities for learning

Every two years, the Model Arctic Council is held in the state currently chairing the Arctic Council. Participating students are selected from across the circumpolar Arctic and non-Arctic states, and work collaboratively to simulate the work of the Member States, Permanent Participants, Working Groups, Observers, and others who are involved in Arctic Council negotiations, in a course that leads up to a one-week residency at the host university. This year, coinciding with the Arctic Science Summit Week, the University of Akureyri was to welcome the class of MAC2020 from March 23 through 27. Tasked with representing an institution from outside their home state, students had been eagerly preparing their position papers and partaking in online seminars prior to the intended culmination of the programme in Northeast Iceland.  

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Arctic Frontiers Emerging Leaders Days 3 & 4| January 2020

Days No. Three & Four: Learning in and about the Lofoten Archipelago

During the course of my MSc, I read many an article about the United Nations’ and its protocols. One I became particularly familiar with is the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea. In fact, I’ve become so familiar with it that I am delighted when I stumble upon its acronym in any article or presentation; UNCLOS and I are good friends by now.

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Arctic Frontiers Emerging Leaders Days 1 & 2| January 2020

In Fall 2019, in the midst of completing my MSc dissertation, I was researching opportunities for youth to become engaged in Arctic issues, and stumbled upon Arctic Frontier’s call for Emerging Leaders with special interest in the Arctic. Their website announced, “Call for new candidates: Arctic Frontiers Emerging Leaders is now open for new candidates from business, public sector and academia!” I read how, as an early career and mentoring programme in the High North of Norway for young scientists and professionals, Arctic Frontiers was seeking aspiring Arctic leaders under the age of 35 to participate in the programme. Those wanting to learn more about Arctic security, Arctic economy and Arctic environment were encouraged to apply.

The programme promised to bring together 30 selected candidates from across both Arctic and Non-Arctic states to “participate in a blend of technical, social and cultural events accompanied by mentors from business, politics and academia” (Arcticfrontiers.com). Starting in the city of High North Norwegian city of Bodø, then continuing onboard the coastal cruise M/S Hurtigruten to Lofoten and ending in Tromsø, “the gateway to the Arctic”, where Emerging Leaders would join hundreds of other international delegates from myriad sectors at the Arctic Frontiers Power of Knowledge Conference, the programme I read about was something I couldn’t have conjured up in my wildest dreams. I submitted my application and took a deep breath…

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Masters of Science, distinctly | December 2019

Coming soon…


Racing along the Jurassic Coast Path | November 2019

Aforementioned in Run, Write, Repeat, Jessica and I spent much of our time in Valencia exploring the city by foot as we trained for the Endurance Life Half Marathon. A combination of early morning, pre-heat runs and evening sunset jogs through the park kept us motivated and fit as we powered through our dissertations. Once back in London, Chris, Stephanie, and Harry joined us in our goal of racing along the Jurassic Coast Path. Adjusting to training in London was a bit difficult, but we persevered and encouraged one another with post-run selfies and a bit of healthy competition.

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Berlin Tattoo | November 2019

Having performed in the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo (2015), the Kremlin Military Tattoo (2017), and the Belfast International Tattoo (2019), I was well aware of the cross-cultural exchanges and learning opportunities that exist within the realm of the arena floor. Dancing in Berlin, however, during the 30th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, over Remembrance Day weekend, was an experience unlike any other. A reminder that music is a universal feature of the human experience, transcending cultural boundaries, our International Tattoo Highland Dance team gathered in Berlin to perform with the European Union Pipes and Drums at the Max-Schmeling-Halle November 7-11, 2019. 

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West Highland Way | Day 6

And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.

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West Highland Way | Day 5

Still round the corner, there may wait, a new road or a secret gate.

J.R.R. Tolkien
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West Highland Way | Day No. 4

Don’t mind me. I’m as happy as a cricket here.

Jo March (Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women)
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West Highland Way | Days No. 2 & 3

I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”

Sylvia Plath
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West Highland Way | Day No 1

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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