strivetoengage

Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving

About

Hello and welcome to my blog. Here’s a little bit of information about me: I was born in 1977; I studied Geology and Chemistry at university and completed a PhD in Geochemistry in 2003. Since then I’ve worked as a research scientist and project manager. I love my job and I get to use and extend my scientific knowledge daily. I grew up in an alternative setting and I maintain many of those principles now. I married my high school best friend and we have two children, born 2007 (girl) and 2009 (boy). I took time off work for each child and I continue to work part-time to enjoy spending time with them. I’m now living in Trondheim, Norway on an expat assignment with my family of four.

I blog anonymously for a couple of reasons, one is to remove ego from the process as much as possible (so no photos of me or style tips from me!), also I have a client facing role with about 500 personal contacts on LinkedIn and I don’t want them to read my thoughts on my blog! Finally, I travel to countries that aren’t always kind to bloggers, so there’s a bit of self preservation in there too.

I eat a mostly grain-free and sugar-free diet and in Australia I exercised regularly including jogging, gym classes, swimming, hiking, yoga, pilates and cycling. It’s a bit more tricky in Norway because of weather conditions and costs but I’m still doing a lot of walking and hiking, and after 16 months of going without I finally forked out the money to join a gym and buy some exoribantly expensive passes to the heated pool. I love being outdoors; bushwalking (e.g. Mount Tennent, Bymarka), camping (e.g. Wombeyan Caves and Blue Mountains), birdwatching, geologising, and I had a nice garden in Canberra, Australia. I love learning and my focus is now shifting to Norwegian language, history and culture.

I am committed to the principles of intentional consumption and we as a family attempt to minimise our purchases by either doing without, borrowing/trading, buying secondhand, or if we have to buy then buying ethical, environmentally conscious products. I don’t have a TV or read or listen to mainstream news but I like to watch TED and Edge talks, read the Economist and listen to podcasts like In Our Time and BBC World Service. I also love to read and over a wide range of material from travel to popular history, science and philosophy, to fiction, especially more challenging fiction, and until I moved to Trondheim I ran a book group.

I believe in giving and as part of that I donate part of my salary to 3 cost-efficient charities, until I moved to Trondheim I donated time to my favourite charity (Room to Read). Education is very important to me! Most of all I love good conversation. Those of you with young children will understand when I say that I crave uninterrupted conversation.

I love to travel! I’ve travelled so far to about 36 countries scattered throughout Asia, the Americas, the Middle East and Europe (NZ, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, Nepal, Oman, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Italy, France, Switzerland, Spain, England, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador, USA). I travel internationally for pleasure with my family (e.g. Malaysia & Indonesia in 2013/4, Japan in 2014, Norway and Sweden), for work (e.g. BahrainSpainColombiaKuwaitEcuador, USA), and with Room to Read (e.g. Nepal in 2012). I love to sample different cuisines, try to speak different languages (I’ve studied German and Spanish extensively and beginner Arabic and I’m now trying to learn Norwegian but I can also speak a little French, Italian, Polish and Indonesian), to connect with people, see amazing natural beauty and explore different cultures.

My motivations for blogging are: to share my travel experiences, to express myself, to share my musings and ideas in the context of the books that I read, to compensate for insufficient time for good quality conversation, to express my discontent with the terrible Australian policies towards asylum seekers and hopefully to influence others to think about some of the concepts and ideas that I discuss.

Here’s a map of the places that I have visited so far

Places I have visited so far…
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com

7 comments on “About

  1. tinyexpats
    September 22, 2015

    Wow! You’re leading such an inspirational life! So many parts of it that I admire – charity, healthy lifestyle, travelling, doing what you love. Would love to follow your journey on this blog!

    • strivetoengage
      September 22, 2015

      What a sweet comment! I enjoyed reading about your journey through life too!

  2. Sartenada
    March 25, 2016

    Languages are fantastic. They offer an eye to country’s life. Happy blogging!

  3. johnwreford
    October 17, 2016

    Hello
    I love your blog well done really, such a great philosophy.
    Thank you so much for dropping by and following mine 🙂 much appreciated.
    https://johnwreford.wordpress.com/

    • strivetoengage
      October 18, 2016

      Many thanks for the kind words. It usually feels like I’m blogging in a vacuum so it’s nice to receive a supportive comment.
      I love your blog! Are you still living in Damascus?

  4. Abinotronix
    March 30, 2017

    Hey ! It’s great that you have visited soo many countries!
    I hope you are soon visiting India! I bet, It will fascinate you like no other country did.

    • strivetoengage
      March 30, 2017

      Hi! Thanks for following my blog. Travel can certainly be interesting. We live in Europe now and we’ve made some trips while here but we are starting to return to places we’ve enjoyed in the past rather than run around visiting the countries in Europe that we haven’t been to.

      Simply reading about India fascinates me so I’m sure that I could spend months exploring India and still feel that I don’t know anything! I had great experiences in Nepal and I really would like to go to India one day.

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