The last category of goals — leadership! I intended this one to combine some areas of red leadership where I was going to shine, expand my horizons both in terms of my personal “role” and in terms of travelling. But, now that I’ve got the other 7 categories done, there isn’t much left in this one except travel.
My big “long-term” headings here were considering a teaching type role, either through mentoring or formally teaching a course in public administration or introduction to development, for example. I enjoy the process of sharing knowledge, and a number of people have suggested it to me as I apparently “explain things really well” (unless of course you’re my wife, in which case we often need a defibrillator to bring her back when I’m done explaining something).
I’m also interested in municipal government issues. In fact, when I first started on a career in government, I assumed I would do mostly municipal — I had no interest in federal, too far removed from the people. Plus I had had a bit of involvement in Peterborough with the planning department, and liked it a lot. One MPA co-op later with DFAIT, and I got hooked on international; 18 years later, and I’m still in Ottawa doing federal stuff. I gently scratched the itch this past fall by supporting a friend who was elected to city council, and I’m happy to let more passionate people blaze the trail.
I’ve also thought about linking this area to my creative side, and doing some behind-the-scenes work with local theatre, but haven’t done so yet.
Eventually, I’ll find a windmill to tilt at, but in the meantime, I’ll settle for some more travel. I have a HUGE travel list, pretty much anywhere I haven’t been yet!
Hawaii was near the top of that list, and our honeymoon took care of that (although we’d love to go back and see the other islands, as we only saw two). Separate from just the “travel” tickbox, I also completed some other items from the bucket list while we were there — a helicopter ride, seeing a volcano, riding in a submarine, eating fresh fruit under a tree, swimming under a waterfall, and seeing free dolphins.
But since our budget won’t allow us to travel EVERYWHERE, here is my top 10 (okay 11 if you want to get picky!) list of places I want to go:
- The three Territories in Canada — never been, really want to see our North, particularly if I get to see the Northern Lights;
- Grand Canyon — we planned a trip a few years ago, but life intervened and we did other things (like getting married)…we have seen the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” in Hawaii, but I still want to do the Arizona/Nevada version;
- Galapagos — not only the birthplace of Darwin’s Origin of Species, but one of the few remaining places on earth that still looks like man has never visited;
- Ortona — the Italian campaign of WWII was one of the bloodiest theatres of war for Canada and, within Italy, Ortona was the most brutal…Christmas 1943, more than 1300 Canadians lost their lives fighting door-to-door, house-to-house in Ortona against one of the toughest German divisions ever assembled to take the town, and the deep-water port to shorten supply lines. While some people are moved by D-Day, reading Farley Mowat’s account of Ortona in The Regiment (and the highlights of the Hasty-Pees i.e. Hastings-Prince Edward County Regiment) is particularly telling for me…maybe because I lost an uncle there, or maybe because “there, but for the grace of time, go I”, as it was a lot of Peterborough men who were fighting and dying…2018 is the 75th anniversary, and I intend to be there to pay my respects to their sacrifice;
- Iceland — just cuz it’s cool-looking(!);
- Scotland — the highlands somehow call to me, and I am not even Scottish;
- Australia and New Zealand — I’m very jealous of everyone who goes, and I have no idea how I’d fit everything into anything less than a three- or four-week trip, plus I need to include the GREAT BARRIER REEF in there????;
- Fiji — there’s something about the area that appeals to me in ways that Hawaii and the Caribbean don’t, sort of a cross between the beauty of Hawaii with the unspoiled nature of the Galapagos, but without the Komodo dragons!;
- Egypt — pyramids…need I say more?; and,
- Antarctica — did I mention the sheer cool factor?
So that’s my great long priority shopping list of travel destinations. Am I doing any of them soon? No, probably not. England is next on our list, I think, either this year or next. The rest will wait a bit. Except Ortona in 2018…I think that one is set! 🙂 Maybe I can offset the depressing nature of Ortona with a trip to Rome and Venice while we’re at it.