FROM THE BEGINNING
My husband's job brought us to Calgary, so begins the story on how we ended up in this Western Canadian oil and gas town. We were living quite happily in Melbourne, Australia. My corporate job of a PR Manager at an ASX listed global wine company was a great gig, my husband was a new Partner at management consulting firm, BCG, our daughter had just started Prep at Melbourne Grammar School, and we were settled in a newly rennovated home in the Bayside suburb of Elsternwick.
Why change what was going well? The opportunity arose and it just seemed like a new adventure and we were easily moveable. We passed nearly 10 years in Melbourne, but before that we had already lived three years in French West Africa where we met, nearly two years in New York City and about a year in Washington D.C. Our work had also given us incredible opportunities to travel, throughout Asia and Europe. Our own seperate stories were global too, I was adopted from Viet Nam, grew up in the States and also enjoyed life as a year-long university exchange student in Florence, Italy. Ross, himself, had spent seven years in Rio de Janeiro as a child. We wanted to give our daughter the opportunity to experience life outside of what she knows.
So within a month's time of making the decision, I resigned from my job, we packed the house, put it up for sale, and relocated to Canada on three-year work visas. Ross was tasked to open a new office for his firm in Calgary and I also managed to secure a contract as the Canada PR Director for the same Australian wine company. We moved into a gorgeous 100 year-old home in one of the most historic neighborhoods in Calgary, Mount Royal, and our daughter started first grade at the local public school. But as anyone knows who has relocated, it takes around two years before you feel settled and friendships are established.
After a year, my corporate PR career was at a junction once my contract finished, and it was clear that the role would be relocated to Toronto. I always loved the writing part of PR, so delved into freelance writing for Montecristo Magazine, a lifestyle/luxury publication based in Vancouver. Now I'm on the other side, I've been hosted on a Porsche driving tour in San Diego and took an assignment to write on Italian luxury cruise line, Silversea, with a 12 day Atlantic ocean crossing from Florida to Portugal. Being published in Montecristo is an honour beyond words.
After over 15 years of working in the corporate world, I'm now in a new place where I manage my own schedule. No more peer reviews, no more annual budget planning, no more office politics, no juggling childcare around work travel, and no more meetings about meetings. But there are things I miss: the close frienships I made at work, that feeling of appreciation from executives on a job well done, the financial independance, and the comfort of knowing what I had to do every day. For a long time, I put so much value on my career, and I couldn't imagine not working in the corporate sector. But for now, or maybe for longer, I'm on a break from the corporate side of life. I can focus on my family, my writing and just experiencing life here in Calgary.
This Calgary Life is about sharing how I experience all the great things this big little city has to offer. From restaurants and cafes, to fundraising events, to music concerts, art installations, to boutiques and fashion finds, to our family travels, I endevour to introduce you to the amazing and talented people here and give you a glimpse of life in Calgary.