In 2010 I attended an education conference in Toronto. It was the first time I travelled on my own.

I was excited about presenting at the conference, learning from other presenters, and meeting friends there, old and new.

Although I generally get nervous before a flight…


and before a presentation…

…there were other events that put my nerves to the test during that trip!

The city was characterized by pockets of chaos due to the G20 summit

Riot Gear ready...

Riot Gear ready…

And while staying on the 11th floor in a dorm room downtown…
I felt the building sway due to an earthquake!

(Although I spent most of my life on Vancouver Island and have experienced small tremors…I have never been in a high-rise during an earthquake! …and I also thought I was experiencing the aftershock of a bomb…due to all the chaos outside...)

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 9.50.59 AM

But amidst the G20 protesting chaos:

  • There were friends, Jane and Lisa 🙂


  • There was a silent protest in the form of a WWF exhibit about global warming


  • There were friendly (and heavily armed) officers on every corner – later I learned that a high school friend of mine was also in Toronto – on duty! She is a police officer here in Edmonton 🙂


  • laughter and a lot of learning …one presenter remarked that the riot gear police were outside of the venue because of all the radical ideas coming out of the conference 🙂
Blocking an angry protest

Blocking an angry protest

And right after the earthquake…a brave trip with Jane to the top of the heavily guarded CN tower!

It was such an inspiring trip!

Now I am looking forward to the next conference – the opportunity to travel again – to a place I have been (like Vancouver) or possibly a new city – San Francisco!

So today, in honour of future travel opportunities…I finally surrendered my BC Driver’s License in exchange for an Albertan one. I have no desire to drive here – ETS is so convenient…but I need current ID to update my Nexus Card (which can be used in place of a passport when travelling between Canada and the US).

One bonus of a Nexus card is that after I get an iris scan (!) – which can be done at the Edmonton International Airport – then I’m officially labelled a Trusted Traveller 🙂

Hmmm, an iris scan…just like a member of the “Mission Impossible” team…

– except now I feel any mission is possible 🙂

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