Straight-up—while I consider myself to be a pro traveller, I am a terrible tourist.

Cases in point:
  • I once conned my way onto a tourist bus full of Dutch senior citizens (and devout Catholics) just so I could attend Easter Mass at the Vatican—but I've never seen the Sistine Chapel. 
  • I have been to London on three separate occasions and have not yet visited the following attractions: Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London or Harrods. 
  • I almost didn't make it through customs in Japan because I didn't have a guidebook. When questioned further, I couldn't name a single tourist attraction in Tokyo. Apart from the parasite museum (aka the greatest museum ever), I still can't.
Basically, if there's an activity that you have to line up for, you're probably not going to read about it here.

However, I'll happily tell you about the day I spent in a Guyanese prison. I could also tell you what it's like to hang out with a bonafide cannibal in the South Pacific. Or even about that one time when I slept in the largest squat in Europe, with the members of two Finnish punk bands (and a rat) for company. To me, these are the stories worth sharing and the journeys worth taking—and that's what Go A Little Further Travel is all about.

Everyone loves a backstory.

I was born and raised in the northern Albertan town of Cold Lake. Growing up in an isolated region gave me a strong sense of community but it also instilled in me something even strongera thirst for travel. I've travelled to more than 30 countries throughout Europe, the South Pacific, Europe, Asia, Central America and South America. 

I split my time between Toronto, Canada and Sydney, Australia working as a 
freelance journalist and contributing editor at Verge Magazine, a publication devoted to travel with purpose. (Through Verge, I've become a working/studying/volunteering abroad pro.) My travel writing has also appeared in Chatelaine, enRoute and the Toronto Star. When I'm not writing, I'm working to help produce the Go Global Expos, a series of travel trade shows that are hosted annually in Toronto and Montréal.

I also occasionally work overseas as destination staff for tour operators and international development organizations. Here are some of the organizations that I've worked with: 

Malekula Island, Vanuatu, South Pacific

In 2006, I got my first taste of international development work volunteering with Youth Challenge International, a development organization that meets the needs of youth affected by poverty. Working with a team of ni-Vanuatu, Australian and Canada volunteers, I spent six weeks helping to construct an elementary school in Vanuatu. My team also facilitated sexual reproductive health and environmental education workshops. (This blog is named for the time I spent in Vanuatu. "Go moa lelebet" is one of the first Bislama phrases I learned, which quite literally translates to "go a little further.")

From 2008 until 2010, I joined the YCI team in Toronto full-time as the International Programs Coordinator, where I contributed to the organization's youth health, leadership and livelihoods programs. 

Ve'ahavta: The Canada Jewish Humanitarian and Relief Committee 
Region 9, Guyana, South America

In 2010, I led an inter-faith team of medical professionals through the interior of Guyana to execute a two-week medical humanitarian mission. We worked primarily in rural Amerindian communities throughout Region 9, where the team provided medical services and public health education to over 800 patients. My role was to coordinate logistics for the team; manage partner and stakeholder relationships; and to ensure the safety and well-being of the volunteers.

S-Trip! Student Travel Company
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

In 2011, I staffed my first S-Trip! as a Destination Staff member in Punta Cana. I spent a week supervising 275 Toronto high schools students in the Dominican Republic. It was a far cry from the work that I've done in Vanuatu and Guyana, but equally challenging--and rewarding.
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