Sorry, not into the Facebook Incorporated epidemic - way too much of a global cult for my liking, and far too exploitive. But if you're searching my name because we travelled together at some point in history & you're curious if I'm still alive, or if you'd like to know more about the person behind the name - well, here you go.
I was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, and called it home till I was in my early twenties. Went to Wascana Public School followed by Scott Collegiate High School, and graduated in the mid 80's. Grew up on the streets of north central Regina, when it was still a decent & safe family neighborhood. Went to SIAST technical college after high school, and became a civil engineering technician. Got the itch to move west once my education was done (like everybody else back then), and joined the exodus to Calgary in 1990. Worked for a couple of large general contractors as a project estimator over the next few years, till I had a good look around the office one day and thought to myself "is this where I'm going to sit around watching life pass me by for the next 30 years?" So I took a few months leave from work, & bought a ticket to Thailand to see if I was missing out on anything. Found out I was, big time. Came home after a couple of months of great adventure, sold all the needless crap and clutter I'd accumulated up to that point, bought a one way ticket to Australia and a backpack - and took off to see what the world had to offer. Sound extreme? I guess so..........at the time, it was the only thing that really seemed to make sense.
Spent the next five years in Oz, where I met amazing people, saw incredible landscapes and had experiences that words can't do justice. Had a great time just being young. Established friendships with unique and wonderful people that still exist to this day. Discovered more about myself, the world around me and the dynamics of life than any university could ever teach. After much trepidation and needless paranoia, I learned to scuba dive......and my life changed forever. Literally. Could not, and still can't, believe how incredible an experience time spent below the surface of the oceans can be.
Over the years eventually became a diving instructor to support myself, and travelled everywhere I could searching for the perfect dive. Spent countless hours in the company of sharks, rays, turtles, schools of fish of in every size and shape and color, shipwrecks full of history and coral reefs so incredible you never want to come back to the reality awaiting at the surface. Absolutely the best thing I've ever done. Nothing, for me at least, compares to diving. It just plain rocks.
While living down under, also took advantage of the close proximity of Southeast Asia and made numerous trips to visit some really amazing countries & cultures. Spent the next few years backpacking around Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Burma, Borneo, Bangladesh, Tibet & Nepal. It was Thailand, though, that would leave a deep impression on me. When I finally decided it was time to leave Australia for new horizons, Thailand would become my new home. Found work as a dive instructor / dive guide on the island of Phuket (of tsunami fame, unfortunately), and for the next five years, life was as good as it gets. It was a tremendous experience - living near a beach, getting paid to do something I love. No matter what the future may have in store for me, those 10 years spent in Australia & Asia would prove to be the defining experiences of my life. Nothing would ever be the same after a decade of total freedom.
But life pauses for no man, so the cliche' goes. Soon my twenties became my thirties, and eventually I had to make the decision as to whether Canada would ever be home again. Did some soul searching, made the decision to roll the dice, and moved home to see what destiny had in store for me. Had to pick a new "career", but I knew that it couldn't involve mind numbing routine, cubicles, senseless activity, worshipping money or staring at a clock on a wall and wishing the minutes of my life away waiting for five o'clock to come. No thanks............might as well just pass me a rope. Emergency Services crossed my mind. Didn't really want to carry a gun around looking for trouble, and don't get too excited about firetrucks anymore, so I thought "What about Paramedicine?" Did some research, signed up for the programs, and from 2003 till 2008 slowly accumulated the experience, education and skills needed to finally graduate with a diploma as an Advance Care Paramedic. What a journey; probably the most challenging thing I've ever done. But I survived. And it was worth it.
So, here I am, living back in Saskatchewan once again (no one was more suprised than me!) with a career in health care ahead of me. It's a good job, and I really do enjoy being a paramedic. Every day is different, and every once in a while I get a chance to make a bit of a difference in somebody's life. What I'm not into, however, is all the politics and ego's that come with all the Type 'A' personalities that tend to populate paramedicine. So, in order to try to minimize my potential for conflict and burnout, I now focus my work on the sector of this profession that appeals to me the most - remote medicine. It's not for everybody, and it can be pretty lonely at times, but you learn to be independant and resourceful, and the positives far outweigh the negatives for me. I've seen polars bears, packs of wolves, herds of caribou, Inuit whale hunts, Russian Icebreakers, flown on countless helicopters and even spent a summer in a tent on the arctic tundra, a 1000 kms from the nearest tree. You just don't get those kind of experiences working for your local EMS service. So far I've worked in the Yukon, NWT, Nunavut, Baffin Island & the Beaufort Sea, Alberta, the nothern most communities of Saskatchewan. I'm now at a remote site in northwestern British Columbia, where I work as a camp medic at a large hydro electric "run of the river" project under construction on the Iskut River - a true green energy project.
So that brings us to 2013. Still diving as much as I can, and have been lucky enough to visit some very special places in the last couple of years - remote Indonesia, Palau, Galapagos, Socorro Islands, Sea of Cortez & the Bahamas. All amazing places, and I feel so lucky to have been able to add them to the experience of my life. The plan now is to just keep moving forward, with my work, my relationships and the time I have left to enjoy this awesome planet. Getting old is okay too, you know, because I have no regrets. It's seems to be getting easier to tell the difference between what really matters, and what really doesn't - although somedays I still stumble.
Enjoy the pics below, they're some of my favorites, and kind of sum up what I've been up to. Most of them are mine, but the truly great ones are courtesy of various wonderfully generous people I shared the experience with. There are also some of my diving video links on the right (my new hobby).
I check this blog once in a while, so if we travelled together long ago or if a previous friendship got lost in the maze of life, leave a comment and I'll be in touch - my email address is there too. And thanks for looking........(to be continued as the journey of life progresses).