Three years ago I found out that LinkBC, the organization I helped build for 10 years, was closing. I was at a complete crossroads: on maternity leave, with a Vancouver-sized mortgage, and a sense I wanted to work in tourism and education but no idea of how to do it.
I took steps towards going back to university to become a high school teacher. I reached out for coffee with friends. I accepted a one-day-per-week contract at the University of the Fraser Valley, knowing there was no way I could get a post-secondary job closer to home.
Then on one of my coffee chats, an old friend from Royal Roads mentioned that BCIT wanted an instructor with a tourism background. She forwarded me the posting and I quickly hopped on the phone to the program head. A month later I was interviewing for the position. It was the most stressful interview of my life, but miraculously, I got the job.
That fall, I returned to the workforce with three jobs: teaching at UFV, wrapping up LinkBC, and teaching at BCIT.
I knew from day one that BCIT was my place. It’s my alma mater. It changed my life and gave me a career in an industry I’m passionate about. And to be walking the halls of SE6 felt right. I was home.
So why is it my last day at BCIT?
That’s an incomplete thought. It’s my last day at BCIT as a temporary instructor. I am thrilled to say that I competed for, and was awarded, a full-time permanent faculty position in the department.
Effective tomorrow, BCIT is officially my gig. I am over the moon grateful and very excited for what’s to come. Thank you to my students, my colleagues, my friends, family, and industry contacts. Your support has been, and will continue to be, greatly appreciated.
I’ve been going through a tough time lately in my personal life. It’s not something I can share about here … but I’m okay, the people I love are okay, and it’s going to be okay.
That said, this rough patch is starting to make me reflect on the way travel can be used to get through tough times just like these.
It’s not always possible to go vagabond when the going gets rough – but just the promise of a future trip is something that can help us get through.
For me, it’s a tour I booked last August that doesn’t take place until March 2018: my daughter and I are going to Vietnam!
It started as an attempt to plan an intergenerational journey with my dad and the planning ended with just the two of us signing on the dotted line. We’ll catch dad on the next one.
Ah, Vietnam! For twelve days my little girl and I are going to eat noodles, swim, visit monuments and historical sites, sleep on a boat, take an overnight train and hop a puddle jumper over rice paddies. We’re going to practice our French if we can, and eat all the pho. Did I mention there will be noodles?
When I get through a long day of teaching and come home to a pile of marking – only to be faced with another personal hurdle – I go over to the G-Adventures site and read through our itinerary.
Travel gives us hope. It gives us something to look forward to. And, yet again, I’m reminded why I work in the best industry on earth.